Grant, Covid survivor.

Last November I photographed Professor Grant McIntyre who had survived COVID 19. https://www.sdmag.co.uk/2020/12/14/surviving-covid/ He spent 128 days in Hospital which included 50 in an induced coma, he had multiple organ failure and many other problems but thanks to the medical team around him and his own determination he came through. When I photographed him he still only had 55% lung capacity but had set goals to get it up to 75% in the next few months. A true survivor #edinburghphotographer #edinburghphotography #scotlandphotography #scotlandphotographer #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #portraits #editorialphotography #editorialphotographer #covidsurvivor

Sir John Mortimer from the archives.

From the archives. Sir John Mortimer, English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author, his best known novels are about a barrister named Horace Rumpole. These kinds of promo photo shoots were taken while the sitter was in town promoting an event of some kind. I would attend with a journalist who would be chatting with the subject. It would take place in a hotel room and sometimes there would be no time to take the sitter somewhere more interesting. Looking at the negs from this shoot I note there are no ‘set up’ shots at the end so we must have ran out of time. Still I got plenty of nice shots during the interview and this is the photograph the paper chose to publish #edinburghphotographer #edinburghphotography #scotlandphotography #scotlandphotographer #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #headshots #headshotphotographer #headshotphotography

Konrad on an overcast day

Konrad, law student and part time model photographed at St Anthony’s chapel. I’ve been inspired over the lockdown period by revisiting Jane Bown’s work. She started working for the Observer in 1949 and kept taking photographs for the paper for six decades. She worked primarily in black and white mainly using natural light and minimal equipment just an Olympus OM1 and 50mm and 85mm lenses. This photo of Konrad was taken on a dull Edinburgh morning where in the past I would have been tempted to kick a bit of light in with a soft box, glad I didn’t https://www.camerapress.com/…/archive…/jane-bown #edinburghphotographer #edinburghphotography #scotlandphotography #scotlandphotographer #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #janebowninspired #janebown

Whisky galore!

Andrew Cuthbert, Director of JL Gill Whisky shop and specialty foods. JL Gill was established 120 years ago by Jacob Linklater Gill at 26 West High Street, Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland. Crieff had over 30 traditional grocery shops, this is the last remaining one in the town. Andrew bought the shop in 1997, while keeping the essence of a traditional grocery store it has evolved into one of the top malt whisky shops in Scotland today. https://www.scottishproduce.co.uk #edinburghphotographer #edinburghphotography #scotlandphotography #scotlandphotographer #editorialphotography #editorialphotographer #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #scotland #scottishwhisky #whisky #whiskey #whiskygram #whiskeygram #whiskyshop

Starting a new life

Ford village Post office and tearoom. https://www.fordvillageshop.co.uk Graham Hopper was a design engineer in Manchester for 33 years after leaving college. He and his wife Jenny came regularly to the area for holidays so when they saw the concern up for sale in 2018 and wanting a change they decided to go for it. As well as running the Post office, shop and tearoom they also have a B&B to look after as well which keeps them very busy  #scotlandphotography #scotlandphotographer #edinburghphotographer #edinburgphotography #editorialphotography #editorialphotographer #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer

Influences

When I was studying photography one of the greatest places for learning was the college library. You can learn all the technical stuff in the studios that’s fine but to really understand the art of creating images you can’t beat looking through other photographers work. I took this image in 1990, it’s inspired by the photographer Irving Penn https://irvingpenn.org/small-trades who did a project called ‘small trades’ in the 50’s. I think he himself was influenced by August Sander, https://www.moma.org/artists/5145 the German photographer, who documented the German folk of the early 20th century. #scottishphotographer #scottishphotography #edinburghphotographer #edinburghphotography #portrait #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer

A new personal project

Because I worked Saturday photographing the football for the newspapers I was given Tuesday off in lieu. in 1993 a miners co-operative got together decided to reopen Monktonhall colliery  just outside Edinburgh. This seemed like a good second project to follow on from my ‘Life on the Tyne’ work so I approached them for permission to document their venture. They were very happy to let me take photographs and allowed me total excess to everywhere in the colliery including 3000 feet down onto the coal face.

Waiting for the shift to start

End of a shift

By the time I took this shot the miners had total trust in me and I became part of the background which allowed me to hang about for quite a while as these two guys chatted. This moment happened in the blink of an eye but I was ready for it and got the shot, just as well, it was the last frame on the roll of film!

Moving away

 

After college I managed to get a job working for the MoD at 8 Signal Regiment in Catterick North Yorkshire as a civilian photographer/video operator. I had a good friend at college from Edinburgh who I had visited just before I moved to Yorkshire so even as I started off on this new job I’d already made my mind to move to Edinburgh, it was a city I had instantly fell in love with.

Two years later in Autumn 1990 I handed in my notice and armed with a couple of cameras, lenses and a flashgun moved to Edinburgh. I managed to get a part time job working in the local newspaper’s darkroom while doing some photo assignments here and there. My first front page cover was when I covered the Edinburgh Beltane festival which was held at Carlton Hill and ended up at sunrise on top of Arthurs seat.

I eventually got a job as a full time photographer which I did for 3 years before I decided to go freelance. I really enjoyed some aspects of being a press photographer especially the sport but there were other sides to the business which I felt uncomfortable with, being freelance allowed me to be a bit more choosy over what I did and I was also able to pursue more commercial clients.

Football is the main sport that’s covered by the newspapers, followed by rugby

both of which were good to photograph but it was always nice to get something a bit different like speedway

or Ice hockey

Working for newspapers was a steep learning curve and it taught me a great deal, even if there were some aspects of it which I personally didn’t agree with.

My first documentary photograph


I worked in Darkrooms for the next nine years, the idea of becoming a photographer disappeared when I got my first motorcycle in 1978 then after that all my time seemed to be dedicated to supporting this ‘two wheeled’ addiction and having fun.

In 1985 I started to realise I needed to get myself sorted out and focus back on my photography. I used to go down the Newcastle quayside where there was, and still is, a great place called the Side Gallery They are well known for their promotion of documentary photography exhibition. I first saw the work of Finnish Photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen documenting the Byker before it all got swept away. I also remember seeing the powerful works of Don McCullin, the stark Black and White images once seen never forgotten.

In 1986 I decided to give up my job in the darkroom and to take a two year photography course at Newcastle College of Arts and Design. This photograph was taken at my local corner shop in Gateshead and is still a favourite of mine. We were in the store room chatting and the owner raised her arm to point something out, I clicked and got the shot. You can see the ‘McCullin’ influence with the way I printed it. Ilford graded paper went from OO (soft) to 5 (hard) contrast, I was always bouncing about 4-5.