I always travel solo on my landscape trips. Living in the highlands of Scotland the landscape that surrounds me is relatively easy to access. A few years ago I undertook a tour of the Hebrides and haven’t stopped going back since.
Travelling in my converted sprinter van I am self sufficient and rarely need to even go to a shop during my trips. When you reach the beaches of Luskentyre, Scarista and Seilebost on Harris, I know from previous experience that there is no phone signal. I go prepared to be cut off from my family and the connectivity I am so used to. On this occasion I parked by Luskentyre for 3 nights and didn’t speak to another sole until I made my back to the ferry 3 days later. In those 3 days I somehow gained the ability to write articles I had managed to put off for weeks or months beforehand and the patience and time to create images I had wanted to for years.
All of my most powerful images have been made in times of aloneness. I can’t think of a single great image that I created whilst in a group or even with my family. I always thought it was because you somehow feel pressured when someone else is with you. Landscape photography is time consuming and requires a dedication that only someone who is really passionate about it has. It’s a bit like taking young children shopping; its far better to just leave them at home.
However, I have now come to understand that it is more than that. I can actually only create through aloneness. It is solitude that allows me to be at my most creative. As an introvert, aloneness revitalises me.
I wonder whether my chosen favourite island is chosen for a reason. Travelling over means staying at least a few days to make the most of the long joinery over, so that means at least 2 or 3 days on a very quiet island with nowhere to really go to meet people, no phone signal and no wifi. If I ever want to really knuckle down and create some new work, all I need to do is to mark a few days out and take a trip over the the Outer Hebrides