At the end of September, Michael Agel had the chance to do a quick trip to the Highlands of Scotland. Equipped with the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH., he captured the wild beauty of Scotland’s nature.
Q: Michael, you consider yourself a true outdoors person. How does spending a lot of time in nature affect your way of taking landscape photos?
A: I was always a huge outdoors guys, since very early on. I just love to spend time in the countryside and the woods. On the one hand, it’s a great balance to our hectic life. On the other hand, it offers you a completely different angle on life. I am convinced that spending a lot of time in the countryside truly shapes the way you perceive and appreciate your environment. This will for sure also have an impact on the way you capture landscapes.
Q: What are your golden rules when you are trying to capture a striking landscape photo?
A: Like always, the most important factor is the light. Considering the fact that photography is nothing but painting with light, you have to check and observe the changing conditions thoroughly. As a rule of thumb, you can say that the early and the late daylight give you the most amazing structure. Mostly I pay extra attention to the sky. I love to capture landscapes with very dramatic clouds in order to make the panorama more interesting.
Furthermore, I’d also claim that your most important tool is your legs, in order to find the most interesting and balanced point of views. This is especially important when capturing landscapes with a super wide-angle lens.
Lastly, every landscape photographer needs to have a large degree of patience. Countless times it I have had to wait patiently for hours until all factors were just perfect. Needless to say photographers should also have a large tolerance towards frustrations. Since you cannot predict that everything will come into place as wished, you’re often waiting and waiting and still you end up with no photo at all.
Q: Scotland’s nature offers great photo opportunities. What was especially inspiring for you?
A: Scotland is just marvelous. Wind, sun, rain – the often harsh and sometimes quickly changing conditions bring you very close to the elements. On top the amazing light of the north is just a dream for a landscape photographer.
Next to the nature itself, I really love to mingle a lot with the local people. It helps a lot to understand the country and the lifestyle better. Naturally, this is also inevitable in order to get fabulous insiders’ tips for great locations off the beaten paths.
Q: Where exactly did you go during your trip to Scotland? What locations have you captured?
A: I spent most of my time at the most westerly point in mainland Britain. I spent some great days there. Fascinated by the nature and people, I hiked around at Ardnamurchan Estate. Bounded by sea on three sides, the privately-owned 25.000 acre Ardnamurchan Estate is one of Scotland’s very last wild places. To reach this place you have to follow endless and insanely narrow roads.
Q: Why did you pack the Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. for your trip?
A: Using the Leica M with a 21 mm lens brings me right in the middle of the scenery without any distortion or vignetting. You can use the Super-Elmar in many different ways. Its optical qualities make it also perfect for interior and architecture photography. You can even point this lens straight to the sun. Your photos will show no flare.
Thank you for your time, Michael!
– Leica Internet Team
Connect with Michael on his website.