Drove up to Glencoe for a photography excursion, I was motivated in part by Bruce Percy’s blog. Setting the weather forecast to one side, I was imagining spectacular winter light, purples, blues and calm, reflective lochans, maybe some storm clouds to add some drama and all captured on some Velvia with my lovely new camera. Alas, what I got was flat light and lots of wind…The clouds were quite good though…

Spent Tuesday driving up over Rannoch Moor, stopping off at the usual spots for a few shots, couldn’t bring myself to take any shots with the Mamiya and wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. I stopped off at the layby opposite Buachaille Etive Mor and took a few shots of the clouds swirling around the summit crags, it really is a beautiful mountain, but I wasn’t interested in taking another ‘stock‘ Buachaille shot. Still uninspired I spend the afternoon sodding around, up to Fort William for lunch, round to Kinlochleven for I don’t know what. In the end I gave up and decided to camp at the Red Squirrel campsite, mainly because it’s cheap and within walking distance of the Clachaig. Some campsite at Invercoe were wanting £19 to pitch my Akto….Eh, Naw.

Food was a must, the Clachaig didn’t disappoint with a superb Venison burger and some fine Ale. It was quiet, I spent a few hours reading and supping, by this time the wind was howling outside, but I had an early-ish night anyway. I was glad I had some earplugs, the tent was flapping like hell, but coped with the wind easily. I was super-toasty in my Sleeping bag. Sleep itself was reasonable, did the usual sore shoulder, turn over, sore shoulder routine until morning. I need an air mattress…

Once I’d packed up, drove along to the frozen Glencoe Lochan for a wander round and some photography, the ice was melting and making some cool noises. I was mostly shooting abstracts at this point, and even cracked out the Mamiya for a few shots, they’ll no doubt turn up on Flickr at some point.

I still wasn’t feeling hugely inspired, though my mood had picked up a bit since Tuesday. I had decided rather than spend another night camped out, to call it quits and head back home via Glen Etive, as much as a recce mission to see what it’s like as I’d never been down before. It’s a stunning, dramatic glen, and can’t be appreciated fully from a car, so I’ll need to go back on foot at some point. But this trip was all about photography, so I was kicking myself when I came across a stag by the side of the road, seemingly disinterested in the car passing metres away. It was a brilliant photo opportunity, so it was no surprise that the camera was out of reach, in the boot. :-/ I’d stopped the car anyway to admire the beast and decided to see if I could get the camera. I got out, but as soon as he looked up and realised the human was out the car, he was off…

…however, the camera came in useful, when I came across the rest of the herd further up the glen, about thirty of them, sitting around by the roadside. I parked up in the middle of the single track road, wound the windows down and spent 10 minutes shooting, being stuck in the car restricts you somewhat, but I still managed to get a few decent shots, which cheered me up no end… 🙂