The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

Last year I managed to sneak a landscape image into the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition and book. I was delighted, but this year I’m very pleased to have had an actual wildlife image Highly Commended. ‘Wave Break’ is probably my favourite wildlife image from the past few years. Nothing about it was planned or pre-visualised, it was entirely reactive to an opportunity that…

Lives Interrupted

Drive north from Inverness, into Caithness or Sutherland, and there’s abandonment everywhere. Much of it is subtle, hidden – derelict cottages tucked away in the woods or down a quiet glen. In most cases they are quite similar – gutted, often roofless, with a familiar smell of damp and a chimney blocked with sticks. There often isn’t much left to make you feel a…

A spiral of decline

Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I cannot claim to have taken it well – the lethargy, the aching joints and weakening muscles a bad combination for somebody who has a psychological dependency on exercise. So far it has been an unsettling experience. For various reasons I’m usually highly attuned to my body, my fitness and strength. The past few weeks…

A win in Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

‘Stand‘ Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year – Four Seasons Award winner (Autumn) Last October was a month I will remember with intense clarity. My dad was fighting an aggressive cancer, some big changes were happening in my work and social life, and I was in the depths of a fairly intense period of mental illness. Everything felt to be crumbling, yet something new and…

Black Isle Photography Hides Winter Tour 2017

I’ve just finished a few days guiding for Black Isle Photography Hides Winter Tour 2017. Almost all of my work since the summer has been landscape based commissions for outdoors magazines, so I’d been looking forward to some wildlife guiding again for a while. So far the defining this about this winter has been the lack of it. Snow has been largely non-existent in the Highlands apart…

Twelve months surprised

If there has been a theme to my 2016 then it would be – ‘the unexpected’. Surprises have been frequent. I have ended up in places, in body and mind, that I’d no intention of visiting – the best and the worst. If I had to identify either the highest or lowest points of the past 5 years, most of them would fall within the past 12…

Everything all the time

  “So what happens once you’ve done everything?” A friend asked me this a few days ago, her question prompted by the observation that I am terrible at sitting still and simply being. We’d been looking at a map of Scotland and I’d realised with a degree of shock just how many miles of driving I’d done since the beginning of October in the…

Staying afloat

I hate getting injured. I hate the immediacy of change that comes – the way that the foreseeable future can alter entirely in an instant. The last time I picked up a serious injury it was a car crash, the time before that an avalanche. This time it was nothing remotely as traumatic, yet it felt like a confirmation of something I’d already expected was coming- the start…

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2016

Highly Commended – British Wildlife Photography Awards 2016 (Wild Woods category) As a pair of newly fledged winter climbers visiting the Cairngorms in 2007, Alex and I hadn’t intended to spend so much time looking at trees. We had got in one good day of climbing and it had been everything I’d hoped it would be, but a decline in the weather shut down any further…

Down the rabbit hole

A solo trip into ‘The Three Counties’ System. With 90km of passages it is the longest cave system in Britain and currently listed in the top 30 longest caves yet discovered in the world. I’m a long way from home. I feel it just for a few moments – the result of a wrong turn leading me down an ever-tightening crawl that isn’t going anywhere. It’s an…