The Men of Skye
'The Men of Skye' is a collection of photographs taken during the summer of 2018. I was honoured to meet with a host of different and interesting characters on the beautiful Isle of Skye, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago off the north west coast of Scotland.
Gerry Ackroyd was Team Leader of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team from 1975 to 2018, the year in which he retired. Throughout his long career Gerry conducted over 1,500 rescue call outs on the island, each of which with an interesting story behind them.
We were welcomed into Gerry and his wife Joans home on the day of our arrival and were lucky enough listen to a few of these stories.
A wild swimmer who runs the tour group 'Soak up Skye' taking those brave enough to face the cold to the treasured, secret spots for a dip in one of Skyes natural pools or lochs. After shooting, my good friend and assistant on the trip Victoria and I faced the challenge and embraced the cold. The trick is to go in very slowly in stages and allow the body time to adapt.
Nick Hanson, award winning landscape photographer and photographic guide based on the Isle of Skye. We camped over night on top of the 'Quiraing', one of Skyes northernmost summits in order to catch the sun rise. Instead we were awoken by an early morning storm very typical of the Scottish Highlands ever changing weather. I think the storm added to the shots bringing the focus in on Nick and the lengths at which a photographer will go to to get the shot.
A Blacksmith, expert in forging swords, knives and axes. Upon our arrival we'd heard much talk amongst locals of the legendary Viking blacksmith hidden on the island. We managed to track down Martin and his wife Hannah at their home in Carbost, a village on the south shore of Loch Harportand. Definitely the hottest shoot ever.
Ewan Thomson, Carpenter turned Shipbuilder. Currently rebuilding a Nelson 44 to be ready for the water again soon.
Entrepreneur and business owner Ben Oakes started up 'Skye Seaweed', a company specialising in skincare products made using sustainable, hand cut sea weed from the islands shores. I first met Ben years before on my first trip to Skye working on a Visit Scotland advertisement. At the time he was working with his dad diving into the Lochs of Sconser for scallops. It was great to see a friendly, familiar face again.
Peter Macdonald, Drum Major with the Isle of Skye Pipe Band. We managed to steal Peter for ten minutes on his busiest day of the year, during the Skye Highland Games, held in the islands largest town and capital 'Portree'. The event has been running yearly since 1877 and hosts competitions such as The Hammer Throw, Tossing the Caber, Highland Dancing and a Pipe Band competition. Competitors travel from all over the globe to take part.
Donnie is the Skipper aboard the 'Glenachulish' the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland. Photographs taken during the short trip between Skye and our return to Glenelg on the Scottish mainland.