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

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A further selection of photographs from my trip to the Faroe Islands back in September 2018. The photo above was made when visiting St Magnus Cathedral, a ruined medieval cathedral in the village of Kirkjubøur on the island of Streymoy. On an exterior wall there is this weatherbeaten relief of the crucifixion of Jesus.

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Streymin Bridge, Oyrarbakki which connects the islands of Streymoy and Eysturoy. The Föroya Bjór truck in the middle foreground is making its way back to the Föroya Bjór brewery in Klaksvík which was established in 1888.

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Fishing vessel in for repairs at Klaksvík. Visited this boatyard after returning by ferry from the neighbouring island of Kalsoy.

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The last two photos are of the Westward Ho (TN54) which was built in 1884 in Grimsby, England. It was used as a fishing vessel from 1895 until 1964. This included service during World War 2 when it fished near Iceland, providing much needed fish for Scotland. It’s now used for commercial boat trips running from Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.

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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

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.

Links:

Alexandra de Steiguer

The Isles of Shoals

Faroe Islands Trip & Fletchertown Exhibition

Here’s an excellent short video from Haussmann Visuals showcasing the spectacular Faroe Islands which I’ll be visiting later this year. I’ve wanted to visit the islands for a number of years so I’m very much looking forward to photographing the stunning landscape and seascape. A great deal of my research for this trip has been done with the assistance of Google Earth – it’s a remarkable aid in getting to know a location.

 

Also been busy framing prints in preparation for the Solway Arts Exhibition at Allhallows Community Centre, Fletchertown, Wigton, Cumbria, CA7 1BS. Currently trying out some double profile frames which is a departure from the plain frames I’ve used before. The exhibition runs from the 18th August – 27th August 2018, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm. Free entry and the tea room is open for refreshments 🙂

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Platinum/Palladium Prints

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An ongoing series of platinum/palladium prints (5.5 inch x 8.25 inch) photographed in Maryport, Cumbria. Above is Sincerity, below is the  Stjernen, Our James and Balcary.

Shot with a digital SLR and processed/converted to B&W in Lightroom. The negatives were processed in Photoshop and printed on Pictorico transparency film. The platinum/palladium prints were made on Bergger COT-320 paper.

The contact print process and the remarkable moment when the print appears can be seen to great effect in this video by Paul Cunningham: Platinum Print Process

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© Simon Howlett 2017. All rights reserved

Our James, Balcary & Albatros

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I’ve always enjoyed visiting Maryport and photographing the numerous vessels there. I’m planning to make platinum prints of these images which I think are well suited to the process.

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This year I intend to spend more time locally, visiting Maryport, Allonby and Whitehaven along with the Lakes, Eden Valley and Hadrian’s Wall.

The artists Sheila Fell RA (1931-1979) and Percy Kelly (1918-1993) have been an inspiration regarding this. Local artists, they predominantly painted scenes from Cumbria. Both of them visited Maryport on many occasions along with Sheila Fell’s good friend LS Lowry.

They are still very much in peoples’ thoughts in this part of the world. A neighbour’s friend can recall travelling on the bus with Sheila Fell to Carlisle School of Art in the late 1940s. Another neighbour remembers seeing Sheila Fell working out in the landscape during the 1960s … a wonderful insight into the life of a remarkable artist.

More information can be found here:

Sheila Fell Exhibition / Sheila Fell Interview / Percy Kelly

© Simon Howlett 2017. All rights reserved