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This summer saw Rab organise a trip to the Isle of Skye, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides, renowned for its remote and picturesque landscape. Accompanied by The Highland Collective, a group of Scottish photographers who share his passion for pioneering creativity, Rab spent four days capturing the island’s dramatic scenery.

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The Isle of Skye, Scotland. Photo by Rab Ritchie.

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What inspired you to set up these trips?

During the day I’m a designer which means I spend a lot of time behind a computer. Every now and then I feel myself getting stuck in a rut and a good cure for this is to get away. I top up my creative tank when I get to feed off other people’s creativity and enthusiasm. Spending time away in a remote place such as Skye with a group of talented creative people is inspiring.

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The Field Balmoral Adjustable 5mm Neoprene. Photo by Rab Ritchie.

Which moments led to the best photographs?

I’m really starting to enjoy photographing candid moments of people. I feel like I can connect more with the photograph—especially when it brings back memories of how I felt in that moment. On Skye, there was one evening where a group of us were by the water, watching the sun go down. We had a little fire going and everyone was pottering around making their own pictures. When I look at the photographs I’ll always remember the feeling of being there. It’s that connection that makes the best photographs, not the images that are technically perfect, or that might get the best engagement on Instagram.

How do you plan for the weather?

James (The Highland Collective) would check weather maps, OS maps, check where the sun would be and plan out where would be best. If it wasn’t for him I’d probably have roamed around aimlessly. I learned a lot from his process, I think everyone should get a James, or pack gear for every condition and simply roam.

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The view over the Isle of Skye. Photo by Rab Ritchie.

What are the best conditions to work in?

Cloudy but dry. Quite often you’ll hear people say you really got lucky with the weather didn’t you—as they shield their eyes from the harsh sunlight and blue sky. It might be nice to be in the sunshine but it creates very harsh light and strong shadows which can be tricky to take photographs. When this happens to me I tend to switch to black and white mode and play with the shapes the strong shadows create.

How would you describe your style of photography?

I’m not sure I’ve found my style just yet. I move between landscapes, street and portraits—often emulating different types of film. In life I don’t really settle in one area of anything, so perhaps my photography never really will either. I’m okay with that. When composing a shot I normally follow the rule of thirds and I try to have lines or edges of the subject hitting the corners of my frame. When editing, I try to keep them subtle and if I feel it moves too far away from the original I bin the photo or start the edit again.

Where will the next trip take you?

To see more of the Scottish Highlands, but this time along the North Coast 500 route in a week long road trip.

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