Monday, 28 December 2015

Roger Lever - The Cruel Nature of Man

We see many wildlife films on TV these days which show animals killing other animals. We choose to watch or briefly look the other way because it looks terrible sometimes. We also watch movies showing human beings killing other human beings in the most horrific of circumstances. We read about the terrible things that man inflicts on his fellow human beings in the Middle East. And we wonder why?

In 1855 the American Indians and the American Buffalo were almost exterminated. Chief Seattle wrote something like this when the American President offered to buy their land.
"The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. . . . But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do not . . . the white man may come with guns and take our lands. . . . How can you buy or sell the sky— the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. . . . Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. . . . When the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the views of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone."

"If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to the man."

Is this what is happening to our world?

It doesn’t take much savvy to realise that we are the most cruel species on the planet yet at the same time the majority of the human population are essentially good. That’s quite an analogy.

Why am I writing about this subject on a photography blog at this time in the season of goodwill? Because I have just been reviewing the photographs I took of a dog which came in to my surgery a few years ago.
Some of you may have seen them or read about Rosie on my website.

Rosie 1 week after her near death experience.

For whatever reason (guilt usually) this little dog was stuffed into a bin liner and the end tied. Another bin liner was used on top of the first. The person/s in question then drove to Dumfries and chose to stop on the outskirts and proceeded to push the package under a bush in the middle of a traffic island. What mindset would do such a thing? A human being? Certainly not an animal. The intention to hide and kill slowly. No-one would ever find out. That then would absolve them of any wrong doing. Would it?

Rosie on top of Screel Hill about 6months after.

Rosie guarding my grandson on Mersehead Beach

Running free on a beach in Tiree

So the season of good will extends to animals as well as Man.
If you are thinking of getting a dog there are many lovely ones out there needing a loving home.

Contact Dogs Trust:
Dumfries and Galloway Canine rescue:

If you want to help protect persecuted wildlife I would suggest Big Life Foundation:

Have a Peaceful and Happy New Year

Roger Lever

Monday, 14 December 2015

Holly Burns - Road to Free Range!

Being a full time photographer requires much more than merely taking photographs. We must wear many different hats in order to become successful. It is not enough to simply rely on our technical abilities; we must become skilled at promoting ourselves too.

At City of Glasgow College, my 4th year honours class and I decided we would shoot for the stars for self promotion and aim for a spot at Free Range. Free Range is a special project in London that provides new creative graduates with the opportunity to showcase their work on an international level. It has become the number one platform for the next crop of creatives to showcase their work to both public and industry.

In order to raise the sizable amount of money in which it costs to exhibit there, firstly we decided to hold a photographic auction at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow. We asked many photographers (including our tutors and ourselves) to donate works for auction.

We managed to come together as a group and curate this auction and raised an incredible £4000. We now look forward to arranging our exhibition at Free Range! I now know that we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Upon reflection, as a group we learned to successfully organise an event, to publicise and to put ourselves out there in order to attract buyers. We managed to successfully attract several key sponsors, including Deadly Digital, Tunnocks, Lidl and Street Level Photoworks and their imput proved invaluable.

Through my studies I have developed both my photographic skills and also essential business skills. With so much competition in the creative industry, our ability to publicise and promote ourselves is paramount and should never be considered secondary to our technical skills.

I’m really proud of our class that we managed to pull it all off and to have done it so well! I hope our combined efforts reap the benefits of self-promotion and achieve greater exposure.

Holly Burns

Monday, 7 December 2015

Unit Three Gallery, Bladnoch

Starting today, 3 members of GPC are taking part in an exhibition at the Unit Three Gallery in Bladnoch.

Unit Three is in the Bladnoch Bridge Estate, a former creamery that closed in the 1980s. It now serves as home to various creative industries - blacksmith, recording studio, 2 x record labels, book warehouse, artist studio and Dowling Stove Design. The large pillared gallery makes for one of the most intriguing spaces you will visit in the area.

Exhibiting from the Galloway Photographic Collective are Roger Lever, Kim Ayres and David Moses.

Roger is exhibiting his large 70cm square contemporary images of the Puffin and the Shag. An unusual perspective for these remarkable birds. These form part of his UP-CLOSE series of wildlife.

Kim is exhibiting work from his "Tales From The Shutter" series, where he constructs storytelling scenes - images that look like they could be film stills, movies posters or book covers.

David is exhibiting work from 2 series - 'Memory, Speak’ which is a perspective on small town life and travails in uncertain times. And also he will be showing work from ‘The Scots’ - a portrait series that invites us to look closer at the people around us.

The exhibition runs from 7th December 2015 through to the end of January 2016. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 10-4 and Saturdays by appointment.

Hope to see you there.