on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End Frame: Gull’s Nest, Midsummer Eve, Isle of Skye by Bill Brandt

Michael Cant chooses one of his favourite images

Michael Cant

I have been photographing for many years. For the last 15 years I have worked only in digital, mainly in monochrome. I have a particular love of photographing churches, landscapes and abandoned places - sometimes a subject will come under all of those headings.


I was surprised, but honoured, to receive an email from Charlotte asking if I would like to contribute an article for End Frame. I’m sure that I’m like many photographers who read these articles – how could I possibly choose a single image? Over the years we are exposed to many great photographers and their work so, potentially, choosing an image would be extremely difficult. However, despite all the wonderful images I’ve seen, I kept coming back to one that I encountered early in my photographic journey - Gull’s Nest, Midsummer Eve, Isle of Skye, by Bill Brandt.

I saw this at an exhibition sometime in the 1980s and it made a deep impression on me. The nest in the foreground with its three eggs and a single feather has a wonderful sense of intimacy, of secrecy. The water beyond the nest, reflecting the late evening light in the sky, is calm, giving a feeling of tranquillity. The silhouetted mountains in the distance provide a sense of mystery. It’s an image of two halves, the nest and rocks being one half, the water and mountains the other. It seems almost absurd to think it but I can hear the silence. This was the first image that I remember giving me the powerful feeling of being transported to another place.

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