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Old Diary Files

April 2009

Staffa and Iona

Continuing with my efforts to get material for the Columba project, I took one of CalMac's exellent one day excursions to visit Staffa and Iona.
I've wanted to visit Staffa for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity - good weather, good visibilty and no driving. The trip involves getting the ferry from Oban and then being transported by bus to Fionnaphort. The driver gave a witty, informative commentary on the journey down although his dry, highland sense of humour was perhaps not picked up by some of the passengers. I thought he was brilliant.

Staffa is one of the most fascinating places I've ever seen. Huge basalt columns forming the the entire base of the island, and of course, the cave itself, is really spectacular.

I was a little disappointed at Iona - there was a wedding taking place and I couldn't really ask them to move away while I took a few shots of the Abbey, so I didn't quite get the photos I wanted.
Hopefully the weather will be as good in a few weeks time when "I'll be back". I've a commission at An Tobar on Mull to photograph artist work - more of this after the event.


I'm just back from a weekend in Islay, again following the Columba work.
I'd been keeping a careful eye on weather forecasts and thought this was a good time to go.
I arrived at the ferry terminal to discover that I was the only car and driver to be travelling - along with two foot passengers and the Island's newspapers!

Clear sunny days were forecast - which they turned out to be. However, the forecast failed to mention that the heat haze would limit visibility to a few miles, so I didn't get quite the views I'd hoped for.

I did manage to get a wonderful sunrise immediately over the Columba Centre at Bowmore - I'm thinking maybe Columba himself helped out??

Columba Centre

I mentioned the Columba Centre - what an inspiring place.
I was given a great deal of assistance by Sheena MacKellar, who gave me advice on places to visit while I was there. Some of the photos I took are to be seen in my Landscape page, - but I've included one here from the centre which shows their wonderful "stairway to heaven" - or in my case - to the Loo!

It was unfortunate about the misty weather, but gives me all the more reason to go back to Islay again.
I found plenty of locations I'd like to re-photograph, given better light - but I was quite happy with what I did get - with a little help from levels in Photoshop.