In Focus with Gary Hough

It’s always heartwarming to see a music photographer who clearly loves the bands they shoot and Gary is definitely one of those. Here he talks us through some of the last gigs he caught before lockdown, and the nature and landscapes he’s discovered since whilst walking along the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal…

‘Hi, I’m Gary. Like Batman I have a respectable day job, as a regulatory manager for a UK Internet Service Provider, and at night I’m often seen lurking in the dark, seedy shadows of an underground music venue.

The day job pays for my unpaid hobby, a hobby that I started a few years ago now photographing the bands and gigs I was already more often than not going to see anyway as a fan.

It was December 2019 and I’d been photographing the current Buzzcocks line-up at Preston’s 53 Degrees and Manchester’s Gorilla, the band performing together following Pete Shelley’s sad passing and, although that was three months before lockdown, I remember having a strange feeling that something significant was about to happen in our lives but nothing I could put my finger on.

Buzzcocks, Preston

Buzzcocks, Manchester

Three months on and it’s February 2020 and although none the wiser as to what was about to happen, I got to photograph the brilliant band Déjà Vega doing a full set at the Ferret in Preston. I’d seen them playing there previously at GlastonFerret; if you haven’t seen these guys they are a must go and see.

Déjà Vega, Preston

A couple of weeks later and what was to be my final photography gig was for Dead Objectives who’d asked me to go and shoot their set at Wigan Punk Fest 2, as they wanted some live shots for their forthcoming new album cover. Sadly, post-lockdown the band decided to part company with their bass player so not sure if these shots will be used now.

Dead Objectives, Wigan

My last gig of 2020 was ironically the same night as the Dead Objectives gig in Wigan, this time I had to drive over to Manchester for the sold out Déjà Vega gig at the Deaf Institute, and what a gig that was although for once I didn’t photograph it.

Like most gig photographers, Covid-19 and lockdown have given us an opportunity to photograph different subject matter.

For me, I’ve always been interested in landscapes and buildings so I took the camera with me when out on the daily exercise walks along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal route that’s close to where I live. The non-live shots highlight some of the interesting things you see when out walking, even along a canal that stretches some 65 miles to Leeds or Liverpool depending on how much of a walk you fancy.

The picture below was taken about a mile into the walk from my house where you end up at the lock that runs alongside a dairy farm. Depending on the route you take you can end up in the field to the right of the lock gate trying to get to the other side before the bull gets you.

If you walk straight on about a quarter of a mile down the canal path, you will come across a derelict farm building that’s not surprisingly covered in graffiti. You often encounter quite a few cyclists along this route, the majority of whom are courteous and warn you before they park their bikes in a place that would likely be uncomfortable.

Carry on walking about another quarter of a mile and there’s a nice cluster of boats that are moored in what appears to be a small boat repair yard.  Most as you can see below are barges, one of which is named Elvira, I added in the nickname Mistress of The Canal.

In the next picture you can see a 50-person lifeboat tied up to its mooring which I’m sure is very reassuring for anyone that might take a wrong turn down the canal in a cruise liner.

Finally my last shot is of a male swan who’s just become a dad and often comes over to take bread and peas for his baby cygnets and his Mrs. He’s quite partial to porridge oats when he can get them.

There’s lots of other wildlife along the route and plenty to see, irrespective of the direction you take, and for someone that never really exercised much, lockdown really has given me a different perspective to life and opened up a lot more opportunities to develop my photography from the Punk frenzied gigs I’m usually shooting.

I’m currently working on my website at www.allthecoolbandsphotography.co.uk which has already attracted one well known band and one that I’m a big fan of to contact me for some live show shoots in 2021, I’m unable to say who at the moment but keep an eye on the website and all will become clear next year. I might include a section on the site that highlights some of the other photos I take too, I haven’t made my mind up yet if I’m honest.

Thanks to Siobhan for giving me the chance to write this and, if you got this far, thank you all for reading it.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Gary – you can see more of his work on his website and give him a follow on Facebook  /  Instagram  /  Twitter

7th July 2020

In Focus with Ingrid Turner

With a diverse range of subjects in her portfolio, photographer Ingrid Turner captures the true essence of the moment, be it music, documentary or street photography. Here, she shares some favourite shots and experiences…

‘My name is Ingrid Turner and I’m a photographer based in Manchester, UK.

My interest in photography was initially sparked in 2009, when I was employed at a charity and went to the Philippines on a research trip. Even though I had pretty much no idea how to use the expensive Nikon DSLR I’d been equipped with I liked the process of talking and connecting with people and taking photos with them and of their community.

Once I had my own camera, I started out with street photography.

Salford Central

Lisbon 

Left: Corfu Town, Greece
Top right: View of Stretford House from Turn Moss
Bottom right: Cagliari, Sardinia 

A couple of my street images from Dublin were included in Breaking Glass Magazine’s recent B&W feature.

I’m also an event photographer and often work with the bands Henge and The Age Of Glass, as well as other Manchester-based musicians and performers.

Henge, Scala, London

Drift, The Lowry, Manchester 

Henge, Glastonbury 

Shunya, Carlton Club, Manchester 

The Age of Glass, Beatherder Festival

Paddy Steer, Scala, London

During events, I love spotting intimate, special, humorous moments when people connect – either with each other or with the performers.

Henge, Pennabilli Festival

Henge fan, Bristol Fleece

Egg Pondering, Pennabilli Festival

Henge fan, Manchester Academy 

Over the last couple of years, I worked with various charities to illustrate the stories and experiences of the people they help and support. Covid-19’s impact on the arts sector means event photography will be impossible for some time. The charity sector is struggling financially so photography may not be a priority, or even a possibility, for many organisations. In the meantime, I am trying to stay positive and am planning on developing street and social documentary project ideas.’

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Ingrid Turner. You can view more of Ingrid’s work and make contact via her website. Follow her new posts on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter.

1st July 2020

 

In Focus with Oriana Spadaro

Already several weeks into lockdown, photographer Oriana Spadaro is creating new experimental shots to temporarily take the place of her much loved music and events projects. Take a look at some of her recent and present work here…

‘My name is Oriana Spadaro and I am a 31-year-old amateur photographer based in Milan, Italy. I inherited the passion for photography from my father, who could not live without his Nikon camera dating back to the 70s. I was only a child when I first approached analog photography. First I used disposable cameras, then I received a proper one as a birthday present. I also used to take polaroids. Later on in the digital era I owned many compact cameras that I took with me on my trips.

Something changed a few years ago when I moved from the south of Italy to Milan. The city was so vibrant, inspiring and motivating. So I decided to begin to study photography because I wanted to achieve more technical consciousness.

In the meantime I started my collaboration with some music websites as a live music photographer. So I found the way to match my favorite things in life: music and photography. So it’s quite usual to find me in the pit when an indie band is playing in town!

Liam Gallagher, Locarno, July 2019

PUP, Milan, November 2019

The Darkness, Milan, February 2020

On my last trip in Dublin last October I took the best travel photos I have ever taken. Probably because I’m in love with the British/Irish culture, so everything around me was inspiring.

Dublin, October 2019

Lately I had the chance to test myself in fashion photography during the Milan Fashion week last February and I found out how much I like it.

Milan Fashion Week, February 2020

Now, due to the coronavirus emergency, all the gigs and events have been cancelled and all the world is stuck at home. I have a lot of time on my hands and I am trying to use it to experiment with creative photography and create personal projects representing the quarantine.

Quarantine Self Portraits, March 2020

In my view, photography allows the human being to give his personal interpretation of reality and express the beauty contained in his soul and his mind.’
“Beauty will save the world”.

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Oriana. If you would like to see more of her work and show some support through the isolation period, you can find and follow her on Instagram.

2nd April 2020

In Focus with Shonagh Kelly

Photographer Shonagh Kelly takes inspiration from a variety of artistic genres to create her own intriguing images. Here, she takes us through some of her favourite shots…

‘My name is Shonagh Kelly and I am originally from Northern Ireland. I am currently a fourth year student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee. I came to Dundee to study their Foundation Degree in Art and Design (a one year course) and continued to study Fine Art BA (Hons) at the college. I will be graduating in June of this year which is both extremely exciting and scary at the same time!

I work mainly via film photography; the reason for this instead of digital is because of the craft that darkroom development entails. Learning all the techniques from the simple development of black and white film, to the printing upon photographic paper in my university’s darkrooms has been incredibly eye-opening. Jane Geekie, our darkroom technician, has been a total life saver as she is a bundle of knowledge when it comes to analogue photography.

I first came upon our darkroom facilities in my second year at university and I have been a daily attendee ever since. My work at the beginning of my practice was initially inspired by my homeland, Ireland. I think the reasoning behind this was because I was feeling homesick and visiting home and capturing the beautiful landscapes definitely helped me feel at ease. However, I now focus more so on taking portraits, along with my fourth year project, Please be Seated.

Please be Seated is an exploration upon visiting certain ‘institutions’ that evolve around a particular community. I have been heavily inspired by the Deadpan genre, that of which was brought to the artworld by the likes of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Discussing the theme within my dissertation, ‘Can deadpan photographs be emotional?’ has allowed me a deeper understanding of the philosophical and economical reasons as to why we actually photograph. Books such as On Photography by Susan Sontag and the more academic work by Liz Wells, Photography, A Critical Introduction are books that I would strongly advise anyone interested in the field to read.

Deadpan denotes any images that are seen as mundane or emotionless, and as a stark contrast from my earlier, sentimental subjects of home, this new avenue has been completely refreshing. In these works, I have consciously decided to photograph the elements within certain buildings that withhold a sense of ambiguity as to where they have been taken. I wanted to photograph the components that are mundane and boring: objects of the every day. I wish to leave it to the audience to decipher what kind of establishment these photographs were taken in, working with how much I consciously choose to expose has definitely been an underlying ingredient to my work.

This work will be included in my degree show that will be on view from the 22nd of May 2020.

Although Please be Seated has been my main project since the beginning of my final year, I have made an effort to photograph my friends and family in order to improve my skills. Here I have shown some other works of mine that are also available to view on my website.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Shonagh – if you would like to see more of her work or make contact you can find her on Instagram.

20th February 2020

In Focus with Caoimhe Clements

Searching out new ways to capture her university city of Belfast, photographer Caoimhe Clements is shooting cityscape and nature photography whilst building a fascinating photo project of her acceptance and desire to raise awareness of epilepsy. Here, she talks us through her work and the inspiration behind it…

‘My name is Caoimhe Clements and I am a 21-year-old amateur photographer. I grew up in a small town situated on Ireland’s east coast called Kilkeel. I am now based in the exciting arts city of Belfast, as this is where I study at university and where I do many of my photographic projects.

Growing up I have always been a creative individual and I have had an interest in photography from a very young age. One of my favourite memories as a kid was using the disposable camera, it was exciting because you couldn’t preview your images therefore you had to wait until you got them developed. Film photography is something I have grown away from over the years, although I do have plans to revisit it in the future. As for now, I am very much a digital user.

I feel that photography and taking photos in general has become such a big part of everyone’s lives from social media and the fact that every phone now has a camera, therefore everyone has access to some form of camera.

I am a big believer there is a line between someone who is a photographer, an individual who has a creative vision, and using a camera to translate what they are communicating. On the other hand, just because you own a camera doesn’t make you a photographer, a camera is a tool – it’s your creativity that creates an image. As Henri Bresson- Cartier said, you don’t take a photo, you create it, these are the words of truth about photography.

At the age of 18, I brought my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D5300, I still use it to this day, it is great. I own a standard 18-55mm lens, 70-300mm lens and a 35mm prime lens. I think sometimes a  zoom lens can make you lazy as a photographer, because instead of getting close to your subject, you can just zoom in. This is why I use my 35mm lens a lot, I saw photography in a whole new way after using a prime for the first time. Although zoom lenses are great as well, I really enjoy working with a 70-300mm, I find it really good when doing sports or animal photography. In conclusion, a prime lens makes you go the extra mile for a good photograph.

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Since May 2019 I have been working on my current project entitled From the Inside Out. This project is about documenting and exploring the subject of epilepsy. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was a new born baby, I never found it easy to talk about, but now I have decided to make an awareness about it. The strategy I used in this project is the combination of text and image to communicate to my viewers. My project will be on public display from 2nd 28th November 2019, at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry City, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

From the Inside Out photograph collection:

A Journey Back in Time

This is the first image in this series. It is a document of the hospital that I used to attend growing up with my battles with Epilepsy, The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.  After not being at this hospital for many years, A Journey Back in Time highlights how I took a trip down memory lane when I decided to do this project, by revisiting this location.

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The Room I Remember

I still remember how this room made me feel. My body was numb with fear and anxiety. I very much did not like speaking about my epilepsy and how my life was affected by it, I wanted it all to go away. I can accept it now; it is a part of who I am and we have to accept who we are as individuals.

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The Element of Prevent

This image is the third photograph in the collection. It is an image of the epileptic tablet, Keppra. It is a document of how epilepsy can be prevented by taking medication. For myself, Keppra is the medication that made my life seizure free.

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The Measure of Blood Pressure

This photograph speaks about how blood pressure can be affected by the act of having seizures. Focal seizures can cause a massive increase in the heart racing, affecting your blood pressure, while Tonic Clonic seizures can lower the blood pressure in the body.

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The Cycle Repeats

This is the final image in this collection. This photograph represents how the cycle repeats; every day children and adults are being diagnosed with epilepsy. Over 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and that number is not decreasing.

I do plan on continuing with this project, I do not want to stop creating awareness about epilepsy. I am figuring it out as I go along, that is the beauty of art, you never stop learning.

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Over the course of the last year and a half I have started to develop my style of photography in documentary. Every photo ever captured is arguably a document of something; Documentary Photography is telling a story of how it is while Staged Photography is recreating a story.

As I said earlier, I have been living in Belfast just over a year now and from always being in a part of the city that is under full contraction, this started my interest in the idea that every time we look at these contraction sites, we are generally looking at the future of the city. We are witnessing the future of Belfast city, which I find very intriguing.  A few months ago, I started to document this idea by taking photos of the cranes. I am so amazed by them, they are strong, huge and somehow look great in an image.

The image above is a document of the contraction of the brand new Ulster University campus in Belfast city centre, which will be opened in the early 2020s. This image now hangs in the arts campus of Ulster University. I exhibited the image at the Glasgow Gallery of Photography in Scotland in May 2019. This experience was amazing, it got me thinking if my work is good enough to exhibit overseas then I have the power to create amazing photos.

I have an exhibition planned for Belfast in March 2020 and I am producing work that documents the exciting future of the city. While a lot of photographers document the past and the worst times for Belfast, and while I enjoy looking at how they create their work, it is my aim to create and produce work with a more positive approach showing the exciting future that Belfast will have. This project is still very much in its extremely early days.

Belfast is a city that has captured my heart, I love Belfast for its fantastic architecture and amazing cityscapes. I enjoy walking around and capturing architectural shots, documenting the city.

The image on the left shows Harland and Wolff in the background, with the bridges over the River Lagan in the foreground. I took this in March 2019 during the spring and I think the blue skies really complement the image.

The image on the right shows one of the most photographed buildings in Belfast. The Belfast City Hall, which marks the heart of the city centre, is located at the top of Royal Avenue which is main shopping district in the city. I created this image by placing the City Hall to the right of the frame and using that to lead the viewers eye to the buildings in the background. When I create a photograph, I don’t want to capture it like everyone else does or I am not being original. Think outside the box.

I also feel that landmarks in any city are hard to capture because so many people take photos of them every day. My advice would be to show the landmark in a different way that no one else has captured yet because you don’t want to take the same photo that everyone takes. Think about your angle, your focal length and the time of day.

Continuing on the topic of being original and thinking creatively, I enjoy combining reflection photography with night photography. I think water creates surreal reflection images, which I love.

This image shows The Obel Tower, which is in fact the tallest building on the island of Ireland. I took this image in January 2019, after a downpour of rain. You can tell,  as the water did get onto my lens but the outcome was a very contemporary abstract image which I really liked. I also feel that low angles work so well for my work, as I love putting reflections in the foreground and placing the actual building in the middle-ground or background.

I have also experimented with long shutter speed in the past, it is fun but I have grown away from it as it has become a big trend especially on Instagram. I think for me as a photographer I don’t want to follow the crowd, I want to create my own unique work. I think this is important.

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I grew up in a natural environment, with mountains and the coast beside me, therefore I developed a love for nature from a young age. As a photographer,nature would have been a subject I have been photographing since the very beginning, but now that I am based in a city environment, I missed photographing nature. Early this year I decided to become a Volunteer Photographer for the Woodland Trust which is a charity based in the UK and the North of Ireland, this way I would be photographing nature. So far it has been amazing.

The location of these images is one of the Woodland Trust’s protected woodlands in Co. Down.

The charity is about protecting woodlands, and helping to fight climate change. Myself and the rest of the team of photographers are helping them to achieve their aims by promoting these places through imagery that features on their website.

My career so far has been quite a journey, but I am excited for the near future.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Caoimhe – you can follow her on Instagram to keep up to date with her journey as a photographer

Caoimhe’s exhibition From the Inside Out is on display now until 28th November at:
Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, 1A Bank Parade, Newry BT35 6HP

5th November 2019

 

 

Photography – In Focus Anniversary Feature

It’s impossible to know how things will evolve when you start a project like this but here we are, a year to the day since launching, with Breaking Glass celebrating its first birthday already. The magazine has grown in a way that could never have been anticipated and much of that is down to our excellent contributors who all add something unique. Content has always had a strong leaning towards music and photography and our In Focus features introduce photographers from all genres and backgrounds. For this special anniversary piece, we’re delighted to catch up with five of the photographers who were involved in the early stages and helped us to get on our feet. Read on to find out what they’ve been up to since…  

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Tim Beavis

Since last catching up with Breaking Glass I’ve sought to continue to build my portfolio and develop my versatility as a photographer. Most pertinently would be my development into wedding photography, as this August saw me capturing the wedding of a close friend which led on to more bookings.

Whilst weddings was a goal I had stated in my feature last year that I wished to tackle, another personal goal was reached this year by booking my first couple of studio shoots. This was a huge step forward in my journey as it forced me to study and understand studio lighting and capture shots with a very different discipline to how I’d previously worked. Nonetheless I was incredibly pleased with the product of these and my shoot with Jay Rico was one of particular note.

Another particular highlight for me this year was being approached by Coffee Lab (a franchise of coffee houses operating across the south) for framed prints of my work to cover the walls of their Bargate, Southampton store. This led future clients to me as the prints worked as perfect exposure for my business. It also encouraged me to overhaul and relaunch my website (link below) and include a print store within the site that I’m currently developing.

Within the year I’ve also upgraded my kit, working with a Sony a7ii in combination with either my Sony 70-20mm or my Helios 44-2 58mm F.2 rather than the Canon 60D – 50mm combo that I had previously owned. This has led me to develop my portraiture skills by actively working with a range of focal lengths that work for the portrait I wish to capture. As of this week I have also purchased a Canon A1 along with a 50mm lens in order to explore the 35mm format and deepen my understanding and approach to photography.

I always like to make sure with any shoot I capture that I’m learning something new or I’m experimenting in ways that keep it fun and fresh and whilst I hit last year’s challenge of breaking into wedding photography, I’m really intrigued to see where my understanding of 35mm film takes me.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Tim Beavis October 2018

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Nigel King

Since being featured in Breaking Glass last November I’ve continued to try and cover as many types of events as possible in addition to live music. In December I went to see Stewart Coates of W Coates and Son, Nottingham’s last rope and twine maker, in his shop. Stewart is the last of his family to run the business which has been in existence since 1840. I had a lovely chat with him about the family history.

Other events I’ve covered in the last year include the National Clarion Track Cycling Championships at the Velodrome in Derby, the Nottingham St Patrick’s Day Parade, Nottingham ‘Sikhs In The Square’ Vaisakhi Celebrations, the Cricket World Cup and the ‘Millions Missing’ M.E. Awareness day. More recently in Nottingham I went to the annual ‘South Asian Heritage Festival’ which was a colourful mixture of music, dance and art. I’ve also managed a bit of landscape photography in the Isle of Man. 

I still spend most photographic time on live music photography though. Highlights this year have been the Splendour Festival which again had a great mixture of local bands and big headliners like The Specials and Manic Street Preachers. Other musical highlights have included the Beat The Streets, Dot To Dot and Indietracks Festivals and, back in April, The Zutons at Rock City, led by Dave McCabe.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Nigel King November 2018

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Derek Rickman

I’ve been engrossed with wild landscapes and the transient nature of thoughts since my last article ‘Visual Poetry in the Modern Age’. It’s a concept that’s been slowly forming in my mind since I first experienced the Lake District in 2015 and it’s all leading to a new Photo/Journal project. I’m returning to Cumbria this autumn with my brothers (my ninth visit) for additional photos and content for it. A hiking trip to Wales is also imminent and I’m much looking forward to exploring the Neolithic burial chambers of the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a writer this year. I travelled to Croatia in June with a plethora of ideas yet returned with barely nothing in my notebook except ‘Seagull at Bonnet Point’. As Keats so ably put it “Poetry must come naturally or not at all”. However, I’m hoping to enroll in creative writing courses next spring to sharpen my skills. I received a wonderful gift from a close friend (a book on Buddhism) which has brought clarity and fresh insight to my thinking and helped me to write more intuitively.

Music continues to be a passion and I’m deeply immersed in electronica and indie. Daniel Avery’s Song for Alpha album has been influential (especially Slow Fade) and I’m much enamoured with Art School Girlfriend’s languid soundscapes. I’ve not made it to any festivals but I’ve seen Foals, Yak and Drenge. Indie veterans Foals (dare I say it) impressed me with their hunger and Yak’s Bellyache must surely rank as one of the tracks of the year. It’s great that Breaking Glass continues to champion bands like IDLES, The Murder Capital and Working Men’s Club, long may it continue. Warmest congratulations to Siobhan and the team on the magazine’s first anniversary. 

Instagram    In Focus with Derek Rickman December 2018

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Juanita McKenzie

Since my feature in February 2019 there has been quite a lot going on and some significant changes happening but, throughout it all, photography has remained the constant. With every day that has passed, I’ve come to realise more and more that I feel most alive and creative when I have camera in hand and I’m out exploring my environment. Once again, change has served as a catalyst and has pushed me to deepen my photographic practice and to explore creative options I might not have considered previously.

Because of my emerging interest in documentary and street photography, I attended the St Paul’s Carnival 2019 and participated in a competition via Instagram. This was an opportunity to submit my best photographs from the event for a chance to be involved in a Carnival Pop-Up exhibition. The exhibition was hosted by the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, and in partnership with the Martin Parr Foundation. I was so excited to find out that some of my images were selected and displayed in the Pop-Up exhibition; see below for one of them.

Spectators at St Paul’s Carnival, Bristol – June 2019

I also made a decision this year to study my MA Photography and started the course in June. This has been challenging in a positive way, making me look deeper at my relationship with my photography and the context in which I locate my photographic practice. It has also got me thinking from the perspective of projects and has helped me focus my photography. I’m currently working on projects exploring the urban environment and our human relationship with it. My MA projects can be viewed here.

Candleriggs Square, Glasgow – July 2019

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Juanita McKenzie February 2019

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Joe McKillop

Happy anniversary! Since the last time Breaking Glass showed some of my shots, I have been trying different things like long exposures, slow shutter speeds and night time shots too.

I have also sold a few prints to different people around the world – that’s a good feeling that people would like to buy my work so I am still plugging away at photography. Thanks everyone for showing interest in my work.

Instagram    In Focus with Joe McKillop April 2019

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All words and photos are the copyright of the photographer named. Huge thanks to Tim, Nigel, Derek, Juanita and Joe for sharing their updates; we look forward to following their work moving forward. There are links to all our In Focus features on the Gallery page.

If you’re a photographer at any level and would be interested in sharing your projects through the magazine, send us a message with a link to your work via the Contact page.

1st October 2019

In Focus with Robert H King

Having worked with some of the most important musicians of the 80s, it’s perhaps not surprising that Robert H King takes inspiration from the world of music and record sleeve art. Viewing his beautifully intricate photos what may surprise you more is how they were created and that Robert is partially sighted. Here, he tells us about his fascinating back story and striking collection of images…

‘I’m a Photographer, Digital Artist and Mobile Photography Workshop Tutor working exclusively with an iPhone X as my camera of choice and an iPad Pro (with an Apple Pencil) as my digital darkroom, mobile office and social media hub.

In the 1980s I ran the Pleasantly Surprised cassette label followed by the Cathexis Recordings label in the latter half of the decade. Through these I released material by Cocteau Twins, Primal Scream, The Birthday Party, Sonic Youth, Mark Stewart and The Maffia, Fini Tribe, Pink Industry, Artery, Nico, Shock Headed Peters, Bauhaus and many, many others. At the end of the 80s Rough Trade and the distribution network that was The Cartel collapsed virtually overnight, bringing about the end of a substantial amount of record labels across the country including mine. Around this time I had issues with my sight and was blind for a number of years, essentially putting everything on hold. Following surgery I decided to go to college and study multimedia development. This led into taking up graphic design which was always a big interest for me, my reference library being the artwork that was my record collection. Inspiration came from many sources: Vaughan Oliver / 23 Envelope, Chris Bigg and Nigel Grierson, Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville, Neville Brody, Barney Bubbles, Brian Griffin, Anton Corbijn, too many to list… For over 16 years I was a freelance Graphic Designer working with arts organisations, record labels, education trusts, galleries, magazines and artists.

Photography, or rather, making photographs, was a source of frustration for me. I worked in a photography gallery for over 15 years and was continually inspired by many photographers and artists coming through the gallery doors. A lot of people were, and still are, fixated with gear and this was off-putting as I want to know about the images and the stories behind them and less about what settings and lenses were used. Having sight issues meant that it was difficult to operate a traditional camera so I tried a bridge camera that had less functions and that I hoped would allow me to get to grips with the thing. After a few months of not having any real amount of success I was about to give up when I was given an iPhone 4S for a significant birthday, followed closely by an iPad. This changed everything.

I could now capture photographs much more easily and create anywhere at anytime. No longer confined to the desktop and expensive software. Pinch to zoom is a wondrous thing! With just a few low cost Apps the ability to retouch an image moments after it was taken and to then create artwork and share it globally was a game changer. It still feels limitless. I had found a way to focus my need for self expression and with it the need to convey the ideas and imagery that fill my mind on a daily basis. The need to be doing something creative is a constant in my life, it can bring meaning and direction.

In 2014/15 my exhibition Seeing The Unseen was the first of its kind in Scotland to consist of work created entirely on mobile devices.

I currently have two main bodies of work that I am adding to on a regular basis. Invisible Soundtracks is a series of works that are inspired by, and a reaction to, song titles, lyrics and references. Equal parts visual soundtrack and imagined fiction. All artwork is presented in the square format in recognition and homage to the artwork, graphic design and photography of the 7” and 12” vinyl records that inspired me and were a major part of my visual education as I was growing up and that still influence my practice.

The second project is Shadowplay. With my background in music, cut-up and remix culture has always fascinated me with the skill of adding samples, layers and disparate elements to create completely new works. I have taken this method into my own visual style by curating imagery from the scenes and passing moments that I capture and combine these with processed sections from found photographs that have resonated with me on a graphic level. The end result is equal parts chance and intention where the story that is emerging suggests new threads as I add the disparate elements together.

Drawing inspiration from the photography of Richard Koci Hernandez, Giacomo Brunelli and Anton Corbijn, I have chosen to present the work in black and white, bringing attention to the textures, moods and tones and indeed the timelessness that monochrome work brings to it.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Robert. You can find more images, contact details and information about his exhibitions and workshops on his website. Robert is also on Instagram and Twitter.

16th September 2019

In Focus with Sam Ryan

Far from the genre of posed portraiture, photographer Sam Ryan captures the world around her in a series of authentic shots that draw the viewer in to share the moment. Here, she shares some favourite pictures and tells us how her interest and skills in photography have developed over the years…

‘My passion for photography goes back to childhood.  My grandfather took photos at every family get together, day out and on every holiday.  He’d make albums and write funny captions for each photo. I’d always ask my grandparents to drag the albums out of the cupboard so I could sit at their dining table and look through them.

After many years of experimenting with different styles and cameras, I homed in on street and live music photography.  They might seem very different styles or genres, but to me they work to the same principles.

Both, for me, are about the adrenaline rush and being able to react to the scene.  I try to focus on feel and action, shoot with intuition and not overthink. Shots might have a concept based on the available light and environment,  but nothing is posed. Similarly my music shots are not portraiture; if it’s a chaotic metal band with hair and sweat flying everywhere, that’s what I want you to feel when you look at the images.

I rarely shoot in colour.  I want my images to be classic.  With colour images there’s always a prevailing style or tonal trend – which if you’re good at it can be great to get you ‘going viral’, but I’d be concerned the images would age badly  – so I only use colour where I feel it’s essential to the photo.

My home is just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is a great city for all kinds of photography and has a thriving music scene, so it really is the perfect place for inspiring me to keep on photographing.’

Live Music Photography 

I’ve always been passionate about live music and a couple of years ago I got serious about wanting to shoot at gigs.  It’s hard to get started; with no press pass you can’t get a D-SLR camera in to venues. I started shooting gigs with a point-and-shoot camera, posted my photos on Instagram and was able to strike up a relationship with some bands. This led to being able to obtain photo passes to shoot from the photo pit  I’ve focussed here on bands that I love and that have given me my start in this area. It’s been an amazing journey so far; I’m very proud to say I’ve shot most of my favourite bands within just 18 months of starting out.

Bleed From Within

This band gave me my first ever photo pass, an opportunity for which I will always be grateful.  I’ve shot them a few times now, but nothing beats their hometown headline show at Saint Luke’s in Glasgow.  The band members have insane energy and can be an inch from your lens one second and at the opposite end of the stage the next. I’ve chosen some shots to tell the story of this show; the energy, the heat and frenzied crowd reaction.

Zeal & Ardor

I’ve shot this band many times in different types of venues, and believe me, shooting one of your favourite bands is an immense and powerful experience.  Their music has some very dark themes, and is performed with a ton of emotion. I want people to feel this in the images. I’ve chosen my favourite shots from different venues to illustrate the drama and intensity of the band’s performance.

Street Photography 

I’m a candid photographer, which means I don’t interact with the people I photograph.  I’m trying to capture everyday life, so it shouldn’t be contrived. Often when I’m shooting on the street I don’t even stop walking to press the shutter, because I think this will cause the person to move aside or make eye contact, which changes the scene entirely.  Sometimes I’m not sure what I’ve really seen until I look at the photos and then I realise it’s a fleeting expression, a shadow the person has cast, or maybe a little wave of the hand. 

Chasing Shadows

I recently completed a year long project shooting high-contrast images on the street created by light and shadow.  I noticed after returning several times to my favourite locations that there were unique scenes created by the light at certain times of day and people moving through the scene.  I got obsessed and since I was shooting almost every day, I thought it would make a great project. I’m really proud of this work and have curated my best images into a book.

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Sam. You can see more of her work or make contact via her website. Sam is also on Instagram – follow her street photography posts here and her music posts here.

30th August 2019

 

In Focus with Alan Campbell

In the midst of festival season it’s lovely to see some gig photos from smaller, more intimate venues. Photographer Alan Campbell has a knack for capturing the atmosphere of these events as well as shooting the striking Scottish countryside around his home…

(Header shot: Stock Manager)

I first got into photography around 10 years ago after attending a few workshops with an excellent photographer called Brian Sweeney. I’m fortunate that I live in Central Scotland, as there’s so much beautiful scenery, wildlife and culture nearby to photograph.

A local music and arts venue in Stirling called the Tolbooth is one of my favourite venues.  The venue hosts a diverse range of music, comedy, spoken word, art exhibitions and classes/workshops.  It’s well worth a visit and you can find their upcoming schedule of events here. 

Left: December 91  Right: Ross Fairweather & Annie Booth  Below: Withered Hand

Above: Emme Woods  Below: The Van T’s / CRPNTR

Kenny Bates from the Tolbooth, in particular, has been phenomenal by putting on so many cool gigs, either in the Tolbooth or in other unusual locations in the Stirling area.  I’ve included a few photos from some of those gigs here.

Left: Be Charlotte  Right: Constant Follower

A couple of other beautiful locations in my local area include the University of Stirling and the Ochil Hills. The views are simply stunning and no matter what time of year it is, there’s always a scenic view.

If you’re interested in viewing some more of my photos, please follow my Instagram page – I’m also on Twitter

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Alan. We’ll be featuring more of his gig photography on Breaking Glass soon – in the meantime, do follow his Instagram posts to see his latest work.

18th July 2019

In Focus with Irena Siwiak Atamewan

Applying a diverse range of techniques and skills, photographer Irena Siwiak Atamewan creates images that are both captivating and thought provoking. Here, she shares an ongoing project that proves just how much can be captured and expressed in a photograph…

‘Photography has been a big part of my life for about 35 years; I’ve spent that time exploring different genres in photography resulting in an eclectic body of work. Alongside creating my own work, I have spent several years working as a medical photographer and I now teach photography.

I am currently working on a couple of projects:

One I shoot on film on a 6×6 Rolleicord. The film has been exposed several times; the film exposed, re-rolled and exposed again, in different places and at different times. This lends itself to fortuitous combinations and happy accidents, I have little control over the combinations, except for the places I choose to photograph. It can take up to 6 months to complete a roll of film, the images reflecting my journeys, my experiences, my narratives and the fleeting way memories are recalled. You can see more of this work here.

The second project ‘Sitting with Mother’ is featured on this page.

This work stems from my mother’s initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s 6 years ago and follows the time spent going for walks, sitting on benches and in tea-shops along the way. The work began as a casual document of the walks, revisiting and re-seeing the town where I grew up, then developed into a body of work documenting my mother’s journey through the disease. The images become more intimate as her condition progresses, my mother’s world becoming smaller, spending more time at home. I use the camera I have with me; it may be a DSLR, a Rolleicord or my iPhone. The iPhone being the most convenient camera helps me create the most intimate images, it is less intrusive and can be used quickly.

 

 

 

 

I have recently been experimenting with bringing the two projects together and using the double exposure method on my ‘Sitting with Mother’ project.

This is still in its early stages, giving me lots of room for experimentation. This work is in progress with plans to create a book.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Irena. If you’d like to find out more about her work and follow her new posts, you can contact Irena through her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.

28th May 2019

 

In Focus with Joe McKillop

Giving us a glimpse into his life and surroundings, photographer Joe McKillop’s evocative pictures show pride and affection for his heritage, family and environment. Here, he takes us through some of his favourite shots and the stories behind them…

‘My name is Joe McKillop, I’m an amateur photographer from a small town in the west of Scotland called Port Glasgow. I started taking pictures using my mobile phone documenting my son’s football games when he was younger and I then found myself taking odd pictures here and there while walking the dog – it was then I discovered an enjoyment for landscape and street photography.

I try to keep my homelands as centre focus for the majority of my work. My local city is often discounted as ‘rough’ and somewhere you’d rather drive through quickly but with my photos I like to challenge these assumptions and show that there is beauty and personality within this wee town. Also in the collection are some snaps from holidays and neighbouring cities.’

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To most folk this picture doesn’t say much but it is important to me as it reminds me of my roots. This was where I grew up, definitely not one of the posher areas of the Port. While it wasn’t perfect, it gave me warm memories of my family and childhood friends.

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I took this photo at night. During the day it just looks like your average tunnel but at night, with the lights on illuminating the graffiti, I felt it gave off more of an urban vibe. Still, I felt it needed something extra – so I set up the timer and put myself into the shot.

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This was taken outside a sports shop in Glasgow whilst out doing some street photography. The boldness of the sign struck me and I liked how it stood out.

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This is another street shot in Glasgow, the focus is on the lady’s coat. I had a lot of fun with the editing process of this one darkening the background and highlighting the redness of the coat.

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This is one of my favourite shots as I love the hustle and bustle shown which is typical of Glasgow city centre. Also the light of the sun reflecting down gives a good contrast to the silhouettes below.

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This was taken on our first family holiday with my grandson. I just liked the way the red sofa contrasted against his blue onesie and, to be honest, he is quite a poser. For anyone wondering, the reindeer toy was his favourite, it was singing the same song over and over… conveniently that toy was left behind.

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Again, this is from our family holiday. I just spotted this as a good shot as I saw how the light hit my son’s tattoo while he was reading. One of my better candid shots.

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This was taken from the top of Conic Hill in Loch Lomond. Walking has become another hobby of mine and it assists me well in capturing scenic shots like this. When people talk of Scotland, this is what I imagine they picture.

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I took this on a snowy, misty morning up the back roads of Port Glasgow. It was the way the mist hid the buildings at the end of the road that caught my eye; I thought it would make an eerie shot with the icy road seemingly leading to nowhere.

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This was a long exposure shot taken by the light house in Port Glasgow. I was quite pleased how this turned out – I had many friends and family comment on how they liked how the brightness of the light stood out and shone over the Clyde.

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This was taken on a family Holiday in Salou at the theme park Portaventura. It was the wettest, bleakest day of the holiday but the dark clouds made for a good atmospheric photo. Something about a rollercoaster about to tip over the edge added to the excitement of the clouds forming a storm in the background.

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This was a street shot down in Greenock. It was the old red door that initially stood out for me, I waited for the right time for someone to walk into shot to snap the photo. I particularly enjoyed playing around with the colours in this photo; matching moody black and whites with the vibrant red.

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This is another long exposure picture taken on the edge of the River Clyde. Not much to look at in the day time; however the street lights hitting off the water at night make this little part of the river look quite beautiful.

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This was in the windy waters of Lanzarote. My wife and I were on the beach watching the water sports and I started taking shots of the windsurfers. This was one of my favourites. I love the look of the choppy sea and the determination of the windsurfer to stay upright.

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I chose this as my final shot as I identified strongly with the symbolism behind it. The boy in the photo is my grandson. Having a baby in the family again reminded me once again how much children depend on us adults to make sense of the world for them. The picture of the child in my hand was to represent how our kids sometimes need us to give them a help up in the world now and then.

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All photos and words © Joe McKillop. If you would like to see more of Joe’s work and follow his posts, you can find him on Instagram.

29th April 2019

 

In Focus with Juanita McKenzie

Embracing city life, photographer Juanita McKenzie finds beauty in the metropolitan landscape around her to produce some powerful, eye-catching shots. Here, she tells us what drives her and shares some of her favourite photos…

‘I am a Bristol based amateur photographer but I’m originally from Cape Town in South Africa and moved to the UK about 6 years ago. It was a huge transition to make and in many ways was a process of starting over but I believe this was the catalyst to rediscovering my teenage dreams of pursuing photography. In high school I dreamed of becoming a photojournalist and telling the stories that I so passionately believed needed to be told. I saw the ability of an image to convey powerful emotive messages in a way that words could not, yet I also saw the synergy that could arise from combining image and word.

Looking back, I realise that the passion for photography has been there almost since the beginning – as a very young child I was fascinated by a set of encyclopaedias at home that had the most amazing colour pictures of the world and its people. I remember spending hours looking through them, planning how I would visit all these places one day, to take the photographs and tell the stories. So here I am now… a late starter perhaps and with a lot to learn… but I have a long-standing love of photography and a dream that demands I pursue it!

Having moved from the Cape Town environment of mountains and sea to living in a city in the UK has been a big adjustment and a major influence on my style of photography. I’ve had to adapt to not only being in a new country but also to city life and being part of an urban landscape. Cities can appear to be grey, oppressive concrete jungles but I have learned that if you really look, there is beauty to be found everywhere.

(Kings Cross Station, London)

Everything is about perception and your perspective at any given time. It fascinates me how we all look at the same things yet see something completely different. How we perceive the world is unique to each one of us and photography is a way to for me to show the viewer the world as I see it, through my particular perspective and through my lens. I hope that it creates a visual journey for the viewer that may inspire seeing the familiar or ordinary with new eyes.

For me photography is a narrative, each image tells a story and often has a story behind it too. Photography captures moments in a sea of constant change and this is particularly evident in the fast pace of city life. Photography is a way of slowing down and being present in the midst of all the rush and movement. It is a way of capturing the essence of a moment and documenting places, lives, people, the times we live in. These images are collections of moments that weave together to tell our stories.

I hope that I can inspire others to discover the world with new eyes every single day, starting right where they are. There is beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it!’

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour”

– William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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Colourful Exchanges

Paddington Central, Westway Bridge – city underpasses transformed by colour. This is a public artwork by Liz Weston, called Colour Transfer. The statue in the foreground is one of two very realistic figures by sculptor Sean Henry, portraying the narrative of everyday life and the potential of meeting up.

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Perceptions

New Bridewell Street Walkway, Bristol – large public artwork on the side of a building, showing a digital pattern that appears to change as you walk past. This artwork is called 14537/9431 and is by artist Lilah Fowler.

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Keeping an Eye on You

Candid shot of spectators at the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival 2018.  Some of the buildings along the streets are boarded up during the carnival weekend but these barriers are transformed into colourful and inviting artworks.

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Golden Hour Reflections in London

This is a city that has definitely stolen my heart with all its contrasts and contradictions. The modern architectural styles of glass fronted skyscrapers can provide perfect reflections and in both of these images I loved the combinations of old and new, reflection and form, cold and warm light.

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Walking in my Shoes

Bristol Wing – This was taken on a photoshoot and the model was posing outside the old fire station doors. While everyone was trying to capture her face in the last ray of sunlight, I noticed her shoes and how they expressed so much. I love DMs and pretty much live in them, so well-worn boots speak to me of character and roads travelled.

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Look Up

City buildings can tower over us, dominating the landscape and blocking out light. I see so many people walk around the city, hunched over, looking down, drawn into themselves. Looking up reveals beautiful building details, expansive skies and interesting skylines. It also creates a sense of spaciousness and light that can sometimes be forgotten in the concrete jungle.

(Left: Bristol Wing, old police headquarters – Top Right: Richmond Building, Bristol – Bottom Right: Rivington Place, Shoreditch)

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At the Feet of a Poet

St Pancras International – detail shot of the large statue of poet, Sir John Betjeman. Something a little different and purely because I could not seem to get a clear shot without people in it. I eventually sat down on the ground in despair to wait and that’s when I saw this shot. I never did get a shot of the entire statue.

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Painted Cities

Urban art has fascinated me for a long time and it is so much a part of city life as a means of social commentary, protest, expression and also transformation. I notice how areas that are decaying and forgotten often provide the canvas for some of the most beautiful and colourful street art. The art transforms and uplifts these neglected spaces and creates a sense of vibrant culture and optimism in these communities. In some cases street art has even become part of the identity of these areas.

(Top Left & Top Right: Stokes Croft, Bristol – Bottom: Brick Lane, London – Header Shot: Shoreditch, London)

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Juanita. If you would like to see more of her work or discuss a photography project, you can contact her via her website and see regular posts on Instagram.

25th February 2019

In Focus with Mik Connor

From behind the drum kit to behind the camera, photographer Mik Connor tells us how he made the switch and takes us through some of his favourite photos…

‘I’d just like to start off by stating I’m really not good at talking about myself or things that I’ve done so if I start waffling about nothing, please forgive me.

My name’s Mik, a music and portrait photographer based in Preston, Lancashire. Originally I was a drummer in a touring and recording self styled shitty pop punk band. We didn’t do too badly for ourselves (a few tours, a couple of festival appearances, radio and TV airplay) but we never hit the big time and as these things so often do, it came to an unfortunate end. I tried starting another band after that but it just wasn’t the same and I found myself struggling to have fun with the whole thing again so I decided it was time to walk away completely. Always felt that if you don’t enjoy doing something then there’s not much point in doing it.

When I’d stepped away from making music I knew I had to find another way of staying creative but I couldn’t draw a stick figure to save my life, I haven’t got the attention span to be able to sit down and write a book, I can make words rhyme but I couldn’t write poetry and it was at this point I remembered just how much I used to enjoy taking pictures on old family holidays.

I was always in control of the camera whenever me and my family went away somewhere. My Mum had a habit of cropping out people’s heads or having her finger across the lens, my Dad was always in charge of the video camera and providing his commentary of everything that was going on, so our little point and shoot or the old Kodak disposable was always handed down to me. I don’t know if it was because I made better pictures or it was just a way of keeping me quiet or entertained, either way, it worked.

While I was sat contemplating all of this a post from a friend popped up on Facebook offering her Mum’s camera for sale, without a second thought I messaged her saying I’d have it and later that evening I was round at hers to pick it up. I’d bought my first DSLR at 25 without a clue how to use it. In hindsight I probably should’ve thought it through a bit longer but too late for that now I suppose.

Anyway, a few years on from that now and here we are. I’ve had enough of talking about myself so now I’m just going to talk you through some of my favourite shots instead. I hope you like them and the stories around them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking (most of*) them.’

*story to follow

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The Picturebooks

This is from one of the first ‘proper’ gigs I ever shot in an official capacity with the relevant press pass, up until this point I’d just been shooting small pub/club gigs or sneaking a camera into slightly bigger gigs.

Being a fellow drummer this set up amazed me; all drums, no cymbals and a hell of a lot of sweat.

Such a great band to watch. There’s only two of them but they sound HUGE, highly recommended.

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Status Quo

Speaking of firsts, this was the first time I shot a ‘proper’ band and I probably couldn’t have picked a bigger one. This was one of those times I snuck my camera into the show and shot from the crowd. Don’t ask me how I got my 5DMKII with 70-200mm lens attached into the arena, I’ve still no idea how I actually managed it myself but I did and that’s all that matters.

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Portrait of my Mum

Now then, here’s a piece of advice. If someone you know is going on a 4×4 driving experience and asks you if you want to tag along to sit in the back and take photos as they go round, just say no. Also, don’t shoot a club night till 3am, make a hour and a half drive to a hotel for two hours sleep and get a McDonalds breakfast all before sitting in the back of a 4×4 taking photos.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so ill.

Portrait looks good though, all natural light.

*this was the one I didn’t really enjoy taking, I just wanted to go lie down in the fetal position until my stomach stopped spinning but nooooo, I had to get my Mum’s good side.  

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Save Me

This is another first, I’m starting to see a trend here. This was the first promo shoot I did with a band. Joe, the front man of Save Me, used to do about 99.9% of my old band’s photos so I thought it was only fair I returned the favour.

Handy tip though; if you’re shooting in the woods late at night when it’s dark, always make sure you know where you’re going just in case you take a step backwards to reframe a shot and accidentally end up with a tree branch where you shouldn’t.

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Alistair McGeorge

My good friend Alistair McGeorge. Part time singer songwriter, part time journalist. Known Alistair for years from him drinking in a pub I used to work in and while he was studying journalism he used to give the band some really great reviews back in the day so again, when I picked up the camera, I thought I’d offer something in return by giving him some promo photos. This was taken in my little studio space back at the beginning of 2018.

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Wheatus

Loved this shot as soon as I got it. When I shot Wheatus I was shooting for the venue and was given access to the sides of the stage after the traditional first three songs in the pit. Due to the way the band have their stage set up with the drummer at the front off to one side instead of banished to the rear of the stage, I managed to catch this great angle.

They’re also the first band I’ve seen go on stage without a set list and just ask those in attendance for requests.

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Carbomb

OK, so I wander into the photo pit for the first band of the night. “Drum kit is pushed right to the front of the stage, I’m shooting ultra wide with a 15mm lens, it’d be a crime to waste this opportunity as a fellow drummer; I’m getting some killer shots of this incredible kit.” That was my thought process until the relentless strobes started going off paired with harsh backlighting, managed to catch this through the mayhem though, loved it since. It’s been my desktop wallpaper for nearly 2 years now.

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Livewire (AC/DC Tribute)

Again I was shooting for the venue at this show (Guild Hall in Preston by the way, three great rooms in one venue) so I was just chilling at the side of the stage when the guitarist decides he’s going to climb on the shoulders of the lead singer and head off into the crowd for a change of scenery. I quickly ran to my camera bag, grabbed the flash gun I always carry in case of emergencies such as this one and decided to follow them into the baying sweaty masses. I like to think being covered in other people’s sweat and the odd bit of people’s pints was worth it for this shot.

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The DSM IV

Love this shot purely because it brought me out of a massive funk.

I hadn’t been shooting much and whatever I had shot I’d hated, I think everyone goes through something similar every now and again, then I got to shoot these guys. Guy McKnight is one hell of a front man with great energy and presence. I caught this just before I had to get out of the pit and I’m still so glad I did.

Another band you should most definitely check out if you get the chance.

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Pete Searle

Another old friend of mine, Mr Pete Searle. Pete got in contact with me at the back end of the summer 2018 and asked if I fancied taking some photos for his new music project as well as some for his own personal use (when a snapchat selfie just isn’t a good enough profile picture) so I said of course. Now I don’t know if this was a brave or stupid move on Pete’s part but he also told me I could have full creative control over the shots. He offered no direction other then he wanted some suited up and some casual. Quite proud of how they came out. Pete’s still speaking to me so he must’ve been happy too I guess.

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Patent Pending

Easily the most energy filled set I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. I don’t know how they kept it up, I was that knackered after shooting 3 songs I had to go for a lie down.

Getting this shot has now given me a new claim to fame though; Joe from Patent Pending dedicated a song to me for saving his life.

I didn’t really save his life, I just caught him as he came back over the barrier from his little venture, that story isn’t quite as cool though so I’m gonna stick to the original.

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Me

This last one is me.

I thought it’d be cool to set up a kind of ‘self employed/freelance christmas party’ for a bit of fun seen as all I was seeing on Facebook at the time was updates from everyone else’s regular works Christmas parties. First time I’d tried to dress a set properly like this and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Again, shot in my little studio space.

The shot is a result of me trying to look pretty and my Dad trying to throw the little paper streamers at the right time for about an hour because the party poppers I bought didn’t work.

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Well that’s all of them and I hope you’ve had fun. If you’re not sick of me by now feel free to give me a follow on Twitter (for more nonsensical ramblings and the odd photo) or Instagram (more photos than ramblings on there) and you can give me a like on Facebook (photo to rambling ratio is more or less equal on there) if you’re so inclined via Mik Connor Photography. You can also give my website a peek for full portfolios and the odd blog, that’s mikconnorphotography.com.

Anyway, I’ll see you around somewhere. Thanks for reading.

Peace
Mik

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Mik. If you’d like to see more of his work or book him for a gig or portrait shoot, please contact him via his website or the social media links above.

21st January 2019

In Focus with Derek Rickman

Photographs always hold memories, often known only to the photographer. Here, both the pictures and the memories are shared…

VISUAL POETRY
in the modern age

By Derek Rickman

‘I’ve been absorbed by photography for a few years now. I like the broad canvas of landscapes to practice my art. Like many before me I find inspiration in the Lake District which I visit often with my brothers. I like gothic architecture, particularly cathedrals and ruined abbeys and I’ll happily immerse myself in their cavernous spaces and sunlit chambers. I generally use iPhone for captures despite its limitations as I don’t like to be encumbered with camera kit when I’m out hiking the fells. There are subtle themes behind some of my work. Sometimes I’ll go out with a preconceived idea if I’ve been inspired by music, poetry or art, but generally I go where intuition leads me.

I feel a deep affinity with the landscapes I explore, their wildness and spiritual essence inhabit my soul and I’ll have a deep reservoir of thoughts and emotions to draw on long after I’ve left them. In that sense I’ve written purely about the aesthetic principles behind the work. I hope the words will provide insight as you view each image, judge them as you find them.’

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Easedale (on leaving)

I was sitting in the white drawing room at Llancrigg watching the leaves fall in the garden. We’d climbed Helm Crag in the morning and had descended on Wordsworth’s spiritual home for afternoon tea. I looked out through the huge bay windows towards Easedale’s verdant fields stretching away in the distance. They seemed tantalisingly out of reach. I quietly sipped my tea and pictured the great poet contemplating the same view. As we left Llancrigg behind for the long walk back to Grasmere, I was already visualising Easedale on a Spring morning in May..

I could almost feel the sharp light of that distant day, see the trees dripping with soft English rain, and hear the breathless rush of the river through the scented meadows…

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Buttermere Edge

I’d been listening to Jon Hopkins’ Glitter remix in the car as we drove up to Buttermere, its hypnotic throb had somehow implanted itself in my subconscious and undercurrents of electronica kept permeating my thoughts on the hike above the lake. An icy wind ripped across the summit of Red Pike, momentarily shaking me from a music induced haze. I looked out to a land and sky in constant flux, clouds spilled over dark peaks and ribbons of light cast drifting veils across empyrean plains. There was a tangible sense of time passing, of elements conspiring to shape material and emotional landscapes.

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Starflower / A Eulogy

“For me the pristine and delicate Starflower is the true evocation of Spring. Their subtle fragrance draws you down paths into shady hollows where they glow imperceptibly in the light, a transient beauty of the wood. To walk among them is to drift in an infinite galaxy, a quiet exodus for the soul.”

King’s Wood / 18th April

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Chilham Mill

There’s a stillness and quietude to this place that’s so alluring. I’ve walked here on a Midsummer’s day and not encountered a soul. It’s especially beautiful in early Spring when the river flows past the mill in sparkling overtures and the giant willow trails its feathered branches lazily in the water. Later in the Summer blue damselflies flit among the reeds and ride the warm currents beneath the bridge. On this day I’d just climbed the hill to Julliberrie’s Grave through light rain and returned to the river to find a perfect equilibrium of light and colour. The Constable like clouds give fluidity and depth and provide a natural symmetry with the trees, and perhaps in this setting echo a certain Englishness and enduring timelessness.

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Angel

Her face caught my eye as I was wandering amongst the tombs in the churchyard. White petals from a cherry blossom tree were strewn at her feet but she was still clutching her faded flowers in her fingers. Her visage spoke such a beautiful melancholy and with her hand elegantly placed to her heart it seemed as if she was softly reciting poetry to an unrequited love..

Pluckley / 24th May

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Pilgrim

The first warm days in May found me hiking the old road to Canterbury. When I walk its sunken lanes and chalk trackways I feel so close to the Pilgrims who centuries earlier journeyed along its ancient route to receive a blessing at Becket’s shrine… ‘Holy blissful Martyr to seek’. I wondered if in their haste they had time to pause and catch their breath for a few moments and like me contemplate the blossom on the bough, smell the damp earth, and look at the river down in the valley meandering its way to Canterbury…

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Tintern Abbey

An incredible space, so much scope for photography inside and out. It was blissfully quiet when I arrived and the low clouds drifting across the river only served to enhance the surreal atmosphere. I had some difficulty deciphering the wonderful array of gothic windows and towering columns into a image that was a little more prosaic yet still captured the romance and beauty of the ruins.

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Last Snowfall

There was heavy snow in late February and it had lain on the ground for nearly a week while I’d been on holiday so I was desperate to explore the parkland near my home before it all melted. Sleet was falling as I crunched through the kissing gate and into the big field. The giant cedars looked like white cathedrals in the snow and they creaked and groaned under the weight showering the unfortunate huddle of sheep sheltering below. A solitary oak stood naked and forlorn in the wintery wilderness yet its slate black silhouette still held some shape of beauty against the sky. Mist began to envelope the horizon as I waded through the snowdrifts, the rooks circling noisily overhead perhaps perceiving a subtle change in the weather. I trudged slowly up to the lodge my frozen hands thrust deep in my pockets. I looked back and traced my footprints trailing away downhill and contemplated the white rooftops and flickering lights in the distance, thankful that I’d seen the last day of snow on the edge of my hometown.

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All photos and words © Derek Rickman. If you would like to see more of Derek’s work you can find him on Instagram.

19th December 2018