Posted on July 13, 2021
Trip To The Borders
During lockdown I was missing travel and now it’s such a pleasure to get a wee run in the car, especially if its a place I have never been to before. I was visiting the stunning Marchmont Estate in the Scottish Borders to meet two visual artists have won opportunities to practice their craft at Marchmont House, one of The Borders’ most culturally important estates. This is a partnership between Scotland’s national provider of studios, Wasps, and Marchmont Estates. The two artists who take nature as inspiration, textile specialist Laura Derby and painter Helen Flockhart, will join the growing artistic community at Marchmont in August in fully funded residencies. What a lovely place to live and work.
A Drone to Catch a Drone
I met an inspiring young man who after the cancellation of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport following reports of drone sightings close to the runway in 2018 decided to do something about it. The airport was closed for 30 hours, disrupting 1,000 flights and more than 140,000 passengers. As an affected passenger he began to give the whole episode some thought. Three years later Joe Gibson has developed a counter-drone project and set up his own business to take this further. His company, Gibson Robotics, pitched the project to Gabriel Investments, a Scottish business syndicate. The drone, which Joe is holding watched by Gill MacAulay and Lynn Ross of Gabriel Investments was photographed at The University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation building. The drone physically captures other drones in a net after being launched by a catapult and monitored by a human operator. Amazing!
Tea & Biscuits on Board the TS Queen Mary
After last months nautical theme I was back on the high seas, well Princes’s Dock in Govan Glasgow for a new training initiative between City of Glasgow College and the TS Queen MaryThe college and the Friends of TS Queen Mary, the charity behind the restoration of the historic steamship will provide training and employment opportunities on board the ship for students wishing to enter the hospitality industry. I photographed Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive of City of Glasgow College and Iain Sim, Chair of Friends of TS Queen Mary with a couple of the college students. Afterwards we went down below deck and into the Queens Restaurant, which in its day would have been the last word in luxury. I thought a picture of the students Alex Dick and Robbie Maitland in the soon to be refurbished space brought together the past and future. The tea and biscuits tasted great too.
The Cedar Room Where it All Began
I love history, it fascinates me. I was assigned to photograph the National Trust for Scotland’s Chief Executive Phil Long in the Cedar Room in Pollok House. The name rang a bell in my head. The room in Pollok House was where the National Trust all began, back in 1931. The discussions for the founding of the National Trust for Scotland took place inside Pollok’s cedar-panelled smoking room. Mind you, it was not the easiest room to light as the shutters are closed to protect the wood and paintings from the sunlight. The staff were kind enough to open them up to allow some light in this dark dark rooms just for a moment. Phil was a delight to work with too. The picture appeared in the following weekend edition of The Herald on Sunday.
Cleartech In Glass
I do love business assignments and when I get a call for a picture for The Herald business pages I always look forward to it as you get to meet and photograph a wide range of people doing very different jobs. I met the good natured and easy going Jim McGuigan MD of the Cleartech Group based at Blantyre Industrial Estate just a short hop out of Glasgow. I always like to see a nice glass panel with a company logo on it. It always looks great when you light it up with a flash.
Posted on July 13, 2021
Dunkirk Little Ship
I was down to visiting the Scottish Maritime Museum in Dumbarton recently. The Skylark IX Recovery Trust had announced their ambitious plans for a bright future for the much loved Skylark IX ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’ at a new immersive heritage experience and boatbuilding training centre. The proposed £3 million centre will create a permanent home for Skylark IX, which is listed on the National Historic Ships Register and believed to be one of only two ‘Dunkirk Little Ships’ from the World War 2 Operation Dynamo surviving in Scotland. The lifebuoy always makes a good frame for photographing the subjects and keeps everyone nice and socially distanced.
The Healthy Option
I am not usually a fan of healthy foods, although over this last year with Covid I have been changing my diet with less saturated salt and fats. I find sometimes with these ingredients it does not always taste as good. When I went down for the opening of the new Juicy Superfood Health Bar opening on Byres Rd. I did have a coffee but I was not initially tempted to try anything. After the shoot I was persuaded. It was delicious. The melon drink I had was amazing. Then a lovely pasta dish. I didn’t need my roll and sausage after that. Fallon Carberry and her staff were brilliant. So bubbly and full of enthusiasm.
Music To My Ears
I was lucky enough to have had another visit to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to watch award-winning pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performing with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan. They were involved in a digital performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No1. As Benjamin is in the centre of the performance area I have to use my huge 300mm I use for football. The picture from up ‘in the gods’ looks pretty cool too.
I was asked to visit Tannoch Loch in Milngavie where I know the best fed ducks in the area are.These wee chicks were paddling around where we were sat. They really are wee balls of cuteness.