Earlier this year I headed back to Scotland with the Pentax 645z. This is the story and some of the images from that journey. All the images can be clicked on for bigger high res versions.

It’s just so hard to put into words. I was like a child before I went. The kit list is double checked. That all important piece of new gear purchased. The weather checked and checked again. Thick fresh snow! Somehow the bloke on the car hire desk didn’t laugh in my face as I went to pick up my Fiesta. In the days to come I was very glad of the “upgrade” to a 4×4.


The Buachaille, Winter Dawn
The Buachaille, Winter Dawn (Pentax 645z 35A)


That feeling as I pass the Green Welly Cafe: turn right to wilderness. My shoulders relax. My smile broadens. My eyes bounce left and right along the A82. I can remember that cold tangy smell. I can feel the bitterness against my face. I can hear the water from countless streams. It is the taste of whisky. Glen Coe. Glen Etive. Glen Orchy. Scotland. Winter.


Scattered light, Glen Coe
Scattered light, Glen Coe (Pentax 645z 200FA)


The first to travel down Glen Orchy. Snow up to the middle of the raised tyres! You could spend a lifetime just waiting for that experience alone!


Snow storm, Glen Orchy
Snow Storm, Glen Orchy (Pentax 645z 200FA)


I spent 5 wonderful days coaxing, cajoling and pleading with the landscape there. I screamed at the wind in frustration. I howled at the snow storms in sheer elation. I stood mute in awe at its beauty. The bliss at being weather beaten to a pulp. The bone crunching weariness of a hard day of chasing light. The enormous amount of energy expended in pouring your soul into creating.


Snowfall, Glen Orchy
Snowfall, Glen Orchy (Pentax 645z 80-160FA)


Photographers just can’t help it. It’s infectious. Addictive. That beguiling landscape surrounding Rannoch Mor. It has been, photographed countless times, done to death! And I love it.


Soft Light, Black Mountains
Soft Light, Black Mountains (Pentax 645z 80-160mm FA)

It draws artists and climbers back again and again. Seductive in its landscape.


Winter afternoon, Glen Coe
Winter Afternoon, Glen Etive (Pentax 645z 35A)


Beguiling in its light. Merciless in its weather. A hard mistress if you want to create something new.


Holding On, Glen Etive
Holding On, Glen Etive (Pentax 645z 120A)


It doesn’t give up it’s secrets easily. I have spent years avoiding photographing the Buachaille. No this time. I gave up and and gave in. Seduced.


Sunburst, Glen Etive
Snowburst, Glen Etive (Pentax 645z 45-85FA)


My god it was amazing. All the superlatives that could be used seem inadequate. I could eulogise about it for hours. The effort. The white outs. The unrelenting wind. The roads so caked with ice that stepping out of the 4×4 meant falling arse over…


Broken, Glen Etive

Broken, Glen Etive (Pentax 645z 200FA)


But most of all those 5 days were fun. Rictous grin, belly aching fun. It was the type of trip where people who barely knew each other became firm friends.


Pine Skirts, Glen Etive
Skirts, Glen Etive (Pentax 645z 80-160A)


What else can you do but stand and howl with glee? The sheer luck of finally being in the right place at the right time. With the best winter weather and the most amazing light.


Flow, Glen Coe

Flow, Glen Coe (Pentz 645z 200FA)

I want to go back. Tomorrow.


Winter Sunset, Glen Coe

Winter Sunset, Glen Coe (Pentax 645z 35A)

As for the Pentax 645z, just as on the Isle of Skye it performed flawlessly. Its large rugged body laughing at the mere 60mph winds and white outs. I wish I could say the same for me. Next time I will remember to bring my winter gloves. Yes I left them at home. Still the frost nip on my hand served as a reminder. A painful one.