Yesterday I had a day out at Rannoch Moor and Glencoe with my camera bag and an old friend.
It was a clear, cold and sunny winter’s morning and the forecast was for the clear skies to remain all day. So off we went on our drive to Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. All the way there in the car the scenery and photography opportunities kept increasing and increasing. We were both itching to just stop the car every five miles or so and take photographs but had we done so we would have never reached our destination. So we kept driving and kept being distracted by the scenery and the slow drivers.
Those Sunday drivers who were simply out for a wee drive alongside Loch Lomond to look at the view from the car, take a few blurry images with their smartphone from inside the car and look for the best pub to stop at. All fine and dandy but I wish they wouldn’t drive at 25mph on a 60mph road. Especially, when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere before the best of the light goes. Oh, and let’s not forget the coaches. Well, to be more precise, the coaches and coaches and coaches… dozens of them! Mind you, the scenery is stunning and I do understand the attraction for coach loads of people but we’re in a hurry!
I had my GoPro camera with me as well as my main DSLR and I was keen to set it up to take a time-lapse sequence. I would be leaving it on it’s small tripod for several hours and knew I had to leave it in a place that it wouldn’t be easily seen by passers by. Somewhere in the middle of Glen Etive we found the very spot. I placed in on it’s Gorillapod, used the iPhone app to set it up to take a photograph every 30 seconds until it ran out of memory or battery. It was just after 10:30 and the temperature was -3C so I was convinced the battery would fail long before the 64GB card. We left it there to do it’s thing and we drove on to Rannoch Moor.
When we arrived at the place we had in mind, we weren’t alone. Every lay-by and car park was filled with cars that were owned by either photographers or hill walkers. A line of photographers could be seen on either side of the lay-bys with their tripods set up on the road side. Literally dozens of them stretched out in both directions from every lay-by. We found a parking space a short walk away from our spot and set off.
It was not our intention to join on the end of one of the strings at the side of the road. We walked past them all, nodded and exchanged the usual comments about it being a lovely morning and how cold it was. Because it was cold! We walked until we found an access point that took us down off the road and into a perfect position. We set up our gear and took a few images.
After a couple of hours or so we moved onto our next location. One that is well known to me and just about every other landscape photographer in Britain, even if it is unpronounceable; Lochan na h-Achlaise. We had to scramble over a snow covered embankment, which wasn’t accomplished with any grace I must admit, to get to the spot. But wow it was worth it! We spent another couple of hours here, dicing with frost bite on our hands while we waited on the ideal moment of light. We didn’t quite get that ideal moment, but do you ever? Instead we did get painfully cold hands and a few good images.
Once our hands had defrosted, we drove back home via Glen Etive to collect my GoPro. In all a nice day out and a few good images taken to add to the collection. I’ll put the time-lapse together and post it up here on a separate page soon.
What do you think? Have you taken photos here? Were you one of the dozens of photographers that was there that day (Sunday 01 Feb 2015)?