I decide to go to visit a very familiar tree, an old friend – a lone tree on a small hill at the far end of Loch Cill Chriosd on the road to Elgol.  I have been photographing the small silver birch for over ten years and more seriously in the last four.  I have shared the tree’s life bathed in sunshine, braced (both of us!) against an easterly gale and driving rain, miserable in misty rain or “dreich” as the locals call it, at sunrise and sunset as well as using artificial light sources to paint its fragile frame and canopy at night.

Today, there is a bitterly cold east wind, but the sun is shining brightly.  Skye’s late winter colours are sharp and vibrant.  I start taking some multiple exposures to see if I can capture some interesting shots of its leafless frame and canopy.  I immediately take the decision to produce black and white images as the tonal range is wide and the black and whites and shadows and highlights are perfect for monochrome imagery.  Additionally, the Black Cuillin is covered in snow.

Among Trees 16 – Alison Price, January 2021

I then move on to consider the tree’s near neighbours – a small coppice of silver birches spilling down the hill.  The lone tree is actually about 20 feet from these trees but as I walk around the scene it can be photographed seemingly in close proximity or further away.  The tree’s demeanour, is much more about being alone and vulnerable but, perhaps there is a small community including large numbers of sheep, on this little outcrop.

Among Trees 17 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 18 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 19 – Alison Price, January 2021

I think about the title of my current collection of images Among Trees.  I reflect on the fact that although I am not surrounded by trees this morning, as I have been on other occasions during the week, I do still feel that I am among trees.  I have a sense of companionship and community in being here.

I relate very much to this lone tree.  It is slender and slight, vulnerable, but highly resilient, and enjoys (I think) being alone but, occasionally is happy to enjoy the company of others.  May be this ‘lone’ tree is not so alone?

As I retrace my steps I stop at the loch as I catch a glimpse of a glimmer as the sun’s rays reflect on the frozen surface, punctuated by the reeds.  Again, I decide on black and white . . .

Winter Impressions 101 – Alison Price, January 2021

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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