Landscape photography is way harder in Scotland than California!
I just spent ten days back home in Scotland visiting some places I'd wanted to photograph for years. It was the first time in a while I'd been home in the summer so I was hoping that would allow for more outdoor photography, but the weather was brutal. It wasn't just unpredictable and changeable, it was near impossible. At Eilean Donan Castle, above, in the thirty seconds it took to put my camera on a tripod the scene changed from glorious light to a rain soaked blur. And at the Coral Beach on Skye it was sunny on one side of the frame, grey and wet on the other.
When I embraced the weather I loved the drama and atmosphere it brought, but sometimes you have to weigh that up against destroying your camera. On the beach at St Andrews the rain soaked my kit and at the Old Man of Storr the wind toppled my tripod. Battling the elements was exciting though and I learned some valuable lessons. As I moved from place to place, no matter how difficult the conditions, I knew I could rely on a couple of things...
Firstly, I've begun to define a style that is repeatable and my own; if I felt inspired and followed my process I would always express myself and capture something consistent. The fact that it doesn't just apply to sunny California was reassuring. Secondly, I've learned how to be selective. I used to feel the urge to take photos of absolutely everything from every possible angle, but that was born from a lack of direction and confidence. When I visit somewhere new it's easier to focus my attention to produce an image I'm pleased with.
When I originally set out to better express myself through photography I got the process the wrong way around. I thought I needed to work out what I wanted to say and then decide how to do that through my images. In the meantime I followed my instincts to refine a style that I liked, and as it happened, the photos I created were helping me to know myself better. I'm proud of these images because they're so personal.