Undertow & A9 – Frances Scott

Frances Scott is a photographer whose work Document Scotland have admired having enjoyed her book Undertow, published by Another Place Press, detailing her walks over the Orkney islands. A recently published ‘zine also by by the same publisher features a previous body of work, the A9 project, documenting Frances’ journeys between the Scottish Borders and the Orkney islands. Sophie met with Frances over zoom recently and took the opportunity to talk to her in more depth about these projects.

Some of our conversation is here, in Frances’ answers below, but to hear more and listen to Frances talk in detail about the work, please head over to our Patreon site where you can watch the video and learn more.

DS: When did you become a photographer – what was your early career and education and how did you get started?

FS: I studied Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art from 2010-14. The first two years of the course were broad (a mixture of illustration, graphic design and photography). In third year, after some difficulty choosing, I specialised in photography, and made the worthwhile discovery that by narrowing your area of study, you can deepen your focus, and get considerably more from it.

After graduating in 2014 I moved back to Orkney and struggled to get a job in the field I’d studied. I ended up working as cabin crew for Loganair, working solo on the lifeline flights which service Scotland’s islands. This meant I got to leave Orkney almost every day, and so I never really suffered from the ‘cabin fever’ you can get living on an island. Meanwhile, in 2016 I grouped together with a number of recent art graduates based in Orkney to form the Móti Collective, and after a bit of a hiatus began making artwork again. Our aim was to unite early career artists and designers who were either based in or returning to the islands, and celebrate Orkney’s importance as a creative hub in the north.

In early 2017 I got a job working as a photography technician at the GSA, and while I’m keen to assert the importance of not having an entirely city-centric creative practice there have been undeniable benefits to my career from being based in the Central Belt. At the same time, I miss Orkney very much, and maintain my links with my home – it has continued as the focus of much of my work, and I’m still a member of the Móti Collective, albeit a long-distance one.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: You started making Undertow in 2016, going for walks – it’s something many can relate to at the moment, how did those walks turn into a project?

FS: I began walking the coastline of the Orkney mainland in the spring of 2016, driven by the desire to know Orkney better, and primarily as a walking project rather than a photographic one. I wanted to really understand my home – to see how all the familiar places linked up, and to make my own claim on the island by walking it.

After four years of art school, experiencing life behind a lens, I wanted to be free from the need to document everything. It was important to be free to walk without interruption, to be fully present. The process of walking opened Orkney up to me – it made me see more, look harder, and remember better. Orkney grew, and keeps on growing.

When I started I didn’t have the funds nor the facilities to make analogue photographs, so I left my ‘real’ camera at home. I did however use an iPhone to gather ‘photosketches’ – quick, non-intrusive image gathering. I also recorded the walks using GPS and handwritten notes on maps. Over time, two things catalysed this project into artwork: taking part in a series of exhibitions as part of the Móti Collective from late 2016-18, and a research residency supported by Stills: Centre for Photography in 2018.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

Having completed the coastline of the Orkney mainland in summer 2018, the Stills residency led me on to the coastlines of the North Isles: North Ronaldsay, Papay and Rousay. On these new walks around islands where I’ve never lived, I brought my Mamiya 645, loaded with black and white film. Initially, finding a balance between photographing and walking was a struggle. I felt the pressure of an audience for whom I had to create images, the weight of the camera on my hip; I was no longer alone on these walks. But working in this way has been vital in sharing and communicating my experience, and the images are also of value to me, so I am adapting.

Some of these film photographs were exhibited in 2019 at Stills in the group show AMBIT: Photographies from Scotland, and this year work from the series was published as a photobook entitled ‘Undertow’ by the Another Place Press, an independent publisher based in the Scottish Highlands. I’ve become accustomed to the rhythm of these walks as part of my life and my creative work, and I feel the loss of them just now during the pandemic when I can’t travel home.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: Writing is clearly a very important part of your practise, does that come first? And the images later – how does this process work for you and why is it important to include both in your projects?

FS: Even as images have taken more of a ‘leading role’ within my coastline project, the writing always happens first. After each walk I record my experiences on an OS Map, long before I process my film and see the photographic results of the walk.

Writing helps preserve the memory of each walk for me, and also to share the experience with others. It patches the gaps that photographs can’t, and thereby relieves some pressure on me – I might witness something too fleeting or dark to capture with a camera, but because I can record it in writing instead, it’s okay that I’ve only seen it with my eyes. Afterwards, writing allows visual or other sensory experiences to bloom naturally in the mind of the reader, and there is a roominess or fluidity in it that is perhaps not shared by the fixed and unbending nature of photographs.

I think the way I approach writing helps. It’s just ‘notes’ – notes on a map, or in a sketchbook, or on a scrap of paper. If these notes have anything of value in them, I can use or adapt them later. If I thought of it as proper ‘writing’ which might be published or exhibited from the beginning, I’d probably find myself intimidated and unable to get things down on paper.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
Book insert from the publication Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
Book layout spreads from the publication Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
Book layout spreads from the publication Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: What was it like making this project into a book? It’s a beautiful object, how did the design and publishing process come together?

FS: It was daunting turning what had become a huge focus of my life into a book: how could I communicate my whole experience in book form? To alleviate some of the pressure of this, I choose to see the work I make about the project as creative ‘branches’ which grow from the experience, while the walks at their core remain mine, and separate from any artwork made about them.

I chose to only use the black and white film photographs in the book, as the iPhone photos wouldn’t sit well alongside them – they speak a different language. But without this sense of colour, something about the experience was left out – and so the book is accompanied by an insert which contains written notes from the Mainland and Rousay, small note-poems which try to convey the feeling of each walk through words. Also included in the book were maproutes
and handwritten maps of two of the North Isles.

Normally when laying out a photobook the images themselves lead the way, but I also had chronology to contend with: I wanted the reader to encounter each place in the same order I had. This created some complications in repetition and flow but over time these issues were smoothed out, until both Iain Sarjeant and I were happy with the layout. I chose a muted pink for the colour of the insert – this ‘glow’ is something I had associated with the walks in the form of sea-pinks, or the setting sun glancing off waves, or in the fiery clouds above, and I wanted some of this warmth to counter the greyscale images. The cover is simple, just a line that I walked (in this case part of the Deerness peninsula). It brings the project back to its roots – the brink between land and sea.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: When did the A9 project come about? It’s a fascinating document of a journey between two very important places in your life – why choose the road – is journey important to you?

FS: During my two years as a photo specialist at GSA, my tutor Andy Stark said ‘Your work is about journeys’. I’m interested in the way we store feelings or memories in the land, and how travelling through a landscape can help you process your thoughts in time with the landscape. I came across a piece of writing by Rosemary Sullivan a number of years ago that said ‘The landscape of childhood provides the foundation layer of our psyche’. I like to look at the way these formative landscapes become part of our fundamental understanding of the world. My childhood was spent split between the north and south – my original home of Orkney, where my dad lived; Caithness, where my mum’s parents lived; and my temporary home of Hawick in the Scottish Borders with my mum. My internal landscape has always contained an awareness of and a yearning for ‘somewhere else’.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

I made the A9 series in 2014 at the tail end of my final year of art school. The project comes from my childhood living alone with my mum, and the many times she drove us northwards to see my family. It’s about the safety of the backseat, an only child with a car window for company. It’s also about leaving home, and the journey south to the city. The road links two halves of myself – a north/south, mum/dad, island/city, childhood/adulthood binary.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: Does this work include writing in such an important way too – or is it more image focused.

FS: Small paragraphs of writing are interspersed throughout the photozine. I use these to tell the story of the three days spent driving and photographing the road in 2014. I think I would have found it too difficult to pinpoint in writing exactly what the A9 holds for me, so it was better to focus on this one particular journey, which was the very first time I had driven the whole road alone. The writing hovers over the surface of a deeper sense of nostalgia associated with the A9. Because I was a relatively young woman, putting myself outside of the normal rules of travelling, I had a number of strange encounters over the course of the journey – including being stopped by the police and confronted by a gamekeeper, both while walking alone with my camera. Without including it in writing, this perspective would be lost. These written interludes invite the viewer to share this solitary journey with me.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: You’re working with Another Place Press again, tell us more about that relationship.

FS: Iain Sarjeant has been a supportive figure in the industry for a number of years now – I was encouraged back in 2015 when he featured some of my degree work on his online platform ‘Another Place Magazine’. At the time, I remember discovering his ‘Out of the Ordinary’ series and being fascinated by his images of Orkney, Caithness, Aberdeen – I was delighted to see the care and attention he gave to these places which had often felt snubbed or overlooked during my time as a student in Glasgow. Since then, Iain has kept an eye on my work on social media, and in late 2018 he approached me to ask if I might like to turn my coastline project into a book with Another Place Press. We’ve met in person a few times, but most of our planning/design correspondence takes place over email, a very democratic and open exchange of PDFs and ideas. Iain grew up in the Highlands, and understands the motivation behind my projects – I don’t have to explain why the places in my work are important to me, as they are often significant to him too.

DS: What’s next for you?
FS: I’ll be continuing my project to walk the coastlines of Orkney, since there’s a lot of coastline left. I’m going to keep making work about it, so perhaps there will be a sequel to Undertow in the coming years. The Covid-19 restrictions have unfortunately disrupted that project (I live in Glasgow and can’t travel to Orkney at the moment), so I’m having to be patient for now. In the meantime, I’ll be showing some work in an exhibition this month with the Móti Collective in Orkney, and I’m currently setting up a studio space in my flat.

DS: Thanks so much Frances, it was great to chat with you and hear more about these projects.

To see more of Frances’ work go to her website www.frances-scott.co.uk

Frances’ A9 ‘zine is available to purchase for just £8 from publisher Another Place Press

Her book Undertow is sold out on Another Place Press but you might be able to find a copy at Streetlevel Photoworks or the Pier Arts Centre Orkney, or other photography book sellers in Scotland.

Aberlour House School – Tom Kidd

One of the bodies of work we love in Document Scotland is Tom Kidd’s Life in Shetland. So we are delighted to showcase a second body of work from Tom, featuring life in Aberlour House School. Below, Tom tells how the project came about.

(Title image: Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.)

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

I took these photographs during a one-year stay in 1978/79 at Aberlour House School, in Aberlour, which is a feeder prep school for Gordonstoun. (Now moved to Gordonstoun itself. The buildings I shot in are now the HQ for Walkers Shortbread).

The school headmaster Toby Coghill had wanted someone to do a year in life of the school, and asked a contact at Scottish Arts Council if the could put him in touch with a photographer. So I called him and went there for a trial week.
I was promised unlimited access, and was also asked to help out with some photography classes, occasional art classes and with football. Similar I suppose to a teaching assistant nowadays.

I spent three terms there, living in the school. Shot every day, probably about 300 rolls of film, using the same gear as with my Shetland work – a Nikon FM with 35mm mainly, and Tri-x. Occasionally Kodak Recording film 3200…horrible stuff.

The school paid for everything, gave me a small salary, and we had permission from all the parents and teachers.

The kids seemed to accept me fairly quickly. A couple of teachers weren’t so keen on the idea of me being around with a camera. There was an ever-changing selection of prints on display in the school, and I tried not to put anything up that would allow kids to be teased by their fellow pupils.

I don’t remember anyone being unhappy with the way the pics depicted themselves or the school. I think Toby Coghill was worried about what was going to be shown at an eventual show at Stills Gallery in Edinburgh in January 1980, but was happy with how it all went.

A few pics appeared in British Journal of Photography and Times Education Supplement, but nothing since that Stills show. Some of the kids have been in touch recently, and it’s been quite touching hearing their kind words.

I enjoyed my year at the school, enjoyed being with the kids, who with one or two exceptions, seemed happy to be at the school.
It helped me develop as a photographer, and at the time I was influenced and encouraged by photographer friends Chick Chalmers, Mike Edwards, Richard Hough and Gus Wylie, along with the greats like Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand…the usual suspects.

A few images on display at FLOW PhotoFestival in September, but I have no plans for anything else.

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

Aberlour House School, 1978/79. ©Tom Kidd 2017, all rights reserved.

 

With many thanks to Tom Kidd for allowing us to showcase this body of work. See more work from this project on Tom’s site.

North Sea Fishing – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Back in the day I’d had an assignment from a Scottish newspaper to go out on a fishing boat which was taking part in a fisherman’s demonstration against EU regulations and quotas. It was only an overnight job, but it gave me a taste of being at sea.

“Can I come back and come out with you sometime when you go out fishing”” I asked the skipper Ronnie Hughes, of the seine net boat Mairead. When he’d stopped laughing he answered, “Aye, but if you’re sick, you’ll be sick for ten days and we’re not taking you back in.” I agreed to his terms.

It wasn’t too long after, not wishing to let the chance slip, that I boarded the boat in Aberdeen harbour and we set off into the North Sea for ten days of fishing for cod and herring. I didn’t even know the difference between a cod and a herring.

My sea legs appeared by magic, and soon I was scrambling all over that boat like an old sea dog. For the crew these trips can be exceedingly dull, monotonous and repetitive. I was probably light entertainment for them as they told me their stories, and explained their work.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

A while later I decided to venture out again, this time with the Argosy from Peterhead. Another ten days off out to sea, over near Norway somewhere. Same routine, throw the net overboard, wait an hour and half, circle the boat round, play dice games, drink more tea, read the Daily Mirror for the 276th time, pull in the net, retrieve the fish, gut the fish, stow the fish, chuck the net overboard, make more tea, read the Daily Mirror again…

Looking back on these images recently as I edited them for a new Café Royal Books publication, North Sea Fishing, they brought back so many memories for me. I could see each ship clearly in my mind, remembering the moments; of eating Angel Delight for desert and fried cod roe for breakfast, of the crew member who read his bible every morning and evening, of watching Kim Basinger in The Getaway, of hearing of the boat that pulled up their nets to find a car in them, of hearing of large waves which buckled metal, and of the deaths of loved ones swept overboard.

As one skipper said to me, “the North Sea is a cruel mistress. You love her and want to be with her, but she’s hard.” Ever since those North Sea trips I’ve ventured out on many oceanic assignments, from the North Sea to the Pacific, the Sea of China to the South Atlantic, the Irish Sea to the Southern Ocean. And all the time I remained standing in force 12 storms, stalwart on the bridge looking out the window loving every peak and trough that shuddered the metal of the ship and the bones of my body. And every time I’m there I think back to the Mairead and Argosy, and the hospitality and education those boats and crew gave me. – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Mairead', on the North Sea, 1993. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Mairead’, on the North Sea, 1993. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

Aboard the seine netter 'Argosy', on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Aboard the seine netter ‘Argosy’, on the North Sea, 1995. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, all rights reserved.

 

With thanks to Ronnie Hughes and the crews of the Mairead and the Argosy.

Some of the above images appear in a new 32-page Café Royal Books publication, North Sea Fishing, published in a limited edition of 150, in October 2015.

 

Vatersay

“I grew up in London and first went up to the island of Vatersay when I was 12. I fell in love with the place immediately and kept returning to the island once or twice a year for many years. It seemed so real after the suburbs of London. Although I was busy photographing the landscape I unfortunately didn’t overcome my shyness and start photographing the people there until around 1985. Those early photographs I dusted off and digitised in 2009 and put them online. The response from friends on the island was wonderful. Back in the eighties there were not so many cameras on the island and they would only be taken out for special occasions. This means that for some people those photos that I took are the only images they have of family and friends from that period. So over the years they have accrued a certain historical and nostalgic value. The response really inspired me to begin photographing the folk up there again, and this time a bit more consistently. So having renewed my contact with the island and my friends there this has become an ongoing project which I hope to continue for many years.

As far as the photos of the children are concerned, back in 1985 they weren’t so camera shy (with a few exceptions) and were happy to ignore me. Having said that, children are nearly always a great subject since they inhabit their bodies in such a direct, expressive way. It’s great to have been able to follow their lives and now photograph their own children and even grandchildren. There is something vey evocative about a photograph of a child. It is a fleeting moment captured from a fleeting period in someone’s life. This is brought home to me even more since I am only there periodically. This means that everything seems to be in time-lapse mode, all set against an apparently eternal landscape.” – Paul Glazier

Boys playing on Sir Lancelot, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Boys playing on Sir Lancelot, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

Jeremy, on behalf of Document Scotland – Many thanks for graciously allowing us to run your work, we enjoyed looking over it all. In particular we enjoyed your images of children. The pictures seemed to capture both the free spirit of island childhood life but also in some perhaps a feeling of foreboding, or of boredom, perhaps of the constraints of island life, would this be fair to say?

Paul Glazier – I grew up in London so can not really answer that question. You would have to ask an islander and would probably get various answers. From my perspective it seems idyllic but, no doubt, as with everywhere there are pros and cons. As for foreboding, I don’t see that myself. Perhaps it is the sense of the fleeting nature of childhood set off against the uncompromising landscape.

 

Sheep fank, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Sheep fank, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

DS When did you first photograph in the island, how often do you manage to get there? Can you tell us what draws you back time and time again?
PG – I was first taken up to Vatersay when I was 12, back in 1978, by a priest who taught at my school. For many years he took young lads from Glasgow up there to bring them in contact with a different environment. When he worked in London for a few years he thought it might be something that I would appreciate. As a young teenager I went back with him as often as I could, once or twice a year, photographing all the time. Back then it was an escape from what I experienced as the rather oppressive atmosphere of the London suburbs. I loved being out in the rugged landscape of the island with its endless skies. Being with father Banyard was also a great privilege since I would go with him on his rounds and so got to meet everyone. The people there struck me a far more authentic and real. I realise now that my experience was coloured by the romanticism of a teenager but for me the island seemed to offer a peace and perspective that I could also take back with me to London. I started going on my own, also camping on the other islands, until I moved to Holland in 1994. After that my visits were more sporadic but since my exhibition there in 2010 my contact with the island and my friends there has been renewed and I try to go there when I can.

 

Anthony and Eoin, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Anthony and Eoin, 1985. © Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

Marie Theresa, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Marie Theresa, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

DS How are you interacting with the people on the island when you are there? Do you stay with them, is everyone open to you, and to you photographing? Do you feel you get the access you’d like in order to photograph?
PG  I still stay in the church house when I am up there since my visit often coincides with that of Father Banyard who comes up regularly from Glasgow. Most people on the island seem fairly camera shy so I try to be discreet. My contact with the islanders is the priority so I try not to let the camera get in the way or to let them feel that that is the only reason for my visit. So no, access isn’t a problem, but when it is appropriate to take the camera out remains, as ever, a question of being sensitive to the situation.

DS I know when I undertook my reportage in a Roma camp in Romania, a settlement I returned to time and time again, that in order to keep things fresh for myself I had to occasionally vary how I shot by using different formats, or by shooting reportage one time, then the next more organised portraiture etc. I wondered how you’re keeping it fresh for yourself photographically when the place you return to is so small, and the population is few?
PG I think that that is simply a question of being responsive to the situation as it offers itself. Whether it be a wedding, being out in the fishing boats, or just visiting, each situation will offer different visual opportunities whether in the way of a series, a narrative or a single image.

DS You talked in an email of your plans to photograph more systematically on the island, how do you plan to do this?
PG Rather than ‘systematically’ I would say ‘consistently’. In the years between those portraits from the eighties and 2010 I rarely took photographs of people except in a studio setting, and on the island not at all, something that I now rather regret. When I was there I was more interested in photographing the landscape. But after the wonderful response to my old photos from the eighties, combined with a general shift in my artistic practice, I realised that that material from my student days offered a good basis on which to build.

Doilley, Eoin, Roddy and Eoin, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Doilley, Eoin, Roddy and Eoin, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

Toots, Catriona and Maggie, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Toots, Catriona and Maggie, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

DS Has there been much photography done on the island previously by anyone?
PG I know that Gus Wylie was there sometime in the eighties and took a wonderful picture of the church after mass. It is a photograph that I wish I had taken since it is really an archetypal image of that time.

DS What had been the response from the islanders to seeing the old images, and the new? And do you feel your photography has changed over the years, how you shoot, how you approach making the work? Has the attitude of the islanders to you photographing changed over the years, and if so, in what ways?
PG When I digitised my eighties photographs and put them online I received a wonderful unsolicited response from people from the island. This eventually lead to the exhibition at the heritage centre in Castlebay, Barra in 2010.

The response to my newer photos is generally positive and I think the book and exhibition has helped to get people used to the idea. But naturally some are less keen on seeing themselves in photographs. There has to be a little distance. But folk are getting used to seeing me with my camera and I think I am probably also more relaxed about taking photographs of them.

As for my photography, yes it has changed enormously over the years and is still evolving.
Initially I used photography purely as a way of collecting material for my paintings. When my imagery had reached almost total abstraction I realised that I was missing the narrative aspect and, stopping painting for a while, I started producing photographs as independent works. These were generally staged with the human figure as the starting point. More recently however my preoccupation has moved away from the surreal constructed imagery to observed subjects.

 

Julia 2010. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Julia 2010. ©Paul Glazier 2010, all rights reserved.

 

Lucy, 2011, During the Fisherman's Mass at Castlebay, Barra. ©Paul Glazier 2011, all rights reserved.
Lucy, 2011, During the Fisherman’s Mass at Castlebay, Barra. ©Paul Glazier 2011, all rights reserved.

 

Emily Rose, 2013. ©Paul Glazier 2013, all rights reserved.
Emily Rose, 2013. ©Paul Glazier 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS Some readers like the technical information! What cameras do you shoot on? Are you shooting still on film, and how much do you think you’ve shot? Do you still have plans to digitise any more of the older work?
PG In the eighties I used a beautiful little Rollei 35mm compact camera. In 2010 and 2011 I was using a cannon 40D. Since 2013 my camera has been a Nikon D600 full frame. I do have a couple of film cameras, a Mamiya 5 and Hasselblad 501CM – 6X6, which I love. However, a combination of the expense of film and the versatility of the Nikon means that I’ve chosen the digital path for this series up till now.
Although I did stumble across an unprinted negative recently I think I have already dug out most of the interesting stuff.

DS Tell us a little about what you have done with the images, you put them online and also printed a book? Is that available for people to buy?
PG As I have said, the posting of the 80’s photos resulted in the exhibition in the Castlebay Heritage Centre. For me that was the perfect venue so that everyone from the island could come and have a look. That was also the thinking behind the book that I put together. That is available from blurb.
I kept it small and therefore cheap, and any profit goes to the heritage centre which for me is a great way to put something back into the community that has meant so much to me over the years.

Several photographs have also been selected for the permanent exhibition at the new heritage museum in Stornaway that will open in 2015.

Jennifer, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Jennifer, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

Jennifer, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.
Francis, 1985. ©Paul Glazier 1985, all rights reserved.

 

Susan and Emily Rose, 2010. ©Paul Glazier 2010, all rights reserved.
Susan and Emily Rose, 2010. ©Paul Glazier 2010, all rights reserved.

 

DS Where can people see more of your work?
PG My website, a selection of the Vatersay photographs can be seen here.  A gallery that shows my work is Aeroplastics in Brussels.

DS- Many thanks Paul, good luck with the project for the future!

THE TRUTH – EVEN IF IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

We happened upon the work of Donnie MacLean at a recent Street Level Photoworks portfolio review session. Donnie had come and had brought a small self-published book to show to myself and Sophie. It’s always a nervous moment for the reviewer, will the work be good, or will it be truly awful and you struggle for something to say, you search for any little thing to pick up on in the work. But with Donnie’s book there was none of that. It was presented as a fully formed, finished piece of work. It was intriguing to look through, to see the images of Glasgow, for me my home city, but to see a whole new take on the streets. I hadn’t been aware anyone was really working the streets photographically, and it was encouraging to discover. There was little we could tell Donnie about his photography, he already knows what he wants and how to achieve it, instead we offered our thoughts on the book itself and it’s design. It was a pleasure to see the work and graciously Donnie has allowed us to show some of it here… – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

The Truth – Even If It Didn’t Happen, by Donald John MacLean.

Document Scotland- Donnie, Can you tell us how your project came about, and about the narrative/ story that these images convey?

DMacL- It all started when I was reading a book by Henry Miller, The Cosmological Eye. In the book he writes ‘the tragedy of it is that nobody sees the look of desperation on my face. Thousands and thousands of us and we’re passing one another without a look of recognition’ It really struck a cord with me and I started thinking how lonely the streets can be, so I started out on a project aiming to capture the loneliness of life within the realms of a busy city centre. To do this I decided to shoot with a Holga 120 and on black and white 120 film. The streets are unpredictable and so can the Holga be. There is a certain degree of lack of control of the camera very much like the streets. With using the Holga it offers the opportunity to capture unique images that are grainy and almost dream like, which for me was the style that would suit my approach to this project.

The images are unique, challenging, imaginative, inventive but at the same time are a reflective comment on the society that we live in. The subjects appear ghost like, lost within the busy realms of a city centre. People appear like strangers to one another. I wanted my images to be enigmatic and challenging. I wanted the viewer to feel and see the sense of doubt, pain and anguish that are visible on the streets. It is also a visual attack on consumerism, the pressure to spend money is all too apparent. I wanted to take my approach to street photography to a new level, that questioned the belief that street photography should be well composed, properly lit and in sharp focus. I wanted this project to criticise, challenge and raise awareness of the social injustices that I perceive to prevail throughout our society.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- Your images have a very particular style, how do you achieve that? And why do you choose that style for your work, or for this project?

DMacL- Using a Holga 120 it has allowed me a creative platform to capture grainy black and white imagery that seems to resonate with the anguish of the streets.
The creative aspect of shooting with a Holga is the multi exposure technique that I have developed within this project, this technique has allowed for the creation of dramatic street images without the need for advanced photo editing skills. I also looked at the effects of side burning an over exposed roll of film. This resulted in unique effect to the image, which added to the creative nature of this project. Another important reason for choosing to shoot with this particular camera was that allowed me to blend in within streets without being noticed. It’s small, lightweight, and thus easier to carry than a DSLR. Above all it is less threatening to people on the streets.

DS- Is it a style you use on other projects or just for this one?

DMacL- I use this style only for my street projects. It took me a few years to achieve a style that I was happy with and I will continue to develop and experiment with this particular approach to street photography.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- How long have you been photographing the streets of Glasgow? Are you out there every day? What made you want to be a street photographer?

DMacL- I have being photographing on the streets for a number of years now. I consider myself to be very fortunate to live in a city that is full of character and history. I view Glasgow as my playground where I can record and capture a rich tapestry of life. I see street photography as a very important medium in regards to understanding not only our place in the world but also as an ethnographical approach to the society that we live in. I love photographing on the streets as I feel a great sense of freedom, which is something I do not feel in the confines of a photography studio. The streets are a very exciting place to be. It helps me understand the nature of my society and also my place within it, in a sense I find a spiritual experience.

DS- I’ve found in the past, shooting in Tokyo, it is hard to be a street photographer, it’s cold, it’s lonely, it’s tiring. How do you find it on the streets of Glasgow? What are your days like?

DMacL- It can be a challenge at times. Due to my ‘in your face’ approach to street photography I have encountered many problems in the past. I have unfortunately had to experience a few violent attacks on the streets however I feel this comes with the territory. Due the society that we live in, many people are suspicious of a camera, which inevitably leads to many tribulations. However I have learned how best deal with such situations quickly. Violent and verbal attacks aside the streets are a fantastic place to be, its exciting, unpredictable, enjoyable and above all mesmerizing.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- What’s the key to street photography? What tips and lessons can you share?

DMacL- Here are some key aspects of what I have gained from the experience and what advice I would offer to a photographer wanting to embark on a street project.

Smile, if people spot you photographing them, just smile back. A simple gesture but it works. People mostly react well to a friendly gesture.
Do not run away. If you just shoot and run people will be very suspicious towards you. I would advice if you are spotted just simply pretend that you photographing something else, a building perhaps. You will find that people will ignore you and continue on their way.
Blend in. Do not wear bright clothes or draw attention to yourself. It is vital that you merge yourself within the street scene. This will get you close to the action. I decided to wear all black whilst shooting.
Be independent. Avoid going out with others, it is best to shoot alone so that you can go at your own pace. Although people will argue for safety in numbers I fell that will curtail your ability to express and to develop your own technique and style.
Avoid zoom lenses. For me this is an easy and lazy option. If you get close to your subjects the viewer in turn will feel part of the scene. This is a very important aspect of street photography.
Patience is key. I found that I took me over a hundred photographs to get an image that I was proud of. You have too keep shooting as much as possible as it will not happen in a days work. With this in mind it is so important to take a camera with you at all times as you never know what might unfold. I missed out some excellent images at the early stages of the project simply because I had forgotten to pack my camera.
Finally, confidence will overcome fear. Street photography is not as bad as first feared. It has a lot to do with experience; it is impossible to get over your fear in one day however the fear will fade away over time. Fear becomes excitement.

DS- I see echoes of Michael Ackerman’s photography in yours, is he an influence or inspiration to you? Which other photographers do you look to?

DMacL- As a Holga 120 user Michael Ackerman is great source of inspiration. His photographs are dark often blurred with heavy grain. The subjects that he photographs appear haunted that question fact and fiction. His images are best described as melancholic. His motifs are hugely influential to my approach to street photography. His book ‘Fiction’ has a had a huge impact on me as a street photographer. With his images and to a certain degree the images that I have captured, there is a great sense of tension between the subjects and the photographer. The viewer is brought into a world that almost seems unreal, a mixture between reality and nightmare.
Another inspirational photographer who has had a huge impact on my approach to street photography is Dadio Moriyama, I have been absolutely captivated with his work. His insight into Japanese modern culture is a heavy and inspirational piece of work. He can with one image capture sadness, desperation and despair, all at the same time. His aesthetic quality to his imagery is quite remarkable. His grain and black and white tones has great impact on the viewer and I see this as been very much suited to the subject matter that he photographs. His work has been of great inspiration to me.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'The Truth -Even If It Didn't Happen', ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Truth -Even If It Didn’t Happen’, ©Donald MacLean 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- In the Blurb book that you showed us, you had a quote on each page facing the image. What was the reason for that and how did you go about choosing the quotes? Is using text alongside your images important to you?

DMacL- I had originally planned to imitate Robert Franks book ‘The Americans’, with an image on each right hand page. However this idea took a dramatic turn when I decided to include a quote with every image in the book. This decision was not taken lightly, for days I weighed up the pros and cons of including words with images. For some this a no go, however for me I felt it would not only enhance the quality of the book but also at the same time add further substance to it. Throughout the project I would collect quotes from books that have read and at time use them as inspiration for the subjects that I would photograph. So I felt that the pairing of the quotes alongside the photographs would complete the project because for me without the words I would not have been able to achieve the success of the photographs. I do not regret the decision, I am very proud of the book, I feel that the quote give the book a direction but also at the same invites the viewer to further analyse the imagery.

DS- Can people still buy your Blurb book?

DMacL- People can view and buy my book online at Blurb.

If people would like to buy a signed limited edition copy they can contact me via email at

DS- Where else can viewers see your work, or buy it from?

DMacL- On Facebook. Also expect to see a website dedicated to my street photography early next year.

As a member of the Forgotten Collective people can see my work through various exhibitions that the Collective has set up.

DS- Many thanks Donnie for your time to chat about your work, and for sharing it with us. Donnie is also on Twitter if you’d like to send him a message.

 

 

Black Gold Tide

We’re very pleased to be able to show the Shetland photographs, from the 1970s, of Scottish photographer Tom Kidd. The work was originally published as ‘Life In Shetland’, by publisher Paul Harris, and it is this book that we saw, in the home of Edinburgh photographer Murdo MacLeod, which caught our interest.

Tom Kidd has very kindly answered some questions via email about his Shetland photography, more of which can be seen here on the (Tom Kidd) Black Gold Tide website. (Make sure to look for the Browse the Archive button in the menu bar…).

 

Cowboy hat on the St. Clare, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Document Scotland- When was your Shetland project shot, and for how long did you work on it?
Tom Kidd- 1975 to 1979. I think I was there on and off for about 10 months….seemed longer.

DS- How did it come about, via a grant or bursary, or assignment?
TK- I was awarded a Kodak Bursary on leaving Napier College.

DS- What was the aim, or brief, for the project?
TK- To try and document the effect North Sea oil was having on Shetland.

DS- A lot of readers like the technical information of projects, what cameras did you shoot on, and films did you use ? Do these matter to you?
TK- All shot on Nikon FM cameras with mainly 35mm lens. Some with a 24mm and few with a 135mm I borrowed from Chick Chalmers. Mostly shot on Kodak Tri-x developed in D76. The FMs went everywhere with me. Wonderful cameras.  My wife Clare still has one and it amazes me how big and bright the viewfinder is compared to current digital cameras. I just wanted a small robust camera that was reliable.

DS- How much did you shoot over the period of the project ?
TK- Probably shot about 200 rolls, but honestly never counted. I would shoot about 20, 30 or 40 rolls then return home to Edinburgh and develop them in big batches in our darkroom in Polwarth. Sometimes with near disastrous results.

 

John and Jeanie with pet lamb, North Nesting, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Canteen glances, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

In the co-op, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Tying knots, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- We’ve seen the books, ‘Life In Shetland‘, and ‘Black Gold Tide‘, can you tell us the story of how they came about and how they work together?
TK- Chick Chalmers was working on his ‘Life in the Orkney Islands‘ book at the same time as I was doing my Shetland project. We met as Stills Gallery was taking shape and Chick pointed me in the direction of his publisher, Paul Harris. Paul was keen to do it, and later went on to do ‘Life in Caithness and Sutherland’ by Glynn Satterley.
A book was a real bonus, and something that gave me the shove I badly needed to carry on with the whole thing. I had become disheartened, felt I wasn’t producing anything worthwhile. I had gone off to photograph a year in the life of a prep boarding school on Speyside. Going back up to Shetland with fresh eyes, a purpose and a deadline all helped. I was very fortunate to be helped and encouraged by a group of friends who really lifted the awareness of photography in Scotland in the 70’s.
Sadly their efforts in getting Stills Gallery off the ground and pushing the Scottish Arts Council into being pro photography seem to have been ignored or forgotten. The late Richard Hough (famous for his bus queues) who was one of my lecturers, and a huge influence, the late Mike Edwards whose large format landscape photography was exquisite, David Pashley who pushed the Photography course at Napier to new levels, my flatmate Chick Chalmers, Lesley Greene and Lindsay Gordon at the Scottish Arts Council. There was a real buzz at that time. I had two “models” for ‘Life in Shetland’ in the form of Chick’s Orkney book and Gus Wylie’s wonderful Hebrides book.
‘Black Gold Tide’ was Tom Morton‘s idea. It was fun to go up and shoot some more, and to go through all the old contact sheets. I found quite a few nice shots that I had never seen or noticed before. Also alarming to see how crap a lot of the early stuff was. Tom’s enthusiasm was infectious and he put the whole thing together.

DS- Did the work get exhibited?
TK- Not at the time. The Bonhoga Gallery in Shetland showed some of the pictures about 10 years ago.

 

Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Firemen, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

DS- How was it, as a non-Shetlander, working in Shetland on the project? Were people accommodating to the ideals of the project ? And how was the work received by the Shetlanders?
TK- Like anywhere I suppose. Some were helpful and others weren’t. BP refused me access to the terminal at Sullom Voe which didn’t help. Lots of delightful people who did help me. I was at Napier with a Shetlander, Charlie Robertson. He was a help with a few pointers.
When I first went up there, I rented a cottage in the middle of nowhere. That was quite a lonely existence, and I found it hard work. Far more productive staying in B and B’s. Living with locals just gave me a better feel for the place I think. I ran out of money fairly quickly as well, so worked on building sites and as a furniture van driver to keep going. Again, that allowed me places and people I would not have encountered otherwise. There were mixed reactions when the book came out. I think the younger folk were more open to it, while some of the older generation expected a nice gentle collection.  One review in a Shetland magazine said I made Shetland look like war torn Poland. It didn’t sell very well at the time.
Chick Chalmers unwittingly ended up with about 50 copies. The publisher closed down and Chick thought he was getting a load of copies of his own book cheap from the liquidator. I wish I could have seen his face when he discovered they were unsold copies of mine. His Orkney book had long since sold out. I gave him a Nikon camera in exchange for them.

DS- Have you been back there recently, shooting anything else? Any new projects on the go that you’d like to share with us?
TK- Not for been there for a good few years. Last time was flying the air ambulance. I have a couple of projects in mind and I will let you know when they start taking shape.

DS- Many thanks for sharing the work, and the story.

Cunningsburgh show, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Arm wrestling, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Barmaid at Magnus Bay Hotel, friday night, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Trouble in the Jubilee Bar, Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland. ©Tom Kidd, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

All images are of course Copyright © Tom Kidd 1975-2013, all rights reserved. Tom Kidd can be contacted via his Black Gold Tide website page.

Going To The Hills by Glyn Satterley

Going To The Hill

It is with great pleasure that Document Scotland can today showcase the work by Glyn Satterley, from his latest book ‘Going To The Hill, Life On Scottish Sporting Estates’.  This is the tenth book by Glyn, a renowned freelancer whose work has been widely exhibited and published in magazines. He has spent many years documenting life on Scotland’s sporting estates, and his earlier book, The Highland Game, concentrated purely on Highland estates was published in 1992. This new book brings estate life up to the present and covers the whole of Scotland.

On our blog you can view selected pages from the book, as well as watch a film in which Glyn talks with enthusiasm for the work, lifestyle and Scottish landscape.

“I have always loved this work by Glyn, and it gives me great pride to be graciously allowed to feature it here as a folio. It truly is a treat to delve into the books and archives from which this work is selected and to be able to choose images, to read Glyn’s words, and to learn about both the sporting estate lifestyle and culture, and also through the words sense Glyn’s enthusiasm for his work, and his love for Scotland’s landscape.” – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

All below captions and images are © Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

The helicopter departs, Invercauld, Aberdeenshire. © Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Looking somewhat dismayed, these guns were deposited high up on the Invercauld hillside in pursuit of ptarmigan. Helicopter is not the usual mode of transport, but this was a charity auction day.”

 

The Stalking Party, Glen Affric, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“On this particular day out on the hill, stalker Ronnie Buchan not only had to put up with four people in the party, but also accomodate the photographer and find a ‘shootable’ stag. Great stalker that he is, Ronnie delivered the goods.”

 

Jimmy unleashes the Glenlyon hounds, Perthshire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Universally, keepers and stalkers are obsessed with controlling foxes and Jimmy Lambie is no exception. He does, however, have the advantage over most other keepers who usually work single handedly, aided by only a couple of terriers. Jimmy runs a pack of thirteen fox hounds.”

 

The Beaters’ Wagon, Islay Estates, Islay. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Rather like Dr. Who’s Tardis, a glimpse inside this wagon reveals it to be full to the gunwales, including one of the guns, umpteen beaters and a whole gang of dogs.”

 

The Cleaning Squad, Reay Forest, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“These ladies were heading for one of the outlying lodges on the estate to prepare for incoming guests.”

 

Morning cleaning, Glencalvie Lodge, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

‘Spring’ pointer and setter trial, Tomatin, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“These Easter-time trials are often a lottery regarding the weather. This one was brought to a halt as a snowy squall passed through, leaving the landscape covered in white, frozen, human and doggy sculptures.”

 

Loading onto the Argo, Assynt, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

The start of a long drag, Benmore, Isle of Mull. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“This was a wonderful scene, set amidst dramatic landscape, but eventually the euphoria wore off. The stag had been shot on a steep down slope, and the only way to extract it was to drag it downward, and then along the valley floor. Sounds easy, but the bottom of the valley section was a mile or two away, traversing burns every few hundred yards. The three of us shared the pulling, working two at a time, but it became more and more difficult as we got hotter and hotter, and each tiny incline felt like a mountain. The person not pulling had the added burden of carrying everybody else’s discarded clothing, plus my camera kit. You can imagine our relief when we finally got close enough for the Argo to collect it.”

 

Wind turbine grouse, Farr, Tomatin, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Controversial though they may be, wind turbines have revived some estates fortunes. This one at Farr required sixteen miles of road to be laid, which has given keepers access to the moor and helped with vermin control. Interestingly, the highest densities of grouse are now being recorded in and around the turbines, which probably means the blades deter raptors. It does however look and feel a little unnatural, having huge structures whirring away in the backdrop whilst people are shooting from butts.”

 

Click here to purchase Glyn Satterley’s ‘Going To The Hill, Life On Scottish Sporting Estates’.

View Glyn Satterley’s photography website and print sales page here.

 

Auld Reekie

“The portfolio of images Document Scotland presented last week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Braer oil tanker disaster in Shetland got me searching through my archives. Like most photographers whose career straddles the analogue and digital eras, much of my work remains hidden in negative cases, securely and safely stored away, waiting for that far-off day when I have enough time to study, scan and archive many years worth of work.

I did come across a selection of images which I found quite intriguing, as the date coincided with the Braer disaster. So while my colleague Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert was battling force-ten gales and sharing an hotel room in Lerwick with countless scribes and photographers, what was happening back in Edinburgh, where I was entering my last six months as a member of staff at the Evening News?

The News‘ picture editor was Rod Sibbald, an inspirational figure and a hard task-master. He believed that you could potentially get a great photograph out of any situation, however mundane or seemingly trivial (and a lot of the local news coverage was both!). He encouraged the photographers to create their own style and would often publish images we’d taken on our days off or on the way to and from assignment. The paper was happy to use both monochrome and colour and showed off the photographers work with great style and elan.

Looking at the photographs it seems as if simultaneously much and little has changed in Edinburgh in the last 20 years. We didn’t have a parliament back then, of course, the National Museum of Scotland hadn’t been built nor Trainspotting published. But we did have a third football team. The fashion trends may have changed, but the harsh, grey light of an Edinburgh January all those years ago still brings back happy memories.”

– Colin McPherson.

A group of people attending the Old Sailors’ Ark, a shelter for homeless people in Edinburgh city centre.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A man with his dog watching the demolition of flats at Westburn, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Two bored young children pictured with their mother at the annual January sale at Liberty on George Street, Edinburgh. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

People attending an anti-Nazi rally at the foot of the Mound in the centre of Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Two young female trainee mechanics awaiting the arrival of Prince Charles at a college at Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

An old woman looking into a refuse bin as an anti-Nazi rally passes the foot of the Mound in the centre of Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A young girl sitting on a wall during a walk in the Pentland Hills above Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Two elderly ladies taking tea at Jenners’ tea room in Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

People attending an anti-Nazi rally at the foot of the Mound in the centre of Edinburgh.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A woman sitting on the pavement watching a man coming out of the annual January sale at Liberty on George Street, Edinburgh. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

An old man eating a free breakfast the Old Sailors’ Ark, a shelter for homeless people in Edinburgh city centre.
Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Clydeside

Award-winning social documentary photographer Larry Herman, originally from New York, immigrated to the UK during the Vietnam War. He is currently working on two independent projects: Waged London, about those people who generally sell their labour by the hour and he has just begun a project in Cuba about the working lives of people there. He is also a trade union activist who is the joint secretary of the London Photographers’ Branch of the National Union of Journalists.

The series of images on this page, entitled Clydeside, stem from a project made in the 1970s when Larry became acquainted with Glasgow and the area surrounding the river Clyde. On our Blog, Larry Herman explains the background to his work in Scotland and talks about how and where he made the photographs.

 

Ghulam Moulvi, conductor, Glasgow Underground.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Painter, Govan Shipbuilders, Glasgow.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Pheasant shoot near Lamington, Lanarkshire.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Retired boilermakers with impaired hearing, annual outing, Largs.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Interval house for battered women, the Gorbals, Glasgow.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Bill Atkin, marine engine crankshaft, John G Kincaid (Engineers) Ltd., Port Glasgow.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

The River Clyde passenger ship T. S. Queen Mary II off Tignabruiach.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

David McMinn, paint sprayer, Govan Shipbuilders.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Showers, Cardowan Colliery, Stepps.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

Processing Christmas turkeys, Blacktoun Farm, Paisley.
Photograph © Larry Herman, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

 

Hound Dog Day

Preparing to ‘slip’ the hounds in a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

The hounds are ‘slipped’ in a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

“I was on a self initiated shoot, down in the Scottish borders, shooting in black and white on my Leica cameras, a story which I had already placed with a magazine, when I got wind of another little story. Hound dogs. “So what’s that then, how does that work ?” I enquired.

A week or two later, and I’ve sold the idea, and I’m down in the Borders region again, out in the fields, two Leicas and a pocketful of HP5 film. For those were the days (and for those that care it was either two M6s, or an M6 and an M4-P).

Anyway, hound dog day indeed. Lots of them, lots of yelping hounds. We’re off on a hill, early morning. Earlier that day a rag, soaked in aniseed, oil and turpentine, has been pulled over the hills on a large looping trail. The dogs when released will follow that trail, sniffing all around the fields, over bushes and dry stone dyke walls, following the scent all the way back to the start line. The owners will watch with binoculars as the dogs disappear, straining to see them in the distance, and then shouting when they reappear. First dog back wins. Whilst the hounds are away money changes hands with the bookies, and when the hounds come back, running straight to their handler who blows whistles, flutters flags, urges them on with bowls of their special treat food, more money changes hands.

I’m not sure now how many races there were, not so many. A morning’s worth. It was a fun little shoot, over and done in a couple of hours, bar one picture of the top dog receiving it’s trophy later in the afternoon. Great fun.”

– Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Trying to sight the hounds during a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Terrier racing takes place for fun, whilst waiting on the hounds returning during a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

The bookmakers trying to sight the hounds during a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

A competer and owner whistles to encourage his hound during a trail race at Bentpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

“Merryman”, owned by J and C Crone, wins the Arkleton Challenge Cup and the Holmwood Cup, the blue ribbon event of the hound trail racing season, Langholm, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

“Merryman”, owned by J and C Crone, wins the Arkleton Challenge Cup and the Holmwood Cup, the blue ribbon event of the hound trail racing season, Langholm, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Competitors with their hounds at the end of the trail race at Benpath Agricultural Show, near Lockerbie, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

“Merryman”, owned by J and C Crone, wins the Arkleton Challenge Cup and the Holmwood Cup, the blue ribbon event of the hound trail racing season, Langholm, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

“Paddy’s Market, “the type of place you go to buy one shoe lace” was how I first heard it described.

Paddy’s Market’s reputation was a long one with a 200 year old history, and not always one portrayed in a good light. Rumours had circulated for years that it would close, the Glasgow city centre would be cleaned up, the stalls under the railway arches would be closed, a part of Glaswegian history would be lost for good. As these rumours got ever louder I decided I needed my own set of images from the market before it did indeed disappear (and it did indeed close years later).

I ventured forth one weekday, for the market didn’t operate on weekends, and tried as best I could to mingle with the crowds and to shoot the images without drawing attention to myself. The stall holders had no problem, they were proud of their heritage, but some shoppers preferred not to be seen to be shopping there. I had been warned before I went that the trouble would not come from the stall holders or the shoppers, but from the people selling illegally cigarettes and alcohol from the back of a van, or from the drug addicts who hung around one end of the lane, buying their drugs, consuming their heroin.

But I encountered no trouble, maybe a few stares, maybe a few people turned away, but I shot for the day, a few rolls of black and white. A few frames to record that Paddy’s Market had existed.”

– Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Paddy’s Market, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

 

Common Ridings

A rider takes his horse to the market place, passing a truck on the way, prior to the ‘ride out’ during the Selkirk Common Riding festivities. Scotland.
©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000. All rights reserved.

 

The ‘Fair Crying’, declaring the festival open, made from horseback in the market square during the Common Riding festival in Langholm. Scotland.
©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, All rights reserved

 

“In the summer of 2000 I became fascinated with the Common Ridings of the Scottish Borders area. In towns such as Langholm, Hawick and Selkirk, amongst others, the men (and some of it was controversially men only) take part in old customs such as catching sachets of tobacco snuff thrown from a tower at dawn. Later horsemen would ride out to reinforce and check the town boundaries, and on the way be given sustenance of milk and run, whilst back in the towns men would carry a loft huge thistles, and march around singing the town songs.”

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

 

The “casting of the colours” flag waving ceremony in the town square, during the Selkirk Common Riding festivities.Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, All rights reserved

 

The ‘Cornet’ Bruce Richardson, stands 4th from left, with his helpers- his “right hand man’ and ‘left hand man’, in top hats, during Hawick Common Riding week. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Horsemen waiting for the “ride-out” of horses to begin during the ‘male only’ Hawick Common Riding week. The ‘ride-out’ takes the riders to the town boundaries, and re-enforces those boundries. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Men fighting to catch sachets of snuff tobacco thrown from the window of Drumlanrig Tower at 6am, during Hawick Common Riding week. Scotland.
©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Men march around their town, singing songs, the night before the male only ‘ride out’ of horsemen to re-enforce the town boundaries, during Hawick Common Riding week. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

The ‘ride out’ of the towns people and their horses, across the River Ettrick to the borders of the town, during the Selkirk Common Riding festivities..Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Rum and milk is given to the horsemen on the ‘ride out’, at Linglie’s Farm during the Selkirk Common Riding festivities. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

Cornet Bruce Richardson gallops up Nipknowes hIll on his horse, carrying the Hawick town “colours”, during Hawick Common Riding week. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

A member of the “Fifes and Drums” band, heads towards the meeting point prior to a march, during Hawick Common Riding week. Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2000, all rights reserved.

 

 

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