Landscape of the year 2013

The Take a View landscape photographer of the year 2013 is for us the UK’s annual Oscars of landscape images. This year’s worthy winner is Tony Bennett LRPS.

the misty water of Crummock Water, driving the mist away and filling the shadows with warm light.

This is the image that won the competition for Landscape Photographer of the Year 2013.

A photograph of autumn mists drifting over Crummock Water in the English Lake District captivated the judges and wins top prize in this year’s search for the UK’s ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’. Derbyshire-based photographer, Tony Bennett becomes the seventh person to win the overall title and the £10,000 prize. His picture was chosen, by the judges, from the thousands of entries that showcased the richly diverse landscape of the UK.

The category winner for the classic view of the year was our old favourite but sadly missed tree on Lochan na h-Achlaise on Rannoch Moor. The photographer David Breen has called it the Ghost of Rannoch Moor.

hoar frosted tree on a small island in the loch with a mountain range in the distance with snow covered peaks.

Classic view – David Breen – Rannoch Moor, Scotland

We are now on volume seven of the annual book produced of the judges best selections from thousands of entries. We have the full set and its an inspirational read. Sadly we missed the entry date this year due being exceptionally busy at the time we would normally have entered. However, a couple of the photographers we have covered in this blog are in such as Ian Cameron and David Mould – both of whom got two images each in the book and one from each is featured below.

Refection of an autumn coloured scene of amber and golds on a loch in front of a hillside

Kaleidoscape Glencoe Loch Achtriochtan, Glencoe, Scotland by Ian Cameron – click image to go to his website to see more about or buy this image.

a boat sits on a loch which reflects a blue sky and is perfectly still

Loch Rusky by David Mould. A highly commended image from Perthshire looking over to the Campies. Click the image to see more from David about this image and more.

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Scenic drives suggestions for touring around Scotland.

Driving in Scotland, especially heading to the remote parts, can be a pure joy.

Visit Scotland have started another list of the best drives in Scotland on their blog although I think they need to make better use of some of the better photography available to them.

They have gone for the following but this time with our pictures:

1.  Rest and Be Thankful pass on the A83 – we don’t have one yet – any donors?

2. Traigh Sheileboist at Seilebost

Veiw across the beach towards a high hill in the distance.

Traigh Sheileboist at Seilebost – taken from the road. A classic view of Harris and in nice evening light.

3. Glencoe to Fort William

snow covered ground with a clear road and the mountain

The dramatic entrance to Glencoe on the A 82 to Fort William past the Buachaille

One day I hope to produce the definitive list of must drive roads in Scotland. We have a couple of previous posts on it.

See the best roads in Scotland Part 2

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Harris video updated with latest images

We have visited the Isle of Harris four times in two and half years.  Its been a dream come true. Mhairi has updated our video – Harris: a Journey – with some of the best images we have taken. This includes a wedding shot from the beach at Rosamol that was selected for a local brochure and has now been taken on by Getty Images.

bride is a ghostly see through image on a beach with a hill on the distant shore

Mhairi created this ghostly effect in post processing. Part of our Harris: a Journey show of images.

If you have 20 minutes you will see why we love the place. There is also some nice gaelic musical accompaniment (see credits at the end) and some shots that convey a personal journey as well. To make the movie show from stills we used iMovie.

We have cut it back from 30 to 20 minutes but its still one to pour a smooth drink and chill out to.

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10 Great Places to see Autumn Leaves in Scotland

I agree with all these recommendations on where to find full autumn colour scenery in Scotland. You can find many of them in our Perthshire Gallery.

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Back from Sanna

We got back from Ardnamurchan late yesterday night. It took us twelve hours going the long way home via the north side of the peninsula towards the Sound of Arasaig and stopping every half hour to take in the stunning Lochaber scenery.  The weather throughout the week was generally kind so we were able to make the most of daylight.

Beach runs up to set of small white cottages and  of the coast over deep blue sea are three Islands in the distance

Sanna Bay in Ardnamurchan. The Small Inner Isles of the Inner Hebrides are just off the coast. From left to right they are Muck,Rhum,Eigg. ©Mhairi Carroll

We are processing all the images taken as we travelled round this remote part of Scotland. Above is one of Sanna Bay taken last Wednesday. We stayed mostly in the western part of Ardnamurchan between the famous lighthouse and Ben Hiant. We took a quick boat trip on the Kilchoan – Tobermory ferry (only £8.50 return without the car).

Mhairi is sitting on a dry stone wall in front of a cottage with a corrugated metal roof which is red and the cottage also has a bright green door

Mhairi takes a break at the colourful abandoned cottages at Ockle. ©Paul Carroll 2013

Over the rest of this week we will be adding new pictures to our Ardnamurchan gallery.

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Returning to Ardnamurchan

Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point on the British mainland prides itself according to the local tourist association on being a best kept secret. We are heading back there for the third time in two years. I wonder what the special attraction is for us.

It has outstanding viewpoints of the small isles of the Inner Hebrides as Rum, Eigg are close and you can see out to Tiree on the horizon. Being on the islands is wonderful but the best pictures of them are often from the shore of the mainland. Is this the same as the best view of a mountain is looking up rather than looking down?

Orange sky with sunlit mountains in the distance of the island of rum and before that the unlit silhouette of the island of Egg.

The Cuillin of Rhum lit by sunrise over Eigg in the middle. Taken from Ardtoe in Ardnamurchan. ©Paul Carroll 2012

Ardnamurchan point lighthouse from across a bay showing waves coming in and the Ilses of Eigg and Rum in the background

The lighthouse at Ardnamurchan point was built in 1849 by Alan Stevenson, uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, whose family designed most of Scotland’s lighthouses over a period of 150 years. ©Mhairi Morrison 2012

We are staying in Portuairk, which is the closest village to Ardnamurchan Point and next to Sanna Bay. We are looking forward to some glorious sunsets as well as a walk on Ben Hiant and a boat trip from Kilchoan to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

We will be taking plenty of photographs so let us know if you have any requests. While researching our next trip I came across a fellow traveller’s site. Wildlife photographer Graham Olley has pulled together a website All About Ardnamurchan using  his photographs of the area and also provide easy to read maps to help people find the locations he visited.

When we  get back we hope to update our Ardnamurchan gallery with some excellent images. Like this one from our last visit.

Road with remote telephone box and sheep beside it looking over the sea to the isles of Eigg and Rum

On the road to the coastal villages of Kilmory and Ockle there is an excellent view north from the junction with the B8007 to the islands of Rùm, Eigg, Muck and Canna. ©Paul Carroll 2012

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Scots Pine for Scotland

What tree do you think of when you think of Scotland? The Scots Pine or the Rowan  perhaps?

Scots Pine tree sits on a small rock in the middle of water falls

A Scots Pine survives the rushes of the falls of Dochart at Killin. © Paul Carroll

There is an active consultation on whether Scotland should have a national tree. Not perhaps the most crucial issue of the day but one that we can have an influence on. You can participate on the Scottish Government consultation site on the issue. The BBC news ran a full feature on it.

For me it has to be the Scots Pine. My brother Bob lived most of his life in England and latterly in France. He passed away last year and family and friends decided to commemorate him in a lasting way by planting a Scots Pine during a memorial gathering in Cornwall.  It seemed appropriate to all of us as representing him and the part of him that was Scottish.

For people interested in these things this process seemed to begin by a public petition to parliament. PE01457: Scotland’s National Tree – Getting Involved : Scottish Parliament.

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Outlander TV News and Callanish Stones pic

A new website devoted to the creation of the TV series based on the Outlander books has taken one of our images as its banner image.

About Outlander TV News | Outlander TV News.

Mhairi’s image of the Callanish stones on the Isle of Lewis is the banner image for the website.

standing stones across the top of a hill in black and white and heavt cloud in the background

One of the oldest and largest standing stones site anywhere is over 5,000 years into neolithic times. The Callanish stones on the Isle of Lewis. ©Mhairi Carroll 2013

The Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon has spawned a large following of people from around the world who love her depiction of mystical mixed with real Scottish heritage.

“From the moment Claire Randall accidentally steps through a magical stone in the centre of a Scottish stone circle that transports her back in time more than 200 years to 1743, and into the arms of Scottish soldier Jamie Fraser, readers have been enthralled with this epic saga of time travel, adventure, and love everlasting.”

We had never heard of these books but contributing a picture to this site has introduced us to something dearly loved by a large following of fans. If you want to know more start with this site – Outlander TV News.

The TV Series is being filmed in Scotland and will bring jobs and lots of interest in the fabulous wild countryside and ancient castles of Scotland.

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Ian Lawson | From The Land Comes The Cloth

I urge all our readers to have a look at Ian Lawson’s book “From the land comes the cloth .” This is a stunning piece of photographic work. A 300+ page  first edition of one of the best collections of landscape images we have seen. And the majority are of the fabulous Isles of Harris and Lewis with a few on the journey there.

Ian Lawson Books | From The Land Comes The Cloth | A Deeper Weave | Harris Tweed Book.

Ian Lawson is a lifelong professional fine art photographer from Lancashire. Based on a commission from the Harris Tweed authority he has combined a pictorial story of the people of the western isles and their contribution to Harris Tweed: from shepherds to weavers. The stunning environment of the Hebrides is captured in the best light that a photographer like Ian Lawson knows when and where to find. There is fantastic use of blending images so that tweed provides a subtle backcloth to a landscape.

His website provides plenty of content on the background to the book including a generous online sample and a short film embedded below on the making of the book.

This is high-end publishing that shows how a book can be a work of art. It may seem expensive at £125 but when you add up the work that has gone into it suddenly it seems a bargain. One print may cost that alone and this book gives you hundreds.

However, if you only want to spend under £3 for a book on the Hebrides you can always look at our eBOOK on Harris. We are heading there this weekend and no doubt we will return with some tweed and this book and many more images of this stunning part of the world. Thanks Ian for an inspirational piece of work.

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Islands on the edge

If you missed it on the telly can I recommend you watch Islands on the Edge. It is a fantastic BBC wildlife programme, which is all shot in the Hebrides. It took three years for top wildlife documentary makers to capture all the seasons and animal behaviour. It is on BBC 2 on Monday at 9.00pm.

You can catch the iPlayer version or review key clips on the special BBC website. It contains galleries and background on the wildlife in the Hebrides. There is a fantastic gliding shot of a soaring white-tailed eagle and the best I have seen of following otters through their life cycle. Most of all for me is the spectacular and wild scenery.

What makes it more special for us is that we are heading to the Hebrides in two weeks time.

It is a wonderful reminder that we have one of the special places on the planet right on our doorstep.

We will be posting more on our trip to the Western Isles shortly. We aim to produce the second volume of our eBook series on the Isle of Harris when we return so watch this space.

Cover of book Harris: Photographic VIew Volume One

To find out more about the eBook complete this feedback form.

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