#878. Summer in Scotland

By Paul Perton | Travel Photography

Jul 17

Early July signals our departure for the north of Scotland, to join friends for what has become an annual week of salmon fishing on the Spey. This is (I think) our sixth visit and the fishing remains difficult and for reasons unknown, not very productive.

Misty sunrise – X-H1, 16-55 zoom @ 16mm f8

No matter. I have a camera(s) with me and can spend hours soaking up the majesty of the Highlands and weather permitting, taking some very satisfying photographs.

Enough from me. Here’s what convinces me to return year after year, even if there are few salmon to be had*.

Misty morning, X-Pro2, 90mm f2@ f5.6
Misty morning, X-Pro2, 35mm f1.4 @ f8
Advie, X-Pro2, 35mm f1.4 @ f8
Advie sunrise, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 19.4mm f5.6
Advie sunrise, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 22mm f5.6
Advie, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 16mm f4
Advie sunrise, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 22mm f8
Summer in Scotland, X-H1, 90mm f2@ f5.6
Summer in Scotland, X-H1, 90mm f2@ f5.6
Untitled, X-H1, 90mm f2@ f2
Untitled, X-H1, 90mm f2@ f2
Untitled, X-H1, 90mm f2@ f2
The stream at Dailuaine Distillery, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 34mm f22
Dailuaine Distillery, X-H1 16-55 zoom @ 55mm f4

* Torrential rain late last week briefly raised the level of the Spey by at least 30cm, leading to (ghillie-approved) spinning in place of fly angling. With the change of tackle, I managed to hook a decent sized sea trout, but its gymnastics saw it escape before I could land it, take out the hook and return it to the water.



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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Mist is an interesting thing to explore with your camera. I’d go with the ones that include the rising sun, like a snap – greens are a given, in most landscapes, but the sun pairs with the blues, and lifts the image.
    Some of my ancestors came here from Elgin, which is also in the far north east of Scotland, as you would know, Paul. About 15 miles (by road) from Dailuaine.
    And when they came to Aus, and discovered sunshine & blue skies, not one of them has ever been back there.
    Sorry I can’t warm to the idea of “the auld country”, it’s a genetic disorder – accompanied by an inability to say “Scotland” – like the rest of them, all I can manage is “Sco’land”, which used to make one of my aunts collapse laughing (she was the one who told me it must be some kind of genetic disorder, pointing out that I’d never met any of my ancestors who still spoke with a scottish brogue). Probably for similar reasons, it makes me cringe when someone says “scotch” and they aren’t talking about whusky.
    As my french ancestors say – you can’t escape from your ancestry!

  • Philber says:

    Brilliant pictures to illustrate a delightful post, Paul. Big fan of your storytelling!

  • David A. Mack says:

    I enjoyed your presentation. Its nice to see I’m not the only one who likes spider webs, very old fences in the fog. Combined with the sun, created a nice mystic emotion.

  • Michael Fleischer says:

    An excellent set of quiet, atmospheric images…can feel the humid coolness creeping up the muscles.
    I particularly find No 1,3,5 & second last with the stream fascinating. A good catch nevertheless…!

  • Ah, Paul, once again your lovely evocative images inspire me to start planning a trip back to beautiful Scotland. If pressed to reveal my favorites, I would have to choose the moody “Misty Sunrise” and the “Untitled” ferns with a perky dandelion……and “Advie Sunrise” with all the trees and the fence…..and….and…..

  • brian says:

    My climbing friends honored exemplary Scottish climbers with a running joke when we hunkered down in dreary conditions: “Good weather for Scotland!” Years later, I enjoyed your images, and I wondered again if we should visit.

    • paulperton says:

      Don’t hesitate. It’s magnificent.

      I’d definitely recommend this: https://www.dearsusan.net/2016/07/26/500-summer-scotland-pt-1-north-coast-500/

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        You mean because Bob Hamilton lent two photos that included a patch of ground actually illuminated by sunlight?
        I am puzzled – why is it called “summer” in a place with such a heathen climate? People make jokes about Brittany, based around the rain, saying things like “you can tell when it’s summer in Brittany – the rain’s warmer!” But looking at these photos, I have serious doubts whether even a comment like that could apply!
        Great weather for storekeepers selling jumpers, mufflers, weatherproof jackets lined with faux fur – or shops selling radiators, hot water bottles, whisky and sriracha sauce or chipotle chilies – but some of that must taste goddam awful on parritch! Personally, when asked to eat the stuff, I found it was OK with provisos – the main ones being, the oats must have been rolled artisanally and not by one of those ghastly money hungry mega corporations that seems to want to take control of our food supply, and cooked just right, then given some warm milk and a liberal dose of sugar. Done well, it can be quite appetising – done badly, it’s the stuff you feel like flinging in the waiter’s face!

        • paulperton says:

          Aaah, J-P you have little faith in the human spirit.

          The weather? It’s a lottery and when it’s bad, it’s very often good for us photographers.

          BTW, don’t gag, but next time try your porridge as you’ve said, but add a small pinch of five spice powder.

          • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

            At a rough guess, the last time I ate porridge was about 45 years ago – when the Three Bears Roller Flour Mill in Katanning, 280 Km (170 miles) south of here, was taken over by one of those big corporations and there was no longer any supply of decent rolled oats. After that, all you could buy was muck that tasted as if it must have been the shavings from the floor of a carpenter’s workshop. I only eat “real food” – OK supermarket junk is cheaper, but I make up for that in savings on medical bills. That said, it is possible to get a few items in supermarkets that are edible, but there’s an awful lot that’s just that – “awful”. Fills you up but doesn’t feed you.

  • John Wilson says:

    Paul – This looks too much like the weather where I live on the West coast of Canada. According to the calendar its summer, but the iffy-offy chilly cloudy misty weather has a very different opinion. Guess I shouldn’t complain; the salmon fishing is probably a lot better here.

    Lovely images. Maybe I should unlimber the Fuji and embrace the “iffy-offy chilly cloudy misty weather”.

    • paulperton says:

      Hi John. Yes, you should – photographing in the mist can be deceptively difficult and very rewarding at the same time.

      I stopped mid-sentence to OK your comment. I’m writing an article for DS about Fuji kit and why I like it so much. Now, I’m thinking about it, perhaps I should be prepping to go out and shoot a bit today – it’s overcast and damp in London, but who would be surprised by that?

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        Me, actually. I held a suspicion I’d find London weather as bad as what my ancestors fled from in Scotland. Till I went there! I’ve been there a number of times, in the 70s and 80s. And although the sun sets rather early at certain times of the year, I actually never experienced any “bad weather” in London, at all. Sunny with blue skies, most of the time – cloudy sometimes, but only light grey clouds. The one time it did rain, I was driving out of London anyway, for a trip to the south coast – where the weather was perfectly foul and not even lunatics would have considered jumping in the sea, for a swim. One morning at the fog was so thick you could slice it up and serve it for breakfast, along with the boiled eggs or whatever.

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