Photo guiding in the Cairngorm National Park

Just a few shots I took while working with Matt on the weekend, who was up from Perth for some photo tuition, and was great company.


The weather was terrible on Friday so we postponed a day for the weather window, making a virtue of necessity maybe, but it worked, and we caught a few chinks of light in between the showers and the midges. It was my first time working nearer home - the Cairngorms, and it felt good to show it off, even though I'm sort of new here. What an incredible place.

As regulars here will note, I'm enjoying taking lots of monos right now. It might just be waffle but I think it informs the colour photos in the long run. Back and forth, tones and graphic, we're all learning. 

(click to make bigger)

My workshop info is here. It's flexible, not fixed... but I'll throw this out there: The best stuff happens on an overnighter. That's when it turns into an adventure.

Some photos of a bike tour

Feshie. A beautiful chaos. I arrive late and only half recognise the place, and even in the morning it's the same until I reach the upper reaches. The 'new' track is in pieces, washed away by waters allowed to run wild. I thought it had been three years since I was last here, but it's only been two. So much has changed. Me too, I guess.

My fettling done for now, I sit, watch and listen. I'm camped in a musical place, the river running over rock to my left and right, and the long, low sweeping arc of the meander right at my feet. The music expands and the river is a glockenspiel: High notes chime on my left, low registers to my right. The moon swoons in and out of the cloud. It's out in the clear now, stroking gentle shadows from the glades, then back it sways veiled behind gauze, stretched across a blackness untroubled with tungsten. And with it the contrast opens up, from blacks to greys, even hues of green and blues. I can see more of the glen, the river course, and the forest, growing again, all the time, growing.

Night rider

A few photos from an evening's exploration by mountain bike, around the Inshriach Forest, a place of margins and borders, between the lowlying and populated strath and the bony and lonely uplands. There are regiments of conifers, bulldozed double track and sinuous single track, crofts both inhabited and abandoned, clearfell and regeneration. In the summer, there are also flesh eating monsters aplenty, just a few of which were caught by the flash in one of the shots below. It's far from being an untouched landscape, but it's diverse and has it's own sad and solemn beauty. Last summer's evening, it felt like something of a miracle to witness.

I had a friendly email asking if I had merged the fifth image in the last set, and thought I'd mention it here, because the fifth photo in this set also looks a little surreal, and people might be wondering if there was trickery involved. All photography is hocus pocus of course, and I love all types of photography, but no - for me the challenge at the moment is to play with the restrictions of a single exposure. I spent far too long in a past life as a sound engineer hunched over a sampler screen (and later a computer) tweaking and modulating, to want to do more than the bare minimum in photo software nowadays. So I try to do it all in the machine, and just use it to try and see better. No overdubs, the place is often more than enough.

Enough talk, here's some creamy, creepy modern gothic.



Reset Devices

Deep time on the Tundra. 34km, 1900 metres of upness, four Munros and 26 hours in the new backyard. Relieved I still have some mountain legs after a break from the big stuff, and nice to close on the final 2 4000 footers David Hine and I bailed on in 2015.

Click and swipe for the pictures