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Photographing Scotland – Book Review

Dougie Cunningham / Fotovue

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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The fotovue title range continues to grow with seven landscape titles already (and I’m sure more lined up to come). Most of the titles have been covering fairly large areas but none have tried to cover an area the size of their current book, “Photographing Scotland”.

Scotland is massive. Don’t let the old met office maps confuse you, Scotland is three times the size of Wales, and if you’ve ever got lost in Wales you know how big that can seem. So the photographing Scotland book should be six times the size of the North Wales book. Scotland is also sixty times bigger than the Peak District so it should really be about 30,000 pages long and weigh in at about 50kg,

It certainly feels that big when you get it through the post. However, it turns out that at just short of 600 pages, it’s only 100 pages longer than the Peak District book.

This sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. It’s just to give you some context on how much Scotland has to offer and how little is actually photographed. The book is actually pretty comprehensive when you’re looking at the classic icons of photography but it will never offer the sort of in-depth coverage that you might get in guides to other areas.

So how in depth is it? Well, as many of you know, we moved to Ballachulish last year and knew the place reasonably well before that. Looking at the book, we have a Glencoe Area section and within that a few pages on Glencoe itself. As my local patch, I have to say that the viewpoints/areas chosen are a pretty good representation of the local area - albeit they are all on the list of ‘classic icons’. Dougie Cunningham should be proud of the work he’s put in to get this sort of coverage for the whole of Scotland.

I loaned the book to a photographer friend who was spending two weeks touring Scotland and was planning a trip up from Glencoe to Skye, up to Assynt & Torridon and across and down to the Cairngorm and then out via Loch Lomond. They said the book was absolutely perfect for what they needed. They didn’t intend to spend a lot of time exploring each location, a couple of nice icons and then a place to wander each morning/evening and then to the pub worked well for them.

If you want a book like the Peak District one then you’ll have to wait for the Lochaber, Torridon, Assynt, Skye, Hebrides, Cairngorm, Far North, Lowlands, etc books. In the meantime, this is about as good as they come and a worthy addition to the pantheon of location guides.

You can buy the book directly from fotovue for £27.95.

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