New beginnings

Welcome to my blog. I am a photographer and digital artist living on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. I have lived here for the past 13 yrs and despite a great deal in my life going badly wrong I love where I live and am fighting to stay here.

It seems appropriate that I should be writing about new beginnings as I have just watched a lovely full moon rise from my front door. I meant to be up at the main site of standing stones at Callanish (Callanish 1) but I was late back home from collecting the keys for my summer venture and I temporarily forgot about the full moon until it was almost too late. So I set up my tripod and camera and caught it rising above a small hill from my front door instead.

March23rd Full moon rising

I might well head up to the Callanish Standing stones later and will post my photos as always on my  Callanish Digital Designs  facebook page and probably a few on my twitter account too @CallanishDD

The keys are for the Visitors Centre at the Doune Broch, Carloway. I will be running the small shop there from about mid-April till September. The shop is tiny but a neat little place tucked into the hillside at the foot of the path up to the Broch.
Dun Carloway

Broch visitors centre aurora

Since I found out I will be getting to run the shop, just last week, I have been working hard on my Smugmug website Callanish Digital Design. All work is ‘in progress’ and I see it all as a hopefully living entity that will grow and develop as I learn and explore possibilities.

I have also been working on products in two other online shops.
Redbubble and Society6 where you can find various quality products I have designed using my photographs.

If you have read this far thank you 🙂 I have never successfully managed to keep a blog before so it’s part of the new beginnings.

22 thoughts on “New beginnings

  1. I loved Carloway Broch. We visited Lewis and Harris last April. How amazing it must be to call that wee shop work. I’d swap the city rat race for it in a heartbeat if I could.


    1. I actually ran it with my ex a few years ago but life was fraught with things going wrong and unhappiness which made it difficult. Even so it was a wonderful little shop (though freezing when the weather was bad). I used to sit on the bench outside on the good days and called it ‘the best job in the world’. That’s why I jumped at the chance when I heard it might be available again this year. Now I’m on my own and so much happier and can develop my own merchandise to sell.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. best wishes for your summer venture! your photos are always stunning and I love to follow the latest ones that you post on FB. Life is always full of adversity for everyone at some time or another, but it is resilience that shines through the tough times…have a really great summer!


  3. Hello,
    I came here from G+ where I am +Michael Maxwell. I am rooting for you!
    Look into Search Engine Optimization and learn how to get more traffic and hopefully, some income from your site and or your photography. I still think you are among the best I follow on G+ and that is a real complement. There are some really great photographers there!


      1. The metadata is part of it, certainly.
        I was trying to type a short version response and I have written a pretty large… article. I will have to proofread and edit it now LOL. I will post more soon. Suffice it to say, you are THE result if I type your domain name in. The question is how many people might know to type that in? How many people are taking the time to do so? We know one at least, me.
        The biggest thing is relevance and quality content. You have that covered
        In the early days of the WWW the metadata would have gone a long way towards getting you noticed. Then people made pages that were basically keyword spamming farms and google came about to sort the wheat from the chaff.
        I will have more later.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ok, I came up with a short version.
        Picture the most important words that would be in the metadata. Pretend that someone did thorough research on them and found out which were actually being typed into search engines the most. Then find out which words, or phrases were being searched for a lot but had the least amount of other sites using them.

        After that you check to see if the best term relevant to your content.
        That is being searched for as heavily as possible.
        With the lowest coverage possible ,
        is available as a domain name. The .com if possible.

        I have used Google Adwords keyword planning tool to research terms myself. If you have a Gmail it is pretty easy to sign up for Adwords. I use the tools but I do not pay per click for advertising. That is what Adwords is really for and that is a larger subject.

        There are services that charge you to access their tools for research. They sometimes have a free trial. I learned a lot from one called Wordtracker. They have free videos explaining this stuff as well. They charge for access to their data tools.

        The keywords then are like an outline. Use them as domain names, top level headings, in articles, links to other ‘authoritative’ sites with similar, relevant, content. Kind of a trickle down concept or trickle through. The key is to make it fit and be relevant, as opposed to cramming keywords in. With blogs it is also great if you get people commenting and using the terms.

        There is also link building with other sites where you get them to link back to yours. I haven’t learned how to best do that yet myself, once again wordtracker explains this also.

        The search engines want people to find what they are really looking for as opposed to finding non-related content that just uses search trends to drive traffic. They constantly alter their search algorithms to ensure the relevance of their results. It has been at least three years since I kept up with the latest optimization techniques. The most important part is relevance and hopefully becoming an authoritative site for your content. I don’t think that ever changes.
        You seem very genuine and relevant.
        The reason for a content creator to care about all of this is to hopefully rise in the search rankings organically as opposed to paying out a lot in per click advertising.
        I did a little research and the highest ranked term I found related to your domain name callanish digital design was (callanish stones) at 2400 (no suggested bid), is not available. is available for 7.99 when I checked with godaddy..
        Even if you do not purchase a new domain, use of this term in your social media posts and articles, which you already do, helps bring in more traffic.
        The modern concept of niche marketing and what is known as the long tail means that you don’t have to be the biggest and get the most to get distributed. You can self distribute and find your own little niche that is not over-exploited. In the older model applied to say, films, only the blockbusters and a few lesser movies get into theaters. The long tail curve on a graph begins where the ‘blockbusters’ end and stays at a low level for a ways down the chart. For some of us a smaller piece of the pie is still worth having we don’t have to beat the competition just get in the game.


    1. Hello again. I have not forgotten or given up. The post I am working on is getting rather lengthy. I am not sure if you want me to post it here or just send the info to you. It is a little bit of a dry read. It might be better for your eyes rather than your visitors.


  4. I was up at the Broach only about 10 days ago when the weather was glorious and was wondering whether it would be opening its doors again this year – enjoy the job!


  5. Such lovely pictures, Emma! We visited Scotland for the first time last year, basically avoiding the cities. I was delighted to recognize places we saw in your work. I would love to visit again. We toured for over 2 weeks… wonderful. Good luck with your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry I’ve only just come across this. I logged in to read another blog and realized there were messages on mine. Good plans go awry. I hope to get my own blog up and running properly this year.

      I’m glad you had a good visit to Scotland last year 🙂 I avoid cities as much as I can too. I hope you get to visit again soon



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