In mid-May, I started to work on the first part of my upgrade document and, after receiving and responding to feedback, I then submitted a first and final draft of Parts 1 and 2 in early August. After receiving confirmation from my tutors that they felt it was a viable document on which to be examined on my research and practice in Year 1, the date for my upgrade was set for 21 September. It was a long journey, but one that needed to be taken to really crystalise first the philosophical underpinning for my work from ontology, epistemology, methodology, methods, and practice and then to evaluate and write about my photographic images in those terms.
I was a little reticent about taking my camera out and the bag, with little more than the camera and a 70-200mm lens, seemed heavier than when I last used it. The weather in Skye has been cold and wet since the end of August and so there was little incentive to spend long periods of time reacquainting myself with my faithful Nikon Z7. I told myself, this is not a serious shoot, it is just a chance to remember some of the work I had done in Year 1 of my PhD – Autumn Impressions, Winter Impressions, Among Trees and The Shape of Water, but I was soon reminded where I had left off as the display starting flashing that I was in multiple exposure mode!
I went on a road less travelled and one that I do not generally use for my practice. I followed the view of the Black Cuillin along the shores of Loch Eishort before reaching Ord. The rain was teaming down but as I walked across the beach to get a better view of the Cuillin the sun peeped through the clouds.
After taking the obligatory snapshot, for this blog, I started focusing on the rocks and the lichen and mosses glowing bright yellow against the marble and granite stone.
I then walked along the road to a fast-flowing burn tumbling over the rocks as it met the sea. The water, at times, was lit up by a shaft of sunlight, before being obscured once more.
My mind returned to The Shape of Water, my last photographic project before the break. I feel as I have unfinished business on this project and vowed to return to the burn another day, with a tripod, filters and a heavy dose of enthusiasm as I start Year 2 of my practice.