Sunny Side Up On The Isle Of Eigg

I’m getting back into photography again after a long break and am feeling reinvigorated following a recent trip to Eigg.

I need to be in a positive, focused and inspired mind-set in order to capture quality images. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as throwing a switch and turning on the creative process. A long time has passed since I last regularly updated my blog. Without going into detail, I’ll just say that the latter half of 2012 and much of 2013 were difficult times and this impacted on my photography. To date, 2014 has been a different story and I am now truly happy in my new life on the Black Isle. It’s time to dust off my camera, update my website, and make the most of living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

I first landed on Eigg in 2009. I spent an afternoon at Bay of Laig with a group of other photographers and was struck by its immense photographic potential. I had only recently purchased my DSLR and although I hadn’t quite mastered it yet, I captured a special image of the island’s ancient geological features (calcareous concretions resting on sandstone, formed by a process which began in the middle Jurassic period some 167 million years ago), with the mountains of Rum forming the backdrop.

I returned to Eigg with my partner in May 2014 and spent an idyllic week based at a log cabin in Cleadale, a stone’s throw from Bay of Laig and with beautiful views towards Rum. I captured a serene sunset on the first evening. The second night was unsuccessful as I was a little distracted by the presence of several other photographers on the beach. On the third evening, I picked up my gear and announced that I was heading for the beach to do some photography. My partner looked at me as though I’d finally lost the plot. The sky was overcast and the light non-descript. In my mind, I’d waited five years to return to Eigg and was determined to make the most of it, even if the conditions weren’t promising. I wasn’t disappointed.

Sunset over Rum, Bay of Laig, Isle of Eigg
Sunset over Rum, Bay of Laig, Isle of Eigg

I made my way down to the bay and spent the first few minutes capturing some detailed images of stones on the beach. I kept one eye on Rum and the setting sun and was thrilled when the colours in the sky started to build. I set up my tripod at a location I’d identified earlier in the week. I filled the foreground with the burn as it reflected the light and led the eye into the frame. I shot continuously for half an hour. The colours became increasingly vibrant, turning from gold to orange and, finally, to red. It was one of the best sunsets I’ve seen this year and I was so fortunate to witness such a magnificent spectacle on Eigg. A passer-by remarked to me that the light was reminiscent of a Turner painting. The colours finally faded and the heavens opened within five minutes of leaving the beach.

This sunset marked the start of a magical 24 hours on Eigg. I ascended the cliffs behind Cleadale the following morning to capture the sunrise illuminating the mountains of Rum. In the afternoon, my partner and I hiked across the island, climbed the iconic An Sgùrr and enjoyed 360 degree panoramic views to the other Small Isles, Skye, Knoydart, Morar, Moidart, Ardnamurchan, Mull, the Treshnish Isles and Coll. We returned to Cleadale, pretty tired, and enjoyed a fabulous, well-deserved meal in the Lageorna restaurant. The weather changed the following morning and Rum was shrouded in cloud for the rest of the week.

Rum from Cleadale, Isle of Eigg
Rum from Cleadale, Isle of Eigg

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13 thoughts

    1. Thanks Josh! This was one of my early blog posts after an epic week on Eigg. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in the right place at the right time. I was thrilled to capture such a dramatic sunset followed by a serene sunrise the following morning. 🙂

      1. That too you was determined that you going to make photo that day.. the challenge paid off well. Results memories for you and amazing site seeing with a flawless narration by you 🙂 i also appreciate your patience in responding to each comments. Thank you!


        1. Every comment is hugely appreciated, Josh, and I’m very grateful to you for reading so many of my posts and providing positive and insightful feedback. I sometimes fail to follow my own advice but this photograph should serve as a reminder to me that I can’t always predict how the light will unfold and it might just be worthwhile heading out with my camera a little more often when the conditions don’t initially look promising. I can only imagine how much I would have regretted my decision had I not ventured out on this particular evening on Eigg!

  1. Wow!! So many of your photographs remind me of the early 1900 Hudson River painters. Great capture of light and atmosphere. Thank you for sharing your work.

  2. Stunning.
    I used to be at school with a girl called Sheila Thorburn. Don’t suppose she is any relation|?? We are talking Clydeside in the 70s.

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