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John Macpherson

Pines and pleasure

John Macpherson

  I did some work for The Woodland Trust recently. A lovely couple of days in the north of England to photograph some of their woodlands. Smithills Estate near Bolton made a big impression on me. Located on the outskirts of Bolton, the mixed woodland thrives in several glens leading up onto the high moors…

Wind, rain & pain

John Macpherson

The Scottish Highlands are surprisingly big. And also, in very many ways, rather small.  I had this underlined for me last week as I undertook yet another bimble around in my ancient Land Rover with my son William (now aged 8). Despite the remoteness of much of the Highlands, its ‘corridors of passage’ throw people…

The Power & The Glory

John Macpherson

  “There’s a guy from the electricity company in the hall looking for you.” said the secretary at my work, as outside the wind howled like a banshee, hurling the rain horizontally against the window, and forcing it in through the window frame onto the office floor where a bucket was slowly filling. Summer in…

“Fat slags…” and shinty sticks

John Macpherson

This will, eventually, be a mild rant. Funny how events from the present can recall, vividly, events from the past. It happened to me a few days ago, in England. But first the past…       …when I was in my teens I worked in the shipyards on the Clyde in Glasgow, staying in…

“Dear Dad”

John Macpherson

  On Father’s Day amidst the celebrations that a few of you may be enjoying, take some time out to watch this beautifully poignant and elegiac film by Robin Haig exploring the ties of birth to land and father. Set in the remote glens of the Scottish Highlands, this is a brave and moving glimpse…

“Who controls photography…..and how to liberate it”

John Macpherson

“I am uncomfortable watching an interrogation that is misguided if related to some elusive standard of photojournalism. The supposed ethos at Magnum was cooperative effort: from each according to his ability, to each according to her needs.”   Steve McCurry, National Geographic, Magnum. Lots of opinions expressed in various media recently about manipulation, truth, lies…

The Hands of My Father

John Macpherson

What’s in a picture? You know the debate – “A picture is worth a thousand words” says one pundit “it’s a universal language…”. Another will tell you “we’re now in a post-photography world” and because of the ease with which images can be manipulated “…we cannot trust what we see in photographs any more”. Truth…

The Price of Free, The Value of Me

John Macpherson

  I came across several interesting blogs and articles on the value of creative work recently and thought it worth pulling them all together. Before I do that though, how about considering this advert for a work opportunity for “an ambitious artist” to undertake some design work for Sainsbury’s which popped up on Friday 13th…

The Promise of Tomorrow

John Macpherson

  “Suicide is painless” That’s what the song says.  I don’t know for sure, because its not something I’ve tried. What I DO know is that its painful being left behind when a friend does it. That hurts. I didn’t know Dave Pegg, but I knew of him. This film doesn’t so much mourn his…

‘Swarm’? ‘Jungle’ ? The Ethics of Photography in Calais

John Macpherson

        Rob Pinney, writing on Photovoice blog in ‘The Ethics of Photography in Calais’ underlines the ethical conundrum that Mary Turner confronted during her recent visit to Piraeus (link). When the photographic community itself becomes a ‘swarm’ of sorts perhaps its time to step back and consider an alternative approach. This could…