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Mountain landscape on a summer day in the Canadian Rockies near Canmore, Alberta.

Misty Mountain

1/80 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320

Rolling hills and mountain peaks began materializing in the distance as we drove northwest into the Scottish Highlands. We had picked up our car in Glasgow earlier that day, mid-July, tired after a sleepless transatlantic flight. It was overcast and the air was crisp and moist - a welcome break from the scorching heat typical of the summers we were used to.

We encountered the occasional drizzle on the 3-hour drive and, as we crossed into the Highlands, there was mist in the air. Less than ideal weather by some standards, but I was thoroughly enjoying every bit of the cool. The soft light and wetness seemed to saturate the colours of the surrounding greenery, making the landscapes look that much more lush. As we drove deeper into the country, the large motorway gave way to narrow winding road passing between open vistas and thick woodland, making for an incredibly scenic drive.

Country Lane

1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 250

We endeavoured to explore some of the highland forests and mountains in the coming days. It was just warm enough to pack light, but the cool breeze and constant chance of showers meant we never left the house without a jacket and an extra pair of socks. We were staying in a cozy local home, a two-bedroom house in the Highland village of Ballachulish. It sat up on a hillside, half a mile up a small road, a few minutes' walk from the village centre where the grocery store and fish & chip shop were located. Our place was also a short walk from the shore of Loch Leven (loch is the Scottish Gaelic word for a lake) and just off road A82 - the motorway running through the valley of Glencoe, a most scenic area of Scotland.

Woodland Oasis

1/320 sec, f/11, ISO 250

We found ourselves caught in the occasional light rain as we hiked through the Highland forests, but we'd quickly gotten used to it and it never lasted long, with the sky sometimes clearing up enough to let through some sunlight. The surrounding greenery and rock were always wet from a previous rainfall, giving the rich landscapes a special glow.

Forest Flow

1/8 sec, f/13, ISO 125

Our walks took us through woodland, across majestic vistas and to scenic waterfalls.

Mountain ridge on a summer day in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Path of Enlightenment

1/800 sec, f/11, ISO 500

While some of these gorgeous views were hidden a few miles' trek into the mountains, there were plenty more scenic landscapes just steps from the main road through Glencoe.

Grandeur of Glencoe

1/100 sec, f/10, ISO 500

As we explored some of the well known sites around the Highlands, we encountered countless hidden gems, like this beautiful forest stream. With only several days in this amazing area of Scotland, we left plenty more to see on a future visit.

Highland Spirit

0.8 sec, f/13, ISO 64

I'll share more images from our visit to this beautiful part of the country in a future post. Some of them are already available as prints - check out the full collection here.


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