My focus today is to start taking images on the theme of The Shape of Water. The overwhelming essence of Skye, and all islands, is that it is surrounded by water. I am fascinated by the shapes and patterns the sea makes as its tides ebb and flow, whether it is calm and still or as today, stormy and dynamic. My plan is to use some of the reductive strategies used in previous collections such as slow shutter speeds and intentional camera movement and I may also return to a previously successful strategy of producing monochrome images.
The morning is wet, the type of rain that looks like mist but in fact makes you very wet, very quickly – it is dreich (dull and gloomy) as the Scots say! It is a long drive down to Elgol, a single track road threading past Loch Cill Chriosd, the small township of Torrin, Loch Slappin and then through the village of Kilmarie and down the steep and winding road into Elgol.
When I arrive the tide is ebbing but the waves are not as big as I had expected. I choose a wet spot on the slipway, getting as close as I dare to the water without getting even wetter or swept away. I focus initially on the converging waves around the bottom of the slipway where occasionally some interesting shapes are forming momentarily. I start taking some literal shots before slowing the shutter speed down to capture the movement of the seas. The colours of the sea is a mix of greens and blues – almost topaz at times when the waves crash into each other. Nearer to the beach the waves crash onto the sand, stirring up seaweed and making the water very murky. I start to capture these shapes from the slipway where I have an almost aerial viewpoint. I find that the shapes of patterns in water are best captured from above.
I am pleased with my first day’s efforts. I decide to leave them as colour images but may subsequently convert them to black and white, depending on how the collection develops. After a few weeks away from my camera, it has been good to spend time outside, albeit in stormy conditions, and I hope in the coming days my images will improve as I continue to capture The Shape of Water.