Tag: travel

The magic of photographing the Shetland Islands of Scotland

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

In 2011, I left my flat in Edinburgh and headed to the far north of Scotland to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles to cover the 2011 Tall Ships Race. I stayed in Lerwick several weeks and was also working on a feature for the Scots Magazine on the Neolithic culture of the islands.

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Sadly, my meagre budget did not allow for extensive travels and much of the work I shot there was subsequently lost. However, luckily, I had edited and backed up quite a lot of the select images and still have quite a nice portfolio.

UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head -- Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head — Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

The story I did on the Iron Age pub of sorts at Jarlshof got published (with a different byline) in The Daily Record and OK! magazine and has sold in one or two other places as stock. Not much else from my Shetland portfolio was published aside from news images from the 2011 Tall Ships Race (in The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman).

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Although by then my Canon 550D was incapable of long telephoto shots (and I lacked one anyway), I could shoot at around 300mm with a slight sensor crop and so I tried to get pictures of birds and other animals in their habitat.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Again, most of these have never been published. If you would like to use them in your project, then please contact me for details on how to license my images.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- 09 Aug 2011 -- Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland - watched closely by fulmars and great skuas -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — 09 Aug 2011 — Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland – watched closely by fulmars and great skuas — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

While the conditions can sometimes be harsh so far north and in the summer, the sun goes down about 3AM, I enjoyed working there and the combination of good light (sometimes!) and great subject matter made it a magical experience.

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New (and old) Scotland stock images now available

Trawlers Pittenweem Fife Scotland UK
SCOTLAND Pittenweem — 13 Feb 2014 — A fishing trawler returns to the harbour at Pittenweem in Fife Scotland UK shortly after a deal was announced for mackerel quotas with the Norwegians, EU and Faroese fishermen. A deal with the Icelandic fishermen has yet to be reached — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Having recently relocated back to Scotland, I am now based in Perth (pretty much in the centre of Scotland) and will naturally be beefing up my archive on Scotland – which was already considerable from travels in 2010-2011, though was mostly lost when my laptop and external hard drive were stolen in Seville in 2012.

Cairngorms National Park Scotland UK
SCOTLAND Cairngorms National Park — Trekkers climb up the trail to the peak of Cairn Gorm in Cairngorms National Park in Forest of Glenmore Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

With the new database for Atlas Photo Archive now established, I have been busy uploading a lot of new and old images to make them available to picture researchers, editors and graphic designers.

Beinn Ime Trossachs National Park Scotland UK
SCOTLAND Trossachs National Park — Beinn Ime with pine forests in the foreground on the shores of Loch Lomond in Strathclyde Scotland — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

As I am now also editing the travel magazine/guidebook ScotlandTravelGuide.info (STG for short), I will be shooting a broad range of stock images ranging from adventure sports to well-known landmarks and landscapes.

Amazing Himalayan mono landscape from Sagarmatha National Park in the Everest region of Nepal

NEPAL Everest Region -- Mount Nup La swathed in clouds in the Everest region of Nepal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
NEPAL Everest Region — Mount Nup La swathed in clouds in the Everest region of Nepal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
To some extent you can say it is a great honour for a photojournalist to work up in the high Himalayas of Nepal. In my case it was greater, as I got to spend over a year up there. During the various treks, I took a lot of great photographs, so many in fact, I am still editing them years later and recently have been loading them onto my new high res stock image archive database, where they rarely sell at the moment (buried perhaps!). Hence, I have decided to feature some of them here on the blog for people to enjoy and hopefully a few clients to see.

I recently got news from Alamy that my collection is being deleted. For no logical reason I can discern…Hence the images will no longer be available to license on that system in January 2014. You can now license increasing numbers of the digital collection on the new searchable stock image archive database.

This image was shot in the autumn as I trekked out of Namche Bazaar and shows the wonderful landscape surrounding Nup La, the first large peak as you ascend up the Mount Everest Tenzing-Hillary trail (or Everest Base Camp Trail as many term it).

Sagarmatha National Park has some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen and once above the treeline at 4,000 metres it does feel a bit like being on another planet. Photographing at this altitude is not easy and when I took this image I was carrying a 28kg rucksack.

I have many other great landscapes from the Everest region and if you are looking for any for your creative projects, then please contact me via email on lightroomphotos [at] icloud.com or jonstmchl [at] gmail.com

I can also now offer mono images as platinum limited edition art prints. Please email for prices.

Austerity at Christmas – shoppers in Puerta del Sol Madrid Spain

SPAIN Madrid -- 04 Dec 2011 -- Christmas shoppers in the Puerta de Sol area of Madrid were out in force doing their Christmas shopping on Sunday amid a severe economic crisis which has left unemployment at around 20% -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
SPAIN Madrid — 04 Dec 2011 — Christmas shoppers in the Puerta de Sol area of Madrid were out in force doing their Christmas shopping on Sunday amid a severe economic crisis which has left unemployment at around 20% — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/alamy.com

After covering the first elections of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, I decided to try freelancing in Spain as a freelance foreign correspondent. I had a good string with The Scotsman and even managed to sell The Daily Telegraph a few stories. I shot these images before lack of funds forced me to put my Canon DSLR in hoc with the hostel. Sadly, due to the now high cost of living in Spain, I too had problems getting by on the low fees often paid by UK national newspapers to their freelancers. Despite the economic crisis, the Spanish were not skimping on the traditional Christmas lights in the Puerta del Sol are of Madrid and thousands wandered the streets in the traditional paseo – though the shops did not appear to be doing a brisk business. To view the whole set, type in the relevant key words into my alamy.com database.

Star trails over Swayambhunath stupa ( Monkey Temple ) in Kathmandu Nepal

NEPAL Kathmandu -- Swayambhunath chorten ( more commonly known as the Monkey Temple ) in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
NEPAL Kathmandu — Swayambhunath chorten ( more commonly known as the Monkey Temple ) in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/alamy.com

While time exposure is mostly done by the technique of stacking multiple exposures, I still love long exposures on film…Especially to capture star trails. This image of the Swayambhunath chorten in Kathmandu, Nepal was shot on a Voigtlander Bessa T with a Voigtlander 25mm f4 lens and had an exposure of around 45 minutes. The stupa of the Monkey Temple (as it is commonly referred to) is a favourite for visitors to the Kathmandu Valley and I decided to use the stars to get a more universal perspective of the famous stupa. Tibetan Buddhism is full of celestial mandalas and I thought it good to add in the Pole Star off centre. I was very happy when I got the film back from the lab and saw that the image had come out perfectly. This is a tricky shot to get, as there is a lot of light pollution, but the infamous power cuts in Nepal helped make the light good in the picture!