I had a mental checklist of a few things I wanted to get a shot of during my trip to Scotland. A few things I didn’t manage to get (star trails, rainbow, majestic stag beside a castle), and a few that I did (fisheye of a highland cow, castle at sunset).
One of the shots I had in my mind was of a lone tree, preferably windswept, which I could process in black and white. This one fit the bill almost perfectly.
As we drove around the Scottish countryside I was always keeping an eye out for potential trees, and many passed us by that weren’t quite what I wanted. Eventually, one did leap out at me as a potential candidate, and so we pulled up at the next available spot, I grabbed my gear and ended up walking back down the road and through a bit of a field to get to it. Steve opted to sit on the beach section where we had parked and wait for me.
After a few shots of my tree I headed along the water to meet him, and found him sitting on a rock relaxing and pointing to a tree nearby claiming I could simply have taken a photo of this one instead of walking all that way for this other.
He was right; this new tree was the one in the shot above and was a much better one than that which I had found (though of course, only by wanting the other would we have found this one). I wanted to shoot it with my nifty fifty, and due to this and the composition I once more had to kick off my shoes and socks and work my way cautiously over slippery rocks so that I could stand in the cold water, submerge the tripod and set up.
I’m a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams and so had him in mind when first capturing this scene as I knew before I even found the right tree that I wanted to do so in black and white. Though different to the image I had in my mind before starting the trip, I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.