A tree in Glen Shiel - Scotland - Photography by David Gibbeson

A Lone Tree in Glen Shiel

I am sure that most landscape photographers can relate to seeing something that they want to photograph at a time when it isn’t ideal. I often randomly spot a tree, or scene and add it to my mental checklist for future reference. This beautiful tree that stands alone in Glen Shiel is one of those things for me. I have driven past this tree on multiple occasions on our holidays to Scotland. Each time, the weather has been terrible. I am happy to take photos in the rain, and did for this image, but the rain has been so heavy each time that I have been near this tree, that getting a good composition was unlikely.

With a composition in mind, I set up my camera and waited

On this occasion, the weather was really pushing through the glen at a rate of knots. One minute the mountains were dark, gloomy and foreboding as the clouds passed overhead. Other times there were moments of clarity, and sometimes the edges of the showers were so defined that you could see them clearly as they traversed the landscape. Determined to not miss this opportunity, I parked the car in a lay-by farther up the road, grabbed my coat and camera gear and left my family to entertain themselves while I made my way back along the road to the tree.

With a composition in mind, I set up my camera and waited, trying to capture moments where the light or rain favoured an image. I rushed out of the car so fast, that I forgot my umbrella which meant I needed to cover my camera with my coat as well as I could between shots to avoid having to repeatedly wipe the drops off the lens. I captured this scene as the edge of the rain was near the tree and over the mountain peaks to the south. I like the way the colour of the grasses the rain hasn’t reached yet contrast against the muted colours of the mountains beyond. You can see how the light is trying to break through over the peaks beyond. I have other images that have sunlight dappling the peaks, but I think this one captures the essence of the moment the best.

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