#1219. A Sprinkling of Scotland Highlights

By Dallas Thomas | Travel Photography

Aug 03

Scotland is the highlands and the lowlands, glorious landscapes, Whisky of course and the cleanest air and cold clear water that you could possibly imagine. This is where 2 of my great grandparents and one of Anne’s (Mitchell) great grandparents were born.

In April and May this year Anne and I spent sometime exploring the countryside. Perfect time to visit with the wild spring flowers in abundance and lack of tourists. Many of the places visited come under the Dear Susan banner of Un-destination Photography.

Braemar was our first stop. Braemar is home to one of the bigger Highland games events in Scotland. It’s not far from the Queen’s Estate at Balmoral.

The Scots have a wonderful sense of humour, Braemar Butcher Shop.
This little fellow ran around our backyard every morning and snuck onto the verandah for food.

Stone bridges and rocky rivers are in abundance

The area is a landscape photographer’s dream. Anne loves to cook and the fresh produce available was fabulous, including live lobsters and excellent beef.

The North Sea

St Cyrus overlooking the North Sea, the tranquilly of the Sea was something we were not expecting. Maybe we’ve watched too many films on the area. The local lobster man told us that we had been blessed with the calm weather.

Wind turbines are everywhere and canola (sunshine)
Seascape – Portsoy

Weather beaten ruins can be found on most high points overlooking the sea.

17th century fishing ports dot the coast and have working fishing boats
and of course pleasure craft
Red Kite looking for dinner

Just out of Glenmore is the only Reindeer herd (wild) in the UK its well worth the time to visit if you are in the area.

You may hand feed them if you wish

Being a city dweller (Paris at the moment) landscapes are something I rarely have the opportunity to shoot. In Scotland you only have to point your camera anywhere out of a town or city to be lured in to just take another shot.

Don’t forgot to look up!
Neptunes Staircase (part of the Caledonian Canal) near Fort William

The Jacobite Express AKA The Hogwarts Express
Up close and personal

Drimnin is literally in the middle of nowhere no shops only a small enclave of houses and the organic distillery. It’s well worth a visit if you want peace and quiet and beautiful scenery and did I mention the photo ops.

The Puffer leaving Tarbert

One of the last steam powered boats in Scotland. You can book a three or four night cruise and part of the deal is you opt to help out. You can be a stoker of coal, a deck, or a kitchen hand to name a few of the tasks available.

Monteath Mausoleum near Jedburgh in the borders region
Leaderfoot Viaduct, Melrose
William Wallace Statue, Dryburgh.

To sum up, Scotland, we will be back.


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  • Lad Sessions says:


    Thanks for showing me a bit of the world I’m unlikely to ever visit. I especially like the sombre landscapes and mossy anything, but the images are all interesting.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Well, Dallas – as always, brilliant photos – I’m left wondering why you ever worked for a bank, instead of turning professional. Maybe it’s the same excuse I heard today on our ABC radio network, from an artist who has always stopped short of watercolour & oils – a lack of self confidence. [Shouldn’t have said that – there’s no sign of any such lack in your work!]
    Scotland. It seems that some of my father’s ancestors came from there, and one of my aunts used to laugh at me because I could never say “Scotland” – the best I could ever manage (then or now) was/is “Sco’land”. She used to make me say it over & over, and sit there laughing at me, saying “well it must be in you DNA, you’ve never met any of your ancestors who still spoke with a scottish brogue!”
    They all left nearly two centuries ago, and none of them ever went back – they claimed it was too cold and bleak. That might be because they used to live in Elgin, devoid of any residual benefits from the Gulf Stream and constantly confronted with howling northerlies blasting down across the North Sea from the Arctic.
    You mention whusky – the only one I’ve ever really enjoyed was a smoky single malt from the isles off the north coast. I’m afraid the more commonly known ones (regardless of price) do nothing for my palate. I guess it’s because dad was a winemaker and I was raised on an altogether different form of “hooch”.
    Are you now shooting with a Z7II, or what? I would be interested in the description of the gear you used, because Nikon are now making it fairly obvious they see no future in their DSLR range and they’re pushing their customer base Z-mount.

    • Hi Pete, many thanks for your kind comments. I took up the hobby far too late in life and wouldn’t have wanted the worry of the next job etc. We visited Elgin its not he most inspiring place I must admit even on a sunny day. We were very fortunate in our 6 or so weeks with the weather I could imagine what it would be like when it turns foul.Whiskey is something I don’t drink or for that matter any other alcohol, Anne likes a tipple. I’m still using my 3.5 year old Z7, I sold my D850 a few months ago as I wan’t using it. Lens are Zeiss Milvus 25,50, 100 & 135. Laowa 12mm for superwide and Nikon 80 – 400mm for long. I must admit this lens does perform as well on the Z as it did on the 850. Im sure the Z mount would be excellent.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Lovely and enticing images, Dallas! Enticing me to visit beautiful Scotland again, that is. I too have DNA ties to Scotland – as well as England, Wales. Ireland, including many Vikings. My ancestors came to America in the 1620’s (not on the Mayflower!) from Great Britain and other countries. My maiden name is Burnett and I can trace ancestors well back into Scotland’s past, through many generations of the Lairds of Leys.
    Enough about me!
    Once you’ve visited Scotland, you’ll always be enticed back, and your charming images are wonderful examples of just why that’s so. Kudos!

  • PaulB says:


    Thanks for the trip report and images, which are up to your usual excellence. Scotland is a place I have thought I wanted to visit, and a place my wife says I need to go. Your images are certainly reinforcing the idea that a visit would be a good idea. Did you drive during your visit, or did you hire local transportation.

    Finally, to extend Pete’s question, which lenses did you take on this trip, and which got the most use.


    • Many thanks Paul for your kind words.Lens used were Laowa 12mm, Zeiss Milvus 25, 50, 135 the bird shot was Nikon 80 – 400. As for usage they all got about the use, more images can be viewed on my website https://atstudioeleven.com.au/travel-portfolio-europe/england just click on the 2022 pages. Yes we drove, picked up and dropped the car at Edinburgh Airport.driving is easy and relaxed. Feel free to come back to me if you have any more questions. Dallas

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        The bird shot is a stunning action shot of a bird. I could give you a list of “birders”, who would be jealous!

  • Pascal O. says:

    As always with your posts, dear Dallas, interesting destinations and remarkably well polished shots.

    Scotland is one of my favorite destinations even though I have not been there in a long time.
    Yes, I’ll confess, I miss the haggis with nips and taties (turnips and potatoes for those not having been there). But my favorite beyond all this is the local sense of humor at their own expense. As they say, if summer falls on a Sunday, we’ll have a picnic.

    Lovely place, lovely people, great post. Thank you!!!

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