blues out west

Hello everyone, it’s Tom here. I thought I’d write to tell you a little about my latest collection of images, which I’ve just made available as a series of limited edition prints. (I make the prints myself, here at home, and as I’ve written about before, it’s a process I really enjoy).

Some of my image collections focus on a project’s obvious, intrinsic theme such as work with wool (Shetland Oo), an individual city (People MAKE Glasgow) or a particular event (Drymen Show). But other collections are more reflective or introspective, arising from my own continual explorations of my practice, while also exploring a sense of place. Projects like Latitude and Light by the Sea arose from just this combination, and it is this exploratory mingling of place and practice that has inspired my latest collection too.

I have spent the past year and a half in just one place—the west of Scotland—and each day, as a photographer feel very deeply absorbed in its shades and hues. This is a watery place, a place with a lot of weather. The sky shifts very quickly; there are a lot of different kinds of blue.

So in curating this latest collection of images, I was drawn to these Blues out West: soft grey blues, bold bright blues, thin, cold blues, blues that merge, against water or air, into green or pink or brown.

These images vary a great deal in subject matter, location, composition or technique: but as a collection, they coalesce around the richly varied and always-inspiring blues of Scotland’s west.

Berneray West Beach

01 Berneray West Beach – Bright summer light shines though the fine sea spray at Berneray’s West Beach. Captured with a single long exposure, the effervescent energy of the waves bursts forth from the surrounding calm, deep blue sea.

Auchineden Hill

02 Auchineden Hill – As the sun sets on a hazy spring evening on Auchineden Hill, the rolling landscape ahead projects from left and right into the frame. Looking west, each contour of the landscape takes on its own distinct hue.


03 Poppy – An adventure begins on the causeway connecting Berneray to North Uist. An image of joyous optimism, as “Poppy” trundles west, surrounded by the big blues of a Hebridean sea and sky.


04 Dandelion – High summer’s cloudless blue is the canvas for this delicate cloud of seed heads.

Blue Process

05 Blue Process – An abstract piece made by combining alternative chemical techniques (cyanotype) and direct printing to silver gelatin paper using the sun (Lumen printing).

Out of Eriskay

06 Out of Eriskay – A thin strip of road stretches out across a cool green-blue sea under brooding skies. The vast north Atlantic to the left, the Little Minch to the right. A composition that’s all about perspective and the unique “in between” space of Hebridean causeways.

Tarbet 31.12

07 Tarbet 31.12 – The last day of the year. A bright cold mist rolls in over the water shrouding distant hills with a wash of cool blue.

Full Cold Moon

08 Full Cold Moon – A brisk, chilly walk, stepping westward. December’s full cold moon sets over the snowy peaks of the west highlands. As day breaks, cold blues give way to warming pinks.

Storm at Milarrochy Bay

09 Storm at Milarrochy Bay – Loch Lomond under gale force winds. The churning waters take on painterly, impressionist blues and browns in this long exposure.

I hope you enjoy these blues as much as I do!

thanks for reading (and looking)