Tuesday, 23 September 2008
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
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.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
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
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.
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).
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.