Another wet morning but the sun emerges an hour before the forecast predicts.  After the heavy rain, I am fearful that the ferns I captured yesterday might be flattened to the ground, in a final act of revenge by Skye’s relentless autumn weather.  However, they appear to be looking much the same as when I had left them and indeed the rain and blue skies is giving them an even more vibrant appearance.  The gentle, bubbling brook has turned into a raging torrent with much of the run-off from the many burns making their way to the loch, whose level is noticeably higher than yesterday.  I set up my tripod, planning to work on more multiple exposures and focusing on natural and imaginary gaps, gateways, and tunnels in the ferns.  As I work, I am joined by two ewes, quite happy to rest and munch grass beside me.

The light changes frequently, from dull misty conditions, to sparkling sunshine overhead, accompanied by heavy rain.  As I reflect on the ferns, I struggle, as I did yesterday, with the intense vibrance of their decaying fronds.  I tend to be drawn to the muted palette of Loch Cill Chriosd in spring, rather than the current quite over-powering burnt orange hues of autumn.  But the scene captures the reality of the lifecycle of these delicate yet resilient plants that litter the edges of the loch, providing a backdrop to the silvery shimmer of the reeds.  And there are certainly glimpses of Derrida’s unnameable glimmer to be captured.

Collaborative Practice 29 – Alison Price, October 2022

Collaborative Practice 30 – Alison Price, October 2022

Collaborative Practice 31 – Alison Price, October 2022

Collaborative Practice 32 – Alison Price, October 2022

As far as the presentation of my images in a handmade book is concerned, although the ferns are brash, they do offer the opportunity to punctuate images of the subtle seasons of the loch, with a bright and dominant interlude, or a series of images in concertina form where the viewer can dwell in the autumn colours, if they wish.

As I work, I play with making subtle movements with the camera.  The weather might be considered “drippy” or “dreich” as the Scots would say, and I try to capture that feel in my work – providing a sense of the climate the ferns endure.  I feel more confident today as I become more familiar with the ferns as objects and subjects, rather than as a contextual background to the loch, and a place where sheep rest.  I consider and reflect whether to explore the environs of the loch again, more quietly and carefully, as I had done in the early days of my PhD.  Although I wonder whether expanding the natural objects I capture, might combine to give more than the hint of reality I am after and in so doing paint a fuller picture than I wish to reveal.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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