Something to Believe | Glasgow | 35:Chronicle

black & white, personal, photography, structures

Reflective Practise | A Personal Narrative.

During a wander along the Clyde towards Glasgow Green, just past the Jamaica Bridge, I came across these two buildings. I stopped, of course. While the traffic buzzed past me and people nudged against my arm as if to criticise me for standing still, for not going with the flow like everyone else, I stood. Still. As I looked left then right, taking in each structure, silly questions entered my head, such as, I wonder if the city’s planning department sanctioned the building of one to complement the other, in some perverse way? Coming from a conservation area myself, local councils would seldom allow the building of one that didn’t in some way fit-in with the buildings nearby and then I wondered, was the glass building perhaps some kind of reminder? An existential nudge to passers-by?

Religion is not a part of my life and never has been, at least not since my infant school told me that I was C of E – I wasn’t; only, the son of C of E parents for, at five years of age I knew nothing of the concept of religion. Still, I have grown up always wanting to be not only aware of my limitations but, also of my potential. Like the implied good, reflecting back at me. As a result, I began to wonder again, as if to confirm my thoughts that, no matter how well we think we’re doing, we can always be better. Reflect and, project.

Now that, is something in which I can definitely believe.



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A Bridge Too Far? | Personal Narrative | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, landscape, personal, photography, spring, structures, trees

Kinclair Viaduct | Pinmore.

This post is a little more personal to me than many of my others and, it’s a little difficult even trying to figure out how best to introduce it. But introduce it I must, and, with important reason. When I say that I consider my 35 to be the lens for life, I mean exactly this. For all aspects of life. I suppose that the same could be said of any passtime or endeavour whereby the passage of time and (or) memories are recorded and, here, with my one prime, again, I have both. It’s wide enough to see and record the periphery of the life in front of us, yet narrow enough to preserve the little details there too, which, should not be forgotten. Hence, they can be perfectly preserved, in time. If I’m making no sense, perhaps I can be clearer. 


I. | The House Under the Bridge.

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II. | Nine of Eleven.

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These images are from the second time I ever saw this structure; they were taken on Monday, this week. I drove a round-trip of over 200 miles specifically to photograph it. Whatever the weather was to be, I would capture it. That is why, during mid-morning, I packed a waterproof jacket, my camera gear, my lunch, a flask of coffee and an extra pack of menthol cigarettes, and set off to Pinwherry and, just north, to Pinmore. Yes, I carried memories with me and couldn’t help but feel thin air from the conspicuously empty front-seat in my car, amplified by the knowledge of the direction in which I was now heading.

The first time I ever saw this structure, the passenger-seat to my left was occupied and, we were on our way home, passing through Girvan and south along the A714, returning from a visit to Ayrshire, (which was memorable itself by the mini-rant I had had that day about less than stellar customer service and charging punters full admission price to a place that was only half-open and, had not been advertised as such upon reviewing the relevant website the day before. I still believe my point to be valid, however, I digress). That late-afternoon journey home was in fact, for me at least, the most enjoyable part of the day, not least for the company of one special to me, but also for the beautifully scenic landscapes under late-afternoon sun and, the ability to simply – share the feeling.  Then, we arrived at Pinmore, still heading south and, passing under this incredible viaduct, (eleven arches in all) I scanned frantically for a place to park whilst conscious of the BMW behind me, trying to ‘push’ me along and around the ever present s-bends. Failure to find a suitable stopping point was inevitable and all that we could do was to marvel at the enormity of the thing as it vanished steadily, behind us. I vowed that we would go back. But I am one half of we, now. And even so, without we, I – would never have seen this place and so, it seems unfair, morally wrong and, emotionally impossible for me to not acknowledge the fact. 


III. | Ten of Eleven.
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IV. | From the South.

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On my return, I noted a few things to myself. One, there is only one space at the roadside anywhere near here, big enough to park the car off the road and, good luck finding it empty if I should return; two, in spring and summer, the trees are so thick and tall as to almost hide this structure from the roadside, probably until late autumn (so I shall head back then, too or perhaps even during winter); three, from ground-level it is so difficult to appreciate just how majestic and huge this viaduct is and so, I shall need to find higher-ground when I return to Pinmore, which I will. From closer distances, the stonework can be better appreciated, for certain, and, though the light was occasionally tricky, I still, on review, enjoy the vantage-point. Even though I did have to quickly jump into the roadside scrub to avoid being mowed down, I didn’t feel rushed – just a little, half-there. There should have been a familiar voice hollering, “Car!” whenever my back was to the tarmac. Whilst the views were fabulous, to me, there was an inevitable notion of – hollow. But I was glad to be back. Though tricky to photograph, it is an amazing feeling to even stand beneath one its arches. 


V. | From the North.

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Alas, life is how it is, but it is served no purpose by forgetting what it was. The way I see it, to photograph life is the best way to capture, remember and appreciate just that – no matter in which direction we’re heading. 


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