The light fantastic

I love light. It fascinates me. Always has.

I watched the light streaming in the primary school window when I was a wee boy and marvelled at the swirling patterns it created on the wall. Shame I didn’t pay as much attention to the teacher. She noticed though. Sadist. And threw a wooden blackboard duster at me.


It was wonderful!

The swirling chalk dust she created, blizzarding through the sunshafts, was inspiring! Light made solid by an ill tempered but accurate tutor.


But other folks have loved light too. A long time ago.

The folks who lived in Orkney. The ones who built the Ring of Brodgar.

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney © John MacPherson

These are old stones. Big stones. Each one an individual character, weather worn and silent. Aligned to solstice, perhaps. Their long shadows crept towards me one evening, across the grass, as darkness welled up in the eastern sky.

And just as the sun came to the horizon a strange thing happened. A ring appeared above me.

A ring on the ground of stone, a ring above of cloud and light.

Enduring the repeated pain of the well-thrown dusters was worth it to learn enough about light to want be here to witness this unpredictable moment.

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

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