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Highland Fling

A group of ePHOTOzine members meet up in the highlands

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After months in the planning a group of mainly Scottish based members gathered at Balmaha on Loch Lomondside for a day of photography and good company.

The early risers met at 7am in Balmaha and the day dawned clear and frosty with the prospect of a good sunrise. The BBC forecast promised a sunny day. Those there at the start were StrathB, Daviewat, Noelyboy, Deathraceking, Mannray, Paul Gaughan and Mike_Newbie. New member to the site Mike Fisher, (Mike_Newbie) made a late decision to attend and drove up overnight from Derbyshire to be there. Highland Fling
Waiting for the sunrise at Balmaha Pier.
Highland Fling
Paul Gaughan captures the sunrise.
Highland Fling
Dave Watson looks glad to be back to taking pics following his Tsunami Relief raffle.
We were not to be disappointed as the sun crept up from behind the Campsie Fells a vivid array of colours were cast over the loch. Everyone then concentrated intently and snapped off a good few shots.

Once the sun came up we returned to MacFarlanes boatyard for some shots of the swans and boats. By that time the pub was open and the lure of a hot coffee was too much to resist.

Highland Fling
Mike Fisher wins the prizes for furthest travelled and the biggest lens.
Highland Fling
All aboard!

Then it was up to Millarochy Bay for 10am to meet Colin, Hoggle10, Weirdism, IanO, AJM, Adrian, Alife and Scottishphototours. By that time it was apparent that the BBC forecast might not have been accurate as the light was pretty flat with a bitter north wind and flurries of snow. Still everyone spread out and started snapping away at anything that moved.

Following that it was into the cars and onwards up the narrow road towards Daviewat’s home base of Rowardennan, stopping at the scenic locations en route. Then everyone returned to Balmaha for lunch at The Oak Tree Inn.

Following lunch a vote was taken on what to do. The more energetic Decided to climb Conic Hill to get a better view whilst the rest decided on a sedate ferry trip to the island nature reserve of Inchcaillioch where ePHOTOzine member Suz works as a ranger.

The energetic group made their way towards the hill path only to find that it had been closed for tree clearing, (what do they say about forward planning?). So it was then a mad dash back to the boatyard to catch the ferry. Everyone managed to squeeze aboard and we set sail.

Suz gave us a rundown on what could be seen on the island. We had an ancient oak forest, a burial ground containing descendents of Rob Roy, white fallow deer and even wallabies, (no honestly).

The burial ground was a really interesting place full of history. It also had some snowdrops growing and it wasn’t long until some of the group stooped for some macro shots. Some of the positions used were quite interesting. Who got the photo of Colin?

Colin and some of the group even managed to see the legendary white deer. Suz had said that their eyesight was poor and that you could get quite close to them but for some reason the deer seemed to sense that they were coming.

Highland Fling
Andy Currie demonstrates his technique for macro shots.

The time on the island passed all too quickly and it was soon time to catch the boat back to Balmaha. The last task was the group photo and I was under pressure to get a good one. Guess what, I failed miserably. Still, I did wonder where all the wildlife had been hiding all day.

Thanks to everyone for a great day. The next event is already in the planning stages for November 05 at Rowardennan.

Words and photos by Paul Barr

Highland Fling
Back L-R, Dave Watson, Noel Cummins, Adam Pratt, Roy Mathieson
Front, Rich Jobling, Mike Fisher, Laura Stevenson, Adam McCormack, Andy Currie, Ian Oliver, Alan Humphris, Paul Barr, Paul Gaughan and Colin McGregor. Not in picture – Adrian Carr and Suzanne Lebrun.



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