I love taking photos (I also love taking videos!) and when out hiking and enjoying TGO I have the camera out lots (probably too much!). However I have never set out on a trip specifically to take a photo, I always just snap away at subjects and landscapes that I like when out.
This trip was different. I knew a shot I wanted, it wasn’t a very original shot, and in fact the subject (a mountain- no surprises there) is probably the most photographed landscape in the UK. I have loads of photos of his iconic mountain but I wanted a specific shot. The mountain is Stob Dearg or The Buachaille or The Bookle;) and I wanted a winter shot with the Bookle and its Moat (i.e. the River Coupall).
So a late change in forecast around Thursday night showed a short settled spell arriving on Saturday after a few days of snow. It even showed clear skies for the morning, even better, I would also get the sun rising in to the bargainJ
So Research done, maps pored over, sun calc calculated, reports read, previous photos studied and I was off in the car by 0500AM – Ouch. Driving through and it was cloudy. I was really disappointed as I knew the chances of a sunrise were diminishing as I was coming in from the eastL However on arriving at a snowy (and busy) Altnafeadh layby (other parking spots to wintery to park in) I could make out that the tops were clear of cloud, but there was a dark blanket blotting out any chances of a sunrise !
I set off up Chrulaiste at a slow pace – snow was deep – fitness was low – but I had plenty of time. I had a location in mind and before long I arrived at the photo spot. I set the tripod up (something I don’t usually have!) and snapped away. No sunrise shot but I was happy with the moody dawn light on The Buachaille with dark skies behind.
A few more snaps and I made my way towards the top. The drifts were deep but I followed footsteps from the night before and soon met the owners of the footsteps on the way down. They had camped on the summit hoping to get star and sunrise shots but the cloud had thwarted these occurringL I was rather jealous remembering my wild camp here almost a year previously J
I reached the summit and sat for an hour. A thin line of blue had appeared on the Northern Horizon earlier and as I ate my lunch I watched this blue line expand and start to chase the dark skies southwards. Soon I had the sunglasses out and the day suddenly felt very alpine. Although not the best time to take photos, this afternoon was okay as the sun doesn’t reach very high in the sky and I noticed some nice shadows and lines. I headed back through waist deep drifts to take more photos…
All I can say was that it was absolutely stunning. I wish I and could’ve stayed out as per 12 months previously! I got back to the car and by the time I had dug myself out (rear wheel car are not very snow friendly!!) It was 3.30 and the sun was starting to sink. I hope the photos are ok, its my first attempt and I think I got the shot I was hoping for….
Thanks to the chaps from the JMCS (I think tats right?) who hung around to make sure I got my car safely on the road – much appreciated – hope the slide show was entertaining at Lagangarbh J
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...