Scotland in the cold light of day

Landscape photographer Dougie Cunningham captures the bleak beauty of Scotland’s winters.

Bitter winters consisting of long nights and cold, short days might not be everyone’s favourite time of year, but landscape photographer Dougie assures us there is no better time to capture the beauty of Scotland than through the winter months.

Having spent the majority of his career capturing the landscapes of Scotland, autumnal and winter scenes are amongst Dougie’s favourite to photograph. From sea views and rocky coastlines, to his favourite views of dramatic mountains playing backdrop to an interesting foreground, his work has taken him the length and breadth of the country.

Amongst Dougie’s top places to explore is Assynt, in the south-west of Sutherland.

‘There’s something really lovely about the mountains in winter, it’s just brilliant,’ he says. ‘If you go up to the north, in places like Assynt, through the winter months the sun never gets high in the sky so the light is just incredible all day.’

He explains that up there, during winter, a photographer’s magical ‘golden hour’ – the time usually just after sunrise or before sunset, when the daylight is softer – lasts all day, albeit a rather short one. ‘A wee cap of snow just looks fantastic as well,’ he adds.

Dougie’s knowledge and experience of photographing the wildness of Scotland’s landscapes has led him to his current project, a guidebook on Scotland specifically aimed at other photographers. Photographing Scotland details Scotland’s most popular views as well as some lesser-known gems of breathtaking beauty.

Exploring everything from the Shetland Isles to the Lowlands, the book is the culmination of four years of work, much of that spent on the road exploring, photographing and gathering information.

(This feature was originally published in 2017)