My Political Position

political_compassI feel comfortable close to Gandhi. Try the test yourself at the Political Compass Site. The same site shows just how little choice there is in UK politics at the upcoming general election. The SNP are still left of centre – but only just. Naturally I should be voting Green only.

Political Compass analysis of UK 2015 General Election parties. Click to visit the site.


Railway People

At the end of last year I saw an exhibition of photographs at Edinburgh Central library. They were prints from negatives that had been found in a biscuit tin by historian Archie Foley and put on display with the help of photographer Peter Ross. The photographs had been taken in the 1950s and 1960s by an unknown photographer based in Edinburgh. It is apparent from the subject matter that he was a driver on the railways. Many of the shots are of rail workers in and around Edinburgh.

I was fascinated and left a comment saying I would like to print some of the negatives. I was thinking of my own project on Botanics People and wondering if I could some how develop a project linked to people working on the railways.

Archie got in touch. We met and he kindly leant me some of the negatives to look through. Below are six that I chose to print.

EHrail50s012 EHrail50s010 DSCF3433 DSCF3425 DSCF3424 DSCF3422

There are some lovely photos amongst the negatives but I was looking for photos where it felt possible to connect with the people and there weren’t so many of those.

I don’t feel it will be possible to develop this into a project using my own photos just now, unless I can find someone enthusiastic who can give me access to modern rail workers, then it may be worth going through Archie’s negatives with a fine tooth comb.

I still feel it has been a worthwhile exercise. It is lovely to see ‘normal’ (extraordinary) people looking across half a century from locations that are close by but have changed so dramatically.

[I am not sure of the copyright of these images. If the photographer is identified I believe it will rest with his estate for seventy years after his death. Failing that it resides with Archie. Please respect this and don’t reproduce these images without Archie’s permission]

Edinburgh Allotmenteers 2015

Robert Unwin working in the botanicsEdinburgh Allotmenteers is my new project for 2015. It builds on my 100 Portraits project that lead to the Botanics People exhibition.

The goal of the project is to produce a folio of around a dozen A3 prints and possibly a small exhibition. To get to this point I will aim to interact with and photograph as many people as possible across the Edinburgh allotment scene. Hopefully the images can be of use to organisations such as FEDAGA and SAGS as well as make a few people smile along the way.

I have been talking with Jenny at the Edible Gardening Project  and hope to work with some of her volunteers as a starting point then move on to allotments around the city as the weather warms up and the light comes back.

Images that I consider successful and posts about my progress will be included here.


Grown men love bears too

DSCF3399A couple of years ago I bought a £1 bear from Ikea and made him some clothes. Occasionally I like to do this kind thing. It is comforting. He is the bear on the right. I thought he was lonely and bought him a wife. But she was naked for a long time. This year when my daughter asked what I wanted for Christmas I said some clothes for the lady bear. So she made clothes and we now have a couple. They don’t have names but they have a dog – I’m not sure where he came from – possibly Ikea as well. They did have a tiny, felt, black cat but she has gone missing. I hope she didn’t end up in the bin.

I think of them as a shepherd and his wife. Quite peasant like. If I was better at sewing then they would be POSH bears but I’m not so they will have to stay poor.