Autumn Gold

[vision_content_box style="teal-grey" title="Autumn Gold By Peter Cairns"][vision_feature icon="fa-camera" icon_color="#82c982" icon_color_hover="#ffffff" bg_color_hover="#82c982" border_color="#82c982" border_width="2px" animate="in_from_top"]Autumn can be a great time to capture beautiful landscapes, but you need to make the conditions work for you. Peter Cairns heads into the Cairngorms to photograph the autumn gold.[/vision_feature][/vision_content_box]

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...

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About Author

Peter Cairns

Based in the heart of the Cairngorms, Peter Cairns is an award-winning nature photographer with over 10 years’ professional experience under his belt. He is a founding director of The Wild Media Foundation, the social enterprise behind the 2020VISION multimedia project.

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