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These last couple of weeks have been a little challenging in a couple of ways. First I was off down in London helping to judge the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. The challenge there was just being in London and cooped up in a small, sweaty room with a bunch of feral wildlife photographers. The second challenge was a prototype skiing course that Blair Aitken (British Backcountry Skiing) set up to see if he could take a complete novice (me) and in two days get them skinning up and skiing down Cairngorm. And it nearly worked - we did skin up and ski down bits of Cairngorm (here’s a brief GoPro video showing conditions).
The final challenge is on a scale way beyond these, however. A couple of weeks back, seven planning applications were approved to build run of river hydro schemes on nearly every tributary of Glen Etive. I’m not typically an activist of any sort, but after submitting objections to the original planning applications, it quickly became clear that there were no locals actively objecting (even though many didn’t like the idea) and I was in a position to help through local knowledge, photography, availability and access.
Now I’m no NIMBY, we have hydro schemes just down the loch in Kinlochleven, a new one being built near the West Highland Way, which I don’t object to at all. However, three of the schemes that have been applied for are in designated Wild Land areas and National Scenic areas. One, in particular, is probably known to many landscape photographers and that is Allt a Mheuran or the river known as Robber’s Falls below Ben Starav. What could I do but get involved?
I’ll be writing more about these schemes in the next issue and more details about the background to the objections. More importantly, I’ll be writing about what role photography can play in some of these controversial planning applications.
If you’d like to see the river in questions, you can take a look at a clip from some drone footage I made yesterday . You can also find out more if you’re on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/SaveGlenEtive.
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The imperfect reflections, the asymmetry, the dark hanging branches, and the calm surface of the lake beyond combine to create a peaceful yet brooding atmosphere. more
This issue our 4x4 landscape photography portfolio feature is from subscribers: Andrew Bulloch, Andy Gulland, Chris Davis & Claudio Neri. more
Photography of the 'inner landscape' can be rewarding as a sole response or as part of a study of several reactions to a location and in doing so, it expands the narrative. more
Every winter we see lots of images of snow-covered peaks in the glow of dawn or dusk light and most of us think “That’s fantastic, but there is no way I could get up a mountain to take photos like these”. more
Tracing his (almost) 50 year career making work, communicating his thoughts about an ever changing landscape through the ever changing medium of photography. more
I was particularly keen to learn how Turner depicted the relationship between sea and sky so brilliantly as part of the appeal of Turner’s work more
I usually spend over 160 days a year travelling so to be at home is often rewarded by an overwhelming sense of comfort and warmth. This, in turn, has led to ‘home’ meaning one thing, and my photography becoming something entirely separate. more