Ardtornish Day 23

I think light and water are the two ‘elements’ that fire my inspiration for photography and today has been a very inspiring day. After what was a fairly quiet day yesterday, probably due to the fact we got involved in the Quiz Night in the bar at Lochcarron Hotel and the locals proved very friendly and ready to insist on us having another ‘wee dram’.

I’m not proud to say I cannot remember climbing the stairs back to my room, and when it came to checking out this morning, the proprietor’s wife had two friends with her and she introduced us as “The two English who drank the barrel of Skye Gold” (a very fine ale that, looking at the bill, appeared to have slipped down very well indeed).

Although it was some 36 hours later, this morning a very subdued Allen said “When are we going to realise we’re not 26 and bullet-proof any more, we are lightweights!” He had walked Charlie along the quayside at Lochcarron to come and meet me as I shot the dawn.

The morning session was good because the clouded sky had some moody texture and the loch was really flat. There was hardly a breath of wind and the freezing water was smooth and viscous. I started off shooting the loch-side town as it came to life and then turned my attention to the view across to the hills and snow capped mountains beyond.

Our drive back was good in that the cloud remained textured and even started to break at a couple of locations.

After the towering dominant, mountainscapes of Ben Eighe and Glen Torridon, it was good to come back to Ardtornish where there is ‘more sky’. The scenery is very rugged and impressive, yet not as overbearing and 'cramped'. You can see for miles and the hills and mountain ranges line up in ranks that draw the eye back to the distant horizon and I like that.

Once back at the estate, I pulled on my chest waders and took the camera and tripod out into the loch. There a some nice features, such as an old boathouse, some fallen trees and the Victorian Estate house emerging from the trees, so I decided to take advantage of the oppressive cloud that bore down on the hilltops, to see what I could conjure with an ND6 hard grad filter, low ISO and the 16-35mm lens lens closed right down. You can see the results in the Highland Winter gallery of the Portfolio section.

Tomorrow we’re off to shoot a village that’s inhabitants were forcibly evicted during the wholly-detestable ‘Clearances’. The abandoned settlement has been recently reclaimed from the surrounding forest, so it should be quite interesting to see. Then I’m hoping to spend a few hours getting some shots on the loch nearby.