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Sand Patterns Outer Hebrides Michael Pilkington aspect2i

Land Meets Sea - The Outer Hebrides

Michael Pilkington

I have vis­it­ed Scot­land and its west coast count­less times for more than a decade. It is strange only lat­er in life I have dis­cov­ered its beau­ty when so many oth­er pho­tog­ra­phers have known it for so long. Per­haps it is because I have lived abroad for sev­er­al peri­ods of my life and Scot­land seemed so far away when liv­ing in the south of the UK. As they say bet­ter late than nev­er, and this true. Scot­land still ranks as one of the best places in the world to go and pho­to­graph. It has an immense vari­ety of envi­ron­ments, stun­ning land­scapes and fab­u­lous weath­er. Obvi­ous­ly, I am not com­par­ing it to the Bahamas, but the fact that it is very change­able man­i­fest­ing in winds that move clouds across the skies, mod­u­lat­ing the light and deliv­er­ing dif­fer­ing con­di­tions, some­times mul­ti­ple times in a day, make the place excit­ing. That being said, when­ev­er I have vis­it­ed the Hebrides, it has been large­ly sun­ny. In fact, the Hebrides would com­pare to the as it boasts hun­dreds of gor­geous sandy beach­es and seas that are turquoise and azure. How­ev­er, here are no palm trees and you have to wear a coat!

Many of the beach­es exhib­it remark­able sand pat­terns that are cre­at­ed by the small fresh­wa­ter streams run­ning of the land, car­ry­ing with them, tiny par­tic­u­lates of black peat which accu­mu­late and set­tle form­ing the most elab­o­rate and intri­cate sand pat­terns. The con­trast of the intri­cate and dark mark­ings against the sand are fas­ci­nat­ing and you can spend hours pho­tograph­ing them. Grand open vis­tas in the Scot­tish High­lands are as ubiq­ui­tous as the pho­tographs made of them, but explor­ing the inner land­scape requires a cer­tain con­cen­tra­tion and mind­ful ded­i­ca­tion which is absorbing.

Even pho­tograph­ing the peat­ed sand pat­terns has become some­what pop­u­lar, so on this par­tic­u­lar occa­sion I elect­ed to try some­thing a lit­tle more abstract. I was for­tu­nate have a clear blue sky that reflect­ed in the wet sands as it met the sea. This reflec­tion was inter­spersed with the small sand bars giv­ing the impres­sion of the sky itself and oth­er world­ly clouds with­in whilst bring­ing togeth­er the com­pli­men­ta­ry colours of blue and yel­low. At first glance it is not obvi­ous what the indi­vid­ual com­po­nents are and as such achieves its goal of being abstract and intriguing.

Hebrides - Sand Patterns Panel Michael Pilkington aspect2i