Mountain photos with a view to a hill

Sven Soell’s photographs capture the mood, moment and sheer joy of being out and about on Scotland’s mountains.

Photography had simply been a bit of a hobby for German-born Sven Soell before he rehomed Bert, his border collie, in 2013.

‘I had a camera and I like hill walking, and it started to become a hobby to go walking with the dog, enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful scenery that Scotland has, and take pictures of the landscape and of the dog.’

An electrical engineer, Sven arrived in Glasgow in 2004 to complete his PhD, moving to Edinburgh for work in 2007, which was when his interest in photography started. ‘I had bought a digital camera on the spur of the moment and I started taking pictures around Edinburgh, just snapshots really.’

Over the last couple of years, those ‘snapshots’ have developed into something a little more impressive. Landscapes are now the main focus – although pet photography runs a close second – with Sven keen to capture images from the mountain tops rather than the roadside.

‘I’m not a big fan of just driving to a location, getting out of the car, taking a picture and then driving back. I like to enjoy the fresh air and the scenery, the walk up the mountain.’

Inspiration comes from some of Scotland’s most dramatic spots with Torridon a favourite, while the more accessible Glencoe is always popular. Not surprisingly, Bert now features in much of the landscape photography.

‘It is deliberate,’ Sven says. ‘If the scenery or weather aren’t that great, if you put a cute dog in then it makes for a better picture. And I like having the memories of him being up in the mountains with me. It’s nice to look back on.’

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(This feature was originally published in 2016)