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John Macpherson

A fond farewell

John Macpherson

  I was certain William’s loud wail of protest had reached the ears of the vet in the room above. I could tell by her face when I went upstairs a few moments later she had indeed heard it all. I’d just explained to William what ‘going to sleep’ means when a vet visits to…

From Lesotho to Lewis: observations on Vintage Patronising Crap

John Macpherson

When I was in my early teens, around 1976, I took a wander through a few countries in Southern Africa. “You should visit Lesotho” someone suggested. “Great countryside and the Basotho people are really colourful with their blankets and horses” said another. So I hitchhiked into Lesotho and got a lift with a young Chinese guy…

A week like no other.

John Macpherson

  I’ve just had a memorable week. My mum died, and we buried her. That’s the short version. The long version? Well, permit me the indulgence to weave a tale that encompasses laughter, tears, xenophobia, illness, memory and brilliant crystalline light. I’ve decided to do this because a few days ago I stood with my arms around…

Beyond The Frame

John Macpherson

Photographs are intriguing things. They show you stuff. You can look at a photo and see everything in it. And sometimes when ‘the story in an image’ is not fully visible, you can often look at several related images and gain a more rounded view, understand more about what is being shown. You might think that…

Skye’s The Limit

John Macpherson

Need a wee break from all that Brexit nonsense? This might be for you. Untaxing, easy on the eye and no unforeseen problems. I took a few days off last week and went to the Isle of Skye. For those of you uncertain where Skye is, it lies off Scotland’s west coast. It’s big, the second largest island in…

Islamic Fun………..

John Macpherson

It’s fairly common these days for the word ‘Islamic’ to be followed by that second word ”Fun…’ but continuing with the additional …‘damentalism’ tacked on the end, usually on the front of a newspaper, and going on to tell us why we should all be afraid.  Which is a shame. The notion of a group of…

“I Have a Name” (…and now I have a face too)

John Macpherson

  Every now and again you cross paths with a stranger, and from that collision of orbits something unexpected occurs. It happened to me some months back when photographer Ray Ketcham contacted me via email and tentatively enquired whether I’d be interested in writing an essay to be included in a forthcoming book he was…

A finger, a trigger, a shoe. A death.

John Macpherson

  Grant Scott has a very thoughtful piece on his site The United Nations of Photography titled ‘The Single Image Narrative: Sometimes It Chooses You’ – it’s well worth a read: “The resulting image tells that story, it’s hyper digital clarity creating a cinematic news image for our times. The narrative is clear, shocking and…

Dirt under your fingernails

John Macpherson

A tweet caught my eye today, by @maylavelle   It made me stop and think. I replied “Yes it does”. I don’t know about anyone else, but my work experience is what you might call ‘varied’.  I recounted it recently to a group of under-graduates in Falmouth University where I was External Examiner on their (truly excellent)…

Black bodies, moral choices & the editorial process.

John Macpherson

You may (or may not) have seen the images in the New York Times this week of the intercepted migrant boat off the Libyan coast. If you did, like me, you may have been shocked, not only by the continually unfolding tragedy, but perhaps more so by the stark portrayal of the unnamed individuals lying dead. Not…