When the internationally renowned photographer Paul Strand visited South Uist in 1954 to create a series of powerful portraits and landscape views for his book Tir a’ Mhurain, he was not alone in singling out the Western Isles for photographic attention. As early as 1843, when David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson portrayed John Francis Campbell of Islay, the camera was employed to represent Hebridean subjects. This book discusses why and how photographers have been drawn to these fascinating islands, and the ways in which photographic images have been created and viewed within Hebridean communities from the late nineteenth century onward. The book features the work of photographers such as Captain F.W.L. Thomas of the Admiralty Survey, who created the first images of St Kilda in 1860, and George Washington Wilson, whose topographical images of the Highlands and Islands formed an integral part of a photographic business that developed a worldwide reach. Later photographers, such as Margaret Fay Shaw, Alasdair Alpin MacGregor, Werner Kissling and Erskine Beveridge, documented a distinctive way of life in the isles that had largely disappeared from mainland Britain, leaving a legacy of wonderful photographs that inspire as well as inform.
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