Assignment Winner • Dean Allan

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Loch Maree, Scotland • Nikon D810, Nikon 70-200mm, f/8, 1/125sec, ISO 200

Driving through the Highlands of Scotland can be difficult at times. The long stretches of single track roads, the driving rain, the howling wind, the free roaming sheep & cattle – but the main reason for it being so difficult is simply the spectacular scenery. Trying to keep your eyes on the road whilst at the same time trying to absorb the extraordinary landscape is a difficult balancing act.

And so it proved on this particular Thursday afternoon in April 2019. The rain was incessant, the wind was unpredictable and the single track roads weaved around like a rollercoaster ride along the shores of Loch Maree. In fact, I had almost given up any thought of taking any photographs, when rising above another blind summit, this scene lay before me.

A spectacular free dancing light show
The wind had trapped the light which was dancing all around the Loch – a quick, safe parking manoeuvre and it was 'out with the camera'. There was no time for a tripod as I didn't know how long this was going to last. I reached for my camera, attached the longest lens I could find – no time for filters – and ran down the track passing more free roaming sheep, cattle and deer to the edge of my chosen viewpoint. Less than 60 seconds later this spectacular light show was over and I knew I had seen a very special show.

How lucky I was to see such a wonderful free show of nature. I stood alone before the beauty surrounding me and hoped I had captured the near the heart breaking joy through my lens. 

Precious moments. The three purest elements of sky, land and water captured here in the Scottish Highlands.

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