Tom has been teaching himself to work with a drone camera, in preparation for a really exciting project (which I’ll tell you more about another time), and I’ve been rather enjoying the results of his practice. It is very interesting seeing our familiar landscape from new angles.


I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how the view from above makes a different kind of sense of the paths that animals and humans take through these spaces, and how the drone itself traces new lines of sight through the landscape. It is fascinating.

I thought you might be interested in the drone’s-eye view of where we live, looking north and west, out toward Ben Lomond. . .

. . . and here is a view south, back over our steading, with the distant buildings of Glasgow visible on the horizon.

. . . finally here is a few seconds footage which allows you a sense of our situatedness in the landscape, with our wee loch in the foreground, Dumgoyne and the Campsie Fells to the right, the Trossachs and Western Highlands to the left.

Yesterday evening was beautifully calm and still as we flew the drone out over Loch Lomond for the first time.

I thought you might particularly enjoy this short flight up and over the famous Milarrochy oak.

54 thoughts on “sight lines

  1. These photos are quite lovely. I can’t believe how still and crisp the photos and videos are. I look forward to seeing the landscape throughout the changing seasons. It might be nice to see some shots of Islay – hint, hint.

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  2. Thanks. Your post and stunning photos of a landscape unfamiliar to me sent me back to a wonderful novel Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul. Naipaul uses his experience as an immigrant from Trinidad living in a remote corner of England to make perceptive observations about the power of the physical world to both exacerbate and relieve feelings of alienation. His solitude and sense of displacement lead to heightened awareness of all that is strange and beautiful in the landscape.

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  3. Hi Kate & Tom loving the drones view over loch!! They look great from the air. Very private looking where you live!!! Hope you are both keeping well things here have not been so good health wise!! Enjoying your photos ect, keep up the good work x👍June

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  4. Dear Kate and Tom,
    I follow your work as closely as if we knew each other. This is beautiful. Both of you do your work at a level of excellence that is admirable.
    At my LYS, several of us even keep each other up to date on what you are doing – the latest posts on your blog – as though we are all old friends.
    I purchased “Inspired by Islay ” the first day it was available. I was enthralled.
    We visited Scotland in 1991, ’92, and ’93, while briefly living in England. We do hope to return someday. Until then, I will continue to enjoy Scotland vicariously, thanks to you both.
    Best wishes,
    Karen (near Toronto )

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  5. Fascinating and beautiful! Thank you for opening up our world and can’t wait to hear what Tom is up to with his camera and drone.

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  6. Breathtaking country and breathtaking photos. I am a photographer (and photo instructor), myself, but remain earthbound with my beloved vintage film cameras. Thank you for giving me another view of the world.

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  7. Beautiful, but I share a concern about drones and invasion of privacy. We live in beautiful seclusion on Martha’s Vineyard and I would be devastated if I were to go outside one day and see/hear one overhead!

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  8. I work in the aviation industry in the United States on drones (I call them UAS — unmanned aircraft systems) and this is by far my favorite use of them.
    But I totally had a moment of wondering what the UK CAA regulations were with regard to flying UAS and realized that I am a nerd and it is sad.

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  9. You have just given me an idea for home educating my son. Getting a drone and camera and taking shots of our locality – the Romney Marshes, which are considerably more interesting than they sound. I think this could be a good start in interesting him in things other than computers and gaming :)

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  10. Just curious, the photos are lovely but I wonder if you have reservations about drones and what they might be? The technology as it stands produces a noise I find very irritating. I once heard or read that women’s brains are twice as sensitive to sound as men’s are and half as good as processing light and wonder how this plays out in the world.

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  11. I love your posts Kate because I always feel connected with the place even though I grew up further north and east. Lots of fun getting up high – I love maps and landscape from above brings it all beautifully to life. Enjoy and I can’t wait to see the results of Tom’s adventures. Linda.

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  12. I must look like Shrek, I am so green with envy ……. first for where you live, but second because I would love a drone!!

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  13. That was FUN! Glad it was a still day, I just hauled a plane/drone out of my flooded field! Am sure the wind took it up, up and away. Beautiful photos. Thank you.

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  14. I miss my beloved Scotland so very much. I haven’t made a return journey since our move back to Canada for it breaks my heart a little bit more every time I have to leave. Thank you for sharing the beautiful images, Kate & Tom, teary though they make me.

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  15. So extraordinarily beautiful. I’m already planning a visit during the next EYF, if can make it.

    The drone has added another dimension to Tom’s already breathtaking work.

    Thank you so much for the beauty you allow others to see through your eyes.

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  16. Stunning photos. We have the opposite view from you. We live just outside Glasgow and can see Ben Lomond from our garden on a clear day. It is a view I never tire of.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. I can see some of those hills from my kitchen window. This view helps to situate myself in space and I shall think of it as I’m doing dishes.

      A view from above is a whole new way of looking. The sense of relative elevation of land changes and all the sudden climbs look easier than they actually are. :)

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  17. I also feel an ache in my heart looking at your stunning landscape. How blessed you are to live in such a place. What is it about Scotland that speaks to one’s very soul? Can’t wait to see more of Tom’s work…

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  18. These photos are amazing. How far from the operator can the drone fly? We have a very talented local photographer who uses a drone to take magical photos of the Mull of Galloway in all weathers and at all times of day (although sunsets are a favourite!). He posts them on the “I love Drummore” Facebook page.

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  19. WOW, the photos and films from a height are very interesting and definitely gives you a different perspective. Good luck to Tom with this new tool. I’m sure we will all benefit from the resulting photography.

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