Todays Picture

Todays Picture
Squinty Bridge Glasgow

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Going Cakey !!

How about this for a job?

Sutherland's cakes are going on line. To do this of course, the entire range had to be photographed. I was going to give you examples of some but name a cake and it was here at the studio and in vast quantities.

I was buried in the goodies. What's more I couldn't give them back due to health & safety

Who says you can't have your cake and eat it?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Fix play Royal Exchange Square.

In an earlier blog I commented on how I have always admired buskers who play in all weathers for busy people rushing past.

Well, last Saturday, I was meeting up with my eldest son Roddy when I bumped into my youngest son Andrew. He was playing and singing away in the rain with band members, Connor and Alan from their band The Fix in Glasgow's Royal exchange Square.

Judging by the amount of dosh they were getting, the shoppers were impressed.

They were great!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

One Of My Favourite Photos.

This photograph is one of a series I took during the shooting of a promotional video for Aberlour Whisky back in 1990. (My favourite single malt)

This is the stuff you cannot set up and it is always the best. As often said, "never work with children or animals", there is a lot of sense in that saying but when you get this kind of image, it makes you think.

The wee tom knew there was something good in the air and came over to investigate but it was all to much for him.

His day had still to come.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Total Precision.

I was searching the archive negative libraries for an old shot I had taken for a client many years ago. Now, this is always an interesting experience as I always find shots I had completely forgotten about.

I found these ones of the Red Arrows from 1985. How about that for symmetry?

I remember the noise, it was quite deafening.

In a word, brilliant!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Michelle Shocked Hits Glasgow.

The wee woman with the huge voice played King Tut's recently.

I hadn't heard much from the L.A. rocker for years and curiosity got the better of me. She was in fine form, but being a self confessed "born again", she drifted into a bit of a sermon halfway through the gig. This didn't go down well with the crowd, me included,
but after a few hints to that effect, she got the message and finished off in fine style.

I had a brief chat with Michelle after the gig and she was charming.

Great gig.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Redoubtable, Jim Leishman.

Now here is a man that I had wrongly pigeon holed in the great scheme of life.

If you live in Scotland, then you may have heard of him. Jim Leishman is the manager of Dunfermline Athletic soccer team. I have photographed him in this capacity many times and always thought him a bit eccentric.

I was covering a high powered conference on fraud this week and was surprised to see his name on the list of guest speakers for such an event. His subject was motivation. He was brilliant to see and hear in action. I now understand why he has been so successful.

It only goes to show what little we really know about people in public life.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Scotland's Answer To The Spice Girls.

I was doing my bit for charity at a fund raiser on Sunday night at Oran Mor to help raise "Cash For Kids" in conjunction with Radio Clyde and Asda.

Part of the nights event was a guest appearance of Scotland's answer to the Spice Girls. Atlanta.

Now I never got to hear them perform as I ran out of time but they were really nice and I wish them all the best.

More girl power, thank you.

The Totally Charismatic Roddy Frame.

It has been a really busy past fortnight for me so I was delighted to be given a guest AAA pass for the brilliant Roddy Frame's second sell out gig at Oran Mor on Monday night.

What a performance from the former Aztec Camera front man. He played a solo acoustic set which was simply magnificent.

He's one of those guys who just gets better and better.

Special thanks to Gill at Scottish Music Centre and Paul at PCL.

The Things You See In The City.

Byres Road in Glasgow is always good value for unusual things to see.

The other day, I was waiting to cross at the lights on University Avenue when this splendid old machine passed by.

Don't make em like they used to!

Not At All PC For Today.

I have been finding all sorts of archival material in my library of late.

I thought I might share a couple of them with you.

For those of you old enough to remember this old Teachers whisky advert, can you imagine the furore it would cause if used today.

Yes, the guy with the long hair is me. It was taken in 1974 when I was a photography student. If it were full length, I'm sure I would be wearing a pair of flared trousers with huge flares. They were standard student issue back then.

Aye, those were the days!!!

Monday, 10 November 2008

An Appropriate Toast.

My old pal Tom and me, went out for a wee drink on Saturday night. We should have known better!

We started in a pub at the bottom of Byres Road and worked our way back up via several others. Now, Tom being all knowledgeable about whisky, meant that we had to sample a few
en route.

I was somewhat fragile on Sunday but I'm blaming the beer. As you can see by the photo, in one of the bars you could buy a pint of Mongrel. We both agreed it would be an appropriate drink to toast the passing of my wee dog.

Will I ever learn ?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

R.I.P. Wee Dug.

I'm always saying to people that nothing in life is forever.

Today was no exception. I had to take my faithful dog Cleo to the vet again as she had taken her most severe fit to date and was unable to walk. I was told by the vet, that there was little chance of her recovering and the most humane thing to do was to put her to sleep. She passed away very peacefully but it was a very emotional experience for me.

I remember getting her for my late mother back in 1990 from the cat and dog home. When mum passed away in 2005, she stuck to me like a limpet. She loved going in the car and especially to the pub. She got on well with everyone, there wasn't a bad bone in her body.

Here she is with some of her chums from the park and on a recent trip to Balmaha.

I hope she's got all the bones she wants now.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Appearances Can Be Deceptive.

I met Audrey over a year ago at a business lunch and as a consequence, I started doing a lot of photography for Kit-Out The Park which is a project running in partnership with
Caledonian University where she is studying for her Phd.

Now I had come to know Audrey as the efficient power dressed executive charged with setting up seminars and conferences at various locals around the National Park. The top photo is how I'd been used to seeing her. She told me she had been doing yoga for some time and as if that wasn't enough, kick boxing, was another pastime. Click the link and you'll see it's not for the faint hearted.

She asked me if I would take some shots of her for posterity.

I liked the way she could stick herself to the wall. That Yoga is magic stuff right enough!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Easy Rider.

My brief was to come up with a shot that would lighten up the perceived vision of the
"stiff shirt" image of the West Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce.

In order to attract a new and younger business sector to sign up to the benefits of being a member it was decided to start at the top.

We sat the Chief Executive, John Corcoran, resplendent with leather trench coat, stars and stripes bikers vest and set him off with a pair of Ray Ban sunnies (as worn by his
alter ego, Arnold Shwarzenegger in the Terminator movies) on this beast and here we have it.

Now this is some bike by the way. It is a customised Harley Davidson and has an AC Cobra
2 litre engine. The cost, a cool £ 63,000. The conversion was carried out by specialist
company and new member, Area 51 of Clydebank. If you like your bikes, this place has to be seen to be believed.

Now if your out there Arnold, don't mess with "Big John".

Friday, 12 September 2008

A Treasure Chest Of A Find.

One of the most amazing things happened to me a few days ago. I was looking for a heavy duty drill that I knew was somewhere in the old family garage in Clydebank.

Whilst rummaging around on my quest, I found an old wooden box and inside another box within, I found 12 old packets of original Kodachrome mounted slides which had never seen the light of day for nearly 50 years.

When I started to examine them on the light box, I was quickly overwhelmed with emotion as many of them had colour images of me, my sister, mum and dad and many relatives long since departed.

They were all taken in the late 50's and very early 60's and because they had been kept safe from the light and the elements, were are all in remarkable condition.

If any of you have ever experienced finding photographs of yourself at such an early age that you never knew existed then you will know what I'm banging on about. I have posted up some taken with my sister and my favourite, with dad oiling the old push type lawnmower. It wouldn't be fitting not to start with mum and dad.

I am always telling people that every time you take a photograph you are capturing a wee piece of history. If this doesn't prove that point, then I give up.

A truly remarkable find.

Right Of Passage.

My eldest son Roddy, turned 18 last Sunday and I was real chuffed to join him for his first legal pint.

He has now left home and is starting his five year mechanical engineering degree at Strathclyde University.

Where do all the years go?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Fantastic Event.

The job I do certainly has its advantages. I was a asked by one of my clients, Hello Scotland, to photograph a visit to Scotland by one of their German clients over last weekend.

Now, Hello Scotland are famous for arranging very unusual and stunning events for their clients, this was no exception.

The party arrived at Hopetoun House where the evening started off with a private aeronautical display which set against the sunset that evening was quite spectacular. Next up was a formal banquet with a highland dancing display, fiddle music and traditional songs between courses. The finale to the evening was an entire pipe band performing at 12.30am before the coaches arrived.

The morning took the party to Winton House where helicopter trips, classic cars, clay pigeon shooting, hat making, traditional hickory golf and a display of falconry were order of the morning. It was then lunch and off to the Glenkinchie Distillery to sample some fine malt whisky before departing for Germany.

What a life !!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Birdman Of The Botanic Gardens.

I read recently that a lady from the east end of Glasgow was banned from feeding the pigeons in her park as they were considered a pest.

Now this chap seemed to have no problem with the pigeons in the Botanic Gardens and they clearly knew him well. The minute he sat down, loads of them descended from all over the place and one or two of them landed on his head.

Live and let live I say, they have as much right to be here as we do.

Reunited After 28 Years.

Way back in 1979 when I was working for the local paper in Dumbarton I was sent out to take a photo of a young Highland Dancing champion, Nicola Glover, then aged six.

When I arrived at her house, I was amazed to see all the cups and plaques that she had already won. I took her to the banks of Loch Lomond along with her trophies and set up a shot with her leaping about in the middle of them all. One of the shots was a cracker and it was one of six that I entered for the press awards that year. I was lucky enough to be highly commended for my portfolio.

Life moves on and 14 years ago I found the only remaining print left as the negatives had been lost when the paper moved office and onto new technology. I tried to trace Nicola through dancing schools but to no avail, so I gave up. Recently, when I was setting up my new gallery, the photograph surfaced again. This photo was now beginning to haunt me.

On 16 August, I was covering a wedding at Luss Church and during a conversation with the minister, the beadle, who was clearing up the confetti from a previous wedding commented on a fantastic piper I was telling him I had heard at another wedding the week before.

I asked her how she knew of him and she told me that he had piped at many Scottish Highland Dancing Championships. When I then told her about the young dancer I was trying to find, her expression was priceless. "That's my daughter" she said and clearly remembered me from all that time ago. The minister and me could hardly believe it.

Nicola now 34, came to the studio last Thursday where she was reunited with a piece of her past. I also found a photo taken in 1980 at the awards ceremony with my boss and editor at the time Donald Fullarton. As you can see, I haven't changed a bit. ( That's me in the groovy pinstripe suit).

What Can Happen Within A Year.

Last October a young musician, Dave Nelson, came to the studio to get some promotional photos taken.

He was telling me about all the work and pub gigs that you have to do get your name out there. He was playing in a band called The Ping Pong Banana Show at that time.

I asked him to play a tune or two and I would work around him. He was brilliant.

I was not surprised to hear last week, that he was co writing, playing keyboards, guitar and had just come back from Beijing with the utterly sensational Paolo Nutini.

Fantastic !!