Working Way Out West

“I’ve been fortunate to spend much of my working life as a photographer on Scotland’s long and rugged west coast. Often described inaccurately as ‘remote’ (from where?) or a ‘wilderness’ the country’s western fringes have always drawn photographers from across the globe, fascinated by the dramatic scenery, the ever-changing weather and the relationship between land and sea. From Paul Strand to Werner Kissling, photographers have endeavoured to capture the essence of the landscape and the people who live and work way out west. The photographs I have selected here represent a snapshot from many projects and commissions over the last 20 years. Sadly some of those featured are no longer alive, but maybe through the images something of their working lives have been preserved forever.”

Colin McPherson

Crofter Alistair Macleod standing outside his house at Midfield, Melness on the Kyle of Tongue, Sutherland.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Crofters Alastair Johnston and Ron Wyvill cutting seaweed at Loch Portain on the Outer Hebridean island of North Uist.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

One of the lighthouse keepers on Hyskeir, eight miles from Rum in the Inner Hebrides, checks equipment during the last days before the light was automated by the Northern Lighthouse Board.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Ferryman Ian ‘Ting’ MacFarlane guides his vessel across the sound from Ellenabeich to the island of Easdale, Argyll.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Men cutting peat on a Summer’s morning on Lewis.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Postman John Cormack delivering the mail at Laig Bay on the Hebridean island of Eigg.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Fisherman John Macgregor, aboard the boat he part-owns named My Amber, hauls a creel onto the ship’s deck, off the west coast near Rona.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Melness crofter Frank Gordon in his field with his flock of North Country Cheviots, overlooked by Ben Loyal, Sutherland.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

Men cutting peat on a Summer’s morning on Lewis.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

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