Mull Calling

Jason // August 31 // 9 Comments

I’ve been feeling the call of the wild for some time now. In fact it’s an urge I tend to largely ignore, choosing instead to stay close, do ‘work’, visit my todo list and generally strive to feel productive.

A few years ago, pre-pandemic, I did manage three days on Skye. It was January and it rained all the time. Regardless I managed to catch some good images but was consumed by the idea of capturing ‘Skye’. I felt I needed to come home with the iconic set of Skye images and this somehow detracted from my experience.

I was focusing on the expectations of others rather than my own desires and passions. Despite the rain I took acceptable shots of a handful of honeypot spots - Elgol, The Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools. Those moments remain in my memory for their majesty, however a handful of quieter corners speak to me through a more subtle series of shots.

With this in mind I determined to take a trip north of the border again. Mull was calling, and I was listening. It’s been years since I’ve had more than a few hours alone with my Muse, seeking the stories that nurture me and I must admit to having a few wobbles.

Could my time be better spent elsewhere? Am I being selfishly indulgent? What will I do when I get there anyway? Coincidentally Nicola had arranged a girly weekend with friends at our home, so my fate was sealed.

Bypassing Oban I arrived at Fishnish and sauntered my way to the beachside campsite before taking a short trip to say my helloes to the old place. It’d been a while.

I’d chosen a topic to work with, four in fact from a previous visit. Boulders, Birch, Buttress and Black Beach. I had a focus and apart from one day when I drove an eighty mile round trip as a fruitless diversion I stayed relatively true to my intent. No big locations, no people pleasing, just me and subtle, quiet corners.

I wanted to explore my creative edges, the places where I’d pulled away from out of a misplaced sense of duty, familiarity and, frankly, the doldrums. The miniature Birch wood came first. It turned into Oak, and then Alder. This magical place gave me a way into my vision as I finally forgot about time and just flowed with the tiny beck that chased dragonflies down the mountain through the forest.

The Black Beach who’s real name is Bac Mhor pulled me for a couple of visits and did not disappoint. Hours spent alone in such a gorgeously wild location oozed with solace and proved cathartic. I explored and played with the swell of the incoming tide, getting my feet wet, tasting the salty water and generally pootling about with the rockpools and ocean swell.

My Boulders theme proved challenging and didn’t open up to me. The scatter of shed sized rocks stayed aloof, refusing to show their best side. I took lots of shots, spent time with them but to no avail. It wasn’t to be. Something was missing, perhaps I need a dash of darker weather, and the splash of a writhing tide. I’ll be back. It’s a date and I need to court the place.

The final piece of this quartet symphony, Buttress, only got fleshed out the day before I left for home. That set too needs more exploration. Like the Otters, the mountainous overhangs teased me, showing me just enough to keep me interested but leaving me hungering for more. And that’s ok. I’ll be back.

As I strive to find my home in the deceptively gentle landscape of Morecambe Bay I’m committed to make frequent trips to Mull. I see it as a kind of counterpoint, a sorbet of spectacles to refresh my creative palette over the coming years.

With the coming of November I’ll be back there, working the edges of the days, seeing what magnificence Mull has for me. Or maybe I’ll find more whispers, teasing ‘over the shoulder’ glances from this alluring landscape.

I'm soon to produce a free downloadable pdf gallery book of my Mull shots. If you'd like a copy tell me where to send it in the box below.

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  • I think those Mull boulders messed with your mind, Jason. In my humble opinion, they DID open up to you. The one with the swirly yellow seaweed spread out beneath it reminded me of a TS Eliot poem and the one above it is so enticingly mysterious. It looks like a sketch but with the boulder painted and the gold light is stunning. I’m so intrigued by that one!

    • Thank you Melanie, mush appreciated. Yes, I got somewhere with them, however I know there’s more hiding there. Rocks can take a while to make friends with. 🙂

    • Yes I looked hard at that one and thought as you first did Melanie that it was a sketch with a painted boulder. Loved the swirly yellow seaweed too against that black sand plus the boulders in the background had me thinking of standing stones.

  • Nature never ceases to amaze me and you have caught the magic so well. Like you Jason Mull is a very special place for me also. Brilliant filming thank you!

  • Mull has been on my ‘must visit’ list along with many ( too many ? ) other places and seeing you inspirational images makes me want to go there even more, however a severe lack finances prevent this from happening, but I can imagine the experience of being there. Thanks for your words and pictures.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the piece Ian and look forward to sharing more from that trip to Mull and future ones I have planned. I do hope you make it up to the island at some point.

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    About the Author Jason

    Jason follows his lifelong vocation as a countryside photographer who tries to catch the spirit of the places he visits. After decades working as a professional editorial photographer he now focuses much of his time on conceptual fine art photography, visual storytelling and in aiding others to follow their creative calling.