Marie, West End

Marie, West EndThis young woman was standing outside the subway station on the afternoon of the West End Festival. By that time, the sunlight was too strong for photography, creating too much contrast and shadow. But in the even light of the station entrance, Marie was complimented by the light and looked very photogenic indeed, as well as very stylish with the headscarf.

I asked her permission to make a portrait of her, creating two shots – this one was the first. She very kindly agreed and this was the result.

I have done very little to the original image apart from tone it to monochrome and adding very slight sharpening, before cropping a little from the top of the frame.


This was really nothing more than experimentation with a new masking technique I was trying out. Although I’m reasonably pleased with the image, I feel it still needs a little work in some areas – or rather, I need a little more practice with the technique. That said, not bad for a first attempt.

David Peat Retrospective

Last week I visited the Trongate 103 Gallery in Glasgow, which houses Street Level Photoworks. There, I saw a retrospective exhibition of the work of the late David Peat. Shot in monochrome, the images formed two selections; the first, Glasgow depicted in 1968, and focussing on the Gorbals, Maryhill and Tradeston; the second, a body of work captured in different places around the world.

This afternoon, there was a talk by Ray McKenzie, which looked at Peat’s work and offered a commentary on some of the images from the collection.

At the end of the talk, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with David Bruce, former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival – and the man responsible for bringing Peat’s photography out into the open. David Peat was primarily a film-maker, but one who enjoyed photography and who – to begin with – observed the street urchins and the crumbling decay of Glasgow in the Sixties, creating a body of work comparable to that of Oscar Marzaroli. And that body of work is perhaps more powerful now than it was then, offering social commentary, wry humour, and that ‘decisive moment’ captured in an age past.

David Bruce very kindly agreed to allow me to make this portrait of him, standing beside David Peat’s image entitled ‘Mask, Barcelona’. My thanks to Mr Bruce – both for his kindness today, and for his endeavours regarding the work of David Peat.

You can read more about the exhibition in this article in The Scotsman.

Ghosts Of The Air

A thrilling day at the East Fortune Airshow provided numerous photographs but my favourite amongst them was this – the derelict skeleton of the flight command building, standing like a great forgotten monolith amongst the ears of barley filling a lonely field.

Taking an image of an ancient plane, which flew as part of the airshow, I brought the two together, before transforming the final image into a deep sepia, reflecting something of the era of that plane and the command centre.

Between Brushstrokes

My third annual trip to the Merchant City Festival gave me this portrait of artist Moe Rocksmoore, who paints astonishing pictures in oils, her canvases alive with colour. Based at The Briggait, Moe has a love of skies and has recently begun exploring elements of Venice and Florence, following trips there.

Moe very kindly stopped painting for a few moments in order for me to make this portrait – my thanks to her for that.