26 megapixels in the northern Highlands of Scotland

I bought a Fujifilm X-T3 at the end of last year – an upgrade from the X-T1 I bought about five years earlier – which allowed me to continue to use the superb lenses I already have in my bag. The main reason for the upgrade was the increased image size: from 16.3 megapixels to 26.1 megapixels.

I was fortunate enough to be in Scotland to take delivery of the new camera and so I couldn’t’ve wished to be in a more beautiful place in which to put it through its first paces. As if on command, the day was clear and sunny, so I headed from the Cromarty Firth through the northern Highlands towards the west coast.

The A832 between Garve and (eventually) Corrieshalloch Gorge – an 89 mile, two-hour drive through the most spectacular landscape in Britain – has to be one of my favourite roads. The 25-mile section to Kinlochewe was part of my route on this journey and is a wonderful drive due to the long, straight route, hardly any traffic, and the gorgeous views in most weathers. Having grown up in the busy south-east of England and living in the busy Bernese Oberland for the past nineteen years, being alone in such wild territory is a really wonderful escape.

As I was travelling in December, the day was to be notoriously short and so I knew I wouldn’t have a great deal of time or light to enjoy. I stopped off for a favourite view near the railway halt at Achanalt of the double summit of Sgurr a’Ghlas Leathaid and the sun was wonderfully low in the sky, casting deep and ever-lengthening shadows.

Sgùrr a' Choire-rainich, Achanalt
Sgurr a’ Ghlas Leathaid from Achanalt

From there, I made my way onward and my next stop was to capture the last rays of direct sunlight – at just after 2.30 p.m. – on the shores of Loch a’ Chroisg. The sharp edge of the hill on the southern edge of the loch cast a sharp shadow of the landscape and so I quickly found myself standing in shade as I photographed the mirror-like reflections.

Once the sun had dipped behind the hills, I continued my drive through the marvellous – but shadowed – Glen Docherty and turned onto the A896 at Kinlochewe towards my goal for the day: Torridon. After winding my way along 10 miles of impressively remote road – dodging sheep and being loomed over by high cliffs – I reached the unlikely-named Mirador Lago viewpoint above Loch Torridon. This area is well-known amongst landscape photographers and will be well-worth a hiking trip one day. For the time being, though, I settled for a sandwich and a few photos of the last colour of an unusually subtle and pink after-sunset glow, before making the hour-and-half return drive.

Loch Torridon, Scotland

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