Weather can sometimes be surprising, but few weather experiences have been more surprising than spending an entire trip in the warm Scottish sunshine. Now I’m sure Scotland gets some sun here and there, but this trip was sunny in a way that felt more Mediterranean. The sky in Inverness had that look that I associate with summers in America, where the air was bright, warm, and hazy. This often causes me trouble for photos because the haze tends to mute light and color, while at the same time there are usually very few interesting clouds to balance a scene. Fortunately, Inverness gave me something to work with during this sunset.
In 2011 we took a trip to the Peak District to see some of the UK’s most spectacularly beautiful countryside. While we were there, we also made a stop at the amazing Chatsworth House where we took a self-guided tour of the house and the grounds. Chatsworth is one of the most famous houses in England (having been used in a variety of television shows and movies you’ve probably heard of), and while the entire house is incredible, I was especially wowed by this breathtaking library.
On our visit to Scotland in 2012, we made a stop by the Dochfour estate near Inverness to take a look around. The weather was sunny with bright blue skies, something that I think is pretty unusual for Scotland. I’m sure the locals were loving it, but I did wish for a few clouds to help add some drama to my photos. The sunsets were also harsh and a bit hazy, so I needed to get a little creative. Finding this wonderful forest was just the ticket, and it gave me a great way to put some pop in my photos.
Weather can have a profound impact on photos, and bad weather can sometimes be good weather for a photo. However, when dealing with bad weather, improvisation is a critical skill. This turned out to be crucial on a trip to Dartmoor in the southwest of the UK, where overnight storms made the morning dreary, foggy, and gray. I wanted to photograph an ancient 13th century bridge in the hamlet of Postbridge, contrasting it with the fog and rain, but finding a good angle that worked in the conditions turned out to be difficult. Fortunately, a solution happened to be right behind me.
While visiting Scotland in 2012, I wanted to find a fresh perspective on Inverness. I took a drive north over the Kessock bridge and noticed on my map that it was possible to drive below the bridge and look back towards Inverness on the water. After taking several photos away from the bridge, I realized the bridge itself could be a compelling addition to the photo.