About Ciera Harvey

I was five years old the first time I used a camera. It was a film camera. The first photo was of a middle aged man standing on the sidewalk holding a grocery bag. The image was crooked and I hadn't pointed the camera high enough to get his head in the frame. There were some blurry close-ups of dandelions and a badly framed photograph of a murky sunrise over Vancouver city. Today some of them might be called artistic, however at that time they were a waste of valuable film. My father is a professional photographer so I grew up in the world of dark rooms and negative strips. The smell of photo printer ink is nostalgic of touch ups done by hand with the worlds smallest paintbrush before Adobe Photoshop and iPhoto. Photography remains an important part of my life as an expression of what I have experienced. Photography today is a very available artform. The struggle is to make it your own and individual from everyone elses. I can safely say that my ability to take an image has vastly improved since I was five years old but I still remain just as snap happy. I blame technology and the size of memory cards for that. Originally I am from British Columbia, Canada. Ten years ago, when I was twelve, I moved overseas to Abu Dhabi, UAE with my mother and step father. Being in such close proximity to so many interesting cultures and having a free-spirited mother I did a lot of traveling through my teen years. This coincided with the development of digital cameras which did nothing to help my case as a snap happy photographer. However, it always paid off with an exciting documentation of my experiences traveling in Europe and the Middle East. Currently I am living in Fort William, in the Highlands of Scotland. My aim as a photographer is primarily to learn. It has become a technology based activity, something new to the century old art of documentation. I also aim to experience. Experience is what makes life colourful. Learning to photograph in an individual way is the best way to document these experiences.

Spring = Sun, Sea, Sand, Stars… and Snow?!


Spring in Lochaber kicked off last week with perfect BBQ weather, road trips down to the Morar beach in Arisaig, and stargazing atop Cow Hill overlooking Lochaber. It’s no mystery that it’s been a rather short winter, something that some may mourn and others may rejoice. You wouldn’t guess it now, however, with that light snow dusting atop Nevis Range but spring is definitely on its way. So get your bikes ready and your walking shoes on. For all the Romantics in Lochaber, it was William Shakespeare who said “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything”. For all you socialites out there, it was Robin Williams who said “Spring is Nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party’”. So get … Read more

Guy Fawkes Fireworks


Guy Fawkes Night, the celebration of a somewhat lost patriotism and rebellion against the government, was celebrated in Lochaber by the skies alight with flying lanterns and the earth vivified with fireworks and bonfires. The fireworks display at the Banavie Rugby Club was a fantastic success with a great crowd that filled the bar inside and lined the streets outside all way down to the Moorings Hotel. At the end, the crowd dispersed out to the many mini firework displays and bonfires that were scattered around the area. The clear skies made for a fantastic moonlit evening while a thick frost descended. The warmth of a Roy Bridge Bonfire (and perhaps a spot of Ben Nevis whisky) helped warm our … Read more

Relentless 24


It has come ‘round to that rainy, windy, snowless but still pretty cold time of year but that didn’t stop more than 400 cyclists from around Scotland showing up for the NiteRider Relentless 24 Cycling Marathon organised by No Fuss Events. The event started at Nevis Range near Fort William and the track ran through the Witch’s Trails and part of the World Championship course. Some of the riders were solo and some of them in teams of two, three, or four. The main aim of No Fuss Events is to focus on the fun of participation rather than on competition. This participation includes the long hours endured by the marshals who worked for the entire 24 hours with minimal … Read more

The Last Day of Summer


In celebration of the last days of summer (i.e. the near arrival of snow) a few of us kids went up to Heather Hat in Glen Nevis and did some bouldering while BBQ-ing up some burgers, reggae reggae style of course. For those of you who don’t climb or boulder Heather Hat is giant boulder that has a covering of heather. It juts out at a rough 30 degree angle making it the perfect place for a BBQ, be it rain or shine. It also makes it the perfect place for a boulder. But beware, bring a bouldering mat if you do plan to give it a go as a fall onto the sharps rocks below could result in a … Read more

Loch Linnhe Swim 2011


Sunday, the 18th of September ended up being the perfect day for a swim for six local women and one junior for the annual Loch Linnhe Swim in Fort William, organised by English Channel swimmer Morag Hughes. Despite the pelting rain and icy water temperatures the six brave ladies jumped into the boats and got motored across to the other side of Loch Linnhe to start their swim. The swim is 1.2 km from Treslaig over to the Lochaber Yacht Club and to be included in the race the swimmers are not allowed to wear a wetsuit. Winning the race was Fiona Thompson with a time of 21.33, followed closely by Lochaber Mountain Rescue’s Emma Pearce. Shortly after there was the … Read more

[PHOTOS] Boats of Fort William & Lochaber


What comes to mind when you think of the West Coast of Scotland?! Lots of things associated with fishing, water and outdoor activities etc. Before the days of planes, trains, and automobiles, the British Waterways of Scotland were like our modern day motorways.  I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog in celebration of boats – of all sizes as you’ll see – that have been spotted in Lochaber and Fort Wiliam over the last two weeks. The relationship between boat and crew is something I tried to capture. There was a dog named Rhia who got very protective of her boat and captain, Gail. However, she did calm down and I was invited onto the boat … Read more

[PHOTOS] June! (around Morar, Mallaig and Fort William)

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June. I think it’s my favourite month. It’s the month of the summer solstice so it stays light all hours of the night. The heather blooms across the hills in Lochaber, turning them a lovely purple. The sun shines and creates a near Mediterranean heat (without wind chill) flocking people to places like the Silver Sands of Morar, near Arisaig. It’s also the month I passed my driving test (20th of June to be very exact). So what did I do on the first drive of freedom?! Firstly, I drove my parents to the Achintee Inn at the foot of Ben Nevis for a congratulatory cup of tea and slice of pie. Secondly, I took my camera and drove to … Read more

[PHOTOS] Storm & Sunset in Fort William, Lochaber

Sunset Fort Wiliam

Horizontal rain. Gail force winds. Nearly being blown off the pavement walking to work. Waterproofed clothing head to toe (only making you more prone to being airborne during high gusts of wind). Winning or losing bets on whether there was going to be a power cut. Sound familiar? If you were in Fort William, or anywhere else along the West Coast of Scotland during the third week of May, then it should. For some it was a few days spent indoors with a cup of hot tea and a good book, watching from double paned windows while stairwells and waterfalls became synonymous. For others it was a day out to experience Mother Nature’s version of a good time. Here are … Read more

[PHOTOS]Kayaking on The River Garry, in Lochaber

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What better way is there to spend a typical rainy/sunny/windy/hot/cold summer day in the Lochaber region than on the River Garry in Invergarry on one of the dam release days?! So here we are; Chris Glebocki, an outdoor instructor, shoulder deep in one of the top play holes on the river, and me donning my Canon SLR and wellington boots, shin deep in refreshing river water. The River Garry is situated about 40 minutes drive North of Spean Bridge and is used frequently for River Rafting trips by local adventure companies like Highland Activities and Vertical Descents. Releasing most Thursdays and Saturdays over the summer it has mainly grade 3 and 4 rapids and is a popular spot for paddlers … Read more

Day out on Cow Hill, Glen Nevis and Fort William [PHOTOS]


Here’s a few photos from a great day out on the Cow Hill There’s a path linking Fort William and its communities with Glen Nevis. There are views at several points, looking down on Fort William, up onto Ben Nevis and out along Loch Eil towards Glenfinnan. It’s really popular with locals who can walk into town, onto Cow Hill or into Glen Nevis, why not try it yourself? Find out more on the Forestry Commission’s website. Photos copyright and courtesy of Ciera Harvey