Having just completed 2 landscape books in as many months, I felt in this blog the urge to depart from comfort of nature and topographical subjects to share a little of my new found passion for Street Photography, in particular featuring my city of origin, Glasgow. It was only last year that through economic necessity that I tackled some social photography in the guise of weddings and festivals, I realised I loved the challenge and the dynamics involved almost as much as the people I encountered.
Glasgow is simply bursting with life, it is so inclusive and multicultural, allied with its famous easy banter it presents a banquet for aspiring street photographers. I had originally set out to make strong images of the city architecture, textures, character, style and light but quickly, almost unavoidably it seemed, I started to include people. Finding so much diverse material and willingness from the subjects it spurred me on. I developed a real hunger for the next encounter and learned to move in quickly on the endless opportunities around what seemed like every corner. It’s a mix of receptiveness, anticipation, logistics and a bit of luck thrown in. It is cerebral at times with technical challenges but also emotional, as successes came as often as did the knock-backs and failures.
I did do some candid stuff with a long lens which was fun but some of the most rewarding shots were from people I actually talked to. In this way I generally got full compliance and was able to ensure I met a principle parameter of the project which was that each image had to be discernibly shot in Glasgow. I learned how the body language I projected had critical impact on my subjects, if I could suggest indifference towards them I had more freedom to catch the moment thus deceptiveness became second nature. I got caught out now and again but I also worked to the consistent principle that you must keep going and not let the missed shots curtail the spirit or hunger for the next shot. Definitely the most intense form of photography I have attempted.
Glasgow is the subject of the third book I am publishing in June this year and will feature a selection of street work from this project and features text and commentary by renowned Glasgow writer Des Dillon.