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BLOG – John Maher’s Photography Blog

12 Nov 2017
Donald

Crossing the Sound of Harris [WORK: Outer Hebrides]

Another addition to ‘WORK: Outer Hebrides’ – a series of portraits featuring people who live and work in the Outer Hebrides. Donald has worked on the Sound of Harris car ferry since the service was first introduced in 1996. Until then, (almost) the only way to transport a car from Harris to North Uist (and vice-versa) was via the ferry from Tarbert, Harris to Uig on Skye, then take a second ferry from Uig to Lochmaddy in North Uist. On […]

05 Nov 2017
Iain the Bin Man

The Happiest Bin Man in the West(ern Isles)?

Iain was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis. He left the island when he was fifteen. Forty years later he returned home and took up employment as a ‘driver for the council’. One of his duties is driving the bin wagon, covering the whole of Lewis and Harris. Here’s how he described his job to me: “It’s magical! I’ve got the most scenic bin wagon route in the whole of the UK.” I intercepted Iain and his […]

03 Nov 2017
Joan

WORK: Outer Hebrides (part 2)

Joan owns Silhouette Hair Salon in Leverburgh, Isle of Harris. Joan’s been shampooing, cutting, colouring and styling since Silhouette first opened for business in 1998. I’m a regular. Based on a quick ‘back of a fag packet’ calculation, I reckon I must be getting close to Haircut 100 Leverburgh was a hive of building activity in 1998. While Silhouette was being built, two other new businesses were also under construction: Am Bothan Bunkhouse and The Anchorage Restaurant. That’s a big […]

22 Oct 2017

WORK: Outer Hebrides (part 1)

Presenting my latest photo project (this time it’s personal): a series of portraits featuring people who live and work in the Outer Hebrides. It’s taken me a while to get the ball rolling – I first decided to do this two and a half years ago! It’s not an original idea. Celebrated American photographer Paul Strand visited the Outer Hebrides in 1954, capturing images of a community whose traditional way of life was about to be disrupted by a Cold […]

01 Oct 2017
Matilda

The Dog, the Cat and Matilda

An abandoned house is set to become a home again. First, some background info about Matilda’s new house… In 2013 I exhibited a collection of prints with fellow photographer Ian Paterson. The exhibition was entitled ‘Leaving Home‘. All of our photographs shared a common theme – abandoned Hebridean houses. One of my personal favourites was taken in 2013, in the house that’s the subject of this post. While setting up my camera, I noticed the skeleton of a small bird […]

04 Sep 2017
A quick tour of Leverburgh

The Positive Negative Man

A short photo tour of Leverburgh – with a vintage camera and one roll of film. I recently purchased a 1980’s Bronica medium format film camera. Back in the day Bronica was the affordable alternative to Hasselblad for thousands of wedding and studio photographers . The ETRS is a fully manual camera. No ‘Auto’ setting. No LCD preview. Shutter speed and aperture settings are determined by the user, not the camera. I loaded a roll of Ektar 100 (good for […]

08 Aug 2017
Transocean Winner Oil Rig, dalmore, isle of lewis

Transocean Winner

Transocean Winner In August 2016 a decommissioned oil rig was being towed from Stavanger, Norway to ‘Blowtorch Beach’ in Turkey. Things didn’t go to plan… Timeline 6.15pm Sunday Aug 7th. First call to coastguard. Alert from the tug MV Alp Forward which is having trouble maintaining headway in the wind and experiencing heavy weather west of Lewis while towing Transocean Winner rig. Coastguards go into response mode, monitor progress of tug and tow. 10.30pm Sunday. Situation deteriorates. Incident upgraded to […]

05 Oct 2016
Pictures Inspire Words, poetry, susan irvine

Pictures inspire words

PICTURES INSPIRE WORDS While the Nobody’s Home exhibition was taking place at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, I received a message from Susan Irvine of Kingsbury Episcopi (I’d never heard of it either), in Somerset. She asked if there were plans for the exhibition to travel further afield. She also asked if I was OK with her using the images as inspiration for her writing. “Fine by me”, I replied. A week later Susan gave up waiting for news of the […]

15 Aug 2016

Nobody’s Home in Glasgow

NOBODY’S HOME IN GLASGOW 52 hours in Glasgow: a tale of two radio interviews, an exhibition opening, chatting on the telly and wasting time in the clouds above Benbecula. Wednesday July 20th 6.00am: set off to Stornoway airport to catch the 8.25am direct flight to Glasgow. The plan was to arrive in Glasgow at 9.25am, head straight to The Lighthouse to oversee and help hang all the prints for the official opening of Nobody’s Home the following day. I get […]

22 Dec 2015
Northern Correspondent, article, december 2015, 8 pages

From our Northern Correspondent

FROM OUR NORTHERN CORRESPONDENT Latest issue of The Northern Correspondent features one of my photographs on the front cover, plus another eight pages inside the mag. The Northern Correspondent was created by a small group of journalists and story-tellers, writers, photographers, illustrators, film-makers and broadcasters who are passionate about telling stories of the people and places of the north east. They tell those stories in whichever medium is best for each story. They’ve identified a growing appetite for longer form, […]