Coming Full Circle - Perthshire

The last time I wrote about my work in the area of Perthshire was two years ago when my family and I carried on a long tradition of spending the Easter holiday away together.

It was during that week, staying in an old hunting lodge near Dunkeld that I decided I wanted to move my life to this diverse and beautiful place. Last summer I did just that. You can read about my experiences since then in the May edition of the excellent Perthshire Magazine

This year we returned to the same house to spend another fantastic week. It has given me a great opportunity to explore a small and specific area in more depth, something I wouldn’t have chosen to do had I been travelling up from my home in Glasgow.

From my last visit I remembered a couple of spots I had thought worthy of revisiting on the hills above Butterstone. I thought this would be the obvious place to start the week. When I wokr on the first morning and peered out the window I was surprised to see... well... not very much. A thick layer of fog had appeared, obscuring the view down the valley. I ventured out anyway in the hope of capturing some atmospheric and moody photos.

High Upon the Hills, Buttertone


I could see a faint ball of light through the fog. I knew that if it were to break through the high layer of cloud and shine through the fog it would flood the valley below me with beautiful golden light. I also knew that if the sun were to appear it would cause me massive contrast problems. I frantically ran around the fields to find some sort of subject that would work with the conditions. I set my camera up positioning the sun behind a tree to partly hide the sun. I simply had to wait and hope that as the sun rose higher it would burn through the mist and light up the scene. Fortunately that was exactly what happened.

As the fog began to burn off and more of the landscape came into view I finally found what I had been looking for. Two years ago I found this old derelict farmhouse but hadn’t been able to make a picture of it but now conditions were perfect. I was able to capture the moody and misty photo I had hoped to.

As the sun shone through the layer of mist it created beautiful, ethereal colours with subtle streaks of light across the maze of stone walls that were draped across the farmland. 

The remainder of the week was fairly bleak - weather wise. Apart from the fantastic session on the first day I had struggled to get any great photos. One morning towards the end of the week, as I woke early to complete the daily peek out the window I saw the usual low cloud and flat light; a half hour later the same conditions cursed the view. Another hour after that and I was ecstatic to see that the scene out of my bedroom window had completely transformed!

I was lucky enough to have the loan of my dads super massive 600mm telephoto lens. With this awesome toy (finally) in my arsenal I quickly gather my gear and ran out the door. I spent the morning trying to pick out details in the landscape.

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Besides the awesome time I had photographing this little area, and despite the weather hindering me taking any more photos, the week was a special one. Its always special to spend time with family, and I'm so fortunate and grateful to have a family, every one of whom cares enough to travel (in some cases) the entire length of the country to spend time together. But this week was special in a different way. It was during that first holiday to Perthshire, when I spent the whole week driving around, exploring everywhere I could, that I vividly remember thinking how easily I could see myself living and working in this area. So to return two years later, having come full circle - still gives me goosebumps!