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  • Writer's pictureianbiggs1

Hidden gem.

Having now lived a month in my new home in Kinloch Rannoch I have been out and about exploring the area most days and at all times of the day from sunrise which at the moment is about 4.30am or sunset around 9.40pm and this is nearly a month after the longest day.. what I like most is its all within walking or cycling distance from my front door, such a change from living in Northamptonshire with a minimum drive of 8 hours. I am still getting used to the fact I actually live up here now having spent the last 25 years or so up and down the M6, M74 etc, its been a long time coming and thanks to my previous employer relocating us to South Wales or take redundancy I chose the latter with its pay-off and made the jump across the border to fulfil my dream. Now I am here I aim to make the most of it and already there is an opportunity to progress and its down to me to make it work, all to be revealed soon..

Back to the pic here, a tip off by a local photographer brought me to this great location, this is Loch Monaghan on the south side of Loch Rannoch, one of those places you wouldn't know was there without exploring off the beaten track or with local knowledge and even before I reached this spot there are photo opportunities on the way up to the lock, the first pic in the Scottish Highlands page of the waterfall is another winner as it flows down the Allt Camghouran. This was my 2nd evening here as the 1st was abandoned because of the midges - they were impossible..! The sunset was perfect but the clouds of midges totally ruined it as there was not a breath of wind - the worst time for them, as long as you keep moving they are not a problem but as soon as you stop and are setting up they are everywhere... I managed a few hand held shots for reference but that was it. So back the following evening as it was similar conditions sunset-wise but enough of a breeze to keep the little critters away, its not often you get 2 days in a row of ideal conditions but I am here to make the most of it now and it feels great! Even after the sun had gone down I carried on taking shots as that gives the opportunity for those long exposures without the ND filters. This was taken at 9.34 pm on my beautifully sharp 24mm f1.4L, 3.2s @F22 with a polariser + 2 stop hard edge grad and no midges..! I'm not sure but I reckon had I been there a week or two earlier and the sun would line up with the centre of the jetty, one for next year.....

When all done it was a pleasant walk back to the car (the previous evening I cycled there but decided to take the full gear this night which meant too much weight as I brought along my much loved and heavily used Benbo Mk11 a beast of a tripod but solid as a rock, one of my favourite bits of kit. Wildlife, there is always some wildlife to see on the way usually deer, bats and owls pretty much every time I'm out at that time of evening, the night before when I took the bike there was an Osprey sitting on an overhanging branch over Loch Rannoch by the road side that I probably would have missed in the car.

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