The Queen of Scottish Mountains and Dunnet Head Lighthouse

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Pictured above, from a recent 2 week trip to Scotland, is the mountain Ben Loyal, also known as the Queen of Scottish Mountains due to its majestic profile. Golden eagles, ospreys and sea otters call this location home. I crossed the bridge in this picture a number of times when heading out to Thurso and Dunnet Head Lighthouse.

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The second photo is of Moine House and Ben Loyal. The Moine is a vast area of heather moor and peat moss which for centuries has made travel difficult in this remote region. The first good road across the Moine was built in 1830 with Moine House providing a welcome rest for travellers. The third photo is also from the Moine, this time picturing Ben Loyal and the Munro, Ben Hope, reflected in a lochan.

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Below is Dunnet Head Lighthouse at dawn with Orkney veiled in mist on the horizon. The Old Man of Hoy, a 449 ft sea stack, can also be seen in the far distance. Dunnet Head is a great place for whale watching. Hoping to spend 4 or 5 days at Cape Wrath Lighthouse next year. It’s well off the beaten track – a 12 mile coastal walk from Blairmore.

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© Simon Howlett 2019. All rights reserved

Faroe Islands Trip

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The Faroe Islands are truly spectacular and I had the pleasure of exploring them for fifteen days back in September. Had a great day hiking out to the location above, it’s one of the best walks I’ve ever done. Viewed from Kviviksskoranøva, the islet is Tindhólmur with the island of Mykines beyond.  The five peaks of Tindhólmur are named Ytsti, Arni, Lítli, Breiði and Bogdi. Mykines has a population of ten and is the westernmost island of the Faroe Islands. The artist, Sámal Joensen-Mikines, was born there.

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It was a bit of a trek getting to Kallur lighthouse in the second photo. I flew to the Faroe Islands via Copenhagen, then drove to Klaksvik and caught the ferry to the island of Kalsoy. Drove through four mountain tunnels and then hiked for one hour to get to this particular spot. Once the wind had eased off I felt brave enough to cross the ridge (1000 ft drop to the sea on each side) to the point where I made the photo.

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The third photo is of two distant sea stacks viewed from Tjørnuvík. They are named Risin and Kellingin (The Giant and the Witch) which relates to a legend about an Icelandic giant and witch who attempted to haul the Faroe Islands back to Iceland with a rope. Needless to say, they encountered some difficulty in achieving this! The mountain split at the point where the rope was attached but the giant and witch continued with their task throughout the night. As dawn broke, the first beams of sunlight turned them into stone. The notch where the rope was attached can be seen from the other side of the headland. Risin is 71 metres in height and Kellingin is 68 metres.

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St Olav’s Church above is a medieval church in the village of Kirkjubøur and is the oldest church in the Faroe Islands. The north wall has evidence of a former opening, through which lepers listened to the service from outside. A Viking runestone was housed in the church but is now held in the national museum, Tórshavn.

The final image is of what is believed to be a Viking sundial or a compass rose. Approximately twelve inches in diameter it is situated close to the Tinganes in Tórshavn old town.

More of these images can be seen on my website using the following link. Please take a look if you have a few minutes 🙂 : Faroe Islands

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© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

Exhibition & Art Fair

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Very much enjoyed taking part in the Carlisle Arts Fair 27/28 August and the Solway Arts’ Exhibition at Fletchertown 20-29 August. Great artwork from a diverse range of artists at both events. Looking forward to the Carlisle Winter Fair at the Sands Centre on 20 November which I’m hoping to attend  🙂

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© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

South Stack – Anglesey

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South Stack is a truly spectacular location which I explored on a number of occasions during a 2 week visit to Anglesey. There are over 400 steps down to the footbridge in the first photo – a challenge first thing in the morning. The lighthouse was constructed in 1809.

A member of the crow family, the chough, is resident on these cliffs. Very pleased I got to see them as they are rare – approximately 400 pairs in Great Britain.

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© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

Platinum/Palladium Print – Stacks of Duncansby

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This platinum/palladium print is one of a series of images made at Duncansby Head with a 1968 Hasselblad 500C. The lens in the photo is a Sonnar 4/150 but the sea stack image was made using a Distagon 4/50. Planning to return and spend more time at this location and may visit Orkney to photograph The Old Man of Hoy and Yesnaby sea stacks.

A short video from George Eastman House which explains the platinum process can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/5AmIr9xLxlk

© Simon Howlett 2015. All rights reserved

Stoer Head – Sutherland

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Stoer Head Lighthouse was built in the 19th century and stands at the northern end of The Minch, a strait which separates the North West Highlands from the Hebrides. In a bothy close by there’s a remarkable mural of the lighthouse, thought to have been painted in the 19th century. The Old Man of Stoer in the photograph below is a 200ft sea stack which is inhabited by fulmars and popular with rock climbers.

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It’s a fair walk between the two, which was made a little more difficult as I was carrying digital and film cameras. These photos were made with a digital SLR. I didn’t get to use the film camera much during the two days I spent at this location. However, I hope to pay a return visit one day with plenty of rolls of film!

© Simon Howlett 2015. All rights reserved

Stoer Head Lighthouse

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Parked close to the lighthouse and then headed out on a two mile trek to The Old Man of Stoer sea stack. Shot the lighthouse from a couple of different points. This one is a 61 second exposure at f/13 using a 6-stop Little Stopper and 3-stop ND grad.

Returned to the car at night and found it surrounded by a herd of cows who were reluctant to move! As a parting gesture they kindly left a dent in one of the rear doors! 🙂

© Simon Howlett 2014. All rights reserved