Behind the Camera: ‘Melting Mist’

The mist melting over Loch Garry.

This shot was taken from a very popular roadside pull-off spot on the A87. There were dozens of cars and a handful of coaches in this spot, and literally hundreds of people milling about.

I’d never been to this spot before and I’d expected it to be quiet – after all, it was just a roadside layby – but in the Scottish Highlands even the oddest and most out of the way places that are accessible by car can be insanely busy, especially when the weather is anything but the dreariest. And if the spot is marked on a map as a viewpoint, then you should expect anything ranging from bedlam to mayhem.

Do not roll up to one of these spots expecting to have it all to yourself at any time. You might get lucky, but don’t count on it. To avoid frustration always assume that you’re going to have people milling about the place, and that you’re going to have to work to the best spot slowly and methodically. If you try to go against the flow, you’ll just feel frustrated, and this will show in your work.

This shot was taken with a 70-200mm lens at 70mm. I wanted a good depth of field so went for F16, and at that worked out well. If it wasn’t for the trees in the foreground – which were quite close – I could have chosen any aperture as beyond the infinity point of the lens, depth of field is irrelevant. You can shoot landscapes at F1.8 like the great Moose Peterson does here. Bit I wanted the trees and the distance in focus, so had to go small.