Tag Archives: aberfoyle
2011 has for me, photographically, been a bit poor. Due to work commitments, I have not been able to get out as much with my camera as I would have liked. I have also been a bit neglectful with updating this blog with new images. So I have finally got around to processing these shots from January this year.
Myself and Cameron decided to visit the area around Aberfoyle known as the Trossachs. This was in the middle of January so it was still in the middle of that amazing long cold spell when temperatures were barely above freezing for 3 or 4 weeks. As usual we decided to head up for the sunrise, which was around 7.30am which meant another 5am start for us to travel the 100 miles to where we planned to try and capture the sunrise. The location we chose was St Johns Church on the banks of Loch Achray. The weather forecast looked quite favourable, light winds and a high of 2-3 degrees C.
The initial thought was to get some nice images of the sunrise reflected in the still waters of the Loch with maybe some images of the church in it too. When we eventually got there we saw that due to the weeks of low temperatures, the loch had completely frozen over!
Although that ruled out some nice reflections it still meant that I would get some sort of decent light hitting the ice of the loch. The sunset wasn’t the best with clouds obscuring the actual sunrise but I did manage to get this shot with the sunlight tingeing the clouds in a nice golden glow.
Once I played around with a few different images and setups, I decided to shoot in the other direction. This is obviously a bit later on and the cloud cover has started to roll in a bit more. The view across a frozen Loch Achray towards Ben Venue is still pretty nice.
After spending a good couple of hours here, we then decided to head back into Aberfoyle. This was to take a trip along what I would say was one of my favourite locations in Scotland, the small single track road to the Inversnaid hotel on the eastern bank of Loch Lomond.
Along it’s route the road passes numerous loch’s with wonderful views of both Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps. You can also take a right turn halfway along it and end up at the northern end of Loch Katrine. To my mind if you are in the Aberfoyle area, a trip along this road is a must.
The first stop on the road was to a frozen Loch Chon. The branches of the tree stuck in the frozen loch along with the early morning sun striking the golden leaves of the trees made this image rather special.
Next we moved on to probably my favourite location along this road, Loch Arklet. This man-made loch sits in a small valley so it has more than it’s fair share of still, calm water which means lovely reflections. The only minus point is that the water levels were pretty low which can bee seen by the rocks sticking out of the water. These are usually totally covered.
After a good while exploring round here we decided to start to head back home with a trip along the east side of Loch Lomond up by Balmaha. Our first stop was this small lochan which sat just off the road and made a good foreground to Ben Lomond behind. The cloud cover had started to move in and the late afternoon light poking through the clouds behind me lit up the reeds and the trees on the opposite bank.
Another image taken around the same time but showing the light on the trees a bit more. Note the large frozen patches all over this lochan!
Now back at Loch Lomond it was a chance to try something different. The Loch was quite still so it was a good chance to use my Lee Big Stopper. This image was a 3 minute exposure which helped still the Loch even further and give some movement in the clouds.
Of course, what do you do when you are waiting for the long exposures….you take a short video on your iphone!
As you can see it was a productive trip with a few images that I was happy with. Now all I have to do now is make some time to get out more!
Today was the first day in weeks that I managed to spare some time for a trip away. The weather forecast said sunny spells and light winds. I got up early in the morning to be confronted with a reasonable looking day, light winds and not too much cloud right enough.
The plan was to climb up Conic Hill at Balmaha for a panoramic view along Loch Lomond. Unfortunately as I was heading up towards Balmaha the cloud cover started to roll in. By the time I was on the east side of Loch Lomond, the clouds totally covered the sky in a uniform dull grey. I then decided to abandon the hillwalk till another time and headed to Aberfoyle, hoping for a break in the clouds. First stop, once I reached Aberfoyle was to head along to Loch Ard. The grey skies meant that I tried for compositions without too much or any sky in them. I was luck in the fact that the upturned boat was placed in a good position beside the tree stumps and jetty.
The lack of wind meant that within a couple of minutes of getting here the midgies were all over me and biting rather ferociously. Luckily I remembered my midge hood was still in my camera bag. It might not look the best thing in the world but it certainly works in keeping the face and head midge free.
My next stop was then to head along the Dukes Pass towards Loch Achray. The lack of wind meant that the still waters perfectly reflected the trees in the hills around the loch.
The small church in the Picture is the ‘Trossachs Church’ erected in 1849 in this most picturesque location and is still in use today. ‘Achray’ is believed to be derived from old Gaelic, meaning the field of devotion, a place of worship in the open air.
Another view of Loch Achray this time from the reeds around the western edge of the Loch.
Once I had these images, I then spent some time along the road towards Loch Venachar. Nothing really caught my eye as by now the wind had started to get up and any picture opportunities afforded by the calm waters were gone. I headed back towards Aberfoyle for refreshments and a bite to eat and then seeing no let up in the grey conditions, I headed home.
So, the first trip away since I got back from holiday and not the most successful trip ever. That’s the thing with landscape photography though, sometimes the conditions just don’t come together and you come away with hardly anything to show for the effort of getting up early and travelling a hundred or so miles. I suppose three images that I am reasonably pleased with is better than none though.
It’s time to start posting some more pictures from the archives. This wonderful sunrise greeted me at Loch Ard, near Aberfoyle in November 2006. The forecast that morning was for a slight frost, as usual the forecast was wrong but what I did get was a magical display from the cloud formation and some lovely mist on the Loch itself.
Another couple of images from last weeks trip to the Trossachs. Loch Arklet is nestled in a valley, so depending on the wind direction, good reflections can be found here. The Loch’s water level was raised in the early 20th century by the building of a dam. This Loch helps to supply Glasgow with it’s fresh drinking water.
This is Loch Arklet with Beinn Narnain, Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich in the background more commonly known as the Arrochar Alps.
Another 4.30am rise yesterday. As the weather forecast was promising fog and mist early in the morning, I thought I would take a trip up to Aberfoyle for the sunrise. I managed to capture this shot as the sun tried to break through the mist.
The next shot was taken looking over Loch Achray towards St Johns Church. The swirling mist made the church appear and disappear minute by minute. This has created a nice natural vignette to the image.