Filling whisky casks at Bruichladdich distillery, Isle of Islay.
Normally casks are filled through the bung hole in the centre of the stave half way up the cask, then casks are stored longways up to three high in a dunnage warehouse or racked to greater heights for more efficiency. However there is a more modern trend to stack the casks end on six to a pallet and then the pallets are stacked on top of each other. This makes better use of full height warehouses but it doesn’t have the charm of a dunnage warehouse.
If the casks are to be stored on pallets then the casks need to be filled (although not necessarily emptied) from the end, so a new bung hole is created for this.
This picture shows the point at which the cask has been (over)filled! and the bung is being hammered into place, the surplus spirit being momentarily being thrown into the air.
This week, a very summery picture of Loch Skerrols on Islay.
The summer has really still to arrive this year but this is a reminder of what it can look like.
A windless morning plus contra jour lighting make for great reflections in this image of a small loch an on the Isle of Islay.
This week a picture that includes the two primary symbols of whisky production.
Roof pagodas and the copper still will be forever linked to whisky distilleries in Scotland.
Whilst the Hebridean islands generally sit within the gulf stream, this means mild wet and windy winters.
Occasionally when the jet stream heads a little further south then wintery conditions appear. This happened today, the first time in four years leaving the islanders waking up to a snowfall.
This had a benefit for me as I had been sitting on a commission for four years waiting on the right conditions and today became the day !
Most people with a camera generally head towards the north end of the island to take pictures using the Paps of Jura as a back drop which whilst always makes a nice shot, it becomes a bit predictable and new angles on this are hard to come by.
So instead I decided on a more creative approach using a very simple composition of these trees with the snow on them which had been driven on a strong westerly wind. Although it looks like a mono image, this is the full colour version as there was very little colour in the scene.