Landscapes are not something unto themselves. They transcend human notions of time and scale.
They are connected to the universe in such profound and unfathomable ways that although we have become very adept at controlling them, understanding them and interpreting them. They can never be ours. We project on to them: not the other way round. They don’t care for us.
Note from the Editor – This is the 2nd in our series of Best Landscape Photographers in Scotland. Somhairle MacDonald, a native from the highlands shares his passion and what he has learned on his photographic journey below.
- The first episode in our landscape photography series – Colin Prior.
- The second episode in the series – Eilidh Cameron.
- The third episode in the series – David Russell.
- The fourth episode in the series – Lucy Hamilton.
Somhairle MacDonald – It is my feeling that to take meaningful landscape photographs you have to connect with the ground in someway. Emotionally, metaphysically, universally… To just rock up at the Buachaillie, stand by the river and shoot the same photo that everyone else has is to miss point. In the grand scheme of things the mountain means very little, you mean even less and the photograph you take less still. It is sobering to know that in 7 billion years the earth will have been completely destroyed by the sun.
This is not to say that taking photos is unimportant, far from it. For me it is a very important vehicle of escape, a way to lift myself from the mundanity of everyday human life and connect with something bigger than me. Something that has no knowledge or care for my existence. It makes me feel small, unimportant but somehow connected to the earth, the solar system and the greater universe beyond. It puts me in my place – in a good way. It is common for me to visit the same place over and over and not shoot a single frame. I do it for experience, my physical and mental health.
Scotland rewards adventurers and those that will stray from the path, perseverance is a must, the weather will always try to beat you and this is when Scotland is at her best. I often say that venturing out in Scotland is like getting a slap from your Granny. It is harsh, unwarranted and callous but done out of love and for your own good.
There is only one way to keep your feet on the ground and that is to keep your feet on the ground.