A Year of Recovery
I would never have thought that a seemingly innocuous slip on a wet rock at Ardtoe would have resulted in a debilitating injury requiring surgery, 4 months of immobilisation, 12 months of physiotherapy and a further 6-12 months of recovery time to get me back to a point where I can freely walk in and photograph the landscape here on the Peninsula. However, this was indeed the case, and I am thankful that I had my photography to use as the motivator to get active and aid my recovery. It also resulted in the creation of a collection of 72 images that portray the varying landscape and moods of the Peninsula throughout 2022. This blog contains 12 of these images, one for each month of the year, and I hope to share the remainder of them over the course of 2023.
On 6th July 2021, I slipped on some wet rocks at Ardtoe, dislocating my knee and tearing my patellar tendon in two. Following an operation to repair the damage, I found myself immobilised and in a knee brace until early November and unable to get out and do any photography.
While laid up in the brace, I set myself the target of getting back out with the camera by the start of 2022 and the objective of taking 5 or 6 images each month that captured the varying landscape and moods of the Peninsula throughout the year.
With limited mobility, especially at the start of the year, I had to think carefully about locations I could safely go that would provide me with opportunities to take the photographs that I had in mind. This was a bit of a challenge at first, but I found that this limitation helped me with my creativity.
By the end of the year, I had visited enough locations and taken enough photographs to enable me to create a collection of 72 images, or six for each month to reasonably portray the Peninsula over the course of 2022. Twelve of these images, one for each month, are presented in this blog and I plan to share the rest of them over the course of the coming year in a new section on this website titled “A Year on the Peninsula”.
As well as the collection of images, the project provided me with the motivation to get “out there” and get back into my photography and aid my recovery. When pulling these images together, I was certainly reminded of how far I have come since that day in January when I gingerly made my way down the jetty at Salen with the help of a crutch to take the first photograph in this collection. I still have a number of months left in my 18-24 month long recovery period and hopefully, as my ability to walk on uneven ground and also downhill improves, I’ll be able to range further afield and photograph locations that I have not been able to get to since that fateful day in July 2021.
These photographs are absolutely beautiful! We have been to all the surrounding area where you live but never to your peninsula, will definitely try to get there as it looks amazing!
Hi Steven. Enjoyed your photos as always, but surprised to learn the “backstory”. Your mishap must have occurred just days after our 2021 visit to Rockpool House - I hope we didn't jinx you! Glad to hear that you are recovering well. Restricted mobility is a major problem as we know only too well. Best wishes, Martin
If ever anyone wanted inspiration to get started with photography, this is it. No matter what the season, or time of day or night you’ve clearly demonstrated that there’s always something worth capturing. The opportunity might take time to prepare for, or it might be a spur of the moment shot. It also helps that you know your local area and you’ve spent time finding the best places to get the best compositions. I particularly love your two bridges ‘November’ shot and the way you’ve captured the hanging sky at the top of the frame with its sense of drama.
Wonderful photos in great locations just at the right time. I have been to many of these places but unfortunately not at the right time.
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Hi, I’m Steven Marshall, a Scottish landscape photographer based at Rockpool House in the heart of the beautiful West Highland Peninsulas of Sunart, Morvern, Moidart, Ardgour and Ardnamurchan. Get in touch for photography tuition, tours and print sales.