Rafael Rojas Photography

Blog of Rafael Rojas Fine Art Photography

Back from Scotland

Stitched Panorama

We are back from our last photographic trip to the land of whisky. It has been, as expected, a really amazing experience and a visual feast for the camera. Compared to the last year, I would say this time the sun displayed a more shy behaviour. In all the time we where there, I guess the direct light of the sun reached our faces for no more than 10 minutes during the whole stay. We got rain, wind, freezing temperatures, tons of snow, big thaws, a lot more of snow, mists and one sunny day. However, every day the light would make something fantastic...those things you only see up there in the North. As varied as the weather was, the land also displayed a very different charm in the two regions we photographed. The whole landscape of Loch Maree and Torridon looked like a piece  of Greenland or the Swedish Lapland when we arrived...really gorgeous under a thick cover of snow . As the days passed by, the snow began to melt and the snow-line gently raised to the mountain peaks, leaving behind a glorious orange in the bogs, marshes and torridonean sandstone rocks exposed by the white stuff. The Torridon and Lock Maree area are one of wildest regions of Scotland, where locks, mountains and the never far sea make a wonderful and wild cocktail of photographic opportunities. It features some of the most incredible peaks of Scotland, like the Liatach or Bein Eigge, lochs which enter from the sea into the land for miles and fantastic views over Skye.

The following week we went up to the Sutherland area, close to the Inverpolly Unesco Geopark, north of Ullapool. As we got there, we felt we were touching the edge of civilization. Apart from some tiny villages, we were alone with ourselves in an empty area where some of the oldest rocks of the planet (the lewissian gneiss) lochs, lochans ands bog creates the cake where the icing stands: the great peaks of Suilven, Canisp, Stac Pollaidh, Cul Mor, Cul Beag...Such fantastic names could not represent better these mountains. This is a very different kind of landscape to any other found in Scotland. Compared to the greater congregation of peaks that can be found in the southern highlands, a reduced number of mountains appear here, but displayed as imposing rock "ships" sailing the gneiss seas, battered by the atlantic weather and revealing a truly wild environment. This is an area where the mountains meet the sea, and atlantic weather crashes against the mountain microclimate. A very edge, which as normally edges do, present gorgeous opportunities to the photographer.

We have come home with quite a number of gigas and rolls of velvia to develop. All in all, I am quite happy with the results. And, what is more important, I am really happy with the experience and the memories which came with me. Again, Scotland has surpassed my expectations with some of the wildest experiences that Europe can offer.

I will be including the new images from Scotland, along with those from Iceland, Seychelles, France and Switzerland in the about to be released totally new website (thanks for your patience!!), but here I include one of the images we took in our second week as a starter. It features the mighty An Teallach, seen from the Sutherland coast, showing its outline behind a curtain of that Scottish light...and embodying the real spirit of this land: mountains, sea, weather and light. That moment would be the only 4 minutes of light we would get in a whole day. But...who is complaining?

It is great to see you around. Take care and great light to you all,

Note: click on the image to see it bigger!