photography

Kez we can!!!

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog posting so it seemed like a good time to update you all on what we’ve been up to over at Imaging Towers.  I thought it might be worth looking back over the last few months of what has been a busy period with no shortage of surprises and new developments.

I’ve shot some amazing gigs but the biggest change for me has been the development of my #Holyrood 100 project but also the increase of the photojournalistic element of the work I’m putting out.  In lots of ways gig photography is not that different from photojournalism, it’s about capturing a moment and putting that moment into context and helping the viewer feel they were there.  Scotland is a great place for any photojournalist and that’s why I’m working so hard to expand this area of the business.  Well-crafted, original and crisp images are essential in live music but also in photojournalism so expect to see more and more images in this field over the coming months.

What about gigs-well biggest surprise of the last few weeks was a haunting performance from Clint Mansell whose combination of classical music with fantastic visuals proved to be my surprise gig of the year.  You can read the excellent review from ‘The Skinny’ here:

The Skinny-Clint Mansell @ Glasgow Concert Hall review

I’ve also pulled together a few of my favourite images from the year so far which can be see here. 

Now I don’t normally do politics – this is a photography blog not a soapbox but I do want to give a huge shout out to Kezia Dugdale.  Politicians come in for a lot of criticism for being out of touch with real people! Well I dropped a cheeky tweet to Kezia wanting access at the Scottish Labour Conference and not only did she reply directly but she was as good as her word! Since then the Labour party have used a number of images from me in their election campaign and if you follow Kezia on Twitter, which I’d recommend, look out for a cheeky little headshot from yours truly for her profile image!  Anyone creative will tell you that the hardest part is knowing if our work is any good!  Little acts like that really help give some confidence that maybe we’re on the right track! – Thanks Kezia!

For anyone with an interest in photography generally I also wanted to recommend tow great books that I’ve been reading this month.  First up is Magnum Contact Sheets.  Possibly the most famous photographic agency in the world Magnum has opened up it’s archive to show not just the finished image but also the contact sheets showing some of the shot’s that didn’t make it.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into the thought process of some of the greatest photographers to have ever lived.  

Secondly a truly beautiful book, La Strada: Italian Street Photography which features Italian street photography from the 1940’s to the 1970’s and includes stunning imagery from some if Italy’s lesser known photographers.  Great inspiration for anyone with an interest in Street Photography.

So what’s coming up?  Well despite the freezing weather in Scotland today spring and summer are coming an so the Festival Season will be kicking in and once again we’ll be shooting at some of the biggest festivals of the season bringing you the sights of artists but also the festivals themselves.  Combine that with a spotify playlist and you can enjoy the summer season without need for wellies or a tent!

I’m also working hard on creating content for our new you tube channel and vlog.  Combine that with a ground breaking training course for aspiring music photographers that will be delivered online and it’s going to be a very busy and exciting few months.

 

 

#Holyrood100

#Holyrood 100 – What’s it all about.

As most of you will know I have recently relocated to Scotland.  One of the key differences I have noticed between England and Scotland is the level and interest of political engagement north of the border.  Last year’s Scottish referendum energised a whole new generation of political activists but also sparked the country into a genuine debate about where it’s headed politically and what the newly devolved powers can mean for the Scottish people.

On the back of all that political activity last year comes the latest general election for the Scottish Parliament.  It really is a defining election that will shape the political future for Scotland for some time to come.  There will be big changes within the chamber itself with turnover of around 35% expected.  Within the election itself a number of questions will be answered; how well will Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP Train do, will they sweep the board effectively wiping out the opposition parties in constituency seats? What is the future for the Labour party in Scotland? Can Kezia Dugdale start to rebuild a future for socialist politics in Scotland or are we witnessing the death of effective left wing opposition in Scotland.  And finally will the right wing tory party steal second place and how will the Euro Referendum affect the party who always seems keen to tear itself apart over the question of the UK in Europe?

So all of this means the scene is set for a very exciting and historic election.  I predominantly photograph live music so suddenly to announce a project around the election might seem on the face of it a slightly odd move.  There are, however a lot of similarities between live music and politics.  Artists and politicians are bot centre stage for a limited time.  Musicians are trying to shift records and politicians are vying for votes and finally both feature a well-choreographed and planned performance.  So turning my camera towards politicians isn’t such a step into the unknown.

Finally I have been a political activist in some way shape or form for most of my life.  It’s the unseen volunteer force that is for me the heroic and fascinating element of any election.  Look at any election in the world and behind the glitz of the main camoping is a quiet and hard working largely unrecognised army of volunteer and activists who gladly give up their time and work for nothing in order to get their candidate over the line.  In a lot of cases they are working for a candidate with a very slim chance or no chance of victory but nevertheless they mobilise and work behind the scenes for no real reward other than delivering their message to the electorate.  So #Holyrood100 will focus on them as well and document what this election will look like away from the policy announcements, rallies’ and political grandstanding of the candidates.

So for the next couple of months I will be shooting and documenting this election but also the EU referendum which follows shortly after both of which will redefine the political shape of the UK for decades to come.  I’ll be updating the website with images every week.  There is no political agenda for this I’m not being sponsored by a particular party and I’m not pushing anyone’s agenda. 

I’ll be speaking to all the main parties and hopefully getting behind the scenes access and exhibit at the end of this process what the election has really looked like away from the headlines.  

So there you have it – yes I’ll still be at gigs and spending time in cramped uncomfortable photography pits but I’m also going to see a bit of daylight over the coming months!  I hope as many people as possible will follow the project on Social Media and that the parties themselves will buy into what I’m doing.  

As I mentioned at the end of the project I’ll be publishing a book and I’m planning for an exhibition of the images as well so do watch this space.   Here’s the next 100 days!!!