Scotland

Scotland was the destination, mainly the Hebrides – the origin of Europe’s bad weather. Pessimists might habe taken a Nikonos (an underwater camera) with them, but I don’t own one. I am also not that pessimistic, but I was expectating a rough landscape rarely blessed by sunshine.

Although the cover picture is in colour, contrasty black and white pictures taken with a medium format camera appeared to be better suited for landscape photography. But my iPhone can do this as well; it is just too easily overlooked that this can be used for serious photography. I did not forget about it during this journey.

Lewis

The journey led from Berneray to Lewis, the northenmost island of the outer Hebrides. Our hotel in the small village Timsgary was located in isolation on a crest near the sandy beach of Uig Sands, which can be seen on low tide. In southern areas, it would be crowded with bathers, but here was nothing but nature. Capturing a flock of wild geese with the wide angle lens of my iPhone, hearing nothing but the beats of their wings was an impressive nature experience which I could never have at home.

Victorian House in Timsgary Scotland
Mangersta Beach Scotland
Landscape in Lewis Scotland
Lewis Scotland
Wild Geese at Uig Sands Scotland

Skye

Skye is an island of the inner Hebrides. Like the days before, the sun was always shining, while it poured rain at home. However, the tourist’s pleasure is often the photographers regret. Under such circumstances, landscape photography is usually restricted to the early or late hours of the day, but travelling is mostly associated with being at the wrong time at the right place. Still, the rock formations at Neist Point or Quiraing were bold enough to photograph them even mid day.

Neist Point Skye Scotland
Quaraing on Skye Scotland
Quaraing on Skye Scotland

Highlands

The Eilean Donan Castle, which was rebuilt with some fantasy, is Scotland’s most photographed site, and it often served as a set for movies. As a photographer, I asked myself whether I should add yet another picture to thousands of others. I was lucky our hotel was located nearby, so I could go there at the evening when other tourists were taking dinner. Still, we were not alone: the midges (small, nasty mosquitos) also favoured the evening. It was still worthwhile to be there at late hour.

From there, a detour to Glenelg was also rewarding. Finally, we found a little drizzle – not so good for hiking in the peaceful Glean Beagh (“The small Glen”), but perfect for the road along the fjord like landscape as far as it goes. I sent one of these pictures to a friend, and he commented: “with this weather, you might as well have stayed at home.” But I was happy to see this weather in Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle Scotland
Glenelg Scotland
Scotland

Mull

The island Mull also belongs to the inner Hebrides. It is often said that Mull lacks vegetation from trees, but we had this impression more on the islands we visited earlier. The picture with the telephone booth shows this; it is located near the end of a steep road to the small harbour of Carsaig in the south of the island. It is probably not used very often; Corsaig consist of only three estates.

A circular tour around Mull, partially on narrow single tracks, reveals the beautiful landscape to its best. The west coast in particular has marvellous views to the sea, which I captured with some photographs. Calgary a little further in the north has a marvellous beach, but despite sunshine only a few dogs enjoyed the cold water. Hardly anybody else was there who might have gone for a swim.

Mull Scotland
Bay in Mull Scotland
Rain in Mull Scotland
On the Way to the Trossachs Scotland
Dogs in Calgary Scotland
Sheep in Mull Scotland

Ulva

The small island Ulva is located near the west coast of Mull. The ferryman takes you in five minutes across the water, and you enter a small paradise. Ulva has no roads and not cars, we encountered only a quad on the field paths. Large areas of the island are bare and uninhabited, but the hiking paths lead through lush vegetation and a beautiful landscape. The little boat house is the only restaurant on Ulva, but the oysters were unfortunately sold out. We returned the next day to Ulva for a hike, and we got lobster instead of oysters. Not a bad alternative.

Bay at Ulva Scotland
Boat house in Ulva Scotland
Rain on Ulva Scotland

Trossachs

The way from Mull to Edinburgh leads through the national park Trossachs. It has a varied landscape, not as dramatic as the islands but with gradual changes of green. The architecture of Inverary and its castle at are also worth a visit. Inverary is located at Loch Long, which is a far reaching inlet of the sea. Killin at the border of the Trossachs was a stop at the Dochart Falls. Although it is only a small village, there is more to see than just the Dochart Falls.

On the Way to the Trossachs Scotland
Inverary Castle Scotland
House in Inverary Scotland
Bridge in Killin Scotland
Dochart Falls Killin Scotland
River in Killin Scotland

Edinburgh

On our way to Edinburgh, the last station of our voyage, we got some of the weather which was located in Middle Europe all the days before. It was no heavy rain, but rather persistent. With wet shoes, it is not pleasure to walk around. When the rain briefly stopped, I could make some pictures of Holyrood and of the Edinburgh Castle. For the silhouette of the casle at the horizon the bad weather was just perfect.

Holyrood Ruin Edinburgh Scotland
Holyrood Park Edinburgh Scotland
Edinburgh Castle Scotland

The Final Word

When you search the internet for the keywords “Scotland”, “Hebrides”, “Uig Sands” or “Mull”, you find many pictures, but they are different than these. Most are documentary pictures, showing where people were and how pretty it is. And how bright the sun is shining, which is actually quite often the case. Such pictures are valuable for personal memories, or as a preparation for a journey, or simply because it shows the landscape in all its colourful beauty. However, during all my travels I rarely aim at a documentary style. Instead, I try to capture my impressions, which I could visualize in earlier years extremely well with infrared rather than normal film. Digital photography made this and many other valuable materials obsolete. But those looking for alternatives find adequate ways of expression also in the digital world. They may be as easy as an app on the iPhone; you only need to force yourself to leave your serious digital camera at home.

Details

Pictures taken with Hipstamatic