Isles of Shoals


I’ve recently been reading Brooks Jensen’s The Best of the LensWork Interviews. I really enjoyed the Alexandra de Steiguer interview, who for the past two decades has spent five months each year working as winter caretaker and photographing the Isles of Shoals.

Winter’s Watch, filmed, produced and directed by Brian Bolster is a short documentary about the Isles of Shoals and Alexandra de Steiguer’s beautiful images.


Alexandra de Steiguer

The Isles of Shoals

11 thoughts on “Isles of Shoals

    • I’m pleased you like it Paula, I marvelled at it too. A wonderful insight into Alexandra de Steiguer’s work. I really like how the documentary is bookended by the opening and closing of the shutters. A truly remarkable place to spend time and make photographs.

  1. Thank you so much Simon for this link to Alexandra de Steiguer’s short film and to her website. A truly wonderful insight into her life of solitude on the island and how it affects her creatively. I know I seek to be ‘alone’ in my photography so I could empathise with her every word. Thanks again.

    • You’re welcome Alan. After reading the LensWork interview I was intrigued to learn more and was so pleased to find Winter’s Watch. Like you, I prefer solitude when making photographs so really enjoyed the insight into Alexandra de Steiguer’s work. I’ve recently returned from the Faroe Islands – the spectacular and remote landscape, along with the solitude, was bliss.

      • I enjoy Lenswork – there are many inspirational articles. The Faroes is also on my ‘shopping list’. I shall look forward to seeing some of your images from that trip.

  2. True solitude, indeed. I find myself envious of this challenge, alone on the island during the winter season would be an incredible experience and one I think would stretch the mind & body much more than imagined. And the challenge would also come in the way of taking advantage of the day, of the creative juices such an opportunity would bring. Fascinating. I like the idea of this type of extreme living: living in a metropolis half a year, and then in nature, isolated for half a year (OK, maybe only a month or so). But the romance of the sea, as the caretaker explains, along with the solitude the island offers allows her passion for photography to grow in areas where elsewhere it would be impossible. I am hooked on this place ~ great post, video. Thank you.

    • It looks an amazing place to spend time, I think I would be okay with two or three months of isolation. Repeating the process over two decades has given Alexandra de Steiguer the opportunity to delve deep into the soul of the isles.

  3. I was drawn into this documentary and the life of Alexandra de Steiguer during her solitary stay at the island. I see the fascination of solitude and enjoyed hearing Alexandra talk about it. Thank you for sharing this great video.

    • You’re welcome Otto. Must be quite challenging to live in solitude for five months, but creatively, it must be sheer bliss. The painter Childe Hassam also created a large body of work during the many decades he visited the isles.

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