Starting a new photography project.
‘At the edge of permanence’
I have just come back from a weeks photography in Coigach in the north west of Scotland. It is a location I have travelled to before, in both summer and winter, and is one of those places that gets under your skin. I could never tire of the views across to the Summer Isles, the white sands of Achnahaird or the moonscape rocks that make up the coast of Reiff. For a small peninsula it is remarkably diverse and is backed by one of the most impressive mountain scapes found anywhere in Scotland.
Coigach lies about 20 miles north of Ullapool in the North West Highlands Geopark. The landscapes within the park contain some of the oldest rocks (3 billion years old) and some of the earliest evidence of life found anywhere in Europe. But on a more local level the area is made up of habitats and wild places that are transient and vulnerable and which change on a daily basis.
It is this change within the light, climate and the natural environment that fascinated me and gave me the idea for my project. I wanted to explore the seemingly permanent nature of the geology compared to the transitory nature of the environment that surrounded it.
There are some views of Coigach that are really iconic. To the north you will find the instantly recognisable mountain ridges of Suilven and Stac Pollaidh and to the west lie the 20 or so islands, rocks and skerries that make up the Summer Isles.
Whilst I wanted to photograph these classic views I also wanted to focus on the more unique and smaller scenes which I found on a daily basis. Despite visiting in the summer the weather was really varied (well it is Scotland!) which gave me the opportunity to explore different aspects of the light and to make it the subject of my images rather than a more compositional element. I also experimented with waves, sand patterns, shells, cotton grass, seaweed and flowers.
The contrasts involved in the project meant that there was always something to photograph even when the light wasn’t great for traditional landscape photography.
I am currently working on turning this project into a limited edition book which will be available later in the year.
If you are interested in starting your own photography project and would like some guidance I am running a Project Masterclass at the end of July. You can find more details by clicking here