We head out under a leaden sky on the second day of our collaborative practice. Katie is keen to begin making work, despite the inclement weather forecast, and I am pleased to be encouraged to capture more bad weather shots. After finding our respective locations from which to begin our day of practice, we work independently. We are both immersed in our pursuits and barely know where the other is, although I catch sight of Katie sitting on a small rock dangerously close to the edge of the loch! Before long the threatened rain arrives making for a miserable start to the day. The rain driving straight at me, and my camera and the wind is strong. It is difficult keeping me and camera dry in these circumstances. There is a bright patch of light in the sky threatening to light up the heads of the reeds, but it comes to nothing.
As I think again about ensuring my portfolio of images maintain a reflection on reality, I am reminded of the difference in weather and climate between this north-west corner of Scotland from our previous sheltered life in the south-west of England. Skye is an island of extremes, and the weather plays a large part in that. The difference between good and bad weather is polarised. When working in the field, I can be bathed in sunshine one minute and soaked to the skin the next. From a practical point of view, this makes for challenging photographic conditions. As I perch precariously on a hillock above the loch, I am attending to the changing mood of the loch, at the same time as writing in my journal and ensuring my camera and tripod do not fall over in the strong wind and now persistent rain.
I focus on the movement of the water, and the point of contact with the reeds – the sharpness of the reeds and the smooth, yet gloopy surface of the loch. The intersection between elements of the loch’s reality. The weather is neither one thing nor the other, moist and miserable and the loch and my images reflect this in-between state. However, one thing is clear – it is cold and so I leave my grassy perch and move to the water’ edge. As I set up my tripod, I realise that Katie is sat on a rock dangerously close to the water, engrossed in her drawing!
The miserable weather persists and my mood reflects it. This in-between weather is not for me. But as I wander along the shores of the loch I see some interesting reflections that resemble charcoal drawings. My mood lifts and I begin to enjoy the photographic opportunities offered by nature.
The ghostly shadows shimmer in the light available and I become absorbed in a meditative scene. The gentle movement of the water is ever-changing and from to time reveals a glimpse of the unnameable glimmer.