Last October I was lucky enough to visit Shetland for 6 days and it was solely for photography. Myself and good friend and fellow photographer, Euan Ross had arranged it earlier in the year, half expecting it to be cancelled because of new covid restrictions as we entered the winter months once more.
Cutting a long and boring story short, we made it and it was an amazing and memorable experience. Although without barely scratching the surface of potential pickings you would no doubt find if you had a few years to search them out, we still managed to take an awful lot from the trip.
We were extremely fortunate to encounter unseasonably clear weather, which in turn allowed us to at least see what was around us and the potential it might have photographically. Speaking to the locals we soon realised it could quite easily have been 6 days of flat low cloud with visibility practically zero.
So, why this blog now? Well last month I was kindly approached by organisers of Stirling Photography Festival to see if I would be available to give a talk at one of their events, with a broad theme of 'Stories'. I was quick to say yes but with no idea what I would talk about as my current talk was more related to my process of working locally and I had already used it earlier in the year at Stirling Camera Club, not to mention the fact trying to link a 'Story" theme to that was a bit of a stretch.
I also would be away for a few weeks with the family so time was not going to be kind. In saying that though, the break would actually turn out to be a blessing. While sitting at the pool in Mallorca, with the occasional accompanying beer to had, it actually gave me time to think about how I could approach it and in the end Shetland came to mind. (Yes I've got to the point eventually).
I had processed a good few of the images from Shetland on my return but only the initial ones that I felt jumped out at me at the time. I hadn't actually came back to the files and assessed them properly. Constructing this talk was going to give me the chance to do just that and it would also let me to conclude on an idea that I'd had about the images from this trip for some time, but I'd just never sat down and given it the hours it required.
The idea came from something wonderful Euan had produced earlier in the year, which you must see if you haven't already. It is a beautiful body of work called 'Silencing the City' which is a collection of images made when his home City, Glasgow was covered in a blanket of snow. Along with presenting the work on his website, he created an inspiring short video of some of the images with a soundtrack and especially unique, sound effects of sounds of the city. It is just phenomenal, you really must see it, here.
From the moment I saw it I knew I would like to try something similar with my Shetland images. I wanted to try and replicate the sounds and atmosphere we experienced while shooting on the Islands. So, that is exactly what I did now that I would be refreshing my memory of all those exhilarating moments.
I managed to complete the talk presentation a few days early so then put this little video together just in time to give it it's premier at the end of my talk at the Festival.
So enough waffling from me, I hope you enjoy what I've put together and remember to put the sound on.