Almost three years ago, in mid-January 2015, my pal Colin Joyce and I motored up to Perthshire in search of winter landscapes to photograph. If you don’t know where Perthshire is, shame on you. However, I’ll take pity and inform you that it’s a large county on the southern edge of the Scottish Highlands.
When we set out, down here in the semi-tropical Lowlands (I speak ironically), there wasn’t a snowflake to be seen. I think the radioactive beach down by our tiny harbour helps to keep the snow away. We were only a short distance north of the fair city of Perth when we saw the first dusting of snow on the fields adjoining the A9 highway. Up around Dunkeld, we peeled off the A9 and took to the backroads. No shortage of snow in those parts – the white stuff was piled high everywhere we looked. Fortunately, the roads were clear.
Stopping and starting to take photos along the way, we reached the small town of Aberfeldy around midday. We had lunch in the Watermill, a café/bookshop that I can recommend if you’re ever in the locality. Moving on, we headed for Loch Tay and Killin, getting out of Colin’s trusty Renault occasionally to get busy with our cameras.
The scene in my photo is Loch Tay.
I’m less clear what route we took after we passed through Killin, as the cold was numbing my brain by then. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a lay-by and in fading light (and plummeting air temperature) I took some shots of a frozen waterfall amid rocks and snow.
You’ll see the waterfall in my new painting Frozen Fall.
A trip like the one I’ve described can provide you with loads of great photo reference for future paintings. On quiet roads, it’s usually easy to stop for a few minutes. But if you’re in Perthshire or somewhere climatically similar in the depths of winter, just remember to dress warmly, be quick taking your photos (this is to avoid getting frostbite) and make sure your car has good tyres.