Photographing Scotland – images and impressions


Scotland enfolds you, its mists weave spells around you, as you traipse with tripod and camera bag through wind and rain, across rivers and marshes, with glens of bracken and springy heather wondering what secrets the landscape keeps. Rising early in the morning, stamping cold feet, with hoods and gloves, excited and expectant, as you imagine new compositions developing through the day.


High on a cliff side, watching for first light in Scotland, wondering will the light break through, will it happen today that you get the perfect shot? Telling yourself to be patient. Waiting for the spell binding light that continues to tease you into wondering about all the things you cannot control. And as you slow down, you start to hear the sounds on the wind, the mountain water streams, you see faces in rocks, feel the smoothness of granite and look deep into brown muddy waters. Nature presents herself, wild as the wind, achingly beautiful as it suddenly feels like the universe is rushing through you. All the time working continuously on your composition with filters and lenses, coaxing a image to represent not only what you see, but also what you feel.


And as time becomes timeless, you begin to see your own reflection, feel your own inner lens auto correct, as you plant your feet more definitively on the ground and become more centered in all that surrounds you. Staring in awe at iced trees in a hoar frost forest. Seeing as if by magic,  the fog move up through the loch and entwine itself within the branches of of the canopies above you. Sensing the wisdom and permanency of ancient Caledonia trunks that have stood for centuries in Scotland. Knowing then at the moment that everything will be ok, whatever stress or worries have been on your mind, no matter, all will be well.


Learning new things about photography, the craft, the art, the soul. Laughing more freely when nature catches you off guard, as you sink deep into mud and wade in the water. Suddenly feeling very alive again, loving life, feeling tears in your eyes as you take in all the beauty around you. Not finding the words to explain it.


Returning tired and weary at twilight with dirty wellies and damp rucksacks. Finding a corner with a warm fire, sipping whiskey with new friends, wrapped in tartan cashmere scarves. Selecting just one or two photos from the day, correcting them slowly, polishing their image with enhanced clarity and light. Staring at the screen, wondering have you managed to capture what you experienced, or will you return again another day with camera in hand to take a more perfect shot.


[All of the above photos were taken by myself under the guidance and tutoring of  Joe Cornish, Landscape Photographer and Tour Lead. The last photo of the jetty was taken by Matt Anderson Photographer.]


Emer Maria Kielhorn lives and works in Dublin with her husband and two cats.

17 thoughts on “Photographing Scotland – images and impressions”

  1. Love all your photos Emer ! Sounds like you were certainly able to unwind and let go – Beauty can be closer than you think ! K x

  2. Such beautiful interweaving of words and photos – the serenity and magnificence of the Scottish landscape was certainly mesmerising but I am sure the Malt whiskey and Champagne contributed to your profound feelings ;). PS – I am so lucky and blessed to have met you all.

  3. You write as eloquently as you speak Emer…beautifully expressed. I am looking forward to the next blog already; and thanks again for your generous spirit throughout our tour.

  4. Wow, what wonderful words!
    You’ve woven a magnificent summary of the sublime experience we all were so privileged to have witnessed. I’m honored to call you, and the others, my friend.


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