Highland Fling

“The region of Sutherland and Assynt has some of the most isolated and breathtaking coastlines of mainland Scotland,” says Anthony Tappe, an American living and raising his family in Edinburgh. A trained architect, and a painter when he can find the time, he took his painterly eye and trusty iPhone to the highlands and shot these brooding photographs. This series is the inspiration for his upcoming December painting show at the Fine Arts Library of the Edinburgh Central library. We asked him to tell us the story behind these stunning images.

My family and I recently took a week-long trip to the northwest corner of Scotland. The terrain is amazingly varied, ranging from lunar-type landscapes to lush verdant glens with cascading waterfalls. About the only thing that unifies these areas is their remoteness, requiring a commitment to hours of driving on single track roads to get from one part to another.

Road to the highlands.

The weather and light change constantly, creating moments of drama around every corner. Standing on the coastline facing north to the expanse of the North Atlantic, you feel like there is nothing between you and the edge of the world.


I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull out my phone constantly to try to capture some of the amazing scenery, but found that my camera phone struggled to record anything like what my eyes were seeing.

As we would sit in the tent at night however, I would have fun pushing the images along a bit with the Lightbox app, mostly adjusting the ‘clarity’ and then bringing them into Instagram to post. The results felt like they had managed to get some of the feel and experience of being there, which was really a first for me with photographing landscapes.

I hope to use the photos as a reference back in the studio to remind me of the sights and feel of being in this amazing part of Scotland. My goal is not to try to paint a version of the Instagrammed image, but to use it as a touchstone to get back to my memory of the feel of the place.

You can see more of Anthony’s photography and follow him on Instagram: instagram.com/atappe