i believe in ghosts

in the footsteps
of the lords

I believe in ghosts and nowhere do I sense their presence more than when I wander the rugged Scottish Highlands.I am fascinated by the medieval Lords of the Isles who ruled for two centuries, and I yearn to follow in their footsteps. The energy of their spirits is profound for those who open themselves to the world of the past. The stark beauty of this land is mesmerizing and I wonder what it must have been like to rule over such a vast, beautiful and particular place. Several books have been written about the Lords of the Isles but there are none that present the story as a photographic journey as this project will do.

Imagine a warrior culture steeped in Norse and Celtic ancestry developing into one of the most important clans in Scottish history. The territory which became the kingdom of the isles was united by the legendary Somerled, a Norse-Celtic warrior who defeated the Vikings and brought together the many traditional tribes who controlled the Scottish Highlands and islands in the 12th century. Three generations later, Somerled’s descendants would become the all-powerful Clan Donald which would rule as Lords of the Isles for two centuries. This project seeks to follow in their footsteps and present a visual journey through this eternal landscape of the past. Brief historical references will accompany the photos and included will be portraits of descendants who will tell their own ancestral stories.

Travel with me as I trace their footsteps and capture the magic of the world they fought to protect. Look out over Finlaggan, the seat of power for the Lords on the Isle of Islay. Stand beneath the ruins of Ardtornish Castle, strategically built on a headland jutting into the Sound of Mull. Roam Dunstaffnage Castle with its commanding views across the Firth of Lorn, the Sound of Mull and the approach to the Great Glen. Wander through forests that call to mind a Monet painting.  Hike the harsh remote terrain of Knoydart, an area of exceptional scenery.  Gaze upon the seas that bore the great fleets which carried the warriors into battle.  Experience the spirituality of the abbeys and priories erected by the Lords and their followers.   Marvel at the coastal beauty of the Outer Hebrides which contain bygone remains of the kingdom.  Feel the presence of the spirits in every dramatic sunset over the cliffs, every rising sun over the machair, every driving rainstorm sweeping over the sea.

The project will be documented on this site over the course of the next 2 years culminating in the publication of a photo book sometime in late 2024 or early 2025.