Looking for the Loch Ness Monster

Urquhart Castle in Loch Ness in ScotlandUrquhart Castle on Loch Ness

The Loch Ness

It was the last day of our trip, and we were pretty tired. We'd done a lot of driving over the last 12 days while on the Isle of Skye. 

I'm sure my parents were sick of me pulling the car over and jumping out to take photos. I don't blame them. My Dad said, "I'm driving" when we got in the car that last day.

I don't think anyone likes traveling with a photographer except for other photographers.

That's why I do so many things with my friend Lauren. She's one of the few people I know who's happy to jump in and out of the car and get photos.

For my part, I was a little torn the whole time. I wanted to stop at more places, do more hiking, see more things, and try to get that perfect golden-hour light. But on this particular trip, I was even more interested in spending time with our friends and my parents. 

It ended up a nice mix of photo time and time with friends and parents.

Since I was a child I've heard of the Loch Ness Monster. I remember watching some grainy, black-and-white "documentaries" about the monster that lurked in the depths. 

I remember watching other "documentaries" about Bigfoot. The Bigfoot shows looked a lot like the Loch Ness Monster shows. Hmmm...I wonder if the same people were producing them?

You know the ones - grainy, the narrator telling us what's going on, the suspense building to the big photo.

I finally got to see Loch Ness with my own eyes when I was in Scotland.

We headed out Saturday morning for Inverness. Our flight left Sunday morning. Our friends are about 2-1/2 hours from the airport and we had to return our car Saturday, so we stayed at the airport hotel the night before we left. 

I was all the way in Scotland and there were some things between Skye and the airport that I wanted to see, so Saturday it was - our last day for touring around. 

After a tearful goodbye with our friends, we were on our way. 

It's so beautiful driving through Scotland. So much blue water and green grass. 

Urquhart Castle Ruins

Our friend, Rory, got us pointed in the right direction. I wanted to see Culloden Battlefield and he told us there was a famous castle ruin on the way at Loch Ness.

A loch is a lake or inlet. I looked it up and it also says it can be a fjord, estuary, bay, or firth. I didn't know there were so many names for similar bodies of water!

We had a couple of glitches with the GPS because I had put in Invermoriston instead of Urquhart Castle but we eventually saw some signs and found it. 

When we pulled in, my parents were very surprised at the commercialization of the ruins and how much they were charging to get in. When my parents visited 30 years ago, you didn't have to pay to walk around the ruins. 

We decided against going in, especially since we still had over an hour of driving, and I wanted to spend time at Culloden Battlefield and the Calva Cairns. 

I was a little disappointed because I love climbing around ruins and getting photos. We looked for a place to pull out where I could at least get some photos of the ruins but the road is narrow and winding with no shoulder. 

I also wanted some photos of Loch Ness and I had to at least try to spot Nessie.

As we drove through town there were all sorts of signs, buildings, and cafes. Everything was about Loch Ness and Nessie. 

We weren't interested in spending time in the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition Hall. It looks like you could easily spend a few hours. 

As we drove through town and rounded a bend, I could see Urquhart Castle and we finally found a place to pull over where we had a decent view of Loch Ness and the ruins. 

This is where a good zoom lens really comes in handy!

I brought my Lumix on the trip instead of my Nikon because the Lumix is so much more travel friendly. The mirrorless body is much smaller than my Nikon DSLR and the lenses are even smaller.

I brought several lenses for the trip but the one I used almost the whole time was the 14mm-140mm. That's the equivalent of a 28mm-300mm on my full-frame Nikon. 

It's great for so many situations. 

I was able to get a couple of decent photos of the ruins and Loch Ness from the turnout. I would have preferred going to the ruins themselves but this was a good alternative. 

Where's Nessie?

Well...this is a mostly unretouched photo. I did some basic editing for color and sharpness since I shoot in RAW. 

But if you squint hard enough, you can see an interesting squiggly little line that runs almost down the middle of the photo - a couple of inches down from the dock.

I have absolutely no idea what it is. Nessie maybe?

There is evidence that dinosaurs were in the loch at one time and some speculation that maybe they lived far longer than we think. It's fun to think there's something medieval lurking in the waters. 

I saw a boat cruising across. It didn't appear to be in any danger. 

Here's another quick snap of Loch Ness - nothing to see here!

Loch Ness in Scotland

Loch Ness - no signs of Nessie

Onward we went to the Battlefield of Culloden. 

I'll tell you a little bit about that and the Calva Cairns next week. 

Until then...

See you between the raindrops, though there are none in sight!


I've got the Scotland gallery up and have a few photos in it. I'll add more as I have time to edit.