Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Glen Affric: Autumn panoramas with a Leica M9

Glen Affric: Autumn panoramas with a Leica M9

111
15
 Loch Beinn a Mheadhain on the single track road into Glen Affric
Loch Beinn a Mheadhain on the single track road into Glen Affric

With the sky-filled blue waters fringed with every shade of yellow, orange and verdant green, the trees backlit by an autumn sun, the drive down the single-track road to Loch Affric was spectacular. Hills and mountains framed the scene. I wanted to stop and take photographs at every turn, but the plan was to walk the twelve miles around the loch and, to do that, we had to get to the end of this road. 

 The footpath approaching Affric Lodge
The footpath approaching Affric Lodge

Glen Affric just north of Loch Ness in Scotland, has been on my must-go-to list for many years. I had, by pure chance, managed to get here on the perfect day for photography.  

The glen is surrounded by Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft) and is a popular starting point for enthusiastic walkers. It is also home to remnants of the Caledonian Pine forest that once covered huge areas of Scotland. The charity Trees for Life has undertaken a massive re-planting exercise over the last couple of decades to help restore the area, but not just with Scots Pine, the Caledonian forest is a broad mix, including alder, birch, rowan and many other species. This combination of trees, together with lakes, fast flowing rivers and numerous waterfalls makes for wonderful photographic opportunities

 First view of Loch Affric surrounded by Munros
First view of Loch Affric surrounded by Munros
 Autumn colours on the path alongside Loch Affric
Autumn colours on the path alongside Loch Affric

Affric Lodge at the eastern end of the loch was in a setting that just called to be photographed as we walked towards it along the track. Yet the loch itself, just beyond, produced a perfectly framed panoramic with a bright sunlight, yellow-leafed birch tree on one side and mountains on the other.  Numerous waterfalls along the track offered opportunities for long exposure shots and ‘granny’ pines produced great foreground subjects for the wider views. At the eastern end of the circuit, the river Affric winds through the glen with those Munros framing an almost perfect picture.  If only the light had come out while I was there, the photos would have been even better.

 One of the many small waterfalls along the path
One of the many small waterfalls along the path
  Loch Affric with granny pines in the foreground
Loch Affric with granny pines in the foreground

Once again, I went in to panoramic mode using my Leica M9 with a variety of lenses and, on occasion, shooting multiple exposures (hand held) with the intention of creating HDR photos to compensate for the huge exposure range.

  The river Affric as it flows into the west end of the loch
The river Affric as it flows into the west end of the loch
  View point on the Dog Falls – Viewpoint Trail marked path looking up the Glen
View point on the Dog Falls – Viewpoint Trail marked path looking up the Glen
  Corie Loch on the Corie Loch Trail
Corie Loch on the Corie Loch Trail

A couple of days later we returned. It was just so lovely, this time exploring the eastern end of the glen. In such a beautiful landscape, all we needed to do was follow the way-marked trails to the viewpoints to find a place to take photos. The first such place on the ‘Dog Falls Trail’ was only slightly impaired by one of those granny pines. It is at least a hundred years old, so perhaps it has a right to remain.  A little further, on Corrie Loch, we were provided with a variety of options for both close-up more distant views.  A short drive brought us to Plodda Falls where an adjoining river drops 40 meters, with a viewing platform which gave us the opportunity for angles usually possible only with a drone.

It was a truly memorable couple of days. I really want to return in winter when the mountains and the glen are covered in snow — there is so much to go back for. 

  Drone-like view from the platform at Plodda Falls
Drone-like view from the platform at Plodda Falls

To see more from Paul Glendell and to view the range of Classic Cases and straps see here

All images © Paul Glendell 2018

15 COMMENTS

  1. Such a lovely gentle palette of colours! Is that how they were, or how the M9 saw them, or your pp? Or perhaps a combination of all three? Very enjoyable.
    John N.

  2. Lovely photos, Paul. I will send you some photos that I got on a 15km trek in Wicklow yesterday. The light was not that good, but the foliage was superb.

    William

  3. Thanks Paul,

    I really enjoyed reading this and particularly liked the photo of the river flowing into the west end of the loch. I’ll put this on my destination wish list!

    Kevin

  4. Paul, thank you for a lovely tour of Glen Affric. (Android insists that it should spelt ‘Glenn Africa’).

    Your opening shot really does set the scene beautifully. Crops from the left reveal other attractive options. Well worth revisiting.

  5. What a spectacular location! The picture of the Affric river winding through the landscape is very special. This is Scotland as I imagine it.

  6. Thank you one and all for your lovely comments. I am currently in another glen right now Glen Finglas on commission for the woodland trust it’s almost as good as glen affric. Very little ‘tweeking’ of colours in the photos. Only exception is East end of glen affric pic which is hand held HDR. The sensor in the M9 is wonderful, the screen on it is, well let’s just say not so good! Paul

  7. Hello

    Wonderful shots from an amazing glen. The colours of the M9 are truly beautiful. I remember spotting black throated divers near the small lochans up in the hills. Your photos have captured the beauty of the glen.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Jean

  8. Topsy – The photos are cropped to panoramic from a single shot that are shown above I did do some stitch photos as well but the immediacy of the moment with cropping from a single shot works better for me.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.