6th June 2019
Time is precious, time spent in the wilderness or with nature is priceless. Time enjoying the solitude and tranquility of the outdoors is special. Time enjoying the solitude and tranquility of the outdoors, with a camera is magical.
These thoughts are reaffirmed having just returned from another trip through the North Western Highlands of Scotland. The special section from Lochinver to Durness is unquestionably my favourite place in the world for photography and although I may have the occasional flirtation with other parts of Scotland, it is this extreme top left corner of Scotland that always welcomes me back knowing those other places meant nothing to me!
The one thing that disappoints me about my adventures to this incredible place is my inability to truly capture the majesty of the landscape. Time and time again, I stand before the beauty surrounding me and in a vain attempt try to capture and share the near heart breaking joy through my lens, my efforts always seem to fall short of the mark. My attempts are the photographic equivalent of bringing home a handful of sand and saying”that is what the beaches are like”.
Beaches - ah yes. They are world class, they are Caribbean-esque and perfectly typified by the wonderful one at Achmelvich. It is a slice of paradise and reminds me of the setting used in 1980’s film, Local Hero. I can just imagine Burt Lancaster, Peter Capaldi, Jenny Seagrove and David Putnam going about their work on this beach playing along to the tune of Going Home by Dire Straits.
Just along the coastline, an equally joyous beach at Clachtoll - a smaller bay but no less impressive enriched with the presence of the friendliest herd of Highland cattle that reside in the Bay.
Upon leaving this spectacular coastline and en route to Durness, you pass the iconic Loch Assynt punctuated by the most gorgeous treee islands. This islands are a photographers dream - how can anyone resist stopping to capture the proud Scotch Pines that stand to attention.
It was whilst I was here last that I discovered what I would now like to say is my favourite beach of all time - well, on a par with Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris at least - Oldshoremore Beach. The raw beauty of this coastline is sometimes difficult to absorb. A truly humbling experience.
As my time here drew to a close I just had to see Durness. A world acclaimed beach and with good reason. The sea stacks, the soft white sand, the blue ocean, perfection. All that was missing was a sight of the Orcas that regular appear along this coastline.
Just another reason to return to this awe inspiring small pocket of Scotland. The North Western Highlands of this beautiful country - a truly magical place to discover, with or without a camera.
During my 10 days spent in the North West Highlands, all of my images were supported and enhanced with the use of my Nisi Filters. I am currently using the V5 Pro 100mm Filter System & lean predominantly on the Landscape CPL filter ably supported by either my 4 stop or 2 stop Medium Graduated Filters. As well as providing outstanding quality to the image itself, I am impressed and grateful to the ease of use the system provides me even in the most inhospitable environments that this part of Scotland can sometimes present.