alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Scotland’ category

Loch Na Keal on the Isle of Mull

Loch Na Keal is the principal sea loch on the west coast of the Isle of Mull, which is part of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. The views in this entry are all taken from the northern shoreline looking south towards the largest mountain range on the island which includes Ben More. The scenery in this part of the island is simply stunning; it is perhaps the most beautiful but also the most dramatic location on Mull. The weather and light are constantly changing, as the clouds move in the wind and are intercepted by the mountains, bringing precipitation to the high peaks and wonderful light for photography.

I took these images back in April but only recently processed them to my satisfaction. They take me back to a place I love and I long to return.

 

Heron in Flight, Loch Na Keal

Afternoon Light, Loch Na Keal

Towards Ben More, across Loch Na Keal

Mountains of Mull, across Loch Na Keal

There are small but important details in couple of the images (‘Heron in Flight’ and the cottage in ‘Towards Ben More’) which can really only be appreciated if viewed large, so do click on the photo which will open in a new window.

 

The Road Ahead, Isle of Mull – and life in general

Roads, tracks or paths all lead somewhere, albeit some do reach a dead end. In many ways they can be symbolic of life in general. We are all on a path of some description, and none of us truly know where it might lead. If we knew what lay round every corner or over every hill, life would in fact be rather dull.

We often encounter junctions and therefore choices. Which direction do we take? Only the passage of time will prove to us whether or not it was the right decision. Many days, months or even years may have to be pass before we can look back and reflect, and by then it is often too late to retrace our steps. Is there light or darkness ahead? Are we excited or nervous to be on the path we now travel?

I know I am getting rather philosophical, but following early retirement from the property industry last year, I continued working as a consultant for just over a year. However this too comes to a natural end tomorrow, the 30th June. It is perhaps a little strange or ironic that on the following day, the 1st of July, I will be exhibiting my work for the first time.

None of this was planned, it is just how things have worked out; just like this image which I made recently. After a rather dull start to the day on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, this wet single track road was suddenly lit by a little brightness in the sky. The car had to be stopped and a photograph taken. The view on the other side of the hill was spectacular………….. and I will share that picture with you in another post, on another day.

For now though my life has taken a different direction, and I am very happy to be on this new path. Who knows where it might lead in the future? There can be no certainty, only guesswork to the answer; but one thing is for sure, I am looking forward to finding out.

Tree reflections in Loch Maree

Loch Maree in the region of Wester Ross in the North West Highlands is the fourth largest freshwater loch in Scotland, being some 12 miles long and a maximum width of about 2.5 miles. Arguably it’s also one of the prettiest lochs too, playing host to over sixty islands both large and small. Some of the Scots pine trees on these islands are estimated to be over 350 years old.

This particular image was taken from the shore near Slattadale forest and in the far distance the mountain of Slioch is clearly visible.

I did have to wait some time for the wind to drop and the ripples in the water to subside, to capture the reflections at their best; but if you have to watch and wait, then it’s no great hardship in such a beautiful location.

Evening light over the Applecross Peninsular

 

There are times when I am out and about when a scene unfolds before me and stops me in my tracks. This happened a few days ago in Wester Ross in Scotland. The early evening sunlight came through breaks in the clouds to create glorious shafts of light and illuminated the middle ground. One problem; no camera on me to capture the beauty of the light. A cardinal sin for any photographer.

Fortunately I was only five minutes walk from the cottage where we had been staying. I rushed back, picked up my camera and some graduated neutral density filters. I knew I would need them to hold back the strong light above the mountain ridge; I just hoped that by the time I returned to a good viewpoint the ‘light show’ was still being played. It was, and I combined the 3 stop and a 2 stop graduated ND filter to balance the exposure. Even then the image required some careful processing to create the result you see here.

For the record I am looking towards Beinn Bhan, the highest mountain on the Applecross Peninsular in Wester Ross, Scotland.

Do click on the picture to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Ardalanish Weavers on the Isle of Mull

In the past couple of weeks my wife and I have enjoyed a wonderful time exploring the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland. During our stay in a cottage near Bunessan on the Ross of Mull, we had the good fortune to visit the Weavers at Ardalanish farm, which overlooks a beautiful sandy bay (see the last image). We received a very warm welcome from Kathy followed by an interesting tour of the mill, prior of course to visiting and buying a couple of items in their well stocked shop. They use rich black wool from the Hebridean sheep which are kept on the farm and this is mixed with wool from Shetland and Manx Loaghtan sheep. The mill itself is powered by wind turbines also sited on the farm.

I know very little about the art of weaving but the mill was of great interest; the traditional looms and other machinery, the tools that lay around and the whole process of making such fine woolen cloth, which is then used to make a wide variety of clothing and homeware. Taken from their website I quote “Weaving is a fascinating mix of mechanics, maths, hard work, inspiration, creativity, trial and error and a little dose of magic”. Having seen them at work I can believe every word.

I asked permission to take a few images and I hope they capture something of the process and the place. If you can’t visit personally then do take a look at their website to find out more about the Weavers at Ardalanish.

…. and here are the results of all their hard work –

The weavers work in a glorious location (when the sun shines and the sky and sea are blue) – Ardalanish Bay on the Isle of Mull, and yes the sea really was that colour! This beautiful sandy bay looks out towards the Isle of Colonsay with the Paps of Jura in the far distance. Footprints other than our own were hard to find. I can’t think of a more peaceful, special and simply beautiful place.

Just a taster image of more photographs to come following our trip to Scotland, and in particular the Isle of Mull.