on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Way We Were

Am I the person I want to be here?

Alister Benn

Alister Benn lives on the west of Scotland with his wife, Ann Kristin Lindaas. Together they run Expressive Photography Ltd, which includes a successful YouTube Channel, a private forum for subscribers, and running small group workshops and retreats in Scotland and northern Spain.


We’re on some surreal timeline just now, deserted streets, empty malls, closed bars, cafes and coffee shops. Even the landscape we once worked and played in is essentially inaccessible to us. So much of what we took for granted is now a luxury we can only look back on and reflect. Maybe the person I was isn’t the person I should be, perhaps my attitudes weren’t always as noble as I would like.

From the cage, the horizon is infinite.

Today, Ann Kristin and I drove to Fort William for the first time in a month. It was quite the trip, having only been within walking distance of the house since mid March. The rush of driving along a road at 60mph, the vistas that used to be just passing by, now appeared intensely interesting. A herd of Red Deer grazed low in the glen, and as we sat waiting for the ferry to arrive, 6 Black Guillemots were engaged in heated territorial squabbles on the deserted pier. For certain, the deer and the birds were both there because, on the whole, we aren’t.

The road was deserted, save a few people like us, making essential trips. A far cry from a usual Easter Holiday weekend when the roads would be packed with excited tourists and frustrated locals.

I had a deep and moving notion as I noticed nuances of light on a distant hill, big patches of snow looming as the view opened down to Glencoe. Our thoughts rested on our dear friends Tim and Charlotte (I think they read these articles!) - all the plans we had to go climbing together, curry nights and just hanging out and laughing. As someone accustomed to studying the landscape, I was looking at it with fresh eyes, suddenly aware that without a camera in my hand I was looking for the sake of looking; feeling, engaging, fascinating, imagining and being inquisitive.

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