Rannoch Moor, Scotland by Gijs de Reijke

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I've been Scotland almost every year since 2007. Until this year, my visits occurred in April and May, when the Highlands were recovering from Winter and shades of green were slowly starting to become present in the landscape. In 2019 I would skip my Spring trip and go on an Autumn trip instead. I'm very much a fan of finding my own compositions, but some of the more iconic locations have to be visited for a picture every now and then; they’re iconic because they’re beautiful. Waterfalls, rapids, tall mountains, lonely trees, dark forests, peculiar rocks; anything and everything I could find to compose specks of Autumnal shades of orange, yellow and red in and around was added to my list of locations. That still didn’t guarantee any sort of success; would both the weather and colors in the trees cooperate? Nothing much more was booked than a rental car, accommodation would come after picking targets, based on what the weather would do.

I’ve experienced all kinds of weather in Scotland, but rarely do things go fully to plan. Sometimes it’s not sunny enough, sometimes there’s nothing to see but bland, overcast skies. This year, everything worked almost perfectly to my advantage. Several days started with fog and every day saw its fair share of moodiness, perfect for more intimate landscape shots that require an absence of direct sunlight. And the colors? It appeared we had the privilege of seeing the Highlands at the start of ‘Peak Color’. The first morning of photography started very moody indeed, with low clouds shrouding the mountains of Glencoe. I chose a single Sorbus tree as a foreground to the iconic Buachaille Etive Mòr, as the Sun was casting its light on Rannoch Moor, with much of the background still being in shade.

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