Feral Ground

I met Thomas Petersen, the Danish visual artist better known as Grundvold, a few years ago and we talked about doing a photography project ever since. We finally managed to get together this autumn and headed to Pollok Park to take some pictures. Shot on analog and digital, we called it “Feral Ground” and intended for it to be a commentary of sorts on toxic masculinity, the masculine/feminine, strong/vulnerable in all of us. Results below:

GEAR

Nikon D4
Nikkor 85mm f1.4
Profoto A1
Canon AE-1 Programme + 50mm f1.8
Kodak 400TX

Analog Photography

Digital photography didn't exist when my interest in taking pictures begun. I was 16 when my parents got me a second hand Zenit 11 and in order to get my head around it, I enrolled in photography workshops where l learned the basics of an SLR as well as how to develop negatives and prints. My first digital camera was a Nikon D40 which I got on sale in 2009, and I've been shooting digital ever since. I love it, I enjoy its flexibility, the control it gives over your files and the retouching process and how much faster your overall workflow can be thanks to modern technology.

Having said that, I've been missing shooting analog for some time. I feel like I second guessed myself less when I shot film and was more confident in my abilities. Admittedly, I was a teenager then and that might've simply been the arrogance/ignorance of youth rather than confidence, but I felt drawn back to the days of shooting analog nevertheless. You can get really snap-happy with digital just because you can, rather than because you need each frame, so I wanted to remind myself of the discipline of shooting film where each shutter pressing matters, and where you don’t have the digital LCD screen on the back of your camera to double check the exposure. And so a couple of years ago I got a Canon AE-1 (with a 50mm f1.8 lens) on eBay and started shooting analog again. Not for commissioned stuff, cause that would be a commercial suicide, but for personal projects, behind the scenes shots, friends and such. I've tried different films and fell back in love with Kodak (duh!) which is what I used to shoot all my black & white stuff on back in the 90s.

I don’t develop my own film or prints these days as I don’t have the time and, to be perfectly honest, don’t think I’d have the patience anymore. I’ve been using DS Colour Labs for that and they’ve been great. All in all, it’s been an educational and interesting return to basics for me, if frustrating at times. I’ve realised I shoot differently on analog, I even tend to frame images in a different way than on digital. Conversely, I’m definitely not as trigger-happy when working with a digital camera now. I’ve actually got a couple of bigger 100% analog projects lined up at the moment and I’m dying to get a Rolleiflex and try shooting medium format but for the time being here are a few images taken on film over the past couple of years:

Noise - Love Speaks Opera

Noise is a Scottish opera company whose aim is to broaden the audience for contemporary opera in Scotland. I’ve worked with them previously on their “Hirda” project, an opera written in Shetlandic dialect, and was delighted to be back photographing and filming their most recent production, “Love Speaks”. “Love Speaks” is a short opera written by Kevan O’Reilly and Jenny Knotts about love and relationships, celebrating the availability of prEP on NHS Scotland. The short piece was directed by James Robert Carson and featured stellar performances from Marie Claire Breen, Douglas Nairne, Kenny Reid and Shuna Scott Sendall. You can see the short film I made for this below as well some images from live performances and rehearsals.

GEAR:
Nikon D4
Nikkor 85mm f1.4
Nikkor 50mm f1.4

Video filmed with Sony A7III + Sony 35mm f1.8
Metabones Nikon G to Sony NEX E-mount Converter
Nikkor 85mm f1.4
Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8
Zhiyun Crane 2 Gimbal
Edited in FCPX

Rab Noakes & Jill Jackson

Rab Noakes is a legendary Scottish songwriter/performer and I photographed him this summer alongside Jill Jackson to promote their current tour together (you can check the dates and tickets here). We used Òran Mór and Ruthven Lane in Glasgow’s West End and you can see a few shots from that day below:

GEAR:
Nikon D4
Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight
PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver
PocketWizard MiniTT1 Transmitter
Neewer 120cm Octabox

Throwback: Patricia Panther

Patricia Panther is a singer, songwriter, producer, actress and an all around badass. We've worked together on several occasions but this throwback post is about our first collaboration back in April 2013 where we spent a beautiful (albeit cold) afternoon and evening shooting in the ruins of St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross (I’ve written before about my trips there). Huge thanks to Ryan Vance for assistance.

GEAR:
Nikon D700
Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
Lastolite 24” x 24” Softbox
Reflector

 Patricia and me (photo by Ryan Vance).

Patricia and me (photo by Ryan Vance).