The moodily evocative shots of Hoy, Yesnaby and Hobbister that feature on the packaging of our Highland Park and Braunstein Brewery beer collaboration are the work of keen local photographer, Graham Campbell. We asked Graham to tell us a little more about the inspiration behind his art.
When did your interest in photography begin?
I’ve been interested in photography from an early age. At school, we used to go into the dark room with the technician who would show us how to develop photographs the old-fashioned way, using chemicals. By the time I left school, I had various cameras, including a disc camera and a 35mm, but when digital came along everything changed. I’ve spent time and money upgrading to the Canon equipment I use today.
What do you particularly enjoy photographing in Orkney?
I love photographing most things – the weather, the amazing sunrises and sunsets that we get here, the impressive shows of the Northern Lights and, of course, Orkney’s great landscapes. At the moment, I’m really enjoying taking shots of wildlife too – owls, hen harriers, hares and otters. We’re also getting regular visits from pods of orca - I can spend all day following and photographing them!
The Cliffs of Yesnaby, Orkney
Do you have a favourite spot for taking photographs?
I really don’t have one favourite spot as Orkney is full of hidden places - once you think you’ve seen it all, you turn another corner and discover a new cove or geo. Orkney has so many exciting places to photograph but the west coast of the mainland at Yesnaby or Birsay, on a winter’s day during a howling Atlantic storm, is a really impressive sight – I try and capture this as the huge waves come crashing in from the west.
What do you like most about living in Orkney?
I was born and brought up here and have lived here all my life so I am a proud Orcadian. I just love the way of life here, the people are so friendly, it’s peaceful and easy going, and being able to see the sea and the coast every day is wonderful. We have everything we need here and we’re not as cut off from mainland Scotland as some people may think, we can be in the city within a few hours of leaving home if we want. I love the fresh air here and the different weather too – it can change sometimes four times in a day!
As well as photography, what keeps you busy?
I’m a full-time pier master at Kirkwall Harbour and I’ve been a volunteer crewman for 26 years with the RNLI Onboard Kirkwall Lifeboat. It’s a big commitment and takes up a lot of my time – training, exercising and being able to attend call outs when they happen. I do a lot of sea angling too and am never far from a boat or the water. Also, there’s lots of hiking around Orkney’s coastline and outer islands. I love to travel, see new places and meet other people. I now have grandchildren and love to spend time with them and my family… when I’m not busy doing DIY around the house or garden!
Any top tips for people interested in photography?
Never leave home without a camera – just get out there and photograph what you enjoy seeing.
Find out more about Graham and his work by checking out his Instagram account - it's packed full of amazing images of local Orkney landscapes.