I had a very restless night as I went over and over in my mind whether it was permissible given the current lockdown rules  to walk to a local forest to take photographs.  Should I go at all, if so, should I take just my phone in my pocket?  I would, of course, keep away from others, although on the Isle of Skye in January there are few people about.  I had consulted various guidance and the restriction information, and it seems to hinge on whether I am a professional photographer or not – if I make money from my work does that make me a professional?  However, it is also about feeling comfortable, and whatever the right or wrong answer is, I felt that the spontaneity of my work would be compromised if I am worried or concerned about what I am doing.

I had been so excited at the end of my first two weeks of photographic practice, prior to Christmas, and am very keen not to lose the momentum I gained in terms of the development of my image-making, the critical reflection of the outputs and the process and how that might redirect or refocus my research.  So, the two weeks of practice and two weeks of reading and research model I have adopted, is integral to my ongoing PhD studies.

I decide to take photographs from my garden today with the intention of capturing Derrida’s “unnameable glimmer”.  During the MA, I had taken some images from the same spot and exhibited them on Skye in 2019.  My work was inspired by the Japanese photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Seascape 19 – Alison Price, April 2019

Seascape 6 – Alison Price, April 2019

Seascape 18 – Alison Price, 2019

It is hard not to feel disappointed at not spending time in the forest as planned but I know I would have been consumed with guilt and not in the right frame of mind to relax and potentially access a non-conscious state – thus enabling the potential to reveal the essence of Skye in my images.  I console myself in the knowledge that any practice I am able to do over the next couple of weeks will be a learning experience whether I consider the images to be successful or not.  In many ways, failure can sometimes be the best way of learning.

I am greeted by an icy blast as I step outside.  I decide not to restrict myself with anything more than the general intent noted above and soon become fascinated by the patterns in the water at high tide.  I set up my tripod with the intention of trying to capture the movement with slow shutter speeds and also nudging away from sharp focus.  The sky overhead is leaden but there is a good degree of light, so I slow the shutter speed down by using a filter.  I see a few Mallards gliding across the water and the odd gull hovers overhead, but the majority of birds will appear as the tide recedes and leaves its treasure behind.  A rainbow appears on the horizon, but I resolve not to be seduced by the undeniable beauty of the presence of Skye.

The textures and patterns on the water change with the light, the colour of the sky, the prevailing wind direction and strength and whether the tide is rising or falling.  Here are a few images from my first shoot in my second period of photographic practice:

Skye Light 1 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 2 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 3 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 4- Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 5 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 6 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 7 – Alison Price, January 2021

Skye Light 8 – Alison Price, January 2021

I think in school day terms, I would have given myself a B- at best however, I did not begin the shoot with a positive mindset, and I had expected to be somewhere else.  So, I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and look forward to tomorrow’s shoot!


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.
Skip to content