<![CDATA[kevin arrowsmith photography - Blog]]>Thu, 26 Sep 2019 07:20:04 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Things take time]]>Wed, 25 Sep 2019 19:13:11 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/things-take-timeOne thing you get to realise very quickly after moving to a location like Durness - it's a long way from anywhere! Driving around I often see photographic opportunities but perhaps for another day when time and circumstances allow.

Our dentist visits take us to Lochinver, a drive of 53 miles and one and a half hours duration. The route takes us along Loch Assynt, a fine loch with many views of merit but it was one feature which interested me driving this route some 13 years ago.  A collection of mature trees sit on the loch on several small islands, some actually growing in the water. Bold, dominant, and almost sculptural, they are a classic feature of the Assynt landscape.

The problem was, there were so many combinations of things which would need to coincide to allow me to capture the images I was aiming for, tranquil, semi-abstract, certainly minimalist and most definitely monochrome.

The loch would need to be still, yet more often than not, this exposed loch is characterised by huge  choppy waves. Ideally, I would want a misty morning providing a subdued backdrop which would minimise background distractions. No harsh direct sunlight. Position and composition would be critical to place the trees where I wanted them with separation from each other and other features in the landscape, and all this would take time.

Finally, the gods were on my side. The forecast looked perfect, low cloud, little or no wind, and intermittent periods of sunshine. Off I went, just hoping that it would all come together. I was not disappointed.​
The mist rolled down this hills in the background providing a beautiful curtain of diffused light and the perfect backdrop to maximise the impact of the dark trees in the foreground. The occasional breeze was creating slight ripples on the surface of the loch and so I decided to opt for a long exposure which would smooth these out, again with the aim of reducing distractions. The mist was actually light rain which would take a few minutes to travel across the loch to my position. Quickly protecting the camera with a waterproof cover, these showers would last just a couple of minutes before the whole cycle repeated again. I would need to have everything prepared in advance to take advantage of each 'window' of time. 

After the usual period of summer photography inactivity (never my favoured season) I was delighted with the result. A collection of some 5 or 6 images which will form a great collection for exhibition.

On the long drive home, a favourite saying of a great friend of mine, Alan came to mind

"Things take time"

​Cheers Alan, they certainly do!

Canon EOS6D MkII
Canon 24-105 L Series lens
Nisi 10 stop ND filter
14 seconds at f4
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<![CDATA[A good set of paint brushes?]]>Thu, 28 Mar 2019 15:38:18 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/a-good-set-of-paint-brushesIt's well known that in the UK, photography has never been held in the same regards as more traditional arts. Perhaps photography is regarded as an easy option, involving less skill? Not so in continental Europe and North America. Interestingly, the phrase "you must have a really good camera" are still occasionally heard in the gallery.

I thought it might be useful to look at what's involved in creating a typical print that you might find hanging in the gallery. I've tried to avoid making it too technical, and have used a recent composition at Sango, Durness as a case study.

Sango Bay - An elusive view
The headland and beaches at Sango Bay offer many fine views, rock stacks, pools, and distant cliffs. However, there's one feature that I've wanted to photograph almost since relocating to Durness and that's the small burn which flows from Loch Caladail, along Sangomore, and eventually down onto the beach. What's so difficult about that? Well, there's often times when there's very little or any water at all flowing in the burn. The small cascade where it falls to the beach is in shade for much of the day and when it isn't, the sun casts a shadow of any budding photographer and their tripod right into the foreground. To be even more particular, I wanted to capture the scene when the sun wasn't too high in the sky and the light therefore not too harsh.
So, the opportunities are few - the right time of day when the light is good, at the right time of year, at least a little drama in the sky (no clear blue sky) and water flowing in the burn  . . . little wonder it has taken 12 years! Here's how I finally went about it:
1. Research a possible composition
To start with I usually take a few quick photographs from various positions looking for good foreground interest, and selecting what I want and don't want in the composition. For this I have found my trusty iPhone the ideal tool for the job. It's usually one of these images that I'll post and describe as 'work in progress' on Instagram. 
​At this stage I'm not concentrating on producing a perfect image, this is purely preparation work

You can see my Instagram feed here (opens in a new window)

2. A return visit with a 'real camera'
Next, I'll return on a day when the weather is reasonable along with my camera, lenses, and of course tripod to finalise the composition. I'll be considering what lens I need to use to have the effect I'm looking for, and to 'fine tune positioning of the camera. This image shows some of the considerations I'm making and as you can see the sun is indeed lighting the burn, but also casting my shadow.
3. The final image
This is the final image taken on a return visit when all the requirements were satisfied. The overall idea was that the burn flowing into the scene would 'lead' the viewer into the frame revealing a window onto the beach beyond. Note also what a difference a few clouds make!

Here, the direct light is illuminating the burn nicely without being too harsh. The pool in the foreground is well lit and the colours of the underlying rocks are emphasised. Much of the 'straggly' foreground grass has been removed from the composition by relocating the tripod slightly without introducing unwanted shadows.

Two filters were used, a 'graduated neutral density' filter simply balances the sky with the foreground, in this case also chosen to darken the sky slightly. A polariser removes reflections from the surface of the pool and clarifies the colourful rocks below the water.

Finally, you will see that a suitable combination of shutter speed and aperture has resulted in an image which is acceptably sharp from the grasses in the foreground to the cliffs in the distance. The water is slightly blurred to emphasise the flow of the burn over the rocks to the beach below.
I hope this article has shed some light (sorry) on the the process that I follow and shows that there's a little more involved that just pointing a camera and pressing the button! If you have any queries or comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Did Vincent van Gogh have a really good set of paint brushes? Probably
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<![CDATA[A regular 'tree fix']]>Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:34:50 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/a-regular-tree-fixDurness is not renowned for it's trees. Mountains, beaches, lochs yes. Trees? no.
Well to be fair we do have some trees if you're willing to seek them out and one area of woodland is so special to me that it remains my secret!
So, occasionally I take a photographic road trip to visit forests and areas of woodland with the hope of finding a great composition but if I'm honest, mainly to get my tree fix.

Being amongst trees has always had an attraction to me. The sound of branches and leaves moving gently in a breeze, perhaps the sound of a small burn meandering it's way, all accompanied by a chorus of birdsong, it all makes for the most calming, relaxing feeling of renewal.
October. Ravens Rock Gorge is a location which has experienced huge changes in recent years. A footpath once wandered into a steep sided gorge, looking like a place that time forgot. Then a landslide completely transformed the place, obstructing it with the collapsed walls of the gorge and scattering huge trees like tooth picks.

However, this is still a place worthy of a visit and in autumn, the palette of colours is impressive. Mid-morning, the sunlight starts to find its way to the innermost areas of the woods casting a superb soft light contrasting with deep shadows

​February. Having your vehicle in the dealership for repairs is never a treat but on this occasion I decided to make best of the day (and use of the courtesy car!) and to go and explore Aldie Burn near Tain. On arrival I was surprised to see patches of ice in the car park where the sun hadn't reached. It had been a couple of weeks since we had snow or temperatures below or approaching zero and starting along the track extensive stretches of ice made progress tricky.
For the duration there was no sign of sunlight and I made my way through the forest in flat grey light. Oh well, I was enjoying the walk. As I approached the final section of the trail, I stood alone just taking in the silence and admiring a really unusual tree and wondered if there might be a composition there for a return visit in better light . Then amazingly, before my eyes, the scene before me was transformed. Beautiful filtered sunlight made it's way through the canopy illuminating sections of the tree like a spotlight
I quickly set up the camera on the tripod, quickly checked settings and fired the shutter. The resulting image, 'Gnarly Tree' was my one and only exposure - immediately after reviewing it on the camera's screen the sun disappeared and was absent for the remainder of the day. In actual fact, I did experiment with other compositions regardless but the position of the tree, flowing burn, and the steep bank on which I was positioned made it a difficult scene. I'm actually quite pleased with the result. I love the contrast between the branches illuminated by the sunlight and the deep shadows of the foreground and background. I even like the quirky tall grasses pointing towards the tree (something which many photographers would have 'edited out')

Shooting in woodland can be tricky, with so many visual distractions, compositions can be almost chaotic at times but at risk of using a much overused phrase this one really does 'take me back to the moment'. I hope you like it as much.


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<![CDATA[Winter at The Moine]]>Sat, 26 Jan 2019 13:09:33 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/winter-at-the-moine"Do you get much snow?" is a question often asked by gallery visitors. Yes and no is the usual response. Due to it's coastal location, Durness often escapes much of the heavy snowfalls but you don't have to travel far for that to change.

With the forecast suggesting that snow will change to rain in the night, I cancelled (or maybe postponed) a winter wild camping trip in favour of a day of photography at somewhat lower levels. This could be the last chance to photograph in the snow before it disappears overnight and I'm reliably informed that the drive towards Tongue is like a winter wonderland.

Sure enough, having driven over the bridge at Hope the landscape changed quite dramatically. Deep unspoiled virgin snow covered the 'Moine' and added perfect highlights to one or two local plantations. An opportunity for my return journey perhaps, but my main objective was to return to the Moine House, a location I visited in the late summer and which I thought would look amazing in the snow.

And so it was to be. The lochan was frozen, and the entire landscape covered in deep, fresh snow. Ben Loyal stood proudly in the distance looking like a scaled down alpine peak. 

As I set up the tripod, the sun emerged briefly highlighting features on the distant hills, and added the final touch to an already pleasing composition.
Venturing to the southern side of the house, the larger 'Lochan nam Meur Liath' was also frozen and provided an expanse of frozen foreground with Ben Loyal in the backdrop and emphasising the vast openness of The Moine. I knew how saturated and treacherous walking can be around here  and so treaded carefully, hoping not to sink knee high in bog.
As a stopping off point on such a vast open plain, the Moine House must have been a welcome sight to many a traveller in years gone by. In the total silence I stood and imagined what it would be like living here but also wondering what impact the development of a 'Spaceport' will have on the local environment.

With the light decreasing by the minute, and banks of heavy cloud gathering in the distance, I decided to head home. Trees will have to wait for another time.

Location: The Moine House, OS Explorer 447 GR 518.602

​Equipment: Canon EOS6D MkII, Canon 25-104 L Series lens
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<![CDATA[When the weather is wet and windy]]>Wed, 24 Oct 2018 10:59:39 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/when-the-weather-is-wet-and-windyWe've had a week and maybe more of incredibly wet and windy weather here in Durness. Extreme weather can offer some great photographic opportunities with dark skies and sudden shaft of light creating amazing drama in such places as Loch Eriboll or the mountains of Assynt. However, when it's almost impossible to stand up against the wind and the rain is horizontal, it's sensible to realise what is and isn't possible.

No excuse then to stay indoors and catch up with some of those outstanding jobs. Reviewing images captured earlier in the year but never published, and filling those gaps on the gallery walls.

The first image I've been working on is a composition I've had in mind for so long but only managed to capture in March. It's no secret that Beinn Spionnaidh is one of my favourite mountains in the area and in late afternoon the winter light, often highlights features on it's slopes with swirling cloud adding to the drama. The remaining snow in this instance adds a little something extra.

In the frame

Having printed an image, choosing a suitable frame is the next task. It's important that the mount and frame compliments the photograph rather than attracting the viewer away from it. The benefit of framing my own work is that I can choose from a range of mouldings and size the complete frame appropriately. This in contrast to buying ready made frames which most often turn out to be a compromise.



For this print of the 'second beach' at Balnakeil,  I decided upon a simple black frame which compliments the dark tones and deep contrasts of the image. Mounting the print with a 'deep bevel' mount adds a little extra depth to the framing. This involves a lot more time and materials and is reserved for occasional products with a slightly more premium finish.

This particular print is a 'C type' print on gloss paper, using a process most similar to the traditional chemical process. I chose this paper to emphasise the intense colours in the sunset and the sharpness from the sand in the foreground to the mountains in the background.

Framed size approx 84cm x 61cm
​Price £160 
I'm really pleased with this recent long exposure image captured at Cassely Falls near Rosehall and have been keen to frame it and get it into the gallery.

For this print, I chose a natural oak finish which compliments tones within the image. Again, a deep bevel mount adds a little more of a premium finish and helps direct the viewer's eyes inward towards the image and the smooth highlights of the flowing water



​Framed Size approx 64cm x 48cm
​Price £95


​Gaps on the wall now filled, it only remains now to keep an eye on the weather forecast. There's talk of snow on the hills this weekend so fingers crossed . . .
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<![CDATA[Go do something different]]>Fri, 23 Mar 2018 09:57:15 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/go-do-something-different
In 1979 a friend an I walked the Coast to Coast long distance route from St.Bees on the west coast to Robin Hood's Bay on the east coast. Described in a book by the famous Arthur Wainwright, the route passed through some of the most picturesque and diverse landscape. There were no signposts or waymarkers, no badge on completion, and walkers were encouraged to take variations in the route if they wished. During the ten days it took us to complete the walk, we probably only encountered a handful of others walking the route. 
Needless to say, we had a fantastic adventure and we arrived at Robin Hood's Bay with an incredible sense of achievement.

​It seems unbelievable now but back then not many people in our neighbourhood had a family car. Jump nearly forty years and our roads are congested but the car gives us the ability to escape and explore new places. 


Enter the North Coast 500™️ (wouldn't want to get sued!) and each year we experience thousands of people exploring the least populated and least spoiled areas in the UK, a long distance route - in a car. Following a prescribed route, the majority drive the same roads, see the same sights, and take the same photographs as everybody else who have travelled the route. That's fine, the consensus is that it's a fantastic holiday and many strike up new friendships and vow to return again. 

This is an amazing place to live and work but with the benefit of time, and exploring off the beaten path, the real amazement starts. You don't have to climb mountains or disappear into the wilderness (although that's easy to do!) within a mile or two of the village can be found places which are simply jaw dropping in their beauty. Away from the roads and the traffic, these places can be enjoyed in complete peace and quiet.
I discovered this place just a couple of hundred of metres from the main road in one of the many small areas of woodland between Durness and Tongue. That's a couple of hundred metres off the NC500™️ route. I had no idea what I would find, I was simply wandering, exploring. 
What I did discover was a complete joy. A small burn wandered through a birch wood, the gentle sound of running water negotiating and tumbling over rocks, I could have been miles away from civilisation. Following the burn, I unexpectedly came across a series of small waterfalls, each really pleasing in their own way. This one stopped me in my tracks. The water plunged into a pool from a height. A collection of birch leaves swirled around in circles in the current in a never ending journey, each following it's neighbour on a preset path. Accompanied by the gentle sound of the falls, I sat in what would otherwise be complete silence and simply took it all in. I'm not a particularly religious person but this place just seemed special in a spiritual way, this was one of those moments when  you wonder if anybody else had ever experienced this place.
It's great to see so many new visitors come and experience the 'Far North' - afterall, for years businesses, Community Councils and various community groups wondered how to attract more visitors. What I would suggest though is that visitors take time to really experience what's beyond the windscreen. Don't be like those birch leaves in the pool, spend a few days in a handful of key places and discover your own secret falls.
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<![CDATA[In search of the perfect  camera backpack]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 19:28:42 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/in-search-of-the-perfect-camera-backpackAlthough my 'Pro' camera gear is insured to the hilt, I still like to look after it and make sure it's safe when I'm out and about. Over the years I've searched for a backpack specifically designed for photographers but which would also be as comfortable and robust as possible for my treks in the wilderness in all four seasons. That has proven more difficult than you might think.
For easier days at low levels and around town, I bought what I thought was going to be just the thing. I've used Lowepro products for decades and always found them to be of great quality and good design. Their ''Photohatchback' offered enough storage for my equipment and extra space for a few extra items such as waterproofs, snacks etc. However, there was no means of attaching a tripod and I was soon to discover that this was the most uncomfortable backpack I'd ever carried. With just a simple waist strap, most of the weight is carried on the shoulders. The chest strap was attached to a sliding rail affair. I use the past tense as it was only a couple of months before one half of it became detached and was lost forever. (I understand that a later version has a redesigned chest strap)
Photo enthusiasts are often surprised that I have always restricted myself to one SLR and 3 lenses. This is because I'm often walking a reasonable distance and climbing high. In addition to camera gear, on some winter ventures I'm often carrying crampons, ice axe, and winter survival gear. This is why I decided that what I needed was a 'fit for purpose' mountain grade photo backpack.

I researched all the major manufacturers but found that most backpacks looked like suitcases with shoulder straps. 
The nearest contender was another Lowepro product, the Photosport 300. What looks like a much better harness and dedicated compartment for camera gear, it looks the best of a limited bunch. However, it's just too small, and £181?

Time to think again.
At last I've come to realise the best solution for my needs.
A backpack which has the most comfortable harness I've ever worn. Simple access to waterproofs etc, snacks, and all my essential photographic kit. Accommodates my 'mid-size' tripod either inside or outside and raincover for additional protection. What product is this? The backpack I already have!
The Lowe Alpine Aeon 35 is my 'go-to' sack for day walks and short wild camps. Unlike dedicated camera backpacks, it has no specific photographic credentials but It's designed to be comfortable to carry and . . . it is! It's extremely lightweight and has attachments for my winter gear (crampons, ice axe etc)

My equipment is further protected by a range of Lowepro products - my camera in it's Toploader 50 Zoom holster, wide angle lens in a Lens Exchange Case 100, and filters in a Filter Pouch 100. More weight you might ask? well, I feel these items (all weather protected) offer more protection than any dedicated backpack I've seen in addition to the extra protection provided by the backpack itself. 
It also means that once on location, I can fit each of these items on an accessory belt for easy access.

Why go to such trouble, afterall I've never had a camera damaged on the hill yet? Well, when carrying £3,000+ of the tools of my trade, I don't like to take chances. After all, I've never been in a serious car accident (thank goodness) but I still wear a seatbelt!
Footnote
Just incase you were wondering, I have no commercial relationship with either Lowe Alpine or Lowepro. Perhaps I should!
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<![CDATA[Cairn House Gallery visits Duniya (The World of)]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:38:30 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/cairn-house-gallery-visits-duniya-the-world-ofDuniya (The World of) is a community social enterprise based in Muret, just outside Toulouse in South West France. The group’s mission is to promote art, creativity and personal development through contemporary art exhibitions, workshops, science talks, cultural evenings, and a variety of events bringing people together to share and learn.

As part of their monthly international-themed events the group will be organising a Burns’ lunch on Sunday 28 January and I'm really excited to have been invited to exhibit a collection of 20 prints of my landscape photography from NW Sutherland. 

​The exhibition will open on Sunday 28 January and continue until Sunday 11 February and 
I'll be visiting Duniya in advance to prepare the exhibition and look forward to seeing the highlights of Muret.
An opportunity not to be missed!
​Muret is on the doorstep to the Pyrenees, and the opportunity for an adventure is too tempting to ignore. The loose plan at the moment is to spend a couple of days 'up high' and to extend my collection of alpine 'adventure' photography started in the Chamonix valley a couple of years ago. This is in preparation for an exhibition of this work later in 2018.

​What is Duniya?
Duniya is originally an Arabic word that has passed to many other Asian languages. It derives from the root word “dana” that means to bring near, so duniya is “what is brought near”, more colloquially “in the world of”. The group chose the word as it suggests the idea of sharing and learning – two essential principles of our group. The Panjabi version of this word (as seen in their logo) reflects the background of their co-founder and Chair.
The exhibition space at Duniya (The World of)
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<![CDATA[In the frame]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:03:54 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/in-the-frameI've always framed my own work. Why? Well, the idea of having complete control of my work from pressing the shutter, printing the image, and mounting and framing the final product appeals to me. It allows me to ensure that the work I sell is always presented to a high standard. 

I also offer a framing service to individuals and other local artists working to the same high standards. I thought a short article on what to consider when having an item framed, or when buying ready framed artwork might be useful

The Frame
My frames are made from lengths of wood (moulding) in various finishes from natural timbers to black, silver and more specialised finishes. Wherever possible, I source moulding which is 'Forestry Stewardship Council' ™ certified. The frame should be chosen to compliment the artwork and not distract the viewer away from it. It should be also be of a width which doesn't 'overcrowd'  the image. 
What to look out for:
  • Ask if the frame is glued and underpinned
  • Are the corners tight with no gaps
  • The 'proportions' should look 'just right'
The Matte
The matte (window mount) is a piece of mountboard with a 'window' cut into it which sits on top of the artwork and ensures that the glass isn't in contact with it. This needs to be cut with precision such that the space at the top and sides of the frame are equal, and the space at the bottom of the frame slightly larger. If you see artwork with wider spacing at the sides than the top, then the frame probably wasn't made specifically for that artwork.
There are different grades of mountboard and if the artwork is of value, you may wish to insist on the use of conservation grade materials.
What to look out for:
  • Once again, the 'proportions' should look 'just right' - side and top borders should be the same measurement
  • Look out for 'overcuts' at the corners where the cutter has travelled too far
  • The edges of the 'window' should be perfectly straight (not cut by hand with a craft knife!)

The Glazing
With the exception of some original work on canvas, to protect the artwork, it should be under glass. Cheaper frames often use acrylic (basically perspex). I exclusively use glass in my framing work. I find that acrylic attracts dust which can make the task of excluding dust in the framing process difficult. Cleaning acrylic is problematic too - the more you wipe it with a cloth, the more static it builds up and the more dust it attracts, a vicious circle. Acrylic is also of course more prone to scratching. Finally (and perhaps surprisingly) acrylic tends to have a higher gloss than glass and so can lead to more reflections interfering with the viewing of the artwork.
What to look out for:
  • Has glass or acrylic been used?
  • Are there any scratches visible?
The only time I would use acrylic is when artwork is to be hung in a children's room for purely safety reasons

Finishing touches
The completed frame should be sealed with tape. This was once done with pre-gummed brown tape but self adhesive tapes are now more popular. This final seal allows the contents of the frame to be protected from the outside atmosphere (dampness in the air, chemical traces from carpets etc) and also stops those annoying little harvest bugs from getting in there.
The frame should be fitted with a hanging arrangement suitable for the size of frame. Cord or wire may be used but this must be capable of carrying the weight of the complete frame.
What to look out for:
  • Has the frame been sealed with tape?
  • Has backing board been used?
A completed frame

Note how brown backing board has been used, not offcuts of mountboard. 

The whole frame is sealed with a tape manufactured for this purpose, this should not be parcel tape!

A hanging cord, the ends concealed in a plastic sheath makes for a tidy finish. 

​Note the corner 'bumpers' - these allow air to circulate behind the frame when hung on your wall
A holiday momento
A customer brought a set of three beautiful needlework art cards by Durness artist, Sarah Fuller into the gallery for framing. Together we choose a suitable frame which wouldn't 'over-power' the artwork. A colour for the frame was chosen which complimented some of the materials used. This ensures that the viewer can appreciate the artwork without being distracted by the frame. Finally (although it's difficult to illustrate here) the work is mounted such that it appears to be 'floating' and most importantly, without the glass touching it.
The economics of it all
What does all this cost? Well, the cost of materials often isn't huge, the choice of frame (moulding) will have the greatest influence on cost. However, picture framing is hugely time consuming, particularly if something bespoke (like floating frames, Football shirts etc) is involved. As a guideline, it will usually take me two hours (excluding drying time) to mount and frame artwork in a simple frame. 

A typical A3+ double mounted, framed print in the Cairn House Gallery typically costs £80. This is approximately what it would cost for the framing alone in your local city framing shop.

Original artwork, displayed in a bespoke frame which will protect it for a lifetime, I can't help think that's good value?

Interested in learning more?
If you live in Sutherland or Caithness and have something which you might like framing, no matter how unusual, please get in touch. If you are a local artist or craftsperson, I would be happy to discuss wholesale pricing for multiple orders. 
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<![CDATA[Into the wilderness]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:05:23 GMThttp://kevinarrowsmith.com/blog/into-the-wilderness
Following seemingly weeks of weather more suited to November than June or July, a forecast of still and bright days is enough to tempt me once again off the beaten track. The exertion of getting up high and experiencing some of the most unusual landscape in the UK is like a drug.

During my time registering a community interest in land at Cape Wrath, a comment was made online that there are no areas of true wilderness in the UK. I beg to differ. I planned a short-ish walk to visit Creag Riabhach on the edge of the 'Pharph' and taking in Meall na Mòine on my return. Having negotiated miles of the obligatory bog and peat hags, the sheer expanse of lonely wild land opened up before me. Apart from distant radio towers, there was no sign of human activity as far as the eye could see. 

These journeys are to explore prospects for new work, seeking out interesting views of familiar landmarks, or often compositions with their own merit. The above panorama (a combination of a dozen portrait shots) shows Fashven in the far distance and the coast towards Sandwood Bay. You could explore this area for days on end without encountering another soul. If this is not wilderness then what is?

On these trips I tend to travel light with my EOS 100D and a single lens which limits the possibilities somewhat but gives me an idea of what might be possible.
Foinaven shrouded in cloud. This small lochan provided some foreground interest. A possible return visit?
Some interesting outcrops of rock along the summit ridge of Creag Riabhach added a little relief from the dampness underfoot! Views of Sandwood Bay in the distance.

A client on one of my recent 'Learning in the Landscape' courses commented that some of the features we had visited within a couple of miles of the car would have been the highlight of a long days walking in the Lake District or somewhere similar. Whilst I love the Lake District, I can't disagree with that sentiment.
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