on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Somhairle MacDonald

Featured Photographer

Somhairle MacDonald

I am an Invernesian living in Glasgow, Scotland and I make pictures. I am a photographer, graphic design, illustrator, videographer and artist. I have been working as a professional image maker since 2001 and my experience is broad and wide ranging. My love of pictures started in early childhood and I was lucky to have a Mother and Grandpa who were exceptionally talented artists and nurtured and encouraged my talent. My Father was a keen film photographer and I learnt the technical facets of photography from him.


Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

Flickr, Facebook, Twitter

Can you tell me a little about your education, childhood passions, early exposure to photography etc?

I grew up in the highlands of Scotland. Both of my parents were brought up in Lochaber and I enjoyed a free and adventurous childhood. I still walk up burns like I did when I was a child and still mountain bike, though not to the extremes I did as a teenager and in my twenties. I have explored vast tracts of land where I grew up on An Aird and my habit for exploring continues to this day. I have a deeply-ingrained tie to my home in the highlands and I am passionate about its landscape, people and culture. My Grandpa MacDonald was a shepherd in Glen Nevis at the foot of Ben Nevis. He kept his sheep on the high pasture of Stob Bàn, a sizeable and rugged mountain which is 998 metres tall. He was raised in Torridon and like him, I am drawn to the wilderness. It is in my blood, it is my home.

Rose The Boat Cuidhitinis, Harris

Rose The Boat, Cuidhitinis, Harris

I got into photography through my Father. He had a Canon FTb and we used to take photos at sporting events like Le Tour de France and the Scottish Six Day Trials. In my twenties, I played bass in an ethno-funk band called Croft No. 5 and through my involvement in the music scene I ended up designing album covers and taking photos for other musicians. I have done this for over twenty years now. I am also an artist and my photography feeds directly into my painting process.

Tell me about why you love landscape photography? A little background on what your first passions were, what you studied and what job you ended up doing

I love landscape photography because I love the landscape. Being outside and attentive is important to my everyday function, it’s like some sort of cognisant lubrication.

  • First passions… Black Sabbath, Mountain Biking, Bass, Heavy Drums, Art, Girls.
  • I studied Graphic Design at Glasgow College of Building and Printing… HND
  • I studied History of Art, Scottish History and Gàidhlig at Glasgow University… But dropped out after a disagreement about what Van Gogh was feeling when he painted ‘The Potato Eaters’ ...
  • Played Bass for 7 years in Croft No. 5
  • Quarter Life Crisis!!! Back to the Highlands. Tree Planter, Farm Loon, Live SoundCrew,
  • Bike Messenger, Glasgow. 5 years.
  • House Father to Brae and Struan… Part Time Web Design, Album Covers, Photography, Videography…
  • Self Employed Artist.
  • 2017- started painting again after a hiatus of 15 years.


How easy – or difficult – do you find it to fit your photography around work and other commitments? When you travel for work, are you able to devote any time to either photography or researching new places?

I lead a very alternative life, my economic dependency is fulfilled entirely by my creative endeavors. I do not respond well to systems of control. Being in a touring band in my early twenties I grew accustomed to a very creative and free life-style. Traveling the world and banging out our original brand of high-energy ethno-funk certainly made the world of conventional work look a little daunting / boring / pointless. After the wheels fell off the band, I worked as a bike messenger for 5 years in Glasgow, which in itself introduced me to a band of hardy and talented people. There was a sort of magical subculture around Messengers at that time and a lot of my fellow Messengers are now also full time artists. From Contortionists, to boutique frame builders and pro-level international musicians the courier scene in Glasgow has produced some amazing careers, I feel blessed to have been involved in it and the punk attitude it instilled in me. My nickname (call sign) amongst the messengers was ‘Teen Wolf’ and I still howl at my friends in the street when I see them.

Kinarris Quintet, This Too

Kinarris Quintet, This Too

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