1. This photo is of Admiral Fallow, who at the time were of course The Brother Louis Collective. This was one of my first band shoots so it seemed appropriate to include it. I had very basic equipment at the time and little experience, so the shoot was a little daunting. The band were very easy going and I’d been acquaintances with Louis for a while so we managed to scramble some decent shots together. This shot was taken in Louis’ flat at the time in Glasgow. Unfortunately these were the days before I got educated in the ways of backing up and the majority of this shoot is now lost to the digital sands of time.
Equipment: Canon 30D – 17-85 kit lens – continuous light from unbranded camcorder light and hot shoe mounted flash – window lit from camera right.
2. This photo is more recent. I was asked by Halina at Daydream Your Way to shoot some promos for Esperi. We decided to go to a private beach in East Lothian where the coast is relatively undiscovered and very unforgiving. The weather that day was terrible but I think it may have actually been a blessing in disguise, giving the shots a raw and rustic feel that goes well with Chris’ music. Again Chris was very easy to work with and it’s always much more productive when the artist your shooting gets involved with ideas etc. We shot a few hundred frames on this shoot, but for me this one stood out as it had that unreal finish to it which I always like seeing. The sky was really dark so using the flash up on the cliff top really brought out the colours. Also, the dogs are great with their facial expressions and stances.
e: Canon 5D – 24-105 lens – 580ex speedlight fired through a softbox camera left – Metz at around half power camera right.
3. This is live shot of Iain from Bronto Skylift playing at Sneaky Pete’s when they supported Japandroids. This was actually the last gig shoot I did. Although I got some nice shots I didn’t really find it enjoyable as a shoot. My lenses steamed up as soon as the band started playing because of the sudden temperature change due to a very packed out venue. This meant I had to change lenses mid-gig whilst being crushed under the front row. Not ideal, and I ended up losing equipment. I think I prefer having the time to construct my shots and being more in control of what I’m seeing in the view finder. I chose this shot as it shows the amazing energy Iain produces during Bronto‘s shows.
e: Canon 30D – 50mm – hotshoe mounted 580ex.
4. This is the cover art work to the forthcoming Admiral Fallow album. I am a huge fan of their music so it is a great honour for me to be involved with the album. Louis and I had been going over ideas for a while but nothing was cemented. Louis stumbled upon this photograph whilst looking through some of my older work and I think it just clicked for him straight away. There are more of my photographs included in the sleeve of the album, but I chose this one as it’s something which cannot be repeated due to the process I used whilst developing it. This photo was shot on 35mm film and then the print developed using developer applied to the paper using a paint brush. This technique meant I could choose which parts of the photograph I wanted to stand out more than others, but it was still very unpredictable and therefore is somewhat a one-of-a-kind.
5. This is a photo of Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai. This is my favourite music related photo that I’ve taken – not only because of the shots I managed to get, but also because it was a chance to meet one of my musical heroes. Stuart was kind enough to let me take some shots of him just before the band got underway rehearsing for their next album. Stuart setup his pedals and was happy to sit and jam whilst I did the shoot. He is a really nice chap and any of my pre-shoot nerves quickly disappeared. This shot was taken toward the end of the shoot. I asked Stuart just to stand in front of the wall so I could take some more generic portrait shots. When I was shooting I noticed the material hanging from the ceiling and adjusted the shot to include it in the picture. I think it works really well as it’s not obvious what it is, and it also stops the viewer’s eye drifting out the top of the photograph.