The arrow of time…

Isle of Skye, Scotland, 1989 (Olympus Om1/28mm/Kodak Tmax 100) 

Spring 1989, I was 19. I’d been working in a local pottery making reproduction Staffordshire figures, hideous tat. My boss had been looking for an excuse to sack me for weeks. His opportunity came one Friday afternoon when I decided to come back from my Wednesday lunch break, two days late.

So, I had two weeks wages, a second-hand Olympus OM1 and a Honda 125cc motorbike. I decided I was going to ride to Scotland. I got on the Isle of Man ferry to Liverpool at 8am on a Saturday and rode the 435 miles to the Isle of Skye, sleeping for a while in the night in Glen Etive. I arrived at the Sligachan Hotel, at the foot of the Cuillin mountains at 3pm the day after, it was a beautiful  spring afternoon.

I don’t know what I’d planned to do in Scotland, but when I arrived I got a pint and a meal at the Hotel, lay in the sun and then got my sleeping bag out and slept by my bike. I woke-up at 4am the next day, got on my Honda and rode all the way home.

That was 23 years ago,almost to the day, I had no idea about f numbers and shutter speeds, no clue how a light meter worked, and best of all, no concept of how far a 1000 mile road trip is on a 125cc motorcycle.

Glen Etive, Scotland, 1989 (Olympus OM1/28mm/Kodak Tmax 100) 

18 comments

  1. Always liked Scotland and the Isle of Skye was my favourite part. And Olympus OM1, now that takes me back. The scooter wreck is a beautiful shot. I don’t envy the 1000 miles on a 125cc though ;)

      • My brother-in-law was using digital cameras and post-processing in London in 1989. Not very high resolution, but useful for his architectural design ideas and to demonstrate how an existing room could be transformed by manipulating the images. So, the answer to your question is yes, they did have didital 23 years ago.

        Phil – great images, your eye was obviously well trained at the age of 19, even if your technical knowledge was nascent. And the borders, I really like that you include the borders – it adds an archival quality to the image and shows the lack of cropping and so on. A bit more border might even give us some film information as well :)

  2. Carlos Ferreira

    Gorgeous! The first shot, in particular, is a winner. Thank you for sharing that, definitely made my lunch break worth it.

  3. I really like the depth in this photo. Actually, I think the whole thing seems even more powerful because I just finished the book World War Z today and this reminds me of the collapse of civilization described there.

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