The Scottish mountains that stretch from the east to west across the Grampian National Park with only a few roads that cut through them gives us the chance to be in this wonderful wilderness yet only a few miles from the bustle of the Scottish cities.

The Scottish Mountains when you can see them

The Scottish mountains

Looking south on the A9 towards Pitlochry

It’s late March and we are heading north to Portknockie the Moray coast. It’s not work it’s a social visit to my brother in law a media consultant and former Press & Journal business reporter (Big Red Ian) and his wife besides enjoying the company, real fire and wonderful food (fish from Buckie) it’s my hope was to capture the majesty of our snow capped mountains as I travel on the notorious A9 from Perth to Avemore. From the moment I turned out if my driveway it was our usual dull grey sky, we have these lifeless skies most days with only a fleeting moment or two as daybreak starts and it’s not a given thing most days there is no chance if nice light, but we are so used to the gloom.

It’s not a journey where you see much, it’s a meandering through the mountains and hills one mile looks quite similar to the last mile. The Scottish mountains are better along the Glencoe road has a much more visual stimulus as to wind through the glens heading towards Fort William a road that takes you forever and certainly not a commuters choice.

After five hours we arrive at Cullen having enjoyed what we say if the Spey valley in the dour weather the sea is calm and the horizon is lost in the merging of the grey sky and grey sea hardly a photographers dream but patience is our secret weapon not what camera we use.

Simplicity and Minimalism in landscapes

The Scottish mountains

The Moray Firth looking towards Tain

It took two days of walking along the cliffs from Portknockie to Cullen in dreary weather before it picked up on the day we were returning, a glimpse of the distant mountain with just a hint of the early morning daybreak gracing the snow clad Scottish mountains there was a sign of hope for the last day of our visit.

The bay at Cullen is often blessed with the early morning light as it skims across the coast lifting the famous Cullen Hotel from the landscape (the home of the Cullen Skink dish), being up above the bay on the cliff tops give your the vantage point that can only be dreamt of it commands a view that stretches from the distant west along the Banff coast to the rising sun in the east.

Light makes the image not the subject

The Scottish mountains

The famous Cullen Hotel in the early morning light

The scene becomes painterly without the intrusion of cars and man made structures the hotel sits in isolation on its own private beach this is the beauty of Scotland those fleeting moments but we need to be there and wait patiently for Mother Nature to grace us with her beauty and it is so rewarding.

Photography may be my career but it also forms part of my every day life there isn’t many jobs that give that satisfaction.

Visit my photography workshops to learn more about photography