September 2020

Time For A Dram That I Cannot Drink

I do like a dram however I was at The Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine to sample a wee dram that was undrinkable. It was an eighty year old bottle of Scottish whisky salvaged from the 1923 SS Politician, one of Scotland’s most famous shipwrecks and the inspiration for the much-loved Ealing Studio comedy Whisky Galore. How cool was that! Abigail McIntyre, Senior Curator at the Scottish Maritime Museum was the person trusted to hold the bottle. I was too scared in case I dropped it. Also in the picture was the helmet that was used by deep sea diver George Currie when he brought the bottles up from the seabed. I used a small flash inside the helmet to give it a cool look and brighten up the bottle. 

The Sound of the Proms

I have been back in the Glasgow City Halls a couple of times over the last few months and what a delight it was to get the opportunity to go and and listen to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performing in the world’s greatest classical music festival, the Proms. What an amazing sight to see all the musicians, all socially distant, performing together. Conducted by the very cool Alpesh Chauhan, the highlight was pianist Stephen Hough. My favourite shot is always looking through the lid of the grand piano.

Making a SplashI have passed the Pinkston Watersports Park at Port Dundas many times and have even walked around the old industrial canal site before it was built. It’s a community paddlesports centre with Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course.There is so many things to do there, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, wake boarding and now tubing. What a lot of fun that looked. STV news person Polly Bartlett  was in trying it out for a TV piece. She loved it. I must say she was very brave. The white water tubing was quite thrilling to watch and great fun to photograph. 

City of Glasgow Merchant Navy Day

It was so good to see something happening in George Square after the long time in lockdown. Thirty City of Glasgow Merchant Navy cadets with Principle Paul Little and Glasgow Lord Provost Philip Braat attended the annual wreath laying ceremony. This was the first time the students from the college had formally gathered since the lockdown back in March.

Brooch In A BoxMy favourite lens at the moment is my 100mm macro bought last year from a pal. It is brilliant for portraits, macro and product photography. I had been photographing cakes with it last month.I was asked by my better half to photograph some of her new creations. A ‘Brooch In A Box’. These are hand printed silk brooches, from original paintings, finished with free motion embroidery. They look lovely in the photographs and are selling well too!

August 2020

A New Front Page

After six years with the same front page on my website I thought it was time for a change. I spent a lovely couple of hours with Chris from Christy Digital as my website has been needing a bit of a tweak. It turned out but I had been publishing my blog the wrong way from the start . Who knew that you put up a new post instead of just adding to the one page. Well, perhaps only me. My first post has been the longest ever. I am surprised I didn’t get a letter in from WordPress complaining. It made such a difference having an expert on hand to see you on the right track and not to raise an eyebrow or criticise. Also one that brews such nice coffee. My skills are photography and lighting. It’s good to bring in the skills of others to help. I am delighted with my new front page, a collage of some of my favourite assignments. Check out Chris at his website here

Cakes By Rebecca

I am a fan of cakes, no one can doubt that. When an assignment came in to go to Cakes By Rebecca in Blantyre, it was something I was looking forward to. Rebecca was lovely and really enthusiastic about her business. What great staff too. The photographs got used in The Herald’s business section as she was the featured young entrepreneur. I did have my mask on but I was allowed to take it off for cake eating purposes.

Cool Masks for The City of Glasgow CollegeWith the academic year coming around again all the colleges and universities are looking at ways of keeping their students safe. The City of Glasgow has some really cool face masks in college colours. I went in to see them with a couple of volunteers. They did look pretty striking. I am not a fan of the black serious masks. I find they can be a bit depressing. I love the bright colours and especially the tartan ones. Remember the very cool Boé Gin one I photographed last month.

A Landscape From The PastI am always looking out for a good cityscape of Glasgow. The city rarely disappoints. With all the heavy rain recently, I was looking out across the city and saw the low clouds and heavy dark lines. When I put the picture into black and white and increased the contrast, the way I would have done in the darkroom, the image really jumped out at me. The picture had a real 1940’s or 1950’s industrial feel about it. It was like the buildings were tall chimneys and factories with smoke all across the city. 



July 2020

A Sight For Sore EyesOur holidays like everyone else’s were cancelled this year. We have a week in Tiree every year so we were sad not to go. At the start of lockdown we were told not to cancel but to postpone accommodation to help out the hotel trade. We go every year so we were already booked for the next few years! However we had a booking for Oban that we left open just in case the lockdown relaxed enough to let us travel. The owner was pleased we kept it open and when there was a chance to go we thought we would book an extra couple of nights. It was brilliant get to have a change of scenery. To get to see Glencoe in all its majestic beauty and the sea and sand at Seil Island was just a tonic for the senses.

Back To Work

Getting back to some normality now as things seem to be opening up. It is amazing how used you get to turning up to a job with a selection of designer masks. My favourite is my tartan one. Also I always have small bottles of hand sanitiser in my pockets and now I’m totally used to using the electronic thermometer. It’s just a case of going with the flow. Some places have oneway systems just like the shops and keeping the 2 metres has actually been no problem at all.

BBC Radio 3 Lockdown Live at Glasgow City Halls

I was privileged to be covering the BBC Radio 3 Lockdown Live lunchtime concerts at the Glasgow City Halls. It was my first time in the city centre since lockdown. It was strange coming in to everything so familiar … but different. I love the City Halls and had attended concerts during Celtic Connections. The Radio 3 concerts were delightful. Just me and the artists in the hall over three days. Them playing and me photographing.

Pianist Steven Osborne, percussionist Colin Currie and opera tenor Nicky Spence accompanied by pianist Martin Martineau over three super days. When I got home in the evening I would edit the pictures listening again to the concert on the BBC Sounds app.

RSNO Back in Rehersals

Last month the Royal Scottish National Orchestra were getting back together for the first time since lockdown.  With a new socially distant layout in the auditorium, lots of hand sanitiser, temperature checks and masks it was a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. Again, I love listening to live music and watching the musicians. Seeing conductor Thomas Søndergård back in action was brilliant. I don’t know who enjoyed it more the musicians or me.

Boë Gin Cool Face Masks

I do enjoy a wee gin now and again. I was asked to photograph a cool new face mask for bar persons pouring Boë Violet Gin. It was my first time trying this gin and was so impressed, especially with its colour. Colour is always important in a picture so I was a fan right away. Also I have found out that even with a mask on it is still important to get the subject to smile. I noticed the difference with the bar person’s eyes. When a person smiles their eyes smile too.

Walkin’ Down a Dusty Road

It has definitely been a musical month.  I was out on location filming a blues video called Walkin’ Down a Dusty Road by the Dee-Don Delta Lockdown Bothy Blues Boys. It was originated by musician Al Fleming with some of his musical pals from his home town of Aberdeen, one from Miami USA and the track being mixed in London. All the music had to be done by the various musicians at home and sent to London. As we were in lockdown we had to do a socially distant video for the song . I filmed Al alone as no one could travel more than five miles. It worked really well and I really enjoyed making and editing the video.

To see my blogs from the last five years check out my page Blogs of Times Past in the main menu.