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BLOG – John Maher’s Photography Blog

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 […]

17 Sep 2018
Eilidh - Coralbox

Coralbox: the little shop by the sea

Eilidh owns and runs Coralbox, a small but perfectly formed gift shop on the Isle of Berneray – a small island in the Outer Hebrides, 3 miles wide by 2 miles long.  Eilidh stocks a range of arts and crafts, jewellery, scented candles, personalised gifts, greetings cards and photography, including items made by Eilidh herself. Approximately half her stock is made locally. Befitting its location, many of the items on display have a nautical theme. Eilidh offers high quality products […]

23 Jul 2018
The Butty Buss

The Butty Bus

Introducing Chris – proprietor of the Butty Bus – a fast food establishment parked at Leverburgh Pier. Chris modestly describes it as ‘a greasy spoon on wheels’ and ‘the only cafe on the island with four Michelin tyres’. Chris comes from a long line of Harris folk. His family connections with the place go back generations. Born in Inverness, he moved to Harris for a brief period when he was 16, leaving shortly after to spend a decade working at […]

01 Jul 2018
Shona: Primary School Teacher

School’s out for summer [WORK: Outer Hebrides]

Shona is a primary school teacher. She teaches a range of subjects to children between the ages of 4 and 12 at Leverhulme Memorial School in Leverburgh, Isle of Harris. I dropped in on the last day of term while members of staff and the janitor were making final preparations for the long summer holiday ahead. Being one of the hottest days of the year, we opted to do the photo shoot outdoors in the sunshine, setting up on the […]

17 Jun 2018
Welcome to Barra and Vatersay

Welcome to Barra and Vatersay

During 2017 I took my camera on several road trips, photographing buildings old and new for a multi-agency funded project entitled the ‘Western Isles Architectural Trail’. Over the next few months I’ll share some of the stories and photos from my travels. I’ll start at the southern end of the chain of islands that make up the Outer Hebrides. The Isle of Barra is probably best known for having the only airport in the world where scheduled flights use a […]