I'm never sure whether this is a blog with photographs or a photoblog with commentary. Does "photoblog" even exist in the common lexicon anymore? Suffice to say I'm just a nobody, as much as anybody else is, with nothing to say, as much as anybody else does.
Should you wish to see more of my photowork, please follow the link in the sidebar. And if you happen to be intrigued by single malt whisky, take a peek at www.whiskydistilleries.blogspot.com...or not.

April 3, 2011


Libya and the concept of Responsibility to Protect, championed by Canada, have been quite prominent in our news. I'm not going to wade into the pros and cons of this specific conflict, neither am I getting into the R2P concept itself, but it has gotten me thinking about the idea of responsibility in general.

Seems to me that one of the reasons there is so much controversy about what's happening in Libya (and what is or isn't happening in the neighbourhood) is because we've lost sight of the meaning of responsibility. Abdication (it's not my fault) and litigation (it's your fault) have replaced the understanding and acceptance of the consequences of our actions. So some pseudo-christian pastor in Florida can burn a religious text without thinking or caring how it might negatively, if inadvertently, affect other people (such as getting them killed).

Humans have large brains for a reason, in order to reason...let's use them a little more.

So, you ask, what about the photographs? I'm having a hard time coming up with some connection to any pix in my repertoire so I'll let you make your own connections. Come for the pix get the rant for free, come for the rant get the pix for free (sounds like a Knopfler/Dire Straits line...).

green train, red star 
window, yellow stripe, red star on green...

March 21, 2011


Just watched a clip on TV about the horrendous devastation and human tragedy in Japan. Then comes a commercial for a cream to solve the problem of facial wrinkles...I have to shake my head.

On a lighter note, happy Spring! The Tundra Swans are returning where I live here in Canada. Must be about a year ago that I blogged on this heralding of Spring. The thrill of hearing their distinct calls from high in a cloudless blue March sky still brings a smile. Here are a couple pix of my dog taken a little over a week ago. When I look out my window today, the ground is virtually snow free. Ain't nature grand.

snow laden branches, the dog says "what?!"

March 8, 2011


It is relatively easy to take impressive photographs of landscapes which take the breath away - the monument of the Rocky mountains when the sun and the clouds are just right (see the definition of "awful"), the brilliance of white in the buildings perched high above the cobalt Mediterranean of Rhodos - just point and shoot pretty much anywhere and you're guaranteed to capture something of the grandeur. Anybody can do it, to which travel photo albums around the world can attest. Don't get me wrong, the obvious beauty captured in such photographs has merit, the pleasure of viewing no doubt having some relation to endorphins and the like.

I suppose this is the superficial nature of the iconic - pictures taken by everyone of the visually appealing. The truly brilliant photograph, however, is created by the desire to see beyond the impressive, beyond the grandeur. To distill the image down to some sort of gestalt precisely contained within the edges of the photographic frame. Like taking something apart and reassembling it to the same functionality but with half the moving parts. And this process is not as easy. I can spend hours looking at things just to get the image "just right", only to find upon later inspection that it's "just OK". Happens all the time. That's why you have to have fun in the process, and not merely from the product.

two of the many rocks on Saligo beach, Islay

the Paps of Jura from Bunnahabbhain Distillery, Islay

along the shoreline by Castlebay, Barra

February 1, 2011


Why does the word awful not mean "full of awe", which is the perpetual state we should all strive to attain. Oh, wait, it does...Check out these entries from Dictionary.com:
1. extremely bad; unpleasant; ugly: awful paintings; an awful job.
2. inspiring fear; dreadful; terrible: an awful noise.
3. solemnly impressive; inspiring awe: the awful majesty of alpine peaks.
4. full of awe; reverential.
5. extremely dangerous, risky, injurious, etc.: That was an awful fall she had. He took an awful chance by driving here so fast.
6. Informal . very; extremely: He did an awful good job of painting the barn. It's awful hot in here.
—Usage note
Although some object to any use of awful or awfully in any sense not connected with a feeling of awe, both have been used in other senses for several centuries. Awful and awfully as adverbial intensifiers — awful(ly) hot; awful(ly) cold — appear in the early 19th century, following much the same pattern as horribly and dreadfully. As an adverb awful is less formal in tone than awfully. In the sense “inspiring awe or fear” awesome has largely replaced awful.

I don't know of any other word with two valid yet almost diametrically opposed meanings.

So I feel awful that I haven't shared anything with you for the last few weeks, but I've been awfully busy adding photos to my webalbums.

another photo of the lighthouse in Port Charlotte, one of my favourite subjects on the Scottish island of Islay...you'll probably see many iterations on this theme, both mine and others

the Sound of Islay, looking toward Jura from Port Askaig

the port of Ullapool, Scotland, where the ferry leaves for Stornoway on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis

Loch Seaforth from Bowglass, the land border between the Outer Hebridean islands of Harris and Lewis, Scotland. It's an unusual geographic division, being just a river instead of the expected open water strait between two islands