I had been very disappointed with my practice last time out and I reflected on why I produced such a poor show.  I like to be alone with my camera, away from prying eyes (apart from the sheep), and other distractions.  There were two reasons that this was not the case.  I was joined around the loch by a couple of visitors to the Island and they hung around much longer than I had hoped.  We did not speak but their presence compromised my ability to dwell and to drop into non-conscious awareness.  The shepherd drove past a large gathering of sheep who decided to make a noise because they were expecting to be fed, but unfortunately for them, winter feed is now finished, and they have to make their own arrangements!  The sheep set off a small group of cows, who had also spent the night by the loch, and between them made a hullabaloo.  The morning was noisy, and I was not alone.  Knowing what I know about my practice, it is no wonder I left early, and without any creditable shots!

This morning I drive past the loch and return to the lone tree that I have not photographed since last autumn.  The last images I had taken I had been pleased with and so I hoped this time to catch the spring buds that I hoped had emerged in the heat of the last few days.  Although, I know that the tree often takes many weeks for its leaves to unfurl.  In contrast, here are a couple of images from that autumn shoot.

Collaborative Practice 38 – Alison Price, October 2022

Collaborative Practice 36 – Alison Price, October 2022

As I wait for the sun to rise over the hills, I take some warm-up shots.  It is bitterly cold.

Practice Period 13.15 – Alison Price, April 2023

I decide to return to multiple exposure images, as I had done last autumn, and make the adjustments to my camera.  The Red Hills behind the tree soon light up but I wait longer for the rays to illuminate the silver birch.  As it does, I look at the entangled canopy of the tree, each branch a thing in itself but together they make up what we know as a tree.  This idea of entanglement is not only a physical concept but one that extends to Being.  Being is not only a singular concept but is entangled – the paradox of Being.

The golden light turns the tree’s trunk and branches orange, and the tiny lime-green shoots are lit up like candles.

Practice Period 13.16 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.17 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 18 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.19 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.20 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.21 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.22 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.23 – Alison Price, April 2023

Practice Period 13.24 – Alison Price, April 2023

I try to capture the sense of the buds reaching for the sky – the tender shoots are strong and yet susceptible to the incoming cold weather which will hit Skye tomorrow.  The buds’ development will yet again be compromised before warm weather returns at some point!  I am using a long lens as I want to reflect the style of image I had taken in the autumn.  I work quickly and quietly but in a more conscious moment I realise that my fingers are so cold it is difficult to move the dials on my camera.  This realisation is sufficient for me to break out of a deeper engagement with the tree and my camera.  My watch tells me that I have been working for two hours. . .

I am pleased with these images and enjoy the sense of contrast between the tree in autumn and spring and how the light and colours change.  I will visit the tree again soon and in the meantime hope its tender shoots survive the inclement weather.

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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