Combining a cow and a hill is not the most promising of premises for an art work - the concept would miss many an editor’s cut. But I sense that this is a very special moment in time. It is the Highlands of Scotland as we know it - imbued by atmosphere, dominated by grandeur and enveloped in mystery. The image smells of whisky, bonhomie and a barbarous past. The history of the Highlands is dark and unruly and I think there is a nod to that here.
Buachaille Etive Mor is a spectacular peak. It guards the eastern entrance to Glencoe like a centurion in ancient Rome. Its much photographed and emblematic rock face is best complemented not by blue skies, but by the weather that defines Western Scotland - dark and low clouds that put a menacing ceiling on all the wilderness that lies below.
I could have gone to Glencoe at any time, but my choice was for the last spring, as I wanted the hint of the cold and the additional tonal breadth that the remaining snow pockets give to the image. There is such simplicity to the image and yet it can grab and hold the attention for much longer than the premise suggested.
Photography without emotion is nothing and when I look at this image, childhood memories are evoked on a grand scale. There is a timeless, almost prehistoric, element to the content and whilst we will never know, there is a sense that this pairing could have been played thousands of years ago.
As a country our glorious days in engineering and invention may be behind us, but the one constant is the unique rawness and geological drama of places such as Glencoe.