Book spotlight: Wild Light: Scotland’s Mountain Landscapes by Craig Aitchison

Craig Aitchison’s second book, Wild Light: Scotland’s Mountain Landscapes, is one of the finest books of Scottish landscape photography I’ve seen in recent years.

I read this book and viewed the images it contains well over a year ago, but it still sticks out in my memory above many of the other photo books I’ve seen since. Craig Aitchison is a Glasgow-based landscape photographer with a passion for getting high up into the mountains and capturing them as faithfully as possible, using a slow and methodical approach. The goal is to create images that are true to life.

These images are a real treat to view. It’s a photo book that rewards leisurely contemplation. We’re all bombarded with images these days, but I felt compelled to slow down and appreciate them fully, take the time to think about the photographer’s distinctive way of composing images – and, of course, admire the locations themselves. Of all the images in this book, my favourite has to be the wonderful snowy panorama of the Lairig Ghru cutting through the Cairngorms.

This book is a love letter to the panoramic format – and a very specific panoramic format. The images in Wild Light were shot on Velvia 50 with the Hasselblad XPan, a near-legendary camera that takes 35mm film but shoots panoramic 24x65mm negatives. The images have an inviting warmth to them (even the cold and snowy ones!) and the artist’s style feels mature to me. Combined with seven years of hard work, the result is a cohesive set of truly spellbinding images from Scotland’s mountains.

Wild Light is available to buy discounted from £25 to £17.50 (free postage) from Owter, a new bookselling website established to give a fairer reward to authors and publishers. Click here to buy Wild Light.


About this series, and about Owter

This is the first in a new series of blog posts focused on outdoor, nature and photography books. For several years now I’ve been a regular book reviewer, mostly for The Great Outdoors and UKHillwalking, but most of these reviews have never made it to my own blog. Now is the time when authors and publishers most need our support. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a colossal impact. I want to do what I can to help, and one of the ways I can do that is to promote books I have particularly enjoyed and that I think my readers will enjoy.

Some of these posts will link directly to a new online bookshop called Owter. Owter was set up to help connect readers with outdoor books – and in a way that works for authors and publishers, unlike (sadly all too often) the Amazon hegemony. Owter’s very new, but it already has several publishers on board and a great initial list of books, including quite a few that I’ve read. I’m delighted to have been asked to be an Owter Partner. What this means is that I will be using affiliate links to Owter when I recommend a book that’s listed on the site. If you buy a book using the affiliate link, I get a small cut of the fee at no cost to you.

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