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A Drive Through Scotland’s Countryside

Scotland was never high on my list of must see places until I moved to Paris. My best friend for many years was born in Scotland and would invite me to go back with her every year she returned to visit. I always considered it but it never came to fruition. Just recently I had the opportunity to visit again and this time I could not refuse. This was not my first trip to Scotland but it was my first time going with the intention of photographing a myriad of places. There is an area along the River Clyde where I was hoping to shoot several buildings. However, once I reached the location I realized my battery had only one power bar left.

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The SSE Hydro | Glasgow |

I brought along two extra batteries on my trip however I failed to bring them this particular evening and left them back at the hotel. Also, I believed the battery loaded in my camera was charged at full capacity. This was only my first night in Glasgow so I still had the rest of the week to return to capture all I had wanted to before I returned home. I was hoping to capture three buildings my first night so I would not have to worry about returning another night during my short week there.

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Clyde Auditorium | Glasgow |

I should have known better that the weather in Scotland is often unfavourable for photographers with the immense amounts of rainfall. Therefore, I was not able to capture the images I was hoping to at a later date. A great example and inspiration of Glaswegian images is by one of my favourite Instagramers Markster70. He was my inspiration for many of the places I was hoping to visit on this trip to Scotland.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum | Glasgow | Scotland |

Although it was raining most of my time there, I forced myself to head out and try to capture some of the beauty surrounding me.

Whenever I travel somewhere camera in hand, I have usually a mental list of all the places that I must see and photograph. My expectations usually run high and I end up leaving disappointed when my memory card is not any more full. This trip my expectations were not met as a photographer and my ambitious list of things to shoot was far from met.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum | Glasgow | Scotland |

However the rest of my trip far exceeded my expectations. Even though I was not able to shoot and capture everything that I wanted to see, I was able to see the country in the way I have never experienced before nor how I would have imagined. I imaged greenery and beautiful countryside everywhere so when I saw snow capped mountains in the north, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

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The Beresford | Sauchiehall Street | Glasgow |

Sometimes it is nice to be able to enjoy our immediate surroundings and the people we are sharing these moments with and put our cameras down. It allows me to take in the beauty and have the ability to truly experience the moment and embrace it.

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Merchant City | Glasgow | Scotland |

Having said that, I still rarely opt to leave my accommodations without my camera. On the days the sun was actually shining, I would walk about the city centre and when the light reflected off the building a certain way I would stop and snap a quick photo. The amount of daylight hours in Scotland posed a threat to the amount of sunlight available for being able to capture images using natural light. During this time of year there is only a short seven hours of daylight hours.

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The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall |

I have yearned to visit Isle of Skye in Northern Scotland for awhile now and my friend and I planned a drive a few days into my trip. The weather in Glasgow was rainy and we were hoping that in the northern region of the country it would be more forgivable. We started to drive hoping for the best but had an alternative plan if the rain did not let up.

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The single lane roads were windy and sometimes wet from the rain and other times slick from the snowfall. The drive was taking longer than expected and in order to take caution for our safety we had to go slowly. We stopped at lookout points along the way to take in the scenery and allow me some time to take some photos. These are the type of photos I could have not have anticipated because I had no idea to expect the type of scenery that I encountered before I laid my very own eyes upon it.

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Pitlochry – Ballinluig |

The Highlands aka “Northern Scotland” had completely different characteristics than what I had envisioned of Scotland. What I was seeing for the first time was completely different than the southern part of the country.  From what I had seen on previous visits to Scotland were rolling hills, green pastures, sheep everywhere, etc however, this part of the country was mountainous and snowing.

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Pitlochry – Ballinluig | Scotland |

There are lookout points frequently along the drive that had the potential of what could be a fantastic image but the weather was not in my favour this time. Either it was the rain or the sunsetting at such an early hour that prohibited me from being able to capture my surroundings.

Inverness, Scotland |

As I mentioned earlier I had high hopes of returning home with a plethora of images so I thought that having anything less would be a huge disappointment to me. However, being able to not think about holding a relatively heavy camera nor having to think about which would be the ideal perspective to capture all my new surroundings or think about camera settings is rather refreshing too. I was able to embrace the country’s true beauty and take it all in without constantly reaching for my camera. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been nice to come home and have images to look at but it is also nice to take in all the stunning countryside and not miss anything by having a camera to distract me.

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St. Andrews |

I find that the more I travel to certain places, the more expectations I have based on previous experiences. No matter how many times I have travelled somewhere I believe that there is only so much I can plan ahead of time. Some unforeseen event or unfortunate weather condition often interferes with what I had planned. It is always refreshing when things go better than anticipated.

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Inverness | Scotland |

Even if I was not able to take as many pictures as I would have liked and capture all the places I was hoping to on this trip, I left getting to experience other things there I have never had the opportunity to see had I been fixated on only taking pictures. Each trip somewhere doesn’t have to be the last trip to that destination. Nothing is stopping me from returning one day again. So maybe I will return sometime in the near future, snap the pictures I would love to add to my portfolio as well as create new lasting memories I will forever cherish.

Until next time,

Alyssa

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