Although it’s situated at the same latitudes as northern Denmark, Aberdeen doesn’t see a lot of snow. Having a port right in the city centre puts us right next to the North Sea. When we do get some snow I like to go out in my car in the evening to see the altered landscape as the familiar takes on a very different aesthetic.
The pandemic continues, restrictions change and people try to go about their lives. I’ve been moving more towards documentary photography over the last year or so. As it has so many things, the current situation has accelerated this,
Social distancing, face masks and hand gel have become the norm. People are still out in ones and twos but large crowds are a thing of the past. The city has evolved to accommodate cycling and greater distances between pedestrians. Football stadiums remain empty, under flood light the eerie silence is punctuated with players shouts.
People use the nearby beach for a diverse range of activities. Walking dogs, running, surfing (yes in the North Sea). Only five minutes from the third biggest city in the country, this resource has been a lifeline for many.
The empty city centre streets, have more traffic control and fewer spaces for cars. The benches that have been added in the old bus lanes have been a varying success, but now we come into Autumn they’re bring used less and less. The slow traffic of Union street has been replaced by the constant buzz of the fixed wheel bikes and electric scooters of the food delivery staff. People use the width of the pavement to help socially distance.
As always Questions and comments welcome, if you click Here you can see the slideshow of all the images on my YouTube Channel.
Pittodrie stadium, the home of Aberdeen Football Club, the team I’ve supported since childhood. The stadium is an important symbol and focal point for the fans and community in these uncertain times. After the Scottish season stopped in March, due to Covid-19 the stadium fell silent. I live in the City and would occasionally drive past. I always have my camera in the car with me, so made an image when the light was interesting or I saw a composition.
Normally the team and pitch would be the focus of attention. With football being played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future I’ve taken more notice of the actual stadium, and it’s immediate surroundings. Not the most modern or prettiest by any standard, but filled with memories of the highs and lows associated with sport.
For a change I took my 18-55mm zoom lens with me along with a wide prime. I barely use this lens, but It was nice to have short telephoto option for a change. One thing I’ve never noticed, even though I’ve been going to this stadium for 40 years, was the shadows cast by the adjacent trees on the old brick Main stand. Photography always throws up some surprises no matter how many times you think you’ve seen something.
As always questions and comments are welcome! There’s a video version of these images on my YouTube channel.
In Scotland, as we are currently in phase two of lockdown. We’ve come a long way in the space of 14 weeks. I live in the centre of Aberdeen and have recorded the changes when I’ve been outside for the limited time that I can manage. Here are some of the images I’ve made of this turbulent time. Click on the images to start the slideshow, the video version is on my YouTube channel. Comments and questions are welcome.
Happy New Year! I’m kicking off 2020 with my best shots of 2019. The images in this post are my own personal favourites and not the ones that got the most likes or comments on social media. They are in no particular order, as always comments and questions are welcome.
Thanks for looking, any suggestions for posts are welcome. I’m going to post a non street based best of 2019 soon.
Two years a go I came to the realisation that I couldn’t continue to use large camera equipment a due to chronic illness and arthritis. I needed a small camera for holiday and bought a mirrorless camera to try and improve my street / documentary photography. I had a succession of small P & S cameras over the previous 3 years but was never truly happy with the motorised mid range zooms.
Aberdeen city is my place in the World, and I had a loose idea to document the city as I saw it during my life. with these pocket sized cameras I shot Black and white candid and abstract images. I extended this genre to include more street oriented images. Rather then constricting my vision to purely street I would define it as documentary photography, which ties back to the vision of the urban Flaneur. I’ve always admired the work of Edouard Manet and Gustave Caillebotte and their candid depiction of the modernity and urban alienation of 19th Century Paris. I think that there is an element of this in street photography in general and my work in particular. I set myself a limit of two years and switched from photo specific journeys, to always carrying a small camera and fast prime with me. In this case the Fujifilm X-T10 and Fujinon 27mm F2.8 pancake lens, latterly I used an X-T1 and kept the X-T10 as a back up. I have tried some different lenses but the 27mm pancake is very versatile and fast enough for my needs.
In a typical week I’d be out with the camera for 1-2 hours 2 times. I am reliant on my car and tend to pick an area and wait to see what develops without influencing the outcome. Sometimes it is planned, other times spontaneous. I usually use relatively high ISO to keep the shutter speed up but occasionally will use long shutter speeds to introduce more abstract elements and feelings of motion. Click here or the main menu to see the project.
I was in Falkirk a couple of weeks ago for a day, the weather was nice in the evening with clear blue skies and sunny giving strong contrasts. I’ve never seen the Kelpies so went to the park next to the motorway . The parking is really close, luckily for me so I was able to get right up to them. I had my usual camera, and two lenses a 28mm and 40mm FF equivalent. I thought I’d try some street style shooting techniques. First of all I went round them, took some test shots, and decided on the best angle for a close up shot with the 28mm. Since they were built, there has been numerous pictures of the Kelpies online. One of the striking things for me is the number of middle distance shots. When taking pictures on the street I try to get close and engage with people, middle distance can be easier but is generally a less interesting shot. So for my first shot I got right up close with my 28mm equivalent lens.
Secondly I have never really seen an establishing shot of the situation next to the motorway with the hills in the background. As my dad is from Falkirk I know the area and thought the hills would give some scale to them. I planned on using the canal to give a leading line/ bit of perspective to the shot. The path and pontoon also helps this shot.