Spring on Mull and Iona

The snowdrops have given way to daffodils. The soloist bird has now been joined by a full chorus of his friends at dawn. And yet, winter has not quite let go its grip on the island. In the dying days of March, there are blue skies, warm sunshine and the aquamarine sea is calm. Yet the high level cirrus clouds spreading across the sky are a hint of another westerly gale coming in, the leading edge of an Atlantic depression.

As a professional landscape photographer, I adore the light on the west coast. I love the bright sunny days when the mountains and lochs gleam in their luminescence. And yet, I also love those brooding, stormy days and I am never happier than enduring a squall sweeping in from the west, pulling up my collar against the biting wind and hail and using all my strength to hold on to my tripod to avoid my camera gear being blown away. On overcast days, the sea will often have a wonderful silvery quality to it which is a gift to the photographer, particularly one whose work is predominantly in black and white: the writer E L James wasn't the only person to discover that there can be fifty rather wonderful shades of grey. Indeed, I have a confession. I love the weather here in ALL its forms as much as I love the light. Who can not feel exhilarated by the sound of waves exploding against the rocks at the base of a high sea cliff or by the thunder of a torrent plunging down a waterfall?

I always think that the Isles of Mull and Iona are all year 'round destinations. I'm often asked by photography workshop guests what Mull is like in the winter. They are invariably surprised by my reply that "it's wonderful". Sunrise and sunset are at 'civilised' times and the light can be dramatic. There is nothing better than being out experiencing all four seasons in one day which the Hebridean weather can throw at you and then hunkering down in the evening in front of an open fire, with dram in one hand and book in the other.