Sunday, December 28, 2008


What weather we are having at the moment. Hardly a breath of wind has been stirring the smoke from the chimneys and the sun is shining - albeit on the mainland some 40 miles away. Here, we have a covering of cloud and we could see the sunshine onto the mountains across the water. The beach beckoned again this time on Gress and I took this snap with the Perkeo wide open and short-focused.
Have a wonderful 2009 all of you Tolstanians and others alike.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The weather was just lovely today so we played around on the beach nearby having a wonderful time. Hard to believe how far north we are when the climate is like this.
Anyway, thought it was about time I did a self-portrait or two.

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Lanntair

Really wanted to thank An Lanntair and all who sail in her for a fine 2008 and for giving me lots of pleasure. May I wish everyone a very happy and fruitful 2009. Don't forget the Wiesmier expo of snaps of a wierd ilk in Feb!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel

Well, its the shortest day and yes, I got wet again. This time strolling, or should I say fighting to walk back up the hill from the beach in a rain-storm. The storm that followed the sunshine and preceded more sunshine. Rex [aka 'Smeller'] came with us for a stroll - Rex lives at the top of the hill tot he beach and often comes along to encourage us to play 'ball' - or whatever Rex cn find for us to throw. Rex, I might add, is a collie of some sort.
Anyway, from this day forward for six-months, the days will be getting longer. However, the light get little better than it was today.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 nearly gone

And a fantastic year it has been up here in the far North West of the UK. bit blowey and wet today but hey, that's one of the delights of living here.
Thanks to anyone who reads this. Have a wonderful Christmas and see you again soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

1936 and still going strong

I took my Zeiss Ikonta A folding camera out for a walk yesterday. Loaded with some HP5 and hawked around the castle grounds for a change. Now, this camera may be some 70 years old but it still performs extremely well. Take this example - souped in Pyrocat HD.
Not bad eh? And it fits snugly into ones pocket - leaving room for a hanky and one's lip salve. What more can one ask?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pyro pub walker

I'm impressed. First go with Pyrocat HD that Colin let me have today and, the PAnf thrown through it looks fab. Will be looking to use this stuff again!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We don't have a dog, or a cat for that matter. I've never been a dog loving person really but my time with the late Rocky and old Frank changed all that. And living in a village renowned for its dogs running all over the shop, its hard not to get to like them. One such dog - that never runs wild around the village I might add - is Ziggy. House-mate of Roy, Ziggy is a most affable, friendly and well behaved animal that has on occasion livened up my beach-themed strolls.

My tip for that all important holiday book to read. Get it from the local [mobile] Library-as I did ; Affluenza; the all consuming epidemic

Friday, December 05, 2008

Laid back Roy

Been playing again - with a roll of Panf and a sheet of cardboard. Roy and Ziggy came to play

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I bumped into Ivor Mackay the other day - phoning a friend at the side of the road to tell him of his flat car tyre. I stopped to help as one does, sympathised and went home. I've never taken a snap of Ivor but I have taken one of Chris Cyprus in Mossley, Lancs - and we have a couple of his peices gracing the walls of our home. Here's my snap of Chris in his studio in Mossley - taken with the Voigtlander Bessa 6x9 folding rangefinder. Nice.
Was all down hill for here. Seem to have lost my photographic confidence and eye at the moment!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Rural Guerilla rests

Rocky, the Rural Guerilla from Ayrshire is no more. Rocky passed away peacefully at his home after a long life terrorising the locality in his younger days and warming hearts of others as he got older. Born 16 human years ago, this little Patterdale terrier was a working dog with a turn of speed and sharp teeth. Banned from his home, the local pub for acts of minor terrorism, Rocky was adopted by Vic Possee who brought him to his home to accompany Frank, the soft and warm hearted black Labrador who was to be his faithful companion for the rest of his life.
Rocky took a holiday last Christmas time for 4 months on the Isle of Lewis and enjoyed his regular strolls along the beaches of North Tolsta. Once the sand was between his toes he would get really excited and bound along throwing his paws forward - until the exertion got the better of him, usually after 20 yards - on account of his dodgy heart.
He leaves Frank, his long-time partner-in-crime and his step-dad Victor.
Will be much missed by all who met him.
No flowers please

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Feeling better

The islands doctors have put me back on track and I'm now feeling much better thank you. I even spent a few moments in the darkroom today - although nothing much to show for it!
In the meantime, here's an image of my neighbour :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bristol Queen

This old boat plys from Weston-Super-Mud taking passengers out into the Bristol Channel. Delightful. I took this last week in the sunshine while visiting Mater in nearby Burnham-on-Sea. Ever since I got back I have been rather under the weather. Hoping the Doc can sort me in the morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


..we took off over The Minch last weekend to Inverness via Skye. The ferries were all over the place and the weather didn't look too bright so a shorter water borne trip is always the best bet. I was attending a Red Cross course inInverness to enable me to teach DeFib thingy. Great course but very hard work - and long. Still, had a nice time and then set off to Somerset by air to see Mater for a few days. Thankfully, the sun shone all the time I was there so the trips we took on local buses to Taunton, Watchet and Weston-Super-Mud were most enjoyable.
Anyway, here's Mother at home and waiting for the Bus.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bac home

Gosh, how lovely it is to be back on the island all snugged up in our little home with the fires burning and the dinner cooking in the Rayburn.
The ferry back over the Minch was a little exciting - especially as I seemed to have acquired a migraine as they day wore on.
A great trip to Somerset was had by me to see Mater, plus a Red Course course in Inverness while Eve my dear partner took off to Yorkshire to see her Mum. So mild down in Somereset - while here its snowing a bit and a lot over Inverness way. Yes, I took a camera but as yet the developing is pending.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still at it

I got a bit tired of going out into the terrible weather we have had of late, so took a hour of my life to make a still life with some of the detritus on the Winter Parlour table. Used the Spotmatic loaded with Era100.
I must say, when one looks at great still life photography, it does seem quite easy to do. In practice it is one of the most difficult forms I think. As the saying goes; "Its all about the light". Look here for a paper neg print by Andrew Sanderson - or here for another superb print by the same artiste.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Roy's Home

Just love this snap taken wif the pinhole at Roy's home. For the technical minded, the exposure was a few minutes or so, the film old Perutz developed in old print developer. Just Class.

Look see

When you get bored and need a little more film-related chat, there are two places to go to.
Filmwasters - as the name implies - a lot of wasters who use film to make images. Always inte5resting work to see and great people.
film-and-darkroom-user - a new one to me but looks interesting and all The Names are there.
The snap up loaded today here is not one of mine but of a neighbour who took this picture of his coow and wanted a copy to send to his girl friend. Eh?
Isle of Lewis life :-)

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I'm alone at home for a few days while my dear Eve is in Londinium to see off our dear friend Monty on an eternal journey.
So, what with walking and popping into see my neighbour I've been hiding in the darkroom. Perhaps I may have a print to show soon! Meanwhile, here's another neg scan from The Wedding

Friday, November 07, 2008

My mornings

New Tolsta way
Rushing Home

I've taken to having a stroll around the village every morning for about an hour of late. I had the feeling that I have not been taking enough exercise so was determined to do something about it. This has given me a chance to see the village in a new light - see the village from different vantage points and so on. This morning saw me up to my knees in a bog on the moor! Yesterday I took in the next settlement - New Tolsta.

On the way home I passed by Roy's abode and enjoyed a fine coffee while we sorted out the world's problems. Despite the slight lack of sharpness - because Roy can't stay still for more than 10 secs, this image has a nice feel about it. Must be the light.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New office here?

or here?

What a couple of days

Autumn has dawned after a short winter - which seems par for the course these days. Mr Obama has won the local election over the pond and the days up here on the island are sublime.
My ploy for showing my bosses the gritty reality of working in a relatively remote place rather backfired on me as the sun shone all day long and the hoped for gale on the beach became an amazing light over the sea. Full marks for spotting the location

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I just want to mark the passing of a good friend, bon-viveur, fine husband of Fleur, film producer, author and photographer Andrew Montgomery aka Monty. Will be missed greatly.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rosie & Stephen

They got married. And I wish them all the very best of luck for their future.

November - brain fade

Well, actually, brain fade happens all year but this, hey, what a mess. Made up this pinhole camera from an old Brownie box camera sans lens using some cunningly needle poked tin-foil stuck on the front of the film holder bit. Loaded wif old Perutz film I had knocking about and shot - 1 min exposures and the like. If I hadn't been there I would have thought I had been inside the camera!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow - in October!

Oh, well I woke up this morning t find the snow and sleet was on the ground. Blimin cold too. Rushed out of bed and snook down to the beach to take a few pinhole snaps !

Monday, October 27, 2008

A new pin

Recently, I modified my pinhole camera and as a result the snaps I took with it were immediately confined to the bin! So, last night I set too and re-modified the pinhole constructing a new pin-hole from tin-foil. The whole operation took 5 mins. And this morning, when I ended up having to take Eve my dear partner to work - as the bus came early and she missed it - I took these two snaps. I'm quite pleased.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Walk in the hail

The weather may have calmed down a lot - so much so that the ferries sailed - Isle of Lewis on Sat and Muirneag on Sunday !!!!!!!!!!!!! Eve & I went out for the stroll and on passing Roy's abode we were invited in for a nice cuppa. Great stuff, especially since it rained heavily while we were there. The walk beckoned though and we took off over the moor y our peat bank only to have to endure repeated hail-storms. No wonder Roy wasn't so keen on venturing out.
Todays snap is of Roy on a previous walk in the same area - with his lovely dog, Ziggy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Storm has passed

For the moment.
100mph winds apparently too. Not too much damage on the house but it was a noisy night.
Can I point one in the direction of An Lanntair for a fine exhibition of paintings - and three wonderful photos. These look like prints in Vandyke or maybe platinum from glass negs. Either way they just sing :-)

Friday, October 24, 2008


I visit some blogs from time to time - the Hebrides based ones - obviously - but also good photo blogs. Here's one I like Camera Obscura.

Nothing to show today really as I have been making cyanotypes and they are not dry :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A bit of a Hooley

Approaching the traffic jam while the Hooley rages
Traffic Jam in Village
Yes, the weather is a tad rough today and yesterday and probably most of the week too. There's ships anchored in the Bay outside sheltering the storm the ferries are not playing and the Met Office tells me that visibility is 'poor'. Which it is -- especially in the Summer Parlour at home where the smoke from the fire is kippering me as I write.
I did manage a quick stroll around the village this morning in the wind and rain with the Kiev rangefinder and a 50mm lens since I was unsure whether the thing actually works. Well it does and nicely too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bit of a blow

Enjoying a Thin Lizzie number :-)

Any of you readers who are based up here will realise we are having a bit of a blow. Highish winds and rain make sitting by the peat-fire very enticing. Never the less, I have been in the darkroom this morning sloshing some film I shot last night at the Lewis Bar in Stornoway. Here the band Cheap Shotz were playing - and very good they were too. I recognised at least 50% of what they played such was the age of the tunes played.
Apparently, the Cheap Shotz will be playing a various venues around the island of the next few months so get along to hear them if you can.