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Going it Alone on Harris

Adam and Harvey talk about their trip to the Outer Hebridies

Adam Pierzchala

Semi-retired, I now have more time to pursue my various interests including travel and photography. I enjoy being in the outdoors with my camera, whether close to home in local woodlands or in exotic places further afield. My preference is for landscape in all its guises, which I now shoot predominantly digitally with occasional outings to shoot retro on MF film.


Harvey Lloyd-Thomas

A photographer who enjoys exploring wilder and remoter landscapes, searching out unseen details, while attempting the occasional photographic vista. Also partial to the odd image of rust and decay


Adam: My friend Harvey and I had both previously visited the Outer Hebrides on different tours organised by Light & Land, which incidentally is where I first met Tim Parkin back in 2009. However, we both felt that there was still unfinished business for us: for me it was that being a beginner in “serious” photography, the images I made on those early visits were very much work-in-progress: I was reasonably pleased with only 2-3, but even those never ended up on paper – just film transparencies.

Harvey: My first trip to the Outer Hebrides, under the tutelage of David Ward, was back when I think I was still finding my own photographic style and the confidence to do my own thing. So subsequently, although I had thoroughly enjoyed the trip, I felt I hadn't made the most of what the locations had to offer. I returned briefly in recent years as part of a group led by Peter Cairns. On this short second trip, the emphasis was very much on traditional golden hour photography of vistas (which is outside of my comfort zone photographically), with no one else interested in stopping to photograph dilapidated buildings. I enjoy getting to know a location through repeated visits and so was happy to return for the third time when Adam suggested the possibility of a trip, and I felt he would also be a kindred spirit when it came to searching out dereliction!


Adam Pierzchala, Horbagost, Willows

AP: We met up in Birmingham for the long drive up north, this time, "going it alone" rather than being part of a workshop or tour. Our photography differs significantly in the way we work, in our approach, styles and visions for the final image. It would be interesting to see how we interpret subjects that we both photograph but also what other subjects we would find when working further apart. We had allowed a couple of hours on Skye before catching the ferry and decided on a visit to the Fairy Pools at Glen Brittle.

Despite it being quite busy on Sunday, some decent photography was possible. Although Harvey found a wonderful deep pool to photograph, I had yet to get into my photographic groove and came away with nothing. Then onward to Uig and the ferry across to Harris via Lochmaddy on North Uist. Here the skies were moody, initially full of warm evening sunlight filtering through the clouds and we both enjoyed taking some shots across the water, catching the fleeting light. But once the sun had set and we were on open water on our way to Tarbert, an ominous rain-filled darkness enveloped us. What conditions would the coming week bring?

Adam Pierzchala, Rodel Pots

Adam Pierzchala, Rodel Pots

Harvey Lloyd-Thomas, Rodel Pots

Harvey Lloyd-Thomas, Rodel Pots

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  • Great trip report, having been up there in July, its already making me want to go back.

  • Kevin Fidler

    Congratulations on a superb album of photos, gents – impossible to pick any as outstanding as it would do an injustice to the rest. Enjoyed the commentary too.

  • Adam Pierzchala

    Many thanks Kevin and Alastair, glad you like it!

  • David Fearn

    Trying to figure out when you went: April?

    • Yes, we went end of April.

      • David Fearn

        Cheers! From the results, looks like a very good time for a visit.

  • Richard Draper

    Hello both – very good to read your report and see your differing approaches to the Hebrides – some really striking images. Nice to be reminded of those Hebrides sights too as I was also on that David Ward trip with you Adam as well as Tim, back in 2009 (or was it 2007?). And more recently met Harvey in Knoydart in 2013 – where I returned on a island hopping week a couple of years later. On a related subject I recently read Sea Room by Adam Nicolson – a fascinating read about island life on the Shiant Islands, which are not far from Lewis. He was given the islands by his father and I found his account fascinating. You are allowed to go and stay there for free if you can get there – now there’s a photo project! More at http://www.shiantisles.net/index.html. All the best
    Richard Draper (richarddraper.co.uk)

    • By coincidence I’m currently in the middle of reading Sea Room! We had views of the Shiants the day we went out to Scalpay.

    • Adam Pierzchala

      Hello Richard,
      I do remember you from that trip! Good to hear from you and thanks for the comments. I just had a very quick flick through your website; some of the Beached and b&w Sticks and Stones series are especially interesting. Hope to bump into you soon, maybe at the conference?

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