Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Best Laid Plans.....


A last minute decision for New Year was made, we would head up to the West Coast in a caravan !!
To be fair Christmas had been unusually mild and the weather looked fairly promising to hold. Audrey has spent previous New Years at the caravan and promised me fantastic lighting, looking over her old photos I had to agree.
So as the bags were being packed I was mentally preparing a plan of action of where I was going to visit and when.
The drive up was pleasant enough until half way when the scenery comes in to its own, at that point the heavens opened and stayed open. This put a dampener on my spirits as I had planned to stop on the way up. No point grumbling I continued to the site and arrived in the gloaming at three o'clock.
Tomorrow is another day they say, woke up to an over cast morning with biting winds and sporadic showers not ideal and not in my plan. But the kids needed to let off steam having been cooped up for 4 hours the previous day so we wrapped up and headed to the beach.

 
Boardwalk to Clachtoll Beach
The kids had a ball running from the waves, luckily the tide was on the way out as the waves were still impressive.
For me however the day was too overcast, dark and dull. Also the sporadic showers of rain/sleet made it nearly impossible. The last day of 2016  had been a photographic let down for me.

Hopefully 2017 would be bring better weather.

Woke to strong winds and more sleet however by lunchtime it had cleared, so I took the opportunity and away I went camera in hand.
I headed for Loch Assynt to capture the trees and Ardvreck Castle.
The skies still weren't great but the sun was beginning to shine and it lifted my hopes of  being able to take some good photos.
As I round the corner my hopes of taking the shot I wanted of Ardvreck Castle were dashed, the heavy rains had caused the loch to rise cutting the Castle off on an island.


Ardvreck Castle
Quick rethink, repositioning and all was not lost. I was beginning to wonder if it was worth coming all the way up for a few days when you couldn't guarantee the weather. I remember then that the uncertainty of the weather and lighting conditions sometimes gave way  to beautiful photographs. So I continued on...
And embraced the inclement weather.


Loch Assynt Trees

On returning to the caravan I complained to Audrey about the weather and that I would struggle on regardless, her reply quite rightly was "to be fair its the middle of winter, the weather hasn't been that bad" she is always the optimist to my pessimist.
 I managed to get out the following day as well, taking full advantage of the drier weather. The overcast clouds and darkening skies gave a real sense foreboding and highlighted the remoteness of this area. When a storm comes in all you can do is batten down the hatches and huddle round the fire.

So now when plans don't go to plan I realise that it's not the end of the world and things have a way of working themselves out.


Clashnessie Beach
Cottage at Clashnessie

19 comments:

  1. You take stunning photographs, Neil - whatever the weather! Such a beautiful part of Scotland. You and Audrey make a great team!

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  2. Thank you Rae, I am easily discouraged if things don't play out the way I would like them to. I am getting better at just rolling with it.

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  3. I hope there are more blogs to come you know me love all your pictures. You even inspire me to get out there and take pictures of our beautiful land. Another string to your bow great read and pictures as always.

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    1. Thank you Jade. I enjoy getting out and about as well.

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  4. Oh Neil, I love that part of the world but not sure even I would have ventured there for NY! But it was worth it, your photos are amazing. I do like a nice brooding photo :).

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    1. Thank you Gill. The weather wasn't that bad for the time of year.

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  5. Beautiful photos. Poor weather conditions don't make photography easy, but it does add atmosphere and drama. I wish I could take photos like these.

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    1. Thank you Victoria. At least now I know where I want to go in the summer.

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  6. It is true a picture is worth a thousand words. I love these photographs whatever the weather was like.

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  7. Stunning photographs Neil. Thank you.

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  8. Some great captures here Neil...I admire what you've done, and great that you used your caravan over the holiday break too... :-)

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  9. Amazing pictures and what a great break!

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  10. Fab photos. My bro and his wife visit the West Coast of Scotland a lot so have told him about your work. Oh, and shared this on FB and Twitter

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    1. Thank you Linda. It's a lovely part of the country.

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