The Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is a land defined by the character of its mountains. To the north and east are the mighty Cairngorms, a vast granite plateau rising to wild and bare uplands of scanty soils and grits with magnificent corrie headwalls that cosset the birthplace of streams. To the north and west, in total contrast and much of it built with some of the oldest rocks in the world, are tall remote mountains with steep sided ridges and lengthy glens that stretch out to the sea lochs of Nevis, Hourn, Duich, Torridon and Broom.
Lesser in stature but not in magnificence are the isolated stacks of sandstone and quartzite set upon plinths of ancient gneiss that stand in bold isolation above the wild moorlands of the far north of the Scottish Highlands – Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Cul Mor, Quinag, Arkle and Foinaven – to name just a few. Then there are the many islands, in particular the Isle of Skye, with its jagged peaks and sharp aretes beloved of the hardiest and most skilled of mountaineers; these are without doubt the most awesome and challenging mountains to be found anywhere in Britain.
I must confess that my head and my heart have always been drawn to the north west of the Scottish Highlands and so the collection of images displayed here favours the mountains in that part of the country. It is that magical and most infinitely diverse blend of mountain, glen and loch that has so much appeal and challenges the compositional skills of a photographer such as I who seeks to portray the facets of the scene that lies before him. The magnitude of that challenge is amplified by the fact that the mountains of the Scottish Highlands can be shrouded in mist for days at a time and then, suddenly, will appear in skies of outstanding clarity only to disappear again with equal rapidity.