So I’ve been shooting an ongoing project for several months. A lovely commission to shoot many award winning apprentices for Skills Development Scotland. This recently involved a road trip up to Inverness then onto Aberdeen and then a hop over to Shetland. I’m not long back and can’t yet share any of the images from that shoot as the campaign isn’t up and running yet. However, I did manage to have a few hours spare at the end of the Shetland shoot before flying home. I asked some locals where the most dramatic bit of coastline was within an hours drive. They pointed me in the direction of Eshaness in the north so thats where I headed with my camera.
I realise now I never quite arrived there, after 50 minutes of driving across a beautiful barren landscape of deserted homes and sporadic colourful villages I turned a corner and found the bay overlooking Hillswick from Urafirth. It was so beautiful and dramatic looking into the light that I was happy to stop there, get out and explore. To be honest I didn’t at the time know if this was Eshaness or not, what with no mobile reception and scant road signs. With the wild remoteness of it all it seemed fitting not to know quite where I was.
I wandered down past a abandoned house complete with a very creepy pair of children shoes left at the end of the road, like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. I wondered if it was something thats done to mark an abandoned home, then realised I was being too dramatic and it was probably just a forgotten pair of shoes. Spooky and poignant all the same.
I walked along the clifftops for an hour or so with a wild wind forcing foam and rain up the wall of the cliff into my face and lens, then the clouds would part and it would be perfect sunshine for a minute before returning to a torrent of rain again, then back to sun again, over and over. I found my eyes constantly being drawn to the Jagged rocks breaking the surface of the sea in the distance, the light changing the same view dramatically every few minutes.
I had a two hour drive back to Sumburgh for my flight and managed to check my bags, just allowing time to take the hire car down to visit the coastline by the monumental lighthouse nearby. Despite being the most notable spots to visit I saw not another soul out walking, the only tourist about I was aware of was me.
Definitely have to go back and spend more time exploring. It’s bleak and barren quality is weirdly compelling and Lerwick has some beautiful wee corners. The whole island is a photographers dream.
Looking across to Hillswick from Urafirth
Lerwick. Like it’s a perfect Scottish town film set! The locals really do wear fair isle jumpers and sport enormous non hipster beards.
To enter or exit Sumburgh airport you have to drive over the runway!
Sumburgh lighthouse at the extreme south of Shetland.
looking west from Sumburgh in the last light.
The rather creepy childs shoes i found in the long grass.
Here be monsters.
Lots of lonely isolated houses dot the landscape, many unoccupied.