One 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