The Mountains of the Scottish Highlands: A Time-Lapse

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.

Loch Garry in the Scottish Highlands, UK

Loch Garry in the Scottish Highlands, UK

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.

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7 Comments

Mads Peter Iversen's picture

Fantastic footage! Absolutely stunnin'!

Ansel Spear's picture

Stunning imagery and a technically pleasing piece. But like so much of this time-lapse genre, there's no visual narrative. Wearing my producer's hat, I want to know what the director is thinking; why is s/he taking the viewer on a particular journey? What is the reason for the sequencing of images from the first to the very last? What's the message?

I am definitely guilty of this — when I try to shoot video I tend to ignore the story that *should* be going on.

Ansel Spear's picture

I think your landscape work is wonderful, by the way.

Roderique Arisiaman's picture

thank you for this, I just returned from the highlands myself and fell in love!

That's awesome, Roderique! How far north did you go?

Roderique Arisiaman's picture

we did the 500M route, ended up in Durness an John O'Groats. Mostly coastal lines, but the AppleCross pass was AMAZING!!