Photographing spirits!

Photographing things that go bump in the night! Another editorial and portrait photography shoot from recent times, photographing at the National Trust for Scotland’s Culross Palace and spending an evening, after hours, locked in the palace with paranormal enthusiast and palace custodian Linda Whiteford.

Kinda tricky to photograph that which can’t be seen, and maybe only felt by a cold whisper of air against your hands (or was it just a draught?), or a bump and sudden thud on the floor when you know there is no-one else in the building…all very spooky. I’ve done many crazy assignments in my photography career but this was up there with the more unusual, especially when we sat in cold rooms, in the dark, chatting to the spirits…

But, it all worked fine, Linda was great for collaborating with, making some portraits with, and the mustard yellow walls of the palace exterior looked lovely. And then later one, with a bit of judicial photographing into old mirrors, photographing into the flare of torches etc, we managed to bring about the feeling of supernatural goings-on.

Here’s the spread from the magazine, and also a few outtakes from the evening’s photography assignment.

Photographing the chair man.

An email pops in asking if I can take some reportage and editorial style portraits of a furniture maker for his website. We chat on the phone, hit it off, and a few days later I’m up north in Scotland in a wood shed photographing Jonathan Rose and we’re discussing chairs, his hand built intelligent furniture, owl droppings in sheds, and the general life of artists and photographers.

An enjoyable day in which the brief was to photograph some images of Jonathan at work, showing where and how he crafts his chairs, and to take some portraits he can use on his website and for various design magazines, brochures, trade fairs etc.

Below are a few frames from the shoot, and you can find Jonathan Rose Design website here.

 

 

Bellahouston Harriers – Nil Desperandum

Over the past year or two as I’ve ran for pleasure with the Glasgow-based Bellahouston Harriers club, I’ve been photographing the running club meets, the training, some portraits, made a little movie of track nights in winter…basically merging my two loves, that of running and photography, and giving back to the club along the way with photography.

Very nicely an edit of this work has now been made into book form by the club, and has finally been printed for the club members and a few extra copies. The book, ‘Nil Desperandum’, documents the runners in the 125th year of the historic Glasgow club, and includes quotes by the club runners on why they run, what it brings them and why they run with the club. A little snapshot of running club life.

During my recent photography assignment through 40 countries of the Commonwealth for with the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the running club published on their site a little profile of myself and how my running fits in with my work. Stuart Miller, the author of the profile has given me permission to reprint it below.

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From Bellahouston Harriers website. –

‘Commonwealth journey ends for Bella snapper’

The opening ceremony in the Gold Coast on Wednesday will signal the start of competition for some of the world’s top athletes, but it will mark the end of remarkable Commonwealth Games journey for one Bellahouston Harrier.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert has spent much of the past year travelling the world, documenting the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. As one of the official Baton Relay photographers, Jeremy has captured images of the Baton’s passage across the Commonwealth, through major cities like Lagos and Auckland, remote areas of the South Sea Islands, and tribal communities in Africa.

Jeremy often spends weeks or months away from home at any one time. He has spent the last three months following the baton across Australia as part of the final 100 days countdown to the Games – when the baton is opened and the Queen’s message inside is read out by Prince Charles at the opening ceremony, it will signify the start of the 21st edition of the Games.

“My job as photo journalist is to document the passage of the Queen’s Baton Relay – this is the largest relay in the history of the Games, spanning 388 days, and covering 230,000 kilometres,” Jeremy said. “My days are full-on taking stills and shooting video, before editing the images and sending them to the Gold Coast media team for distribution to media around the world, and upload onto the official Games social media accounts.”

Jeremy said that his average day following the baton will start at 7am. He’ll track runners carrying the baton for miles on end through the countryside on some legs, while on others the baton will be passed from person to person every few hundred metres.

He described visits to schools, where the baton is carried around sports fields by pupils, and the showcasing of the baton at tourist hotspots. Top athletes will often carry the baton, and Jeremy recalled capturing David Rudisha and Lynsey Sharp in action, while he will also follow the baton on visits to local TV stations and to evening receptions hosted by the Australian High Commissioner or Governor General. Typically, at the end of the day, Jeremy will edit between 800 and 1,000 photos to select the best 20 to send back to Australia.

Despite long days working, and plenty of travelling, Jeremy has managed to find time for running in his hectic schedule.

“You make the most of free time when you get it,” he said. “If we have a later start such as 9am I can get out a run before work. On the Africa leg of my trip early in 2017 one of my colleagues was very into keeping fit and he and I set ourselves a challenge of doing a run in each country outside of the hotel grounds – I tried to keep that going through the whole year. In the end I think I managed to run in about 35 of the 40 countries I visited.”

“It was a great challenge to do because it plays into my love for travel and adventure. I combine running with photography. I love getting up and out while the light is really beautiful. You get to see a different side to where we are staying and it is great to look back and say ‘I had a good run there’, even if I manage out for only 5k. Photography is a young man’s game. I know running keeps me healthy and sharp and that is a big thing for me,” he said.

Of all the runs he has done while away, and all the places he has been, there are a couple of particular highlights.

Jeremy said: “Last December, in Vanuatu, the schedule that week was not quite as intense so I got out running four times. The hotel was next to a lagoon. I went out very early in the morning because of the heat. One morning I went out at 5am and I found myself running in a place that was so lush and beautiful. The environment was so beautiful I found myself laughing out loud. I was thinking to myself how lucky I was to be there, have the health to run, and how happy I was.”

 

 

“During the Africa leg we visited Iten in Kenya, the home of great distance running. We did not have a lot of time there, but a colleague and I wanted to squeeze a quick run in to say we ran in Iten so we ran up to under where the iconic sign of ‘Welcome to Iten Home of Champions’ stands. It was really pleasing to be there and see the town, and a nice little moment,” he said.

Jeremy’s links to the Commonwealth Games began back in 2012 when he successfully tendered for one of the photographer jobs for the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, his love of running developed before then while he was living in Japan and training for the Tokyo marathon. It was during a rare trip back home that Jeremy’s association with Bellahouston Harriers began.

“I chose Bellahouston Harriers because I saw the distinctive vest,” Jeremy said. “I saw someone wearing the vest at Parkrun and I thought ‘wow that just looks amazing’. I came down to the club for a few weeks and really enjoyed mixing with like-minded people.”

After returning permanently from Japan, Jeremy joined the club in October 2016. His love of the club vest led him to organise a photo shoot for members where they had the opportunity to have portraits taken in their vests.

“I have been a professional photographer for 28 years and I am a believer in doing personal jobs,” Jeremy said. “It helps you to keep sharp and polish up aspects of your work that you need to work on. I wanted to portray the cross section of the people who run for the club and ‘run for the vest’, from the fast guys to the slower members.”

During his time as member, Jeremy has also beautifully documented the club’s 125 year anniversary celebrations and captured the atmosphere at a winter track session. He harbours longer term ambitions in movie-making.

“I am trying to write screenplay for a movie,” Jeremy said. “It will be set on a boat in the North Sea and was inspired years ago by the time I spent photographing on fishing trawlers. I am excited by the imagery I could put to it.”

 

Clyde Built – Shipbuilding on the River Clyde

I’m pleased to announce that some of my archive work, of shipbuilding on Glasgow’s River Clyde in the 1990’s, has been published as a small book, and is due to be exhibited over the summer here in Glasgow.

Jeremy Sutton Hibbert — Shipbilding on the River Clyde

The photographs, shot in the Kvaerner, Yarrow and Ferguson’s shipyards on the River Clyde, have been published as a limited edition book by the industrious Craig Atkinson at Café Royal Books: ‘Shipbuilding on The River Clyde’.

A selection of the work from the book will be exhibited, in a group show ‘Govan / Gdansk’ at Street Level Photoworks gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, from 4th June until 31st July.

The show opening is Friday, June 3rd, at 6pm if you’re in the neighbourhood and would like to pop by. My book will be on sale at the show also, and on Saturday 4th June I’ll be talking about the work at the gallery. Please join us!

The book and exhibition were showcased a few days back by the Daily Record. You can read the article here, and here’s how it looked in a pretty decent spread.

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This exhibition at Street Level, curated by director Malcolm Dickson, will encompass the work of four photographers- Michal Szlaga of Poland, Nick Hedges of England, Raymond Depardon of France, and myself. The works on show link the shipyards of Govan in Glasgow and Gdansk in Poland and their post-industrial decline and resilience.

Michal Szlaga’s ‘Stocznia/Shipyard – Documents of Loss’ is the outcome of a 15 year project in which Szlaga has documented the buildings of the Gdansk Shipyard, their gradual demolition and the construction of new ones. For Szlaga, the shipyard represents a dynamic landscape of industrial architecture reflecting history and its people, the images loaded with memories of the turbulent times of the anti-communist revolution.

In 1980, the French Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon was commissioned by the Sunday Times to record aspects of Glasgow and the evocative results are now lauded as telling an unremittingly bleak portrayal of urban deprivation and decay. In 1968 Nick Hedges was commissioned by the housing charity Shelter to document the abject living conditions being experienced in slum housing in the UK, including Glasgow. The images here are from the seminal and humanistic body of work ‘A Life Worth Living’, which, like Depardon’s work, see children happily at play against the backdrop of the Govan cranes, evidence of a community spirit unthwarted by the harsh realities of life.  Shot for editorial clients, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s ‘Shipbuilding’ from the mid-1990’s is a critical time capsule at the Kvaerner shipyards in Govan which catches the monumentality of this industry and the people who drove it. 

Jeremy Sutton Hibbert — Shipbilding on the River Clyde

Jeremy Sutton Hibbert — Shipbilding on the River Clyde

The exhibition ‘Govan/Gdansk’ and the programme of events around the exhibition are organised in association with an RSE – funded research network on Regeneration and Waterfront Heritage Zones, exploring participatory approaches to waterfront regeneration in urban spaces in transition in Northern European cities. The main case studies of regeneration focus on Govan and wider Glasgow (Scotland) and Gdansk (Poland), each of which are dealing with the consequences of the post-industrial demise of the shipbuilding industry, trying to find a transition into a new economy and community.

Associated Events:

Street Level Photoworks | 4th June 2016, 1-4pm
Symposium: Attracted to dereliction? Documenting post-industrial heritage

•  Prof Katarzyna Kosmala (UWS) Introduction – Gdansk/Govan; Govan/Gdansk
•  Michal Szlaga talk and tour of the works
•  Dr Waldemar Affelt (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, and the Main Conservation Commission to the General Conservator of the Polish Republic) addressing issues of documenting and conversation, linking to his on-going research on Gdansk shipyard and post-industrial regeneration.
•  Talks: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Chris Leslie
•  Discussion facilitated by Graham Jeffery (UWS)

 

UWS, School of Media Culture and Society, Paisley Campus | 3rd June 2016, 1-3pm, Room A100

Seminar is free and open to public. To register pls email: Susan.Caldwell@uws.ac.uk  by 31 May.

UWS research seminar series:  Panel on politics of regeneration, artists lens and community engagement with Polish artist Michal Szlaga’s video screening

•  Chair Prof Katarzyna Kosmala (UWS)
•  Dr Waldemar Affelt (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, and the Main Conservation Commission to the General Conservator of the Polish Republic) discussing his collaboration with Michal Szlaga in Gdansk shipyard, problematizing the heritage value of the site.
•  Roman Sebastyanski (UWS) addressing Gdansk shipyard regeneration through artists lens and public participation.
•  Dr Peter Matthews (Stirling University) discussing politics around connecting communities to/in post-regeneration era.

Alongside the exhibition we will be selling copies of Raymond Depardon’s ‘Glasgow’.
112 pages, 30x23cm, £20, and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s ‘Shipbuilding on the River Clyde’ on Cafe Royal Books, £7.

Recent Tear Sheets

Here’s a couple of tear sheets from recent work…

First up, nice usage of some photography I shot on assignment for Greenpeace in Iitate, near Fukushima, in Japan, covering the nuclear radiation decontamination efforts there. It’s a shocking state of affairs there, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from finished and it is estimated the clean up will take at least another 40 years…but of course Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government wish to present a clean, decontaminated face to the world as the 2020 Olympics looms.

Here’s the cover and a spread from the recent Greenpeace report which used the images, and which makes for sobering reading.

GP1

Image above shows a Japanese worker ‘decontaminating’ the forest, one stone at a time…the moss will grow back in weeks, and be contaminated due to the radiation held within the soil. A couple more spreads below from within the report…

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Another tear sheet just popped in to the studio is the below, a series of images shot for Historic Scotland magazine documenting a day in the life of one of their Rangers, and a journalist trying out the job for the day.  It was a fascinating reportage and portrait shoot, on Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, granting me a fascinating insight in the park life, its history and the archaeology of the area.

The job required it was shot in mid-Winter, but the brief required the images to look like Spring as that is when the article would run in the magazine. The day of the shoot was a cold, dark, grey, winter day. Nothing like spring. But then the clouds parted and for 10 minutes there was blue sky and sunshine. I shot like crazy. Hey presto, spring time.

Alas, I was disappointed by the usage of the images, by the spread. The design wasn’t to my liking so much, but the client was happy and that ultimately is the aim.

HistScot1

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More tear sheets to come soon…