Pipe Major Gordon Walker

This is a special post for the festival.

The majority of the work I do is candid with people either not being aware of me or not being aware until I’ve already grabbed the photo. Regardless, every now and again it’s handy to do some more intense work with a good subject. One of these sessions I wanted to do was with a piper as he was preparing to perform, which ended up with me chasing Pipe Major Gordon Walker down the stairs after his lunchtime recital on Wednesday. Luckily he is a really nice gentleman and allowed me to take a few portraits once we’d returned to the room his kit was stored in and he very generously agreed to allow me to come along to the piobaireachd he would be performing at the College of Piping the following day with a view to photographing him as he prepared.

As a result, I ended up photographing him at a number of events through the week from the Masters Solo piobraireachd (the first few photos), through the lunchtime recital (the next few) to the College of Piping piobaireachd of the day (the rest of the bulk).

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Piping Live! Thursday 15th.

Another long, incredibly fun, day around Piping Live! with a good mix of new and (very recently) old faces. It’s approaching 1am and I’ll be up by 6:30am, so as always here are a few photos from the day with no corrections or processing. That will come for the full project set when I have the time in the next few weeks.

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Bonus photo of the day.

Just one last little photograph tonight…

I wear glasses, which is not a helpful thing at all when it comes to photography. When I’m providing photo tuition I can regularly be found telling my students to make sure they look all around the viewfinder, right to the edges, before taking a photo. Well, if I wear my glasses, I can’t see to the edges – not even close! So for many years I’ve got into the habit of lining up with my subject matter, removing glasses and holding in left hand while cupping the lens with it too, snapping, then replacing glasses. I’ve got quite smooth with it these days… most of the time.

Now, I do have my viewfinder corrected for my vision, so I can see find while looking through it. But for those couple of seconds between removing my glasses and raising the viewfinder to my eye, this is roughly what I see.

Yes, I took this photo deliberately. No, it wasn’t an accident!

Piping Live! Tuesday 13th.

Today was a little shorter than planned. I had intended getting a bit more sleep and arriving at Piping Live! around midday … but a client got hold of me and it ended up being around 4:30pm when I finally limped in. No matter, I made it in time to catch the 10th Birthday Tune Competition Final. Then I ended up watching people move chairs about and setting up tables for the festival club. Finally I attended the RT Shepherd International Quartets Competition and I have to say that I was placed in the best seat in the house for my non-moving photographic needs. 1st circle, front row, bang in the middle. Perfect location!

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Piping Live! 2013 – Monday 12th.

OK, I’ve just about survived the second day of the Piping Live! festival. Frankly, this would be a little easier if I would stop waking up at 5:30am. By 6pm I’m exhausted and end up coming home shortly after. Which, given I want to attend the open piping thingy in some bar on Great Western Road tomorrow evening and then the Festival Club which opens at 10:30pm and goes on to the rather small hours, is not as helpful as you might think!

Regardless, I had a great day and got a few photos I’m happy with again. I’m very quickly being reminded how busy festivals like this are and how cluttered backgrounds tend to be and given I love simple, minimalist, clean lines in photos… this is not ideal for my normal style of photography! Rapid and heavy adapting going on through the day at present.

Who knows, tomorrow I may even say “Hi!” to one of the other festival photographers… hmm.

I’ve selected 7 photos from today after whittling the list down quite heavily. Most of which I’m using to show the detail of the festival rather than the scene as a whole. Tomorrow that may change, but right now I’m quaffing wine and need to get this post live while I can still see the screen. Enjoy, or not, either way there is a comments box below!

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The first day of Piping Live! 2013.

This year, Piping Live! is 10 years old and I thought it would be nice to photographically document the festival to build up a story of everything that goes on. Handily, the organiser and directors agreed with me and have been extremely generous and helpful ensuring I have as much access to the festival and events as I need. This project would simply not have been possible without their support.

I’m going to try, depending on how exhausted I am when I get home, to upload just a few photos each day through the festival. I certainly won’t have time to do any form of post processing, so the photos will be straight out of the camera – not always a good thing! Make sure you check back daily to catch the updates. The first day was a rather relaxed affair with just a few events to get people into the spirit of the festival before the full schedule from tomorrow onwards. So…

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