I published my first print of the Buachaille Etive Mor back in the autumn of 1983 shortly after the creation of Mountain Images, so twenty-five years later I felt it was time to re-visit the location and bring the image up to date. The mountain had not changed in that time, but photographic technologies and print quality certainly had. In 2002 I had enjoyed an incredible morning shoot of the Buachaille Etive Mor from a nearby location beside the River Etive; that extremely productive day realised one of our best-ever selling prints – ‘Alpenglow On The Buachaille‘. The ‘Alpenglow’ image was taken using the stunning panoramic Fuji GX617 camera, and the final image, reproduced on Fuji Velvia 50 film, yielded amazing detail and superb colour saturation. However, despite the inclusion of such a magnificent image into our print range, the ‘original’ shot from the Coupall continued to sell. The reason – the Coupall River location offered a better view of the Buachaille Etive Mor’s north face and related better with the interests of climbers and hillwalkers.
And so with that in mind, I looked again at the Coupall River and walked its bank from the junction with the River Etive to the stepping stones near the club hut at Jacksonville. What I wanted to do was capture the Coupall River shot in panoramic format, giving it the character I liked in the Etive River shot. At the same time I wanted to maintain the focus of the image on the north face of the Buachaille Etive Mor and in particular the popular climbing routes. After walking the river bank several times, it became clear that the original location that I had identified in 1982 near Jacksonville was indeed precisely where I needed to be to capture the best view of the face. I was perhaps a little suprised that even after twenty-five years and all the millions of gallons of water that had flowed down the river in the intervening time, I could still identify the rock patterns in the river that pin-pointed the exact location where I had taken my original image.
The major difference between the opportunity which presented itself to me now and that of twenty-five years ago was the camera system that I had in hand – a digital Canon EOS 1DS Mark III camera. Using all the excellent features that it offered I would now be able to capture not just a single image, but a whole series of images that would eventually be stitched together to produce a new majestic study of Buachaille Etive Mor in an ultra-wide panoramic format.
It was a lovely warm morning in late September, and I had been on location since well before sunrise, so I was now prepared with equipment set up by the time the first of the sun’s rays hit the summit of the Buachaille (See "Morning Light on The Buachaille"). As soon as there was enough light across the whole scene, and into the bed of the river, I took my first series of shots. Depth of field was more important than freezing the flow of the river (which was fairly low anyway) so I set an aperture of f8 and accepted the very slow shutter speed of 1/6 second. The warmth of the early morning light reflected beautifully off the Buachaille’s pale rhyolitic rock formations. The resultant images, taken at 0735 GMT would form the basis for the first of the prints that would be produced from the morning’s work.
But that image was something of a bonus; the material that I had come looking for required much stronger light for which I had to wait a further 30 minutes. By this time the morning light was at its very best – strong and directional. In 1982 I had used a polarising filter and so I repeated the experiment to see how the effect would look when used in an ultra-wide panorama. In a single 35mm image it can often be difficult to detect the use of a polarising filter, but in panoramic images the effect is much more obvious. The use of the filter also knocked back my exposures and even with the much stronger morning light I was still committed to a slow exposure of 1/10 second with the same aperture as before. As a precaution I took a series of images with and without the filter.
When examined back in the studio, the effects of the polarising filter were very obvious, but I particularly liked the way that the strong deep blue morning skies contrasted with the pale rocks of the mountain. Eight images were selected with an overlap of around 30% to compile the final wide format panorama with an angle of view of around 150 degrees extending from Sron na Creise in the south to Stob Mhic Mhartuin in the north west. The objective of the exercise was achieved; this new Buachaille Etive Mor print captures the north face of the mountain to perfection yet also puts its location into perspective as the dominant and dramatic feature that it is on the edge of Rannoch Moor.
All of my prints are made to order.
My prints are painstakingly crafted and printed from only my very best images; the vast majority of which were captured to strictly observed standards using high end professional cameras and lenses, in particular the Fuji GX617 panoramic camera, one of several Canon EOS full frame digital cameras or, more recently, the highly respected market leading Nikon D850 digital camera.
Quality is maintained by respecting the relationship between original image size and final print size; optimising the level of magnification between the two ensures that my prints always contain infinite and crisp subject detail.
I produce all my prints on premium quality inkjet media that enables the extensive colour gamut, best contrast and finest nuances required for impressive pictures.
All my prints are produced on the very latest Epson printers using Ultrachrome HDR pigment inks. These printers take inkjet (giclee) technology to an entirely new level with higher colour accuracy, greater subtlety and smoother gradations. Grass and foliage is much more vivid and natural whilst orange tones in sunrises and sunsets are more dazzling.
All prints have at least a 2" (5cm) white border on all sides of the image.
I apply a simple shipping charge of £7.95 to each order for all UK destinations including the Scottish Highlands.
Print only orders are dispatched within 24-48 hours by Royal Mail First Class Post.
Framed prints are dispatched directly from our framers within 7-10 working days using a tracked service.
Customers are informed of despatched orders by email which includes a tracking reference.
All of my products come with a 30 day no-quibble money-back guarantee. Prints are manufactured individually for each customer and they are inspected before shipment to ensure that they are in perfect condition. If you are not satisfied with the merchantable quality of a product, or if it arrives in a damaged condition, then I will replace them or provide a full credit including postal charges upon safe receipt of the returned goods. Any damages must be advised within 5 working days of receipt of your order.
Please note that this guarantee relates to the merchantable quality of the products which are supplied in accordance with the Customer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 as amended by the Consumer Contracts Regulations (2014). Customers should also be aware of the separate cancellation and returns policy which is included in the Terms and Conditions of Business