Ronnie Murphy Photography

Social Media Pitfalls

I was on Twitter for quite a while, 4 years plus.  But most of the time on that platform was taken up by things that had nothing to do with photography and that is why I started the account, to promote my work.  Twitter can be a political, social and sporting minefield that can drag you in to non-stop arguments with probably the most closed minded of people you will probably never ever meet.  Either they disagree with you, or more often it is you that disagrees with them and there is a tendency for you to let them know that!

So, working my way through those years it began to look less photographic and more opinions, debates and general annoyance, but I had over 1,250 followers which in Twitter terms is not bad. However not all (if any!) were following me for my work, instead it was my political leanings or location. To me that felt empty and wasteful.  Social media can be a timewaster though, but so often it masquerades as a time passer.  It takes a long while to realise it is the latter that is the case, and you are just bored looking for something to talk – or argue about.

Last month, I took the decision to restart my account and move away from that side.  I would concentrate more on following Photography and other Photographers and certainly not those photographers who have more opinions than pictures.  Do not get me wrong, what they do with their own account is their business.  But I need serenity in my life right now.   As Don McCullin put it, “I am sentencing myself to peace.”  

 

My Twitter feed is now full of pictures of landscapes, birds and flowers and last check, I was just short of 95 followers, mostly photographers.  The only “triggers” I see now are the ones they have used to take a picture and that is how I like it.  There is a whole load of photographers on there that have extraordinarily little following, but their pictures are stunning.  I guess they are there for the reasons I was, and I am now.

So here is a tip, have two accounts on social media if you are a photographer. One account where you post nothing but pictures and another where you can let your other expressiveness flourish.  For me, the two cannot mix.  Sometimes it is not what you are saying, but who is reading what you are saying.  A potential client who is looking for your services can be put off if they find you overly aggressive or tubthumping about issues they have a different view of – even if it comes down to a football team.  I am not saying do not be who you are but be who you are in a place where you are among friends and colleagues who know you, know your humour and your ideals.  In the end most people are looking for a photographer who will tell them how to pose, not how they should think.

Rannoch Moor

From Lockdown to Loch down!

Probably one of the most stunning roads in all of Scotland is the road that takes you to Glencoe and beyond in the Highlands.  This is the case most of the day and night.  I was so fortunate when working with the post office to be able to travel this road at many a time and it never got boring.  One of the best times is the early morning at dawn, where the mists start to gather, and the water is as still as can be and becomes Mother Nature’s mirror reflecting the hills behind and the rocks that come out of the shallow water of the Loch.

 Scotland has many Lochs.  ‘Loch’ is a Scottish word for Lake.  It is a body of water that is usually landlocked by heather/marsh covered hills that take on a different hue depending on the time of year or even the time of day!  The most famous are Loch Lomond and Loch Ness.  Loch Lomond is around 1 hour away from Glasgow and spans a great deal of the A82 that leads to the Highlands.  Loch Ness is located right beside the City of Inverness and is the supposed home of the Loch Ness Monster.   The Lochs in the pictures are Loch Sheil, Loch Leven and the bottom two images are of Loch Lochan na h-Achlaise or if you don’t speak Gaelic,  “Loch of the Armpit”  There is also Loch Ba that is hidden behind the mists in images 6 and 7. This part of the road is called Rannoch Moor.

 

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Spring is in the air!

You really can’t beat a bit of sunshine to bring about the ideal conditions for photography.

Yesterday, Spring at last showed itself and all of a sudden the lockdown world which had been up until now, dark, dreich* days with either rain, hail or snow (and that is just in the one day) with very little motivation to do much but sit it all out.

Where no motivation existed the sun brought out in me a bit of effort to use that fantastic light that spring sunshine has to offer and so after getting the car washed I filled a flask with tea and headed out for the wonderful Pollok Park on the South side of Glasgow.

With ‘lockdown’ still in place, many seek the lovely surroundings of Pollok Park for their daily exercise; with a hardy mix of dog walkers, joggers and cyclists it’s a great place to grab those people shots too. 

This time there was an added joy of buskers, singing outside the gates of Pollok House.  This must be a new thing as I haven’t seen them there before, but the singing although breaking the peaceful surroundings of the park was quite decent.   In a time where concerts are banned, folk will take any live entertainment they can get! 

Although the fauna is limited to spring bulbs, there was still plenty of colours to capture as well as some welcome signs that spring is in the air. Ladybirds and bees!  

It was great to finally get out again, and as depression was starting to settle in it gave me a little nudge to start to see a way out of these dark Covid days.  I decided to apply to do my HND in Photography and hopefully I will be accepted.  That it is along the road in Paisley means that it isn’t that much of a journey so fingers crossed. 🙂

Things are starting to look up again. 

*dreich – Scots word for wet, windy and generally miserable weather.

Ronpics Photography

Old Surroundings, New Buildings.

Well, what an interesting return to West College Scotland in Clydebank.

 When I left in 2019, they were constructing a building beside the college but it was not finished by the time I had left and to be honest no-one really had any idea what it was to be. Many of us thought it was a new health centre.  It turns out we got the H,e,a and t right.

This is the Queens Quay Heating Development.  A quite innocuous building too look at from a distance, but it boasts an amazing bit of architecture in it’s chimney. 

It is such an elaborate design of cladding/metalwork that not only catches the sun, but lights up a marvellous gold reflection when it does so…  Just spell bounding.

So, it was Frank, Cindy and myself, all former students that got a great surprise on return to an old stomping ground, where shots of the Titan Crane were all the rage – only because many photography tutors got sent into a rage if you even showed them a picture of it, there seems to be a new option to photograph for when the students return.  Hopefully that won’t be too long.

In a way I count myself lucky that I managed to do my studies pre-Covid. But I think many in my class would still have insisted I wore a mask… just for their own visual comfort.

Ronpics Photography

Street Photography in Glasgow

One thing I find most scary when it comes to photography is Street Photography.   There are many ideas of what actually constitutes what the term actually means.   For some it is the deliberate in your face, get a candid shot and show the bare bones of the human condition.  For others it is the somewhat voyeuristic look of watching people off guard.  Me?  I like it to be somewhere in between. 

 

Environment

Environment in Street Photography is the actual whole point of street photography, I think.  It is about not only capturing the subject, but subjects. There needs to be more than one thing to look at if it is a street photograph for me.  “Lived in” faces are fine, but they do not tell the whole story of that face. Indeed there are some who would argue that street photography does not actually need to have any humans at all, but then where is the reactions and interactions, and the body language that makes the picture? I think it is basically all about how you see it.  Which is why photography is so subjective.

Reactions/Interactions/Body Language

I think the pictures above represent most what I think Street Photography is, reactions can be passive interactive or even unknown.  The first pic is definitely in the ‘unknown’ because only one of the subjects can see the advert in the bus shelter.  The next picture shows passive where the 3 subjects are walking along the usually busy Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.  The last shows a bit of reaction as this US police car sits on St.Vincent Street and is noticed by the man passing by. 

Street Photography can be daunting, but isn’t the current climate much the same?