Adventures in the Assynt (part 3)

Holy Moly, another 5am start to photographic shenanigans, and the weather was as soggy as a haddocks bathing costume. It was dark and cloudy and the light was terrible, just the kind of challenge I like, it was obvious the cameras were going to struggle in these kinds of conditions. Anyway we all poddled off in the mini bus and headed out to the location, where exactly I don’t know, it was too foggy and dark to follow. By the time we got to the location the sky had brightened from dark to very dim, and once we got set up it started to rain too.

Plans were drawn up as we all had to work quickly, the cold and wet meant the models were going to suffer a bit and the chances of freezing up beyond the point of working were quite high. Once everyone knew what was going on we dived in to get some images. Helen and Keira started off at one location close by.

We could be Heroes – Helen Stephens (Bronze Medal)
Helen Stephens
Helen Stephens
While your Lips are still Red – Helen Stephens and Keira Lavelle (FIAP Gold)

By the time these were done Scarlot and Rachelle were set up on a distant outcrop. And these dark and moody shots were taken.

Song of Myself – Scarlot Rose
Scarlot Rose and Rachelle Summers

Finally for that early morning I spotted a scene and Keira stood in for the last 2 minutes to catch the dense fog amidst the rugged landscape.

On a Misty Morning – Keira Lavelle

It was a challenging shoot, the air quality was bad and the lighting very poor but I have to say I love it like that, it makes for a very moody edgy grainy set of images. You end up shooting the feel of the scene rather than striving for perfect imagery.

Anyhow…back at the hotel a shower and breakfast was very welcome. We had the morning left to shoot before departing in the afternoon. The plan was to shoot on the banks of Loch Assynt and head round by Inverkirkaig for the final location. When we got to the loch we split up and worked one on one, so Helen and I teamed up and found some interesting rocks, trees and scenery. I also managed the odd capture of Scarlot and Rachelle. Fortunately the clouds parted and the sun came out…turned out to be a nice day.

The Dreamer and the Wine – Helen Stephens
Finally the hills are without eyes – Helen Stephens
Helen Stephens
Helen Stephens
The Storm Caller – Scarlot Rose
Rachelle Summers
Scarlot Rose
Keira Lavelle and Rachelle Summers
Scarlot Rose

After this was a quick journey through Lochinver and around near Inverkirkaig where we all managed to squeeze into a very small car park and climb over a hill to reach the plateau that looked over Cul Mor. The scenery was quite majestic, rugged and wild.

Scarlot Rose, Rachelle Summers and Keira Lavelle
Scarlot Rose, Rachelle Summers and Keira Lavelle
Scarlot Rose, Rachelle Summers and Keira Lavelle
Helen Stephens
Helen Stephens

And lastly before heading for a well earned lunch at Ullapool…

Keira the Witch – Keira Lavelle

The road to Ullapool from here had changed a lot over the years, when I first went over it on my old Triumph Bonneville about 20 years ago it really was an ordeal. At that time the road had grass growing up the middle and had no verge, just a sudden drop or a cliff face. It was dubbed the ‘Road to Hell’ at the time. We got to Ullapool and paid a visit to one of the best fish n chips restaurants ever. There was a short hunt looking for replacement wellies for Keira, hers had given up the ghost during the weekend. Then after a fond farewell to everyone I jumped in the car and headed home. It was great to meet old friends and make new ones, and so the Adventure ended, quite a weekend, great fun and highly productive.

‘Art Nude in the Landscape’ Workshops are run by Photoclassic/Howard Kennedy, you can find more details at http://www.photoclassic.co.uk

They run well organised workshops throughout the year and I highly recommend checking them out. Howard works with top class models and all are professional and experienced, and I highly recommend them to beginners and experienced photographers alike.

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