Yesterday, my wife and I went for a walk along the Loch Carron Reservoir – probably about 13km. It rained almost the entire time (hence the wet dog photo I posted yesterday evening), and was a thoroughly enjoyable walk. It involved some ups and downs, but all rather gentle. I had a digital camera with me, but aside from some images using my mobile, this was the only snapshot I made. When out walking with others, snapshots are fine. There isn’t much time to consider the careful detail of composition: to step backwards, to the side, back again, move around a tree, kneel down, walk back 100m to a better vantage point… the primary purpose of walking with other people is to walk with other people, not to make photographs.
Nonetheless, sometimes these can emerge too. Two weeks ago today, I spent a weekend with Mike Colechin in the Cairngorms and Strathconon area, and on the Sunday we met with James and Yvonne Davidson and went for a walk up Carn Liath. This was not, for me, a gentle walk!
I am not as fit as I thought I was after moving house in November and not doing much photography (and therefore walking up hillsides), but my walking companions were generous and supportive, and ensured I made it without too much difficulty – warm thanks to them!!
The conditions on top were a bit wild, as can be seen from how well wrapped up we were, but I did try and make some images, some of which I stitched together in Photoshop to produce a couple of panoramas. As James remarked as we were looking north over the mountain tops, ‘why not photograph something as beautiful as that?’ Indeed. For me, the panoramas represent some of the sense of vastness and breadth I experienced whilst there. The first image is simply of an ice pattern on the ground:
James wrote in his blog posting from that day: ‘some of the greatest rewards will come to you if you push yourself, force yourself out of your comfort zone and try it. It may not work out but you can learn from the experience and congratulate yourself for making the effort.’ Well, getting up the hill and down again worked out (in no small part thanks to my gracious companions!), and I was delighted to have done it – but I will make sure I spend more time outdoors now and get a bit fitter again! 🙂
(Oh, and I will shortly have my large format images from that weekend available here too. Not from Carn Liath…!)