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Flora MacDonald's Grave, Kilmuir

Flora MacDonald's Grave, Kilmuir
Photo Information
Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1921 W: 427 N: 7201] (28922)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-09-27
Categories: Architecture
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
Exposure: f/0.7, 1/21 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2016-10-08 3:55
Viewed: 1636
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
During a recent short trip to the Isle of Skye, I just had to visit the grave of Flora MacDonald at Kilmuir, not far from Uig and Duntulm, even though the weather was cloudy, dull and incredibly windy and cold. In fact, it was so windy that I couldn't hold my camera steady and had to increase the shutter speed right up to 1/1000 sec.

Flora MacDonald is considered by many to have been a Jacobite heroine. Born on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in 1722, throughout her life she was, in fact, a practising Presbyterian. But in June 1746, at the age of 24, she was living on the island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides when the Catholic Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) took refuge there following the disastrous defeat of his Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden two months earlier.

The island of Benbecula was controlled by the Protestant Hanoverian government using a local militia, but the MacDonalds were secretly sympathetic with the Jacobite cause and Flora was instrumental in helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape, with a small group of his closest followers, by boat to the Isle of Skye whence he subsequently fled to France and eventually to Rome where he died, never to return again to Scotland.

Many will have heard of the "Skye Boat Song" which starts:

"Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye."

Following Charlie's escape, Flora MacDonald was found and arrested and brought to London for aiding the prince's escape. After a short imprisonment in the Tower of London she was released in 1747. She later married and emigrated with her husband to North America, later to return to Skye where she died very close to this spot in 1790.

ISO 400, 1/1000 sec at f/9, focal length 48mm.

Here's another interesting gravestone in this cemetery!

And here's a larger version of the main photograph on "beta" TE.

holmertz, pajaran, carlo62, alvaraalto, Royaldevon, macjake, lucasgalodoido, delpeoples has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To holmertz: A wonderful epitaph!tyro 1 2016-10-08 07:06
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Critiques [Translate]

hello John,
un vue intéressante malgré le mauvais temps et le froid.
Bon cadrage avec la mer en arrière plan.
Bon W-E

Hello John,
The Isle of Skye, with such strangely named villages or towns, sounds like a very distant place. Your description of the weather also makes it sound like a not entirely welcoming place, but the Vikings probably felt at home. Surely they were there? Considering the strong wind you managed a remarkably straight snd sharp photo with the dark sky and hazy sea as an impressive background. This light and subduedl colours would fit the environment better than a bright and sunny day. The man standing by the grave seems to be saying a silent prayer for Flora MacDonald, but aI guess he was just reading the description of her life.
Reading the inscription on the other grave I am reminded of the grave of a locally well known Swedish writer, where it is written, approximately: "Here lie the ashes of a man who always used to postpone everything to the next day. At the end he improved his manners and really died on January 31 1972".
Kind regards,

Bonjour John,

J'aime beaucoup la construction de cette image. La tombe et son monument sont bien placés dans le cadre. L'homme devant semble très touché même si on ne le voit que de dos. La mer et la brume font le reste.

Bon samedi


Ciao John
non conoscevo questo personaggio, ma la tua nota è stata interessante.
Molto bella anche la foto, hai dovuto combattere contro il vento, ma hai ottenuto una foto molto interessante e be composta.
Buona domenica

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15332 W: 0 N: 16877] (186428)
  • [2016-10-08 23:50]


Avec la mer en fond quelle vue et compo quelle image très bel hommage les personnage et cette stèle mémorial en pierre grise grandiose vue.
Bravo et amitié

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13266 W: 125 N: 23763] (119535)
  • [2016-10-09 1:55]

Hi John,i understant the difficult to take a good pic with a cloudy and very windy day,it's the same conditions what i found to take my last post..ehehe..lovely capture of the tomb of this important lady,a difficult life,but now she's back and sleep in her island....interesting WS too very sharp with it's possible to read still good the words despite the work of time ad weather.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10840 W: 57 N: 18754] (70112)
  • [2016-10-09 4:15]

Hello John,
The conditions seem rather harsh indeed, although I must say the background where it's hard to tell where exactly the rough sea ends and the thick clouds begin is wonderful. The light on the large grave and tombstone is very pleasant and soft and makes it stand out so well against the background. The people, and the man in the foreground in particular, are very well included.

Hello John
At first: Excellent information about this place. It increases the interesting value of both pictures.
This is really a great atmosphere to take pictures at a cemetery. The dark weather, they grey clouds, the threatening sea, the all contributes to the serious atmosphere of this graveyard.
The people in the scene gives the picture an actual, daily life idea.
Excellent presentation
Have a nice Sunday.
Groet Rob

Hello John,

Good to see you back!

This is a very atmospheric photograph and it is made, not by the tall cross of the memorial, but by the single figure, head bowed, as if in prayer! We move from him with great reverence, not wishing to break the moment of calm and silence. The misty b/g adds to this feeling.
It's a well composed photograph, all the elements perfectly placed in frame, telling a story and creating a context.

Have a good day,
Bev :-)

Hi John
wow...i absolutely love the WS photo and story.
You could have easily posted that as a main shot too, sometimes the story trumps the shot - and thats the case with that one.

I know money is important, but man, you're talking about a family members remains here. Just finish your work. What do you think???

and hey, even though you describe the weather as very harsh, you came away with an excellent shot. the men here have their hair too short to tell how windy it is, but we can see the white crests in the water. I'm a big fan of seeing the grey-out skyline like this, its very attractive. it also set the mood here too, which suits the scene. well done in the conditions. Sorry for the late reply

Hi John,
interesting view of this place, your composition was perfect. I like of the contrast between grass and the dark sky too. Good note and job, my friend.

Hi John,
the Celtic crosses have something photogenic in them. This one in addition had an extraordinary location near the coast. You have showed it from a perfect angle which allowed to emphasize the location. The day was foggy and misty and this particular atmosphere is well captured while one looks towards the sea. Sky is interestingly dark grey and foreground very well lit.
You must have done some processing which emphasized the details in the foreground. The clarity of it contrasts with the misty view behind. The person standing near the grave adds a nice touch -it looks as if he was praying there or at least was deep in his thoughts.
Very melancholic, romantic mood.
Excellent work,

Caro Giovanni

When I first saw Flora McDonald's grave many years ago, it was lashing rain. When I saw it again this yea, the rain was horizontal. I think the Furies have conspired against you or I seeing this grave in anything but the greyest of conditions. yet you manage a shot far more successful than any of mine. Excellent vertical frame and a great idea to include the person in the frame in order to give us a sense of perspective. Well composed and an impressive shot considering the light conditions and the elements.

Un abbraccio e buon venerdi

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