Rannoch Moor Sunrise

Rannoch Moor Sunrise was an image that I probably would not have taken had the choice of location had been in my control on this particular morning. I have been here many, many times before and the number of other photographers all lined up alongside the Loch na h’Achlaise was due testament to its now over-popularity.

If I have a preference, it is for sunrise rather than sunset; I love watching the sun rise on a cold frosty morning and bathe the landscape in its warm yet delicate colours. I also enjoy the stillness and silence of the pre-dawn; a time when one can be at peace and feel at one with nature. This preferred solitude is clearly impossible if one is accompanied by so many people, and also if one is standing alongside a main highway that is the A82 through Glencoe.

On this occasion I happened to be on location with friend and fellow photographer Colin Prior. We had set off before dawn on what was initially a grey, cold, still and cloudy day at sea level, but as we drove onto Rannoch Moor the mist broke and the mountains were revealed. From that point on it was just a matter of patience as we waited for the sun to rise and to paint the sky with its vibrant dawn colours. 

The main subject of Rannoch Moor Sunrise is obvious – the descending moon and the colours of sunrise – but I needed to take care when choosing the extent and content of the fore and middle ground in the composition. In its frozen condition the loch provided more interest and the patterns in the ice provided the perfect vehicle to add depth to the image and draw the viewer’s eye through it.

Date : 7th February
Location Map Reference : 317483 : Rannoch Moor.
Time : 0755 GMT

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