on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Found Light in a Dark Time

Alistair Young

Alistair Young

I live on the Isle of Skye where I wander the hills and mountains of the northwest highlands, documenting landscapes with photography and Gaelic poetry. A software developer for 25 years, a university lecturer for 14 but a walker and mountaineer for 40 and always with a camera and notebook to hand.
Occasionally the bathroom doubles as a darkroom for trips with the Bronica, reliving the moments as the prints emerge into the light.


With its remote glens, unforgiving rocky peaks and legends of beings who live in the wild and empty corries that lead deep into the heart of the Cuillin mountains, the Isle of Skye has been a refuge from the world this past year. As the people have retreated so the mountains have seemed to grow, not only in size and presence but also in silence. A silence that opens the mind to the landscape and a world beyond the reach of chaos.

A world where the imagination rules. Where the gabbro boulder in the darkening corrie is a sleeping witch, waiting to wake and travel the starry skies, greeting the uraisg on her journey to the coven on Raasay. The corrie where eyes blink and the soft sounds of luinneagan drift down from the heights.

These photographs portray found moments of hope and inspiration among bursts of unexpected light which broke the clouds and cascaded over the empty landscapes on the Isle of Skye. Unplanned, no time for tripod, filters or technique, just pure delight in passing moments that, like a meditation bell, ring in the soul for a long time after.

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