McSporran : Landscapes
It is always hard to pick favourite images when you have taken so many. New photos replace old as you develop your skills or change your preferences. These featured images provide an example of my work. No doubt I'll change my mind as time passes.
I took this photo at Loch Achtriochtan in Glencoe. As I was waiting for the morning sun to crest the Aonach Eagach ridge the clouds drifted into position creating a perfect mirror image of the Saltire - the flag of Scotland (a white diagonal cross on a blue background). The image has been liked and/or copied over 100,000 times. It has been used as the front cover for the national St Andrew's Awards 2018 and in various other publications. A tutorial on how I created the image is on the Video page
This image made the finals of Mountain Photo of the Year 2017 and was a front cover image in Trail Magazine. It is a photo of me on the summit of Ben A'an in The Trossachs. I remotely controlled my camera using my iPhone. I didn't win but to be honest there were better photos than mine - I was pleased to make the finals.
An image of me standing on the edge of one of the cliffs looking into the heart of the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye. Sometimes bad weather can provide good photo opportunities.
I climbed Buachaille Etive Beag in Glen Coe for sunset. On the way up I met a fellow photographer, Rob Stevens, who I had met on top of Stac Pollaidh several months previously. This is a photo of Rob silhouetted against the final ridge of Stob Dubh, one of the Munro peaks of the mountain.
The Hermitage in Autumn is a favourite location. I was balanced precariously on the rocks above the Black Linn waterfall waiting for the light, when a lone girl walked onto the bridge - a perfect focal point for the image.
I climbed Buachaille Etive Beag, Glen Coe in the dark for sunrise. Arriving an hour before sunrise the Milky Way could clearly be seen over the peak of Stob Dubh. I set up my camera and took a 30 second exposure for the Milky Way, then left the camera on the tripod and took a second exposure much later for the mountain, then blended the images.
I had climbed to photograph the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye, but the views over the Sound of Raasay and the Inner Sound towards the mountains of Torridon were superb. This is Liathach, the grey mountain, framed by the light.
My son Calum and I had trudged around the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye hoping for some good photo opportunities but the light just wasn't happening. On our way back to the car, for a brief moment the scene was lit up with an eerie light.
While wild camping on top of the Fiddler I had packed my kit away and was enjoying a coffee in my tent when I noticed a glow on the horizon - then 'bang', the Aurora Borealis (the northern lights) danced across the sky over Assynt.
Ossian's Hall of Mirrors perched above the falls of the Black Linn at the Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire - when the light is this good, you just need to point and shoot... and keep shooting.
The rock pinnacle in the centre is the Old Man of Storr, with the area below known as The Sanctuary. I wanted something different from the standard shot of the Old Man (normally taken by everyone looking down from out of shot on the left and climbed to the cliffs behind.
Buachaille Etive Mor, with Buachaille Erive Beag to the right and Glencoe Mountain to the left. Taken from Beinn a'Chrulaiste.
Stob Dubh, the dark peak of Buachaille Etive Beag in Glencoe as the first light of sunrise hits the mountain picking out the details in the snow patterns.
The Moon in the Belt of Venus (the anti-twilight arch - the pink band across the sky just before sunrise) over Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich, West Highlands.
I captured this fantastic sight while climbing the Storr on the Isle of Skye. This is looking across the Sound of Raasay, the Inner Sound and the Isle of Rona to the mountains of Torridon.
The twin peaks of Stob Coire Easain (front) and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin (behind right). I had been grounded for about 3 months with torn knee ligaments after a fall coming down a mountain and this was taken on my first day back in the hills. I had intended photographing Glencoe from Stob Mhic Mhartuin but when I got to the top the views in the other direction were simply superb and I spent 2 hours photographing the constantly changing light over the Mamore mountains.
The Belt of Venus or 'antitwilight arch' is an atmospheric phenomenon visible shortly before sunrise, when a pinkish glow extending roughly 10–20° above the horizon. As twilight progresses, the glow is separated from the horizon by the dark band of Earth's shadow, or 'dark segment'. On this morning I had climbed Buachaille Etive Beag's northern peak Stob Coire Raineach in the dark using a head torch and was treated to this spectacular light show.
This image was the front cover photo for the Scots Magazine Christmas Edition 2017. It was taken on top of Beinn a'Chrulaiste in Glencoe. The snow was knee deep in places.
I drove through the night to Glencoe when I saw the forecast for mist and fog and climbed Beinn a'Chrulaiste in the dark using a head torch. As I reached the top I emerged out of the clouds to catch a temperature inversion flowing round Buachaille Etive Mor.
Another of those once in a lifetime shots. I climbed Ben A'an in The Trossachs hoping for a good sunrise and managed to capture a Fog Bow on the summit with my Brocken Spectre projected into the middle by the early morning sun.
The Mamore Mountains in the West Highlands from Stob Mhic Mhartuin, Glencoe. It was a chilly -10 up top but I forgot the cold when this fantastic scene unfolded before my eyes. I kept taking image after image as the light constantly changed, then I realised I couldn't feel my fingers - they were numb with the cold.
A 4 hour drive to the Isle of Skye saw me climbing the Storr before dawn. The weather was atrocious, storm winds and heavy rain. Just as I was packing up a gap in the clouds appeared casting light onto the Old Man of Storr. Sometimes you make your luck.
Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, taken as the first light of sunrise lights up the mountain. Dawn and sunrise are always a special time in the mountains during winter, the pink early morning light can give some spectacular photo opportunities. The only real challenge is the cold...and climbing a mountain in the dark in deep snow and freezing conditions.
The Hermitage, near Dunkeld, Perthshire is a riot of autumn colour. The park was built about 1740 for the Dukes of Atholl.
This image made the number one spot on Fluidr (Flickr's daily selection of the worlds top photos). It was taken at the top of the Duke's Pass looking out over the forests of The Trossachs.
A chilly minus 16 saw me standing on a frozen Lochan na h'Achlaise on Rannoch Moor. This is a 3 minute long exposure image as the first light of the morning sun caught the mountain tops. The long exposure created movement and flow in the clouds.
The Cuillin Mountains on The isle of Skye from Sgurr na Stri. I made the very long trek from Sligachan carrying 55lbs/25kg of camping and photography gear to wild camp on the mountain and catch the dawn sun hitting the Cuillin Mountains: Loch Coruisk is below right with Loch Scavaig to the left.