The Scottish Highlands are a unique part of the world. The landscape seems to have an almost mystical power that casts spells upon those who visit. No less a person than Scotland's own Robert Burns wrote so many years ago that his heart was in the Highlands. For those who love Scotland it is a familiar sentiment and when speaking of photography it is a sentiment shared by Alex Nail.
Alex Nail is an award winning landscape photographer who will soon release a new book entitled simply "Northwest." It is, according to his website "a photographic book of the Highlands of Scotland, showcasing wild mountain vistas and dramatic light displays." For someone who has traveled the world and photographed landscapes from Iceland to South Africa, Nail says simply that the northwest of Scotland is his favorite place in the world. " The Scottish landscape," he says, " is world class, it has a unique charm that you can't find elsewhere in the world. I find the Highlands incredibly beautiful."
Educated not as a photographer but as an aeronautical engineer, Nail was drawn to photography at a very young age. It was later in life that he found a a joy in hiking and the outdoors and combined those two hobbies into a business that allowed him to leave aviation behind. His new book is the culmination of more than three years work and was originally planed to publish in 2017. Weather delays, especially a mild winter with little snowfall in the Highlands, forced him to wait another season to capture some desired mages. That delay may have proven fortuitous from a marketing standpoint however as 2017 saw him win the Mountain Category in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards and, in the same year, he was named overall runner-up in the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards. If you want to create and sell a book of photographs of Scottish mountains those are heady credentials to have on offer.
A sampling of Nail's previous Scottish work. Click on each image to view in full frame.
Nail says he is proud to describe his new book as a "coffee table" book though there is just enough editorial content to put the images in context. "Northwest" will feature some of his previously published images but will include many never before seen photographs. Those who pre-order the book in time will also be able to select a bonus, a free fine art print of one of his stunning images.
Nearly a decade ago another british landscape photographer, Joe Cornish, published a book titled "Scotland's Mountains." Nail said it was seeing that book that led him to wonder where in the world was the place that had produced such fascinating imagery. He says his own book will be a success if it inspires just one for two people to have the same experience he had from reading Cornish's book those many year ago.
You can pre-order a copy of "Northwest" at the link below as well as view a gallery of Nail's other works, including samples of his outstanding time-lapse photography. "Northwest" is expected to be delivered in November.
• Pre-order "Northwest" here (Nail's website)
• The Scottish Highlands (a Wikipedia reference)