December's Photographer of the Month- Andrew MacDougall
‘What can you tell us about your last entry into our photography competition ‘Head for the Hills’ ?’
This was taken during a 3 day photo trip to Skye. I had been concentrating on the north west of the island but decided on the last day to go further afield. On the way, this vista unfolded in front of me and I had the idea of taking the road receding into the mountains to tell a story of adventure. I had to keep dodging speeding cars to do this and as often happens, I decided that rather than adapt to conditions, I would use them in the image to make the storyline a bit more powerful. I took this with a slow enough exposure to blur the next car that passed but leave it recognisable as it sped past into the distance.
‘How did you get into photography’
As a youth I used to take mono images and develop them myself in my darkened bedroom, but it was such a fuss that I ended up drifting away from photography until digital cameras came on the scene in 2005 – I used a Powershot A70 with interchangeable lenses and 3mp images – good enough for A4 prints! The instant feedback was exactly what I was looking for and I’ve been passionate ever since, upgrading my kit slightly faster than I can afford to as I’ve gone along.
‘Tell us about your current pursuits in photography’
I’ve had a bit of success in national competitions and I very much enjoy entering those. But like a lot of landscape photographers, I hold down a day job too and have to fit my photography into a few well timed long weekends away, leaving the family behind and concentrating on the landscape for a few days at a time. I love it. Lately I’ve been feeling more adventurous and have just invested in some camping equipment (I’ve never camped before in my life) with the intention that my next big trip will involve solo wild camping on top of a mountain somewhere in Assynt for sunset and sunrise peaks. Hopefully the start of many photographic adventures!
‘What do you enjoy about photography’
So much… It’s an outlet for my artistic itch; the instant results, being outdoors, pushing myself into situations I normally would be too lazy to tackle (like hiking to the foot of a cliff every dawn and dusk for a week for this shot of Bowfiddle Sunrise), getting feedback and always improving, making A1 sized prints and hanging them on my wall… So much.
‘What are your plans for the future?’
I sell prints through my website at www.PhotoForMyWall.com, to recoup some of the cost of my gear, which I do to support the same plan as I’ve always had – to gather knowledge and experience and improve my photography. I’m more and more drawn to remote places that have not been photographed frequently and I’m also starting to dabble in medium format film photography, with an old 1972 TLR system, which is great fun.