Torridon trip 2018 (+ some bonus Lake District!)

For my first trip of 2018, I decided it was time to revisit Scotland, having last been three years ago (has it really been that long?!).  This time I wanted to explore the Northwest highlands area around Torridon.  This is a long journey from the Midlands, so I broke up the journey by stopping off at the Lake District either end of the trip - more on that later!

I'd anticipated that February in the north of Scotland is one of the better bets for getting snow but the great British weather had other ideas - with the Torridon area remaining stubbornly clear of the white stuff even while the army was being called in to retrieve snowed-in motorists across other parts of the UK!

So my first few days were characterised by unbroken blue skies (my least favourite of conditions!), meaning I had to think carefully about locations to shoot in - plus of course familiarise myself with the area.  This is one of my favourite shots from the bright and clear conditions - the pre-sunrise time meant that the light was not too harsh yet.

Crisp and chilly pre-dawn scene looking into a mountain range near Torridon, Feb 2018

An overnight trip into the hills to try catching some stars didn't really work out, as the clouds waited until night time to come out(!) plus the extreme cold temperatures made hanging around too chilly.  I did come across this more striking scene while descending the next morning, though, as some rare clouds appeared:

Brief cloud cover and light breaks gave rise to this scene in the Torridon valley, Feb 2018


So I returned and tried to make the best of the clear skies - here are two of the better ones; a 'classic' sunset over the lochs, plus a cold-processed scene from a beach on the Applecross peninsula:

Simple sunset over a (frozen) loch near Torridon, Feb 2018

Golden hour shot of beach on Applecross peninsula, processed for a cold, semi-mono look, Feb 2018

Other locations I tried never really gave me the feel I was after, so I managed to get one shot I liked in a local patch of woods and then headed back down the country, despite the dire snow warnings, to take my chances in the Lake District.  It was a bit of a tricky drive in places but overall not as bad as feared / predicted.   While conditions there were more inspiring, I missed a lot of the best stuff (fresh/falling snow) while travelling and couldn't quite get the best out of the conditions the next morning.  Nevertheless, I quite liked this bleak landscape from the view over Holme Fell:

The morning after the snowfall - patchy cover among the low fells of the Lake District, March 2018

So overall I'd count it as a half-scouting, half-shooting trip but opening up plenty of possibilities in the future and a wonderful break in the beautiful - if freezing - Scottish landscape!

To close, here are a few more pictures worthy of sharing: