Notes from a (very) small island – Part 2

So, last month I went back to the dear old island again, and how nice it was. I felt a similar sense of excitement about going, but it was different to my first trip. I suppose it’s because I knew what it was like, I knew the people who would be there, and was excited about getting back there and getting back in to island life, but without the nerves of who or what I might find. I wanted to go back to the simple life, no troubles, no washing, no shopping, no hassles, just enjoying being outdoors all day, staring out to sea on every side of you, watching wild animals, listening to the sounds of birds and the sea, thinking about photography, and maybe a bit of whiskey (or gin, rum, wine & beer) with the other islanders. I was so pleased to see the island I jumped out at Pittenweem on my drive up the coast to take a picture of my first glimpse of it.

It was the summer solstice on the Friday night I was there, and a weird mood descended. A BBC film crew were on the island to do a live broadcast on the evening, so the wee isle was invaded by producers, runners, cables, satellites, and many more people and gear that I had no idea what did what. So much fuss and production for such a small tv appearance. It’s strange,  it’s not even my island and haven’t actually been here much, but I felt a sense of protection for it. I was looking forward to the crew leaving, which they did at about 12 at night under a still light sky. I was glad when they got back on their boat and sailed away into the hazy blue light. We then all enjoyed finishing off their supplies (ie booze) they had left behind, and relished the rest of the longest day and shortest night, which turned out to be quite a long night…

The island was very different to last time only 6 weeks previous. Both visually and atmosphere wise. It was at its most busy, with both birds and people. The Terns had arrived and so had all the day trippers. I was luckily with my first trip as many of the day tripper boats were cancelled so I got to experience the real remote feeling. This time there was lots of seabird research going on, and I was very grateful to the resident researchers to invite me out to photograph their work, at all times of the day. I especially enjoyed the 3am Shag Team trip, beautiful light at that time just as the sun comes up, though it was cloudy that morning. Still there is something extraordinary about that time of day, just around sunrise, it’s not the sunrise I’m interested in as I find that a little tacky, but there is something about that time of day, the thrill of a new day starting.

Having spent today looking over my images for the first time, I think I prefer these to the first images I took. The project seems to of evolved, become more abstract and emotive in someway, maybe this reflects my evolving connection to the island. I have lots of fond memories from this trip and look forward to setting foot on there again, this time in August and for two weeks. It sounds like it could be yet another very different island experience, most of the birds and people will be gone, I look forward to seeing what it’s like so empty.

Here are a few images from this trip…

IOM_2_BLOG_001_8542 IOM_2_BLOG_002_8567

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IOM_2_BLOG_005_8705 IOM_2_BLOG_006_1609   IOM_2_BLOG_009_9789 IOM_2_BLOG_010_8698 IOM_2_BLOG_011_8627 IOM_2_BLOG_012_9287 IOM_2_BLOG_013_1005 IOM_2_BLOG_014_9857 IOM_2_BLOG_015_9863 IOM_2_BLOG_016_0604 IOM_2_BLOG_017_9108 IOM_2_BLOG_018_9236 IOM_2_BLOG_019_9151 IOM_2_BLOG_020_0760 IOM_2_BLOG_021_0486 IOM_2_BLOG_022_0591 IOM_2_BLOG_023_0517 IOM_2_BLOG_024_1194  IOM_2_BLOG_026_0708IOM_2_BLOG_027_0809   IOM_2_BLOG_030_0967

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IOM_2_BLOG_031_9635 IOM_2_BLOG_032_9990

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IOM_2_BLOG_033_0149 IOM_2_BLOG_034_1358  IOM_2_BLOG_036_1550 IOM_2_BLOG_037_1426 IOM_2_BLOG_038_1264 IOM_2_BLOG_039_0002  IOM_2_BLOG_041_1611

IOM_2_BLOG_043_0267

IOM_2_BLOG_042_0235  IOM_2_BLOG_044_1557 IOM_2_BLOG_045_0392 IOM_2_BLOG_046_0416 IOM_2_BLOG_047_9332 IOM_2_BLOG_048_0790  IOM_2_BLOG_050_0580 IOM_2_BLOG_051_1617 IOM_2_BLOG_053_0602

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