It is said that the best footballers not only possess natural talent but are able also to make the right decisions. It’s September and already I’m getting twitchy about making the right decisions. Autumn is on its way and here in the Scottish Highlands it can be a short-lived affair. Even in a good year – a definition very much open to interpretation – it is both fickle and fleeting. I have witnessed many Scottish autumns and by now I really should have perfected the art of relaxing and enjoying the experience. Instead, I’ve become increasingly tense about making the right decisions over what, where and how to photograph the spectacular autumn landscape.
I always imagine – wrongly in most years – that conditions will be on my side. In my mind, there will be three solid weeks of flat-calm, frosty mornings with tendrils of mist caressing the glowing birches of the Caledonian forest. Such perfect dawns will inevitably be followed by stormy evenings complete with splintering light and brooding skies. In reality, of course, it often rains and rains some more. Sometimes it snows. The key to successful autumn landscape photography in this part of the world then is to ditch unrealistic expectations and adapt – take what you are given and make the most of it. But you still need to make the right decisions.
When I first drifted into landscape photography from a lifetime of shooting trophy wildlife images, I did so with the notion that the only ‘worthwhile’ landscape was the big view: the wide-angle classic with foreground, middleground and background appropriately layered. Anything else was just a bit too creative, a bit arty, a bit pretentious even. I still love...[vision_notification style="tip" font_size="20px"]Read the whole article inside issue 67.[/vision_notification]