Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018

First off I’d just like to say a big congratulations to everyone else who was successful in this year’s competition. Some of the images I’ve seen have been world-class, and I’ve been getting a case of ‘imposter syndrome’ looking at them all. I’ve been fortunate to have had a good amount of success in national photography competitions over the past few years, with multiple…

Grief

Seven months ago I lost my dad to cancer. I’d had a while to try and prepare myself, to build emotional muscle for what we could see was probably coming. There were many reasons to be as strong as possible during it all, but of of course, the enormity of the change that came had a huge effect on me. I made sure I…

Time of plenty

The winter that has just ended has been very difficult for me on a personal level (more on that in a coming post). That aside, it has been a spectacular few months in the Highlands and in terms of photography it has been my most successful winter of the past decade. I spent many weeks guiding back-to-back photography workshops and was largely blessed with…

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 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…

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…