Ronald MacDonald PhD OBE has had an interest in landscape photography since his early childhood, due to his late father's interest in photography and access to one of the early Canon cameras.
He started off with black and white images when at primary school and by secondary school was processing and printing black and white images in a makeshift darkroom at home. He then graduated to colour photography and again processed and printed all of his own images using a professional Durst colour enlarger.
Although born in Glasgow both of Ronald's parents were from Skye and his grandparents hailed from all quarters of this remarkable Island. The family home has been on Skye since 1979 and Ronald lives on Skye with his wife Catriona and his Sgianach background means he has a particular interest in taking landscape photographs from his home territory. It was in the late 1970's that Ronald started a (semi) professional career as a photographer selling hand printed Cibachrome images of Isle of Skye landscapes, from first Callum MacLean’s shop and then DA MacLeod’s chemist shop in Wentworth St. Portree, and he also had a wide range of Skye postcards printed and published in his Skye cards range. This turned out to be a highly successful venture but eventually a full-time career as an economist meant the professional part of his photographic career remained in the background until his return to Skye full time.
Ronald has taken landscape photographs all over the world, including Australia, Chile, Mauritius, New Zealand, Peru and the USA. He has used a wide range of cameras over the years, from 35mm, 6x4.5 and 6x7 medium format and digital cameras. He still occasionally uses a medium format camera in addition to digital (Canon) cameras. However, having had considerable darkroom experience of both colour and black and white processing over the years, Ronald is now firmly in the modern digital camp of producing fine art landscapes using the latest methods which he believes are at least equal and often surpass the traditional methods, without the use of nasty chemicals at the point of production. Does he manipulate his photographs in the production process? Ronald's rule of thumb is clear - anything that was permissible in the darkroom is permissible in Lightroom, such as dodging and burning, vignetting etc. with the aim of producing images with the same saturation profile as Kodachrome and Fujichrome. Unlike many other landscape photographers he has complet control over all his work as he prints, mounts and frames all his work locally in Portree on a range of media, including the highest quality photo rag paper, polycotton canvas, aluminium and acrylic. All printing is done on a professional HP Z3200 Designjet professional 12 ink digital printer with archival inks rendering images with unsurpassed quality.
We hope you enjoy Ronald's photographs and look forward to welcoming you to An t-Eilean Gallery if you are on the wonderful Isle of Skye.