Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The photographer and the solitary piper

I can’t stay away from Mull.  Most people who have been there can’t.  I spent a few days up there last week and, even though I didn’t do much photographing, there’s still such a wealth of wildlife that the camera kept creeping out.  Even the backdrops along the shore, those washes of pastel blues and yellows, are a distinctive sign of this beautiful place.

This time I was away on a family holiday, but wildlife photography is best done alone.  At best, it requires acute concentration combined with a sense of inner stillness.  When working with nature, you follow its rhythms and moods, forcing nothing, no clock ticking, no specified time to stop and go home (except for the setting sun, of course).  The sandpiper is a good illustration of this lifestyle; a largely solitary bird that thrives in this environment.  Much as I love solitary days, however, I couldn’t live like this; not all the time.  

We were on the way back to for dinner when I took this.  We stopped to watch some seals in the water and I crawled down to the shore.  Then we went back and shared a hearty feast, all four of us, leaving the sandpiper to its solitary life.

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