Hebrides & other stories

This has certainly turned out to be a year of productivity for me. I started January in India then moved onto Nepal in February. March saw me return to Patagonia for my annual photo workshop and just before leaving South America, I managed a non-stop tour of the Bolivian altiplano. Tráigh Niosaboist Rocking Horse

But for years I've felt that I've neglected my own country too much. Scotland has a lot going for it and after all the traveling I've done, I have come to appreciate its beauty more so than I ever thought I could. We have such changeable weather here which has a direct impact on the quality of the light.

So in March I visited the north west of Scotland during a flurry of Snow and caught some rare shots of places in really wintry conditions.

Now this summer, I've managed to tick off a few islands that I've always wanted to visit : Orkney, Harris and Lewis. So this post is really about them. I now have a new collection of images from these islands as well as some shots from Knoydart - a remote peninsula on the north west of Scotland.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed making them.

Dusk on Borvemore Beach

What I love very much about photography is the surprises that are waiting for me. Sure I do a lot of planning and I'll research maps to find places of interest, work out logistics such as travelling times between locations and I'll often go to places middle of the day and make notes to return at 3am because the light is bland and I really think the place has potential later on. I seldom shoot middle of the day, but when the light is overcast, its softness is kind to the film I use. Harsh shadows are avoided and blown highlights don't get a look in. I'm always studying the light and watching, waiting for the conditions I know my camera's film can handle.

Shooting at 11pm in twilight and then back up at 3am to capture the light from the east does take its toll. It's at times like these that I do question my motivations.

But there is something very contemplative and enjoyable about being on a deserted beach just listening to the waves and watching the colour temperature go from cold to warm. I think my private thoughts and lose myself in what I'm doing and I can't really say there is any better way to disconnect from the pressures of life for a few hours.

I simply love it.