Isle to Isle
Scotland, United Kingdom. December 2018.
I recently returned to the highlands and islands of Scotland with two aims. Within the winter light to convey the raw beauty, diversity and scale of this land. And to photograph those whose love of their lands unites a growing force of environmentalism within these borders.
Heading north we chase the light and are rewarded with a tapestry of colour, shade and texture. While early morning sun begins to paint the clouds, and smatter the peaks, the northerly wind stiffens to spread rising steam throughout the loch.
Passing the Kyle of Localsh our journey is punctuated by the passing of a lone fisherman.
Sailing through the shelter of these shores, within the lee of the land, his apparent solitude within this landscape reflects the way in which many of those chose to live their lives in this region.
As the ribbon of road paves our way, the landscape unveils new colours.
The sea of sandy moss yields to the shadow of the tree line, as tones transition, and forest meets sky. The Isle of Skye beckons us on.
The Old Man of Storr is a long celebrated feature of Skye and whether braced against the ferocity of the wind, or languishing within the sun, he remains resolute.
Setting out, we look up to observe, acknowledge and appreciate the band of colours that surround the formation, illuminated by the winter light.
With every upward step our efforts are rewarded with relatively clear skies and an ever changing perspective. Circling the "Old Man,”we look back to admire the confluence of colours, shades and shapes that stand in the shadow of “Storr."
As the sun begins to dip it is time to descend. Recovering back toward Portree, we setup for the final shoot of the day.
The colours of the sky transform from misty blue to crimson red as we wait for the moment to capture this breathless scene.
An artist and musician, while once frustrated by the relative remoteness of her place of birth, she has come to recognise the beauty that lays upon the shore of Skye, whose combination of raw, rugged, and tapestry of ever changing colour, influences her creative path.
Leaving Skye behind in the winter light we head south and inland to the forests of Aviemore.
As we pause to reflect on the beauty of the region it’s Lauren whom describes what a childhood in the Highlands has given.
Not only an evident passion for alpine sport, but a sense of social consciousness that has led her to a career within environmental stewardship.
It’s the same sense of adoration and respect for the environment that emanates from actor and adventurer Tristan over on the Isle of Arran.
Having left behind a professional career in Ice Hockey, Tristan returned to Scotland, balancing time to train as a mountaineer, an increasing array of acting commitments, while championing his audience to take action toward the environmental cause.
As I depart the clatter of the cattle grid is replaced by the rumble of the road, as single track yields to dual carriageway, and with time, the impersonal hum of the motorway.
Scotland proves again to be a land of authentic and enduring beauty.
Within her shores lays a diverse country, whose scale and sense of community are hard to beat, and whose sense of love for her lands, and for her heritage will forever endure.