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BLOG – John Maher’s Photography Blog

08 Mar 2020
American Cars of the 1950s

Nostalgia Trip: American Cars of the 1950s

Part 4 of a nostalgic look back at a collection of photographs I took with my Olympus Trip camera while touring America in 1979 and 1980. Looking through the 200 or so photos I took during while touring America, a fair portion of them feature cars. I’d been a fan of 1950s American cars for a while. Shortly before our first US tour, I purchased a couple of books that covered vehicles from this era. I spent hours studying the […]

22 Dec 2019
Trash and Vaudeville, New York

Nostalgia Trip: American Graffiti, 1979

American Graffiti Before heading further afield in the USA, I’ll sign off from New York with the story of how I inadvertently photographed an early example of Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s artwork. Trash & Vaudeville During our time in New York in September 1979, several people recommended a trip to Trash and Vaudeville – New York’s ‘go-to’ rock and roll boutique. Walking down St. Mark’s Place, I spotted the famous neon Trash sign in a basement shop window on the other side […]

17 Dec 2019
Union Square

Nostalgia Trip: a teenage Buzzcock in New York 1979-1980 (part 2)

Welcome to Manhattan Setting the scene: Club 57, Irving Plaza, New York – September 1st, 1979. The second of two consecutive sold-out Buzzcocks shows in the ‘Big Apple’. This one was being simultaneously broadcast by local radio station WPIX-FM. I was heading for the dressing room following our final encore when I was collared by Mike Nolan, one of our road crew. He stuffed $20 into my hand, bundled me along the corridor to the fire escape, told me to […]

11 Dec 2019
Magic Phonebox

A Phone Call from the Outer Hebrides

Outer Hebrides’ K6 telephone boxes, in all their magical and modified glory. One of my first ever night photography subjects was the classic red telephone box above. It stands beside a former Post Office, overlooking Loch Finsbay on the east coast of the Isle of Harris. I later discovered many of the local residents referred to it as the ‘magic phone box’. In the mid 1990s, the phone next to Finsbay Post Office developed a fault. It didn’t prevent you […]

01 Dec 2019
New York 1979-1980

Nostalgia Trip: a teenage Buzzcock in New York 1979-1980 (part 1)

40 year old photographs get new lease of life [Main photo: Pretzel seller, E 26th St and Lexington Ave] I was nineteen in 1979. I was about to spend three weeks travelling across America with Buzzcocks – our first US tour. Talk about excitement! None of us had been to America before. I needed a camera! At this stage of my photographic career, I didn’t know the difference between an f-stop and a lens cap, so my first camera had […]

19 May 2019
Croft 36

Croft 36

Croft 36, Northton, Isle of Harris It’s been 20 years in the making, but Julie and Steve Olley are now running one of the most popular and “quirky” food establishments in the Outer Hebrides. A quick glance at some of the hundreds of 5 star reviews visitors have posted on tripadvisor will give you a flavour of what Croft 36 (Northton, Isle of Harris) is all about, and why so many people absolutely love it… Before setting off to Northton […]

29 Mar 2019
Edwyn Collins - Badbea

On Edwyn Collins’ Doorstep

Edwyn Collins releases his latest album today (March 29th, 2019). This is the story behind the two photographs featured on the album cover. Recorded at his recently completed Clashnarrow Studios in Helmsdale, Badbea (pronounced ‘bad-bay’) is named in honour of the nearby abandoned village that was founded by people driven from their land during the clearances of the 18th & 19th centuries. It remains as a reminder of the suffering and resilience of those communities. In November 2018, I spent […]

26 Dec 2018

When Santa Met Billy

May 2018: I was contacted by the TV production company 7 Wonder. They were about to start work on a two-part documentary series for BBC 2, following Billy Connolly as he travels around Scotland and has various encounters with folk along the way. The makers were keen to include some Hebridean content, so in addition to pieces they’d lined up on Harris Tweed, Lews Castle and the Rocket Post, they were interested in featuring some of my photography. I met […]

05 Oct 2018
Netty's Tree

Vote for Netty’s Tree!

The Woodland Trust have launched their annual search for 2018’s Tree of the Year. One of the contenders is a scraggly-looking spruce, which until recent years was the only tree on the tiny windswept Hebridean island of Eriskay (population: 150). Whisky Galore! Planted more than 100 years ago, Netty’s Tree was standing tall long before the island made the headlines in 1941, when 8,000 ton cargo ship the SS Politician sank off Eriskay’s north coast with 28,000 cases of whisky […]

23 Sep 2018

Going GAGA in Ness

A selection of photos from a few hours on location in Ness (Isle of Lewis) during the filming of FUNC: a new comedy sketch show created by Michael Hines, best known for directing and co-producing the BAFTA award-winning Scottish sitcom, Still Game. I was hired by Electrify PR, who work on behalf of BBC ALBA to take some ‘behind the scenes’ photos. I also managed to grab a few minutes with the actors in-between scenes for some posed shots. The […]