Category: Travel and Photography

A Hebridean Diary (6-end) Great Bernera

Our two-week trip, ending in the Hebridean Island of Lewis, was coming to an end. The following morning, we would be on a ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, then a fast route directly to Inverness, where we could pick up the main A9 to Perth, stopping in a travel motel, before setting off early for Cumbria and home. We decided to spend our last … Read More A Hebridean Diary (6-end) Great Bernera

A Hebridean Diary (5) When power is unchecked

From the road that curls around the small hills on the way to the beach at Reef, in the Uig district of Bhaltos, it looks like a large cairn. The second time we drove by we saw the noticeboard and stopped to take a closer look. We climbed up the path to find a beautiful and touching monument on the hilltop, whose design was … Read More A Hebridean Diary (5) When power is unchecked

A Hebridean Diary (4) The Drowned Lands

We had wondered about the real nature of this landscape. On this our third day on the Hebridean Island of Lewis, we paid a long-anticipated visit to Callanish, the place of the famous stones – though the main site is not a stone circle. There, I came across a sign that perfectly described the rather barren landscape all around us. The sign read: Welcome … Read More A Hebridean Diary (4) The Drowned Lands

A Hebridean Diary (3) Of Coats and Kings

We had gone to bed early – exhausted by the journey from Poolewe to Uig. What felt like a full night later, I woke, refreshed, to find the sun streaming through the bedroom curtains… Not a sight we were used to on this trip. I smiled. It’s always nice when something really special ‘just happens’ on your birthday. Ahead of me was a day … Read More A Hebridean Diary (3) Of Coats and Kings

A Hebridean Diary (2) Long road to Uig

The day was already old by the time the ferry from Ullapool had docked at Stornaway. We had been warned that shops were few and far between on the Hebridean island of Lewis and advised to take advantage of the supermarkets in the capital. The no-sunday trading laws imposed by the ‘Wee Free’ Presbyterian church were in force across the island, and we were … Read More A Hebridean Diary (2) Long road to Uig

A Hebridean Diary (1) Impressions of Lewis

Although it was a continuation of the same trip, it would be misleading to continue with the ‘Poolewe Diaries’ as a title. The sailing from Ullapool to the Hebridean main island of Lewis marked the second week of the Scottish adventure, so a change of title is appropriate… Arriving on the island of Lewis, you get a strong sense of the remoteness of the … Read More A Hebridean Diary (1) Impressions of Lewis

A Poolewe diary (5) : over the Minch to Lewis

Continued from Part Four…. See index below. We’re in Ullapool. Waiting to board the ferry to the Outer Hebrides – the island of Lewis, to be precise. Our first week in the far north-west of Scotland is over. We’ve marvelled at some of the most dramatic scenery we’ve ever seen. My iPhone has struggled to cope with the sheer scale of this land. It’s … Read More A Poolewe diary (5) : over the Minch to Lewis

The subtle art of cropping

The raw picture had some pleasing elements. The ‘follow-line’ from the foliage down to the sea was attractive, but the width of the foreground diluted the impact. The first step was to deepen the ‘feel’ with a number of tonal changes. There’s no instant fix. It’s a process of trial and error. There is a danger of going overboard with the effects and making … Read More The subtle art of cropping

But what is it!?

I took this the other day, on a walk with Tess the Collie. Looking at it, later, I thought ‘What was that?’ I’d forgotten where I’d taken it, and I took me a minute to reconstruct where we’d been. On that basis, I thought, it would make a fine what is it? The kind of photo people used to shoot, deliberately, to be a … Read More But what is it!?

That early January feeling…

It was the Christmas tree outside the Booths supermarket that triggered the thoughts… Now pale against the bright January sun and the crisp cold, its icy beauty was somehow less than the real thing, a warming image of a Christmas now gone and packed up into the storage boxes under the eaves. Ahead of me, the Kendal district of Fellside climbed up in the … Read More That early January feeling…

Arnside and Autumn Pastels

At first glance, it has something of the ziggurat about it. In reality it’s the final bit of Arnside’s Victorian pier, taken from a short distance back in order to include part of the famous viaduct – nearly 1600 ft – that links Arnside with Grange-over-Sands. Arnside has the kind of beaches that you’d rather photograph than paddle from. The sands around here share … Read More Arnside and Autumn Pastels

The Second before the Shutter of Life

We were spending a few days in Alnmouth, a tiny Northumberland village with one of the best beaches in the country. I rarely get to swim in the sea these days, but such things are of vital importance to our Collie dog, Tess, who loves to chase a ball down a beach and into the waves. It was early morning. I was enjoying our … Read More The Second before the Shutter of Life

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