Jim Richardson@jimrichardsonng

National Geographic Photographer | Covering environment, agriculture, exploring Scotland | Co-founder @EyesOn.Earth | Writer | Speaker | Nonconformist


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Jim Richardson

Beautiful morning for Photography at the Summit workshop at the R Lazy S Ranch in the Grand Tetons. Wow! Photographers going crazy. @rlazysranch


Jim Richardson

Even a cloudy day in Grand Teton is pretty good. Flying to Jackson Hole today. Will be on the lookout for grandeur in the Rockies for the next week. Nature Photography at the Summit starts Sunday. (Oh, and I must confess. Snapseed is one powerful photo app.) @summitworkshops @natgeo @snapseed_app #workshop #grandtetonnationalpark


Jim Richardson

Wonderful to think that next week I’ll be back in Jackson Hole teaching at the Summit Nature Photography Workshop @summitworkshops which includes the added benefit of glorious mornings like this sunrise at String Lake in Grand Teton National Park. (Not a bad side benefit.) The other benefit is the collective energy of the student photographers and the collective wisdom of the assembled faculty, which includes such luminaries as William Albert Allard, Jodi Cobb, Dave Black, Mike Forsberg, Mary Anne Golon, Kim Hubbard, Allen Murabayashi, Dave Showalter, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Melissa Groo, Stan Honda, Morgan Heim, Ron Taniwaki, and Wes Pitts. (Not a bad lineup.) It’s an amazing learning experience, founded by the legendary Rich Clarkson and carried on today by Chris Steppig and his crew.
Evenings bring the added bonus of presentations by the faculty. I’m going to talk about my work in food and agriculture over the last 20 years for National Geographic and my ongoing efforts to connect agriculture with the fate of nature conservation. And somewhere along the line I’ll talk about how I leveraged my twenty five years of photography in Scotland into a major focus of my professional life. I’ve got a new story out in the October/November issue of National Geographic Traveler that came out of that body of work. @williamalbertallard, @jodicobbphoto , @daveblackphoto , @mforsbergphoto, @moheim, @kim_hubbard, @allen3, @jimrichardsonng , and @dshowalter_photo, @summitworkshops @natgeotravel


Jim Richardson

The lights were coming on when we got to Port Charlotte that evening, a welcome sight on a night when the tide was sweeping into Loch Indaal with a stiff Atlantic wind behind it. This part of Islay is magnetic to rogues, it would seem. To wit, right here in 1813 an American privateer, The True Blooded Yankee, built by Rhode Island men in France (clever way for the fledgeling United States of America to run a navy), captured six ships and set three afire. The town you see was built to house distillery workers. Across the road is the rogue distillery, Bruichladdich, constant confounder of the staid order of whisky in Scotland, where they distill a stiffly peated Port Charlotte whisky, some with Islay barley grown nearby. (Everyplace on Islay is nearby, the island is only 25 miles long, but that’s plenty for eight distilleries. Islay is a whole whisky region unto itself.) A night like this it would be good to go into the pub in the Port Charlotte hotel and ask for an Octomore (with a whopping 80ppm of peat) from Bruichladdich. Sort of a high octane whisky. Another rogue. #scotland #islay #whisky #island @bruichladdich @natgeo @natgeocreative #bruichladdich #hebrides


Jim Richardson

While we are talking about Islay perhaps we should stop into Caol Ila. You can see Jura across the sound from almost anywhere on Islay but it looks better framed by the fat squatting potstills inside the distillery. I love the whisky, too. Smells like something you would use in an afterburner. Mmm! @visitscotland #scotland #whisky @natgeotravel #islay @hiddenscotland


Jim Richardson

You know you are in Scottish whisky country when the casks outnumber the sheep. These casks at Ardbeg distillery probably started their life at an American bourbon distillery, a sort of apprenticeship before being sent to Scotland to begin their real careers aging single malt whisky. If they are lucky they end up on Islay playing in the big leagues. Got a favorite whisky in Scotland? #scotland @hiddenscotland #hebrides #islay @natgeo @natgeotravel @ardbeg


Jim Richardson

Kilchurn Castle had its moments in history, Campbells, Jacobites, the usual lot in Scottish history. But the real moment came in 1760 when it got whacked seriously by a lightning bolt that knocked off a tower! My moment was far gentler, a pleasant time of wandering around the ruins interrupted when Allan Gray brought his sheep along. I praised his dog and in those few minutes he recalled the dogs grandfather, who had been a genius, a true artist who contrived novel sheep herding maneuvers for the sheer thrill of invention. Allan could see, sometimes, remnants of that brilliance in the grandson, but he knew such gifts of talent are rare and did not expect to see another such legend again in his lifetime. #Scotland #castle @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative


Jim Richardson

Tossing a caber at a Highland Games is not for the faint of heart; it can be likened to running with a telephone. Actually it is an accuracy game, the object being to toss it so that it lands first at 6:00 on an imaginary clock and then tips over to land precisely on 12:00. Not easy. Sometimes not even doable at all. Once at the Glenfinnan Gathering (coming up tomorrow if you are lucky enough to be in Scotland) the lads just couldn’t get it to tip on over. So the call went out for a chain saw and they whacked off about a foot of the caber and went on with the event. Problem solved! #glenfinnan #scotland #highlandgames @natgeo @natgeocreative @hiddenscotland


Jim Richardson

Ben Nevis on this beautiful morning long ago lived up to its billing as the premier mountain in Scotland. But only one of my pictures caught the bird. (I waited a long time for that bird.) The resulting image has always been one of my favorites, perhaps the reason why it was one of the very first greeting cards I created at Small World Gallery. (When I’m not wandering the Scottish hinterlands my everyday life centers around Small World.) I always felt pictures had to be seen to have a life so the cards and posters I print are a natural extension of my creative life — and an affordable way for folks to enjoy them. I don’t usually pitch stuff here but several of you asked about the availability of prints. So until I do an online print sale (coming, I promise) this might be an option. Click my profile link to see what’s available. Follow me at @smallworldgallery to see the rest of our life. (Not everybody’s cup of tea.) #scotland #island @natgeo @natgeocreative


Jim Richardson

Highland games and gatherings are everywhere in a Scottish summer — and on everyone’s bucket list. Mine, too, when I first came here. A photographer friend guided me to Glenfinnan (“The surrounding landscape is spectacular.” Right on that point.) recommending the confluence of history, culture, geography and moody weather that sets it apart. But mostly it was the friendly neighborhood feel that surprised me and sucked me in. Not a big games, more like a county fair where they throw sledge hammers for fun. I’ve been back several times. And they are coming up this weekend, August 18. (If you go find a way to slip them a couple of extra pounds. Fundraising to keep things going is always a challenge in wee places like this.) #scotland #highlandgames #outlander @glenfinnanscotland @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #highlands


Jim Richardson

I told you the other day that there is just one road on the Isle of Muck. This is it. It goes all of one mile across the island to Lawrence MacEwan’s farm. Scotland is famous (infamous?) for its one track roads (replete with passing places) in remote regions, but this goes one better: two “tracks” with no passing places. If you meet someone coming the other way just pull off into pasture, avoiding any nearby sheep. And don’t worry, you won’t get lost. Watch out for the seals that haul out on the rocks. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland #hebrides @hiddenscotland #islandlife @natgeocreative


Jim Richardson

Since many of you seem to be taken with the horses of the Isle of Muck I thought you might like to meet their owner. Looking at Lawrence MacEwan on top of his island, being blown by a gale, you might think he’s as wild as his horses. In truth he is a lovely, gentle man, devoted to his island. If you were to have a laird then Lawrence is the laird you want. (Unlike nearby Eigg in the background that suffered under atrocious ownership until the disgusted islanders bought the island for themselves.) For me Muck will always be a place of goodness. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland #hebrides #isleofmuck #island