Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Harry Cory Wright accompanied Michael Jackson while he researched Scotland and its Whiskies. Diary extracts complement his stunning images

Whisky & Culture | 16 Sep 2001 | Issue 18 | By Harry Wright

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Barley in Aberdeenshire
Michael has been telling me to keep an eye out for the barley. I have seen many fields over the last few days on a long trip down through Aberdeenshire. Suddenly, this morning, at the top of the valley I saw this wonderful glowing field surrounded by trees – the early sunshine streaming through the branches. I strode out into the barley, took the photograph (main picture) and by the time I was back in the van my legs were drenched with dew. I then drove down the hill into the mist, not to see the sun for another two hours.The west coast of Islay
Michael and I arrived here with a fresh westerly breeze
stirring up all the seahorses below. There are patches of sunlight striding across the landscape below and a great feeling of the dynamics of this beautiful, robust island, set hard against the mighty Atlantic Ocean. There is salt and moisture everywhere: our hands are damp and I have to keep wiping the lens clean of spray (inset on main picture).Rowan and honeysuckle woods
Up through this wood earlier this afternoon ... moss, birch, rowan and honeysuckle. The trees seemed to tangle with each other under this low canopy of green. In this warmish weather the smells are damp and earthy, full of old moss, lichen and fresh grass (picture at the bottom of page).Water in Autumn colours
It is the near the end of the whole project and Michael and I are keen for a picture of rich autumn tone and colour. I have been driving beside the river for some time but it’s running quite high and looks too urgent. I came across a small loch that was surrounded by trees. Colours of yellows, russet, orange and green: all shades of the warmth and richness of nature (main picture, opposite).Snow in the Highlands
Driving back from taking pictures of Dalwhinnie in the snow, I came across an extraordinary scene of the sunlight streaming through a gap in the cloud showing all the contours of the snowcovered mountains. So clear and fresh – it was biting cold tramping around in the snow (pictured below).The Mouth of the River Spey
After spending a week upstream amongst the distilleries, the hills and the greenery it’s wonderful to sit and watch the sun go down over the mouth of the river as it flows out to the North Sea. Apparently there was an osprey here catching a salmon at low tide and otters slip in and out of the water in the early morning. It’s extraordinary with a sense of real calm: a quiet that belies the whisky action upstream (pictured bottom of the page).
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