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Hebridean Imaging
Hebridean Imaging

Heading North…

Back from the mainland and i took the opportunity to head up to Lewis for a short break to see friends before my RSPB/Machair Life+ contract begins.

9th April 2013 – A gorgeous day for travelling across the Sound of Harris on the ferry. The drive up through the Isle of Harris very spectacular with plenty of snow on the hills, a bitter cold wind but sunshine with distant clouds. I arrived in Carloway, late afternoon to snow flakes drifting down…

Beautiful Harris!

Beautiful Harris!

10th April 2013 – The next image is from one of my favourite locations in the world – the Pentland Road that runs between Stornoway and Carloway. I always stop in a passing place to admire the view – winter or summer, good weather or bad it’s always breath-taking and virtually impossible to capture on camera…

I jotted down in my shooting journal (a record of the places i’ve been and images i’ve taken there) – “peace, solitude, silence

The moorland across the Pentland Road

The moorland across the Pentland Road

11th April 2013 –  A trip to Shawbost Lewis, where the tide was right in. I love to sit at the top of the slipway and take photos of the birds – patience is always rewarded. I also got good shots of Great-northern Divers, Common Gulls, Redshank and Oystercatchers. This is the first decent shot of Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) i’ve managed to get 🙂

Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit

12th April 2013 –  I needed to take a series of photos for my photography course so i asked the very helpful Linda at the Hebridean Soap Company in Breasclete, Isle of Lewis if i could photograph the soap-making process. No problem, we did a barter – i take photos of the soapmaking and if any were any good they could go on their Facebook page plus i was to take photos of their new hand cream for their web site. It was a deal.

The soap being poured into the mould is Silky Sandalwood which smelled divine and has real silk added to it during the process.

Soapmaking in Breasclete

Soapmaking in Breasclete

13th April 2013 – Back to Uist today. I think i just got here ahead of the gale that’s forecast.

I have to confess i didn’t take the following photo. My friend was wanting to have a look at my telephoto lens, the first time he’d seen it and wanted to have a go (he doesn’t own a camera). He took a photo of the old bath down his croft, the one he fills with hay for the cattle to feed from. (He just has the two cows, both in calf, plus the two calves from last year).

My friend also has sheep. We badly need rain. Lewis is looking even drier (if that’s possible) than Uist, the vegetation is brown and dry, no green. The rivers and streams have barely any water in them. The ewes are going to be having a hard time producing milk for the lambs if the grass doesn’t start to grow soon. It already looks like mid-summer yet it’s only mid-April.

The old bath brought to mind the Hebridean ways of “make do and mend”. I think the Hebrideans must have invented recycling, long long ago before the term was even thought of. Living offshore in an island community, even now, nothing ever goes to waste, nothing that could be potentially useful is thrown away. My croft fence is an inherited patchwork of wire with repairs from different colour strings, twines and bungy cords.

Bits of driftwood and other stuff collected from the shore – “mmm, bound to come in useful for something...”

A very useful bath

A very useful bath

14th April 2013 – The question i asked myself today was how to capture wind in an image. It’s been a breezy day – not as windy as forecast and we’ve had a little much needed rain, just 2.6mm and i don’t think it’ll go very far towards making the grass grow…

Making preparations for starting work tomorrow – I’ll be full time for three and a half months – not sure how I will manage living with a daily routine even though it’s not a strictly nine to five job and the work is outdoors. Still, money coming in instead of money going out will be very welcome!

Trying to capture wind...

Trying to capture wind…