10 personal favourites from 2010

I’m not normally a fan of top 10 lists, however my last post looking back over 2010 has me in a reflective mood, and I’d like to share some of my favourite images made over the previous year.

1. Sonnets – Bow fiddle Rock, Moray Firth

This image was made during my August journey around the North of Scotland, and shows the appropriately named Bow Fiddle Rock on the North East coast. This shot was a long exposure taken over a duration of 30 seconds in strong winds and heavy seas. Conversely the final image has a calm quality not present at the time, when large waves crashed over the rocks and Henning, who remained still throughout.

2. Sonnets – Loch Maree

This image of a calm Loch Maree in the Scottish Highlands was made at around midday, as I wanted strong contrasts in the image. Many photographers would frown at such an approach, as it forsakes the  ‘golden hours’ of light at dawn and  dusk,  and makes it much harder to retain detail due to the bright sun.

3. Sonnets – The Thirle Door, Duncansby Head

This location wasn’t easy to get to. It involved negotiating down from the cliffs of  Duncansby Head, walking along the deserted beach and then scrambling around some thin rock ledges with the sea roaring and rising at our feet.  To get an impression of where we are standing look at this image. We are standing inside the archway on the right hand side looking outwards.

4. Sonnets – The Black Cuillin, Isle of Skye, Sunset

Taken during the shooting of short film  ‘Sonnets from Scotland‘, this image revisited an earlier shot taken in 2008 at the same location.

5. Sonnets – The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The Quiraing is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With a strange lunar landscape it dominates the North East coast of the Isle of Skye. This image was taken shortly after dawn, and is also featured in the short film ‘Sonnets from Scotland‘.

6. Sonnets – Loch Rannoch and Schiehallion

Loch Rannoch is a fresh water Loch located in the Highlands of Scotland, and is a place I visited for the first time in 2010. On it’s eastern bank the mountain Schiehallion towers above, and in it’s waters lie the remains of a drowned forest. This image owes much to the work of Bill Brandt, whose landscape photography is largely overlooked (read an excellent article here), and has echoes of a few of Sally Mann’s images, which I had recently seen in exhibition.

7. Sonnets – The Old man of Hoy, Hoy, Orkney Islands

For a long time I’ve thought about how I would make this image of one of the UK’s most famous locations. Trying to convey the sheer scale of the Scottish landscape is one of the hardest aspects of my Sonnets series, however being familiar with The Old Man of Hoy through the work of other photographers, I eventually decided that I would shoot from the north of the stack looking south. On arriving at the location after an enjoyable 3.5 mile walk however, I noticed that setting up in such a way would create an optical illusion – The Old Man appears much closer to the cliffs than it actually is. The drop however is still considerable, and one fellow walker turned away shaking in fear after peering over the edge! Overall this was an interesting technical exercise. Composed of four separate vertical panned images, each was given a 30 second exposure and later joined together digitally.

8. Sonnets – Loch Assynt, sunset

This image was made in the dying light of a Summer evening, and is of Henning standing on an island just offshore at Loch Assynt. When I first viewed the scene, I instantly visualised him standing to the left of the trees, giving the image a quiet sense of balance.

9. Trevor Yerbury, fine art photographer

In 2010 I was lucky enough to attend a wet plate collodion workshop, a method first pioneered in the 1860s creating images directly onto glass or tin. It is a difficult but rewarding process, and I was lucky enough to join Trevor Yerbury, a photographer who allowed me to make his portrait. I’m hoping to experiment more with this process in 2011.

10. The Makar (National Poet of Scotland), Edwin Morgan

No end of the year list of images could be complete without including my afternoon spent in the company of poet Edwin Morgan, who was about to celebrate his 90th birthday. This image was later used on the cover of the biography of his life, and was caught in a brief instant when he looked up and out of the frame. Eddie gave a name to the ‘Sonnets’ series of images which largely make up most of this list, and was active in collaborating with me in a few projects over the last year or so. Sadly we lost  him in 2010, but his work will be celebrated for a long time to come.

I hope that 2011 will be a productive year, and I look forward to sharing images with you.


About Alex Boyd

A photographer, curator, and mountain obsessive.

3 responses to “10 personal favourites from 2010”

  1. James Dyas Davidson says :

    Great selection of your work. Thanks for putting in wee stories with each and links. Look forward to your work in 2011.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Images from 2011 « Alex Boyd Photography - 29 December, 2011
  2. Images from 2011 | Alex Boyd | Journal - 28 March, 2013

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