When the photographic expeditions around Scotland draw to a close each December, the decision-making on which images should win the race for selection in the new calendars is never straightforward. There are times when one season has been hugely more productive than another, which makes selection for some months difficult. On the other hand..if bad weather has regularly distorted the planned photographic adventures at a different time of the year, the pool of quality pictures may be alarmingly reduced and, in stark contrast, cause little head scratching in the selection process.
That is exactly what happened during the autumn of 2015. Despite (once again) having missed out on the Outer Hebrides adventure because the west of Scotland seemed to have nothing other than rain-bearing fronts hitting it from April to September, spring and summer in the more easterly parts of Scotland enjoyed much better photographic conditions. Hence the apparent bias shown in the 2017 editions featuring the lovely sunrise over Ballinbreich Castle on the Firth of Tay, the Stacks of Duncansby and (maybe my favourite of the year) the creepy, misty daybreak over East Lothian from the terrific viewpoint of the Hopetoun Monument.
Autumn, however, was, at one point, looking to be an absolute washout. Yet again, very little frost ( and, certainly, NO white frosts ) appeared in the morning for the camera. The colours seemed to take ages to show; the rain from the end of October right through November seemed to be never-ending. Panic had not QUITE grabbed the photographer...but it was getting mighty close...I don't think I have seen such a continuous belt of bad autumn weather in twenty five years behind the lens. The cavalry DID eventually come charging over the hill, however, and I hope the Kenmore, Deeside and ( on the golf calendar ) stunning arboreal displays at Camperdown and Braemar do the season justice. Mind you, it was touch and go!
On the subject of the golf calendar for 2017, it would be remiss of me not to mention the sheer joy of the flowering cherry tree 'bonanza' around the entire first hole at Prestonfield. Similarly, the timing of my trip to Fortrose and Rosemarkie, where the entire course was simply awash with gorse at its absolute best, could not have been better. I can say the same about the cracking Gleneagles image which fronts the new edition, while I ( selfishly! ) was on cloud nine on the Old Course after creating a quite different composition, across the second green and including the three legendary buildings which just shout "St. Andrews" at the viewer. I enjoyed that one!
This, of course, is a VERY special year in my photographic career. It began after abandoning the stress of an accounting practice in 1991. I cannot believe that 2016 marks the twenty fifth anniversary of that 'leap off the cliff'. It is astonishing how time has simply flashed past and I am no more than halfway towards capturing Scotland's mountains, lochs, islands, coastlines, glens, rivers, castles, villages..the list just goes on and on.
I have hundreds - perhaps thousands - of customers to thank for supporting my photography for twenty five years. It continues to provide the most wonderful adventures for me around this quite breathtaking country. If the 2017 calendar images convey HALF of the joy which I have experienced in capturing them, I will, as always, be delighted. Thank you all, once again, for creating the opportunity for me to further extend my photography of Scotland's unique landscape and golf courses through these annual publications.