The Pap of Glencoe in Winter
The Pap of Glencoe in winter raiment across Loch Leven from Callert Bay.
Image Size : 480 x 320 mm
Print Size : 594 x 420 mm
It is rare that snow lies for very long at sea level in the western Scottish Highlands, so I had to wait some considerable time before these exceptional conditions prevailed. After several days of continuous snowfall with complete cloud cover both day and night as front after front rolled in from the north-west, the skies finally cleared one January morning to reveal a generous coating of snow on the mountains of the western seaboard.
I have always considered this location, at what I describe as Callert Bay, on the northern shores of Loch Leven, to be the best viewpoint for this very attractive and instantly recognisable peak. The shape of the loch shore at this point, the background of the mountains of Glencoe, and the shape and location of the tree to frame the composition all work perfectly together. However, when shooting from this direction the best lighting can only be achieved in mid to late afternoon and at this time of year the opportunities are limited.
I arrived here at about 1330 hrs GMT, just as the sun was starting to fall back towards the horizon and the really intense light of the middle of the day had begun to lessen. The lengthy cold snap had suddenly ended with a quick thaw and even by midday much of the snow had melted from loch side trees and other vegetation. However the light was perfect and I ran off a roll of film whilst I had the opportunity. Within thirty minutes the light was gone, and thin cloud started to cover the sky as the next frontal system started to move in.