Landscape Photography – Winter in Glencoe

Welcome to the Highlands of Scotland.
It’s Friday something or other. I don’t know the date
at the moment. Time just passes by when you’re a travel photographer. But I’m
here up here in the Scottish Highlands to run a workshop in the coming days. But
I’ve got four days on my own to be able to reacquaint myself with the area and
find a few interesting little spots to be able to take my clients to when the
workshop begins. At the moment I am stood on a windy and cold Rannoch Moor. It’s
just about dawn. I know when you look around it doesn’t really look like it.
And also I know that people think well isn’t he always shooting in that
gorgeous warm beautiful sunrise and morning light or the evening light with
the sun just nipping over the horizon well yes but when I’m somewhere like
this and it’s as moody as it is then I really do like this kind of condition as
well because I know people say well he never goes out in bad weather. This is
for me this is my type of bad weather I love being in this type of environment
with the cloud as it is so I’m just going to be going around the area seeing
what it is that I can find and taking you on that journey with me on the days
before my coming workshop and giving you a taste of the Scottish Highlands. So
this is one of the first places that I think about when I come to Rannoch Moor.
This gorgeous lochan that’s by the side of the road you can probably hear
cars going on behind me it’s not actually right by the road you have to
walk in to come and get this particular point of view but it’s one of the places
that I do like to come when I’m up here and there’s something I’ve got in my
head that I keep meaning to do and there’s a new lens that’s out by Canon
that I’m would love to get or rent and it will get me the image that I have in
my head at some point but this is what I’m looking at right now here this on
this very first morning. I’ve left the windswept Rannoch Moor
behind me and I’ve come down to the river that flows down towards the
famous Glencoe itself so I’m just driving easily down the road I was
keeping my eye on the river and I could see then it’s kind of half frozen down
here so I found a place to park up and I’ve come down to a spot and I’ve got
kind of something that interests me so I just sort of turn the camera and show
you what it is that I’m looking at and why I like this kind of thing and you can see why it is that I might have chosen this. I did want to get into the
river itself but I don’t have any wellingtons with me. I didn’t have enough
room in my suitcase which is unfortunate but I’ll just spin it around and I’ll show you
what it is that I’m looking at and then you can get an idea of what’s in my head
right now. So this is what my camera is pointed at so as you can see pretty
frozen down here about two inches or so thick of ice and you can hear from
the cars going past right by the side the road so it’s not too hard to get down
to. It looks gorgeous at the moment. I know people would say well wouldn’t it
be better with some sunlight on I’m not necessarily this type of landscape up
here in the in the West Highlands of Scotland it just absolutely lends itself
to this moody sky that you get up here if it was flat gray then yes it wouldn’t
be my thing but when it’s like this then I do really like it so as you can see
this is what I’ve got in front of me there is about two inches or so thick
ice on the river at the moment I know it’s two inches thick let’s say because
I just put my foot through it so thankfully I was quick enough to get my
foot back out without it getting wet but I’m just working this and seeing what I
can do with the scene on this little river that’s here on Rannoch Moor. I’ve come up at an elevation about 200
meters or so and this is the limit of where I’m going. And the very simple
reason is because I’ve hit solid ice on the path that I’m on for the West Highland Way. I’ve come up because I wanted a different view of Etive Mor
that’s behind the camera the moment you have to know your limits when you’re
doing these type of things especially at this time of year
this is my limit this is as far as I’m going I’ll show you the image in a
minute but just be aware of where you are and what you’re doing what you’re
doing landscape photography. Day two in the Western Highlands of
Scotland. Back on Rannoch Moor it’s windy as always on Rannoch Moor but it’s
not freezing there’s no frost this morning up here only the side of the
Lochan itself where I’m sat is actually frozen itself but apart from that
there’s no frost or snow anywhere to be seen. Apparently the snow is coming in the next couple of days there’s a yellow
weather warning that’s been put out by the Met Office so we will see exactly
how bad it does become up here over the next few days or so but that is
hopefully what will happen and to be honest it is what I want to happen as I
want the snow up here this is why I came up here it’s why I’m running my workshop
in the next few days up here to do this area underneath good snowfall so we will
see what does arrive over the next few days but in any case I’ll just show you
what it is that I’m up to at the moment up here. This is what I’m currently
looking at on Rannoch Moor there was tiny bit of color about 15 minutes or so
ago and where this cloud bank is here that is where sunrise is or was as it’s
now disappeared but what can you do not a lot as I said yesterday though if I
have mood in my images this is the kind of mood that I like there’s a nice form
to the cloud it looks very threatening up there and as I said before snow is
apparently on the way so this is the view from Rannoch Moor this morning Continuing on with my trip in the
western highlands of Scotland this morning I’ve driven around an hour or so
from Balachullish to the banks of Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle or as some people
say Kilchurn Castle I’m not sure which one is right. Now I’ve come here just
because I wanted to make sure of my timings of actually getting here for
when my clients arrive during the forth coming week from my workshop in
the Western Highlands so it I took me about an hour or so from Balachullish to
actually get around to this particular location. If you’re thinking of coming to
Loch Awe to come and shoot Kilchurn Castle or Kilchurn castle then make sure
you bring your waterproof boots and Wellingtons because it
is very very boggy in this particular part of Scotland so basically you don’t
want to be coming here and getting wet feet but I just show you what it is that
I’m up to and then you can get an idea of the surroundings of this beautiful
part of Scotland. And here is that stunning panorama of Loch Awe and
Kilchurn castle there. At the moment there’s not much snow on the mountains
at all but the snow is predicted to arrive later on this evening and into
Monday and Tuesday so we will see what that brings. The wind chill is supposed
to be going down to around minus 11 as the week progresses so it’s going
to be getting very very cold up here but as you can see it just lends itself to
single shots panoramas and time-lapse and whatever else you can think of in
this stunning area of the western Highlands of Scotland. Piano music plays… As you saw from the b-roll footage I’ve
come up to Rannoch Moor. I’ve come up to one of the famous white cottages at the top
here. I’m just having a bit of a scout round and seeing what I can do with it. It’s starting to rain so I’ll probably don’t have much time at all but anyway this is as I said
one of those famous white cottages you can park just over there. If
you’re lucky there’s lots of spaces as there is today it’s Sunday today
sometimes though there’s not a lot of space and you really have to work just
to find somewhere just to park to come down and photograph this cottage. If you
want to photograph it you can come right up to it we can do it from the side of
the road or to do as I did the other day when I was near the the top of the ridge
of the Devil’s staircase which is just over there from where I’m filming at the
moment so just enjoy this particular view here on Rannoch Moor. Continuing my journey down into Glencoe
itself actually down into the Glen I’ve parked the car at the side of the road and I’ve
hopped over the fence and come down to this beautiful waterfall that’s down
here. It is quite hidden from the road you would never know it was here unless you
knew what you’re looking for. So I’ve come down here. I’ve set something up and
I’ve got a shot. It’s okay. But I’m probably going to do a little bit more exploring in
this little hidden area just to see what I can do with it but I thought I’d just show you what it is that I’m doing so you can get an idea of what’s going through my head
when I’m photographing something like this. Well there you can see the
waterfall going down towards two of the three sisters of Glencoe. What interests
me here? Well you’ve got this very nice s-curve going around there down towards
the two sisters there…two of the three sisters of Glencoe. Now that
interests me that nice s-curve. At the moment I’m doing it as a portrait. I might
try it as a landscape shot just to see if it works. If I had wellies or waders I’d probably try and get down into the water but that’s
what I’m kind of seeing at the moment. I have actually put my camera up just a
little bit just to be able to bring things a bit more into perspective so
basically I was looking at this rock here and of course if you start going
down and things move around a bit but if you start elevating yourself up then you
can start saying that things move into perspective so that’s what I want. So
that’s what I’m up to at the moment as I said there is quite a lot to explore
around here so I might give myself a bit more time just to have a look at this
beautiful cascade here down in Glencoe. I’m still at the waterfall in the Glencoe
Pass and I thought I’d just come up and move around a little bit and see if there’s
something else that pleases me. I found something that’s so it’s not too bad
it’s not ideal but it’s certainly something and there’s a few things that
I was thinking about what I was trying to compose the image and I thought well
what I could do is actually show you what it is that I’m doing when I compose
the image so you’ve got an idea of exactly what it is I’m thinking when I’m
trying to do that and it’s something that I do and I take people out there
just basically say to them look tell me what you’re thinking. I want to know what
it is you’re thinking so I know where you might be going wrong. There’s some of
these things. There’s so many different ways and means of doing an image that
it’s always useful to hear how other people actually will compose their
images so I’ll just show you my thoughts as to how I’m composing the scene in
front of me here in this pass at Glencoe. Okay so the first thing that I’m
thinking of when I’m doing is scene like this so I’m just going to pan the camera
up so I’m looking at a waterfall there that’s going down towards those two
sisters there part of the Three Sisters of Glencoe. The first thing that
I’m thinking of is well do I need a telephoto or wide-angle lens. It is
pretty much wide angle lens. I want to get everything in so it’s set around
about 20mm at the moment. I’m going to turn live view on let’s show you what
it is that I was thinking so you can see on the back of the camera there’s like
the thirds there so you’ve got this this sister here that’s on the 3rd
and there’s a tree there that’s on the 3rd but if I just brighten up the display
there you can see what it is that I’m doing. I was trying to angle it and trying
to get the river a nice s-curve going in when I looked at the the ground here on
the side this grass and just thought it’s just too much so pull this over so
the tree was on the third but I thought well it’s actually still not what I want
so I actually pulled it over to the other side of the line but the third
just to give me something that pleased my eye so it’s starting to break some of
the rules and bring things into the middle and and off to the side there so
probably around somewhere around there and also trying to look
down into the corners here there’s the rocks there that are just coming off
into the corner and the river going down so I then got that nice s-curve going in
to the mountains there and that’s the kind of composition that I’m after for
this particular scene here at Glencoe. So that’s it for this particular vlog. I
suspect you might be thinking but what’s it? Well I’ve just tried to get a picture
looking down the Pass of Glencoe of the three sisters and the road coming up.
What I really wanted to do is there’s some traffic trails as I timed how
long it takes cars etc to come up the road. And what I can I know you how
do I need for exposure to get what it is that I need just started setting up and
rain has just arrived very very heavily in the Pass of Glencoe. So where I am
sat in the car at the moment I can see absolutely
hardly anything really out the window at the moment. The rain is coming down in
cords and the mountains have disappeared but that’s the weather at
this time of year in this part of the country so what can you do? Not a lot really. What I am going to do is just say thank you so much for all of those of you that have
subscribed over the Christmas period and of course to my old subscribers that keep
hanging in there with me it’s really appreciated. So until the next time the
next vlog whenever that might be I don’t know yet hopefully something in the
next…certainly before two weeks time see you again next time.


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