Iâ€™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 itâ€™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, Iâ€™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. Itâ€™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 hadnâ€™t quite mastered it yet, I captured a special image of the islandâ€™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 stoneâ€™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 Iâ€™d finally lost the plot. The sky was overcast and the light non-descript. In my mind, Iâ€™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 wasnâ€™t disappointed.
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 Iâ€™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 Iâ€™ve seen this year and I was so fortunate to witness such a magnificent spectacle on Eigg. A passer-byÂ 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 SgÃ¹rr 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.