Archive for March 7th, 2009



The Temple: Carinish, N. Uist, Scotland

The Temple: Carinish, N. Uist, Scotland

Actually the ruins of a medieval monastery, one of several on the coast and islands of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, where learning was preserved during the dark ages. Monks went out from here to reeducated Europe at the beginning of the renaissance. (Though the whole dark ages thing is coming into question these days, no one disagrees with the role the monasteries like the one at Carninish played in keeping scholarship alive.)

There is a public foot path from down-town Carninish to the ruins, including some boardwalks over marshy spots, but little evidence the site is much visited. I spent an hour or more there, walking around the ruin all alone and photographing it from a variety of angles. I have to say I was more than a little distracted by the view. The monastery was placed on a height with a commanding view of the outer islands of the Hebrides and the sea beyond. You have to suspect that the outlying walls once enclosed gardens as well. Those walls, circular as they are, lead to the alternative name of the place which is, not surprisingly, the Carninish stone circle. It must have been a pleasant place to study…in the brief Hebridean summer. In the long winter it must have been grim.

I like this angle, as it catches both the ragged shape of the ruin and the circle. The texture of the stone against the green of the Scottish turf, and the sky behind, the high horizon, and the way the shapes of the structures lead your eye.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide angle (31mm equivalent). F5.6 @ 1/320 @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the sky. Added Vibrance and Clarity in the Presence panel. Landscape sharpen preset. I also cropped out a bit of sky to improve the placement of the horizon.

From Scotland.

Distracting view...

Distracting view...