The first image in my Making Pictures series is something you don't often see on my blog - a landscape photograph. I'm one of nature's people photographers, in that I'm drawn towards images that show personalities and relationships, but I'm also fascinated by landscape photography. Photographing landscapes is a very different discipline to photographing people, but it's something I enjoy whenever I have the time to lug my tripod somewhere quiet.
The main image here was taken in 2004, but it's one that I often come back to because it has many of the qualities that I enjoy in a picture. The bold yet cool colours immediately grab you even though they are almost monochromatic and - although the bold line of hills in the centre slashes across the image - there's a still and quiet quality that makes it easy to lose yourself in the picture.
The image was taken in the North West Highlands, near Ullapool, and is the last of a series of pictures that I took from the same spot at sunset. The series shows just how much the light can change in a short space of time. The second image here was taken just twenty minutes earlier and is full of fire as the sun dips towards the horizon. With the sun gone, the colour temperature plummeted and the light went through a series of greys before taking on a rich blue. There's no digital trickery here - the colour is more-or-less exactly as it would appear on daylight-balanced slide film.
Technically, the shot is fairly straightforward: my Canon EOS 1D MkII and a 16-35mm lens mounted on a sturdy tripod, the shutter set to 10 seconds to blur the any ripples in the loch. The only additional touch was the use of one of Lee Filters' neutral density graduated filters to balance the exposure between the loch and the sky.