As I was going through some of my photos in preparation for writing a couple of posts for the upcoming week, the thought crossed my mind to write something about the wonderful island of Mull that my wife and I visited during our trip to Scotland in 2013.
Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides (after Skye, on which I will also do a series of posts), off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute.
With an area of 875.35 square kilometres (337.97 sq mi) Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island and the fourth largest island surrounding Great Britain (excluding Ireland). In the 2011 census the usual resident population of Mull was 2,800 a slight increase on the 2001 figure of 2,667; in the summer this is supplemented by many tourists. Much of the population lives in Tobermory, the only burgh on the island until 1973, and its capital.
Tobermory is also home to Mull’s only single malt Scotch whisky distillery: Tobermory distillery (formerly Ledaig).
It is widely believed that Mull was inhabited from shortly after the end of the last Ice Age, around 6000 BC. Bronze Age inhabitants built menhirs, brochs and a stone circle with examples of burial cairns, cists, standing stones, pottery and knife blades provide compelling evidence.
The Lochbuie (Lochbuie means Yellow Loch, which makes sense given the sea of yellow gorse on the island) Stone circle stands beautifully in sight of Ben Buie; this circle consisted of 9 stones at its onset and still radiates ancient power. While the circles orginal purpose is a matter of speculation, I can tell you that walking through the area of the stones and the paths toward them, I could feel energies flowing through me that were extremely potent.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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2 thoughts on “The Isle of Mull – pt. 1”
Looking forward to reading more!