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A Scottish Affair - part 1 of 1 2 3

Published 01/12/2001

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We stood regarding one another. She was very beautiful; the sun burnishing her red hair, her limpid, deep brown eyes gazing into mine from beneath that golden copper fringe. Still, the path was very narrow and, call me a male chauvinist if you like, I was, most certainly, not prepared to step off into the surrounding boggy ground just to let her pass.

We had met on a hill overlooking a sparkling Loch Lomond. The sky was a very pale cyan with hardly a cloud. The perspiration was trickling down my neck and the camera bag and tripod were making indents in their respective shoulders. But, at that moment, I would not have been anywhere else in the world.

Improbable as it may seem, this was not the height of a Scottish summer but a beautiful Autumn day in October. The bracken had already turned a rich golden brown. Reeds in a nearby Lochan were a pale straw colour and leaves on distant trees were every shade from an almost spring green through deep browns to rich reds. In short, it was a day to relish.

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No doubt my euphoria was due, in part, to the reason for my being in this particular corner of Scotland. My wife and I were attending a photographic course at the Inversnaid Photography Centre. The tutor was working us hard and we were enjoying every moment of it.

The Centre ( formerly a Victorian hunting lodge once belonging to the Duke of Montrose ) sits, in its own wooded grounds, on the East bank of Loch Lomond near the end of the fifteen miles long scenic, twisting, mostly single track, B829 from Aberfoyle. Andre Goulancourt and Linda Middleton, who own and run the centre, have put in an immense amount of work in its restoration and refurbishment to enable them to accommodate guests.

But, it's very much more than simply being a small hotel. The comfort, the food and the welcoming atmosphere all serve to convey the impression that one is staying with friends in their country house. In fact -- and something not to be divulged to my fellow photographers -- I believe I would come here for the food alone. Moreover, in addition to the general level of comfort, it is a photographer's dream: a large well equipped studio; a darkroom almost as big ( with several enlargers and all the necessary processing equipment ) and, outdoors, mile upon mile of mountain and river, forest and loch to be explored and photographed under every condition that the Scottish climate can provide.

For the Landscape photographer: the beauty of the immediate vicinity; the Trossacks ( less than an hour's drive away ); the historic centres of Stirling and Edinburgh ( which are only an hour or two farther) or a stroll along part of the West Highland Way which passes through Inversnaid and boasts a cave reputedly used by Rob Roy. Then there are the local lochs such as Katrine and Chon or, farther afield, a trip to Rannoch Moor. Choices such as these must, surely, provide all the photographic inspiration that one may desire.


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1st Published 01/12/2001
last update 18/07/2022 16:31:48

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