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One of the challenges of photographing in the Highlands is the dreaded Scottish Highland Midge. It’s a tiny insect that can easily fly through the holes in a mosquito net. But its bite and the sheer numbers of them that can gather in one place make them a real challenge. They also like to gather in the twilight hours, around ‘damp’ areas and when the wind drops. If you like taking photographs of sunsets with reflections of mountains in Highland lochans, you’d best get your photography done before they emerge!!
We had a couple of enquiries through email about just how bad the problem was and what the best preventative methods were, so I dug out an article I wrote a while back about the midge, which you can read here. In short, to prevent getting bitten, the best remedy is to use Smidge (Picaridin/Saltidin) on any skin the midges can get to.
Once the number of midges rises beyond a certain amount, the sheer annoyance factor of having them inside your ears and up your nose means you need something to block them completely. That’s why a midge net is a compulsory item for anyone to enjoy the outdoors in the Highlands. However, the small mesh size to protect from the midge is such that you can’t really see anything clearly. I was left wondering how you could have a transparent version and concluded that it would be ideal to have a set of glasses embedded in a midge net. And after some experimenting, I ended up creating the ‘midge glasses’. Now I can see clearly and operate still operate a camera (although the viewfinder access isn’t as good, as anybody who has to wear glasses will attest).
The picture I have chosen is a part of John Blakemore’s tulip journey called ‘Tulip Celebrations - 4’. Before I explain my choice of photograph, allow me to say a little about John’s approach to photography, drawing on his own words. more
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The inclusion of the wind turbines clearly date stamps the image as post late 20th century, in the same way that the horse and cart in the Hay Wain dates Constables’ painting to the early 19th century. more
The Island, like a lot of my work, is a construction, it’s England and the Brexit vote but a response distilled through my experience, thoughts and feelings. more
People often criticise those they admire most because they are living out the dreams they do not have the courage to follow themselves. Or they feel that they are more deserving of the praise or success that someone else has received. more
A childhood spent among the Beech forests of the Casentino Forests left an indelible mark on me. My memories sink into summers spent with my grandparents in these beautiful places and formed my spirit. more
The personal satisfaction and sense of reward that I get from producing an image through the medium of film is exponentially greater than that of digital. more