Eileanan simply means ‘The Islands’ in Scottish Gaelic. In this case, those islands are the Hebrides. Even as a lad I’d gaze at the map of the British Isles and wonder about all those islands.
I was fortunate enough to grow up never far from the sea and it is the sea that is dominant in so many of my first memories. I grew up in a family who loved boats, diving, snorkelling and fishing. I didn’t take to the sea immediately, there were a few tantrums but I have always been captivated by that blue horizon. I remember so many car journeys as a child, stretching up from my seat to be the first to spot the ocean. I spent many years living abroad where the mountains always lay behind and the sea in front. I never took it for granted and understood what an amazing privilege this was.
It is no surprise that when I started to photograph the landscape it was the coastal strip and the ocean that drew me. When I met my wife, we talked of exploration, of camping and of road trips. We both loved the coast and it is still very much in our plans to start a new life there one day.
Having grown up abroad it was the British Isles I yearned to explore. The further, the more remote, the more exciting it seemed. The purchase of a retired Land Rover led to us cutting our wings with trips out to Applecross and through the Highlands. We crossed the bridge to Skye one day, falling in love almost immediately. As a photographer with a love for the landscape and coast much of the time my camera lay idle and my jaw at my boots.
We have visited Skye, Harris, Lewes, The Uists and Eriskay. Each one is deserving of so much more time and of course, there are so many islands still to explore. I was blown away with the intricacies and beauty of the varying landscapes. At times I felt creatively emasculated by the sheer wonder of what I saw.
Each island, each landscape required time to fully begin to appreciate. There is so much I want to photograph, so many images I want to create and so much to study among the islands. It is not just about ‘taking’ pictures but my camera is my means to record, to create and to prompt learning. I have started a number of ‘Projects’, and I hope to add more as time allows. It will take a lifetime and I look forward to every opportunity I get.
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