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Lake of Tranquility


Lochan na h-Achlaise

Driving South from Skye, through Glen Coe and onto the expanse of Rannoch Moor, a nine hour drive ahead of us. Then, on the right, there’s the most tranquil scene. I’d missed it on the journey North; I never knew of this place. Lochan na h-Achlaise; the most beautiful loch in Scotland on a most beautiful September day. Personal discovery. I could have wondered around its shore for hours but twenty minutes later we were back on the road South. I printed the picture postcode size and wrote a message on the back, hoping to impress a girl. I looked up the the English translation hoping for a romantic celtic legend. Little loch of the armpit was what I found!  Never mind, I still got the girl!

Photography is about moments. The car, the weather,  the loch, the light all came together at the right moment. All I had to do was compose – the boulders in the foreground balancing the mountains behind – and shoot. No one else was there. So inspired by the scene I went back a year later to “do it properly”. We we up before dawn and arrived only to find hoards of photographer fighting for position. But the light was poor and the clouds too low. I could go back a thousand times and not find a better opportunity, and all the time the excitement of discovery lessens and the scene becomes stale. If you encounter a “moment” make sure you have your camera to hand!

Richard J Walls  

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