Achnahaird Beach Sunrise

“Scratch That”

I spent a while editing this image. Lack of sleep had led me to be careless, and I had left some footprints in the midground which I had little hesitation in cloning out. The tracks made by the marram grass were not a strong enough feature to act as a foreground hook, but luckily the green of the grass itself anchors the eye. That being said, there is something imbalanced about this image. Perhaps there is a little too much midground; I had hoped that the reflective sand would really pick up a sky and catch fire, but it was fairly underwhelming in the end. Perhaps I should have focused less on the grass and walked out onto the wet sand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and sometimes it is hard to approach a composition in the dark and to get it right first time—even with modern live previews!

This was taken at the low point of my autumn 2023 trip to the northwest highlands. I’d just dropped my camera in the sand and scratched my 24-70 lens, so I wasn’t at all sure while I was shooting that this photo would come out. I had to fight the temptation to pack up my car, and go home right then and there. In the end of scratched Lens was repairable. An expensive mistake, but one that I’ll learn from. I’ve always treated my gear in a rough manner. I think of photography equipment as tools, and I’ve needed to put them in harms way sometimes to get photos. But with shooting behind the scenes video, there’s an extra dimension and I need to take a little bit more care.


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