Capturing Scotland’s Mystery

Posted by

Lindsay Jacobsohn spent a glorious fall semester at the University of Glasgow and was kind enough to share her experience which earned her second place in our Creative Works Competition! We loved hearing about the Lindsay’s unique outlook on this beautiful country and we hope you do too.


“I was a part of the Glasgow School of Art black and white photography class and have some scans of the printed photos that I took with (I believe) a 35mm camera!  Part of the class taught us how to develop the film negatives and how to manually frame and print in a dark room, and another part of the class focused on us developing a story around our photos. This meant that at the end of our time at the School of Art for the semester, we were evaluated on our ability to create a narrative for the portfolio of photos we had created for several months.

“Firstly, some background is appropriate…I am from a suburb in the Bay Area of California, but have a lot of family history in Scotland. My mother was born and raised in a small village near Stirling, and she left when she was 19 in search of a great adventure in America. She later met my father on vacation in Hawaii, where my dad worked as a DJ in a nightclub. One of his friends had told my mom that he had a “Scottish” buddy, and immediately my mom expected to hear a familiar accent, but laughed when my born-and-bred Southern-Californian dad introduced himself. Some Scottish heritage went a long way, and a few yeas later they got married in the tiny village my mom was raised in. They had my sister and me while living in the Bay Area, but took us to Scotland when we were little, when the airfare was a little less expensive and the exchange rate was a little more forgiving to the U.S. dollar. When at home, we practised Scottish Highland Dancing and spent our afternoons at our mom’s Scottish pub in our hometown.”


This is a photo of my sister, Cameron! We were on the train, on our way to one of our journeys around the country that we have always loved.

“When I got in to UC Berkeley, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Scotland. It had been years since I visited last, and I was itching to spend more than a few weeks there. I submitted my application to UCEAP and hoped for the best…my sister, Cameron, also studied for the semester in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh, so we were truly having the best four months of our college careers. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect time there, visiting family members that I hadn’t seen since I was a baby, feeling deep nostalgia and wonder at the sights of the most beautiful cities and landscapes, and drinking Irn Bru, to the confusion of my American friends back home. To me, it was a dream, or a scene from a film.”

“So when I was faced with the task of creating my narrative for my photos at the School of Art, I chose to run with the idea that Scotland is the setting for a film that I constantly dream about. My dad and I love movies, and it is something that we share with each other to this day. I took inspiration from my childhood and my deep love for the Scottish landscapes to create a series of photos that I consider to be a storyboard for a film that explores my favorite place in the world. Below are some of those photos, and I hope you enjoy them!”

scene 1

This photo was taken on a trip though the highlands, above Loch Garry. I’d like to think that this “scene” of the movie shows the part of Scotland that is truly dreamlike, as shown by the haziness above the trees breaching through the clouds.

scene 2

This photo was taken on the Isle of Skye. This “scene” represents the landscapes of Scotland that blur the line between fantasy and reality.

scene 3

This photo was also taken on the Isle of Skye. I believe this is a grand, endless view of a “scene” that would perhaps inspire an audience to seek adventure in the world.

scene 4

This photo was taken on a boat ride to the Isle of Staffa from the Isle of Mull. Its a captured moment between destinations, where the audience can appreciate the wonder of travelling across Scotland.

scene 5

This photo was taken in the highlands, above Loch Lubnaig (although it could possibly be another Loch, I can’t remember!) I believe it shows more of the dreamlike quality of Scotland.scene 6

This photo was taken of the Isle of Staffa, off the West Coast of Scotland, near the coastal town of Oban. To me, it is a “scene” that represents the mysterious parts of Scotland – places in the country that spark curiosity.scene 7This photo was taken from the perspective atop the Isle of Staffa. I believe it is another example of fantasy in Scottish landscapes.

scene 8

This photo was taken of the Three Sisters in Glencoe. I came back to this view many times, and know that it would be a “scene” that would make anyone fall in love with the highlands of Scotland.

scene 9

This photo was taken in Luss. I saw these swans and immediately knew they were a part of a “scene” that shows the beautifully romantic sights of Scotland.

“To conclude this story, I’d like to quickly thank all of you there at the Edinburgh Study Centre for an experience I couldn’t dream of typing all out in a single email. Scotland will always be a place I consider to be home, and I truly appreciated the ability to actually be somewhat of a resident there for at least a semester. The movie of my love for Scotland is never-ending, and I will continue it one day when I return…I know a part of me always belongs there!”