Edinburgh: Part I.

First of all on the trip to Edinburgh we encountered a street performance (a fire juggler) whom for his finale picked three people out of the crowd to help him, I was picked,  great fun and very funny. IMG_6101 IMG_6102 First on the visit however was the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where the Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse collaboration ‘Ponte City’ is showing in the Photography Gallery, after our lecture on wall presentation that was the what I kept focussing on, as well as the amazing photography. IMG_6114 There were large prints roughly B0, but I couldn’t be sure of the size without measuring, and the where mounted on something but I couldn’t say what, and framed within a strip of steel, I would have taken more photographs but they were actually not allowed. The frames suited the work perfectly, they had a solidarity and a coldness that the building in the photographs shares with them. Along with the large prints, some smaller prints were stuck up with small nails, some of the people I spoke to really didn’t like the nails, but I thought that it really brought something to these small repetitive prints. IMG_6030 IMG_6031 IMG_6032 We also visited the Stills Gallery just off the Royal Mile, there was some very interesting portraits here, but sadly the quality of framing was’t all that great, like I said though wonderful portraits but the prints were warped within the frames. On the other hand, the frames themselves were very good, they weren’t solid black so they didn’t create to much of a solid border around the image. As well as this, the white border within the frame was large and this drew you in close to look at the image. One last thing about this gallery in general, the space was amazing, I loved that the two artists work, though it was different didn’t massively contrast each other, if anything they complimented each other. and the two halves of the gallery flowed together very well. Would love to have my work hanging on their walls someday. IMG_6093 And after some more wandering around, being tourists and visiting the Fruit Market Gallery (which went over our heads) our day in Edinburgh was done. IMG_6106


Croitearan (Crofters).

Portraits, have you noticed how all over the place I am with portraits, first I hate them then I can’t live without them? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that really I need them and quite a lot and realised that they don’t have to be straight up of a face. A portraits simply has to describe something about the person, for me anyway and I’m sure others feel the same.

I have been doing a project about crofting, as you may well know, and I’m trying my best to include people but as always finding it a challenge. For my last project I did a large section of portraits and while I was relatively happy with my first series of street portraits in my feedback I was told that though they did present the story they were out of my style and didn’t do me justice. A good thing to hear really, constructive criticism is always good and I have certainly kept it in mind when photographing people for this body of work.
I’m coming closer to the person but not too close its about what the people are doing, and I will share a couple of these with you but not without a little more information.
I took one of these today whilst visiting a working croft, which was very interesting I learnt about the care that some of the livestock need, and Helen (whom owns the croft with her husband) said, in a round about way, that for her crofting wasn’t about buying all of the fanciest equipment or newest stuff, but instead about making almost the same thing with materials spare from something else. This statement really resonated with me because while researching I found out so much about community spirit in the old townships and Helen reminded me of this, they made the best from every little thing they had. Nothing is wasted, until its broken at least.
The other image is of my grandmother who is the widow of a crofter, with it I’m really trying to show all of the sides to crofting.

Wool Working (and Video Documentation: Part I).

Working with wool has come to my attention in a big way after starting to look at the lives of crofters, Werner Kissling who I have previously mentioned along side wool working has really sparked my interest into this reviving art. When shooting for my Final Major Project I visited an active weaving mill, using the traditional machines that had been restored (by Bob), these machines are still machines however, no where near the simplicity of the weaving that Kissling witnessed. One woman simply put stakes in the ground and used these to hold the wool while she wove. There was however an advantage to her method, she could expand her loom in any direction, that and the younger women would do the waulking for her, a four hour session were the wool is twisted and beaten, this bound the fibres for better insulation.

Whilst visiting the weaving mill and taking my photographs I took some short segments of video as a side project. In the mill it is required that everyone wears ear defenders, so when you watch the idea you can imagine how loud that the mill is. I don’t work with film often although I have been trying it out recently and trying to add Premiere Pro CC to my addition skills. I really enjoy working with film because having what would have been your still photograph moving helps you to tell your story. However, looking at most of my photography work I may have to film things out with my usual photography subject,