Achmelvich Beach

Last week I had one of the most interesting weeks in a long while. As part of my workshop business, I went to Assynt, a very beautiful and off-the-beaten-track region of Sutherland here in Scotland. It's one of my personal favourite locations. Anyway, I was here with a small group for the week at a victorian hunting lodge which is owned by the Assynt Foundation. As part of the deal I had struck with them, I was running my workshop in conjunction with a writer's group - run by Author Mandy Haggith.

It was an interesting week for many reason. Firstly, as much as I'd anticipated that joining forces with a group of writers for the week might be conducive to the creative process, I had no idea just how similar writing is to making images. It seems that writing involves a lot of investment, more so than I'd anticipated, with the writers not often knowing their characters motivations until later on in the draft of their novel for instance.

I can certainly relate to that, because I often find I'm not really sure of why I go with a composition, or a location until much later. Sometimes I find that there was a story in my image from the onset, but I find it takes me a while to discover what it was and what it was going to end up being.

But I'm often stunned by some of the images that turn up during the week and this image (above) by Paul David fits this category well.

Paul came all the way out from California to spend time with me. He's spent time with Ansel Adams and very much subscribes to my philosophies on photography. But he did sway me a little with his Phase One P65+ digital back. Paul took this image of Achmelvich beach on what was a pretty 'driech' (rainy) morning. It is one of my favourites from the trip because of the conveyed mood and feeling within it.

Surely an image has one purpose. To move us? Images can do that in several ways; by our response to tonality, by our response to subject matter or simply by our response to composition and colour. I loved the muted green tones in Paul's image and also the light-fall-off that his wide angle lens on his Mamiya 645 added to the image.