With the Bank Holiday upon us and the wife and kids off for the week with the Mother-in-Law, I had the weekend to myself.    Thoughts started about where I should go in the camper van (its working just now).  My first thought was for an epic trip up to Torridon in Scotland, but I don’t think my driving stamina would have got me that far (probably the central reservation of the A9!).  Then thoughts turned to the Lakes – of course what could be better – the English Lake District on a Bank holiday weekend!  So, thoughts turned back north again to Scotland with an “easy” drive to Inveroran on the edge of Rannoch Moor and near the well photographed Scots Pine trees at Loch Tulla.

After a challenging drive of some 6 and half hours I pulled in to the car park at Victoria Bridge.  The next day, the weather forecasters had promised mist, instead I got a very low cloud base and nothing of interest.  Not to be deterred, I pressed on from trying the “classic” (cliched)? pine shot to have a potter down Glen Etive.  (You may remember Mr Bond driving along it in his DB5 from “Skyfall”).  Glen Etive is not without its own cliches, including that infamous bike lying against a dilapidated shed (look it up on Flickr) (and yes I did take a photo as well).  I spent an hour or so down by the river side trying to take a shot of a captivating water fall against the back drop of a scots pine.  Further back up the road I have to admit I stopped to take “that” shot of the Buachaille Etive Mor by the water fall.  The area by the falls is like the Somme, it has been so well trodden by photographers over the years that it has turned in to a quagmire.

A key feature of this trip, despite driving on to Glen Coe,  Ballachulish (to look at the quarry), round via Appin to end back up in Glen Orchy all in one day – I took very few photographs.  I put this down to the weather, first it was too wet, then it got too bright.  By the last night, when I got to Tayvallich, I had the weather I wanted, overcast and damp – and then it hit me.  I think I’m going through some photographic block.  Everything around me was beautiful. The moss hanging from the oaks and birches,  the bluebells just coming in to bloom, detail in the bark and the reflections in the various pools in the bogs.  But none of it I felt was enough to make me reach for the my camera.  There were of course exceptions (and some of these are below), but more often than not on this trip the cameras stayed in the bag. As a consequence that is why I came home a day early – me kinda quitting whilst I’m ahead.  It was an enjoyable trip – I clocked up 966 miles in the process.  Pottering around without an agenda is fun, and I have found new places that I would like to go back to in the future – but on this occasion the omph, the desire to get the camera out the bag really wasn’t there.  I can’t really describe it any better than that and I’m not going to dwell on it too much as the trip wasn’t a wasted trip either.

One thing I did find myself thinking when the weather was particularity bad was that I wished I had packed my Hassleblad Xpan  (Its a panoramic camera that I usually load with black and white film) – I’m not sure what it is about that camera but it does lend itself to poor weather conditions.  Lesson learnt – pack it next time, just in case.

Anyway without further a do – here are the snaps I took.

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