There’s no shortage of bucket list destinations, but Scotland is a pretty special place. My first photography trip was to Scotland, and my last trip in the UK ended with the Scottish Highlands.
Scotland is unusually challenging to shoot; like Ireland, the weather conditions are constantly shifting. A calm sky lures you outside only to pummel you with rainy fits and bursts of wind. Even the colors of the landscape can challenge the eye — the burned oranges and muddy greens tend to hide stunning compositions that elude the eye. Some difficulties aren’t related to weather. You’ll impress the neighborhood kids at hopscotch from avoiding the byproducts of grass-munching sheep.
My first trip, I had trouble looking past these difficulties and missed so much beauty. When I scroll through photos from that first trip, I sigh that I hadn’t used different settings for so many shots.
But my last trip to Scotland felt like a different place altogether. It was still fitful, but dramatic with patterns of light between floods of fog. Glens and lochs came to life every time light peeked through dense cloud cover.
I made it only as far north as the Isle of Skye, but this time-lapse of Scotland’s mountains makes me think it only gets better the further north you go. Make sure to turn the volume up; the opening narrative is so contemporary with how we feel today that I didn’t realize it was a quote from John Muir.
It’s a special place, and after a solid time-lapse I find myself yearning to go back to Scotland. Until then, I’ll have this and the soundtrack from “Brave” on repeat.