Alan McClure is a teacher, musician and songwriter and one of the driving forces of local indie-folk-punk band, The Razorbills.
We were chatting recently about a direction I’m moving my photography in. As mentioned in a previous post, a lot of my photography is about created, rather than captured images – building narratives, telling stories. So I asked Alan, if he could be the hero in an image constructed specifically for him, what theme would he go for?
Castaway, was his reply.
No swinging through jungles or shooting bad guys or rescuing damsels in distress – what appealed was a sense of remoteness, devoid of people. I wondered if he’d had a particularly tough day at school, but didn’t pry.
I enquired, hopefully, if he had a budget that would stretch to flying us out to a Caribbean island, but he was quite insistent it could just as easily be a remote Scottish island as a tropical one. Still, a trip to the Outer Hebrides might be fun, but as the thought was entering my mind he said, "Carrick beach would probably look the part". Carrick is less than 10 miles from where he lives. I silently cursed.
On the upside it did mean we wouldn’t have to share a small tent exposed to the full force of the Atlantic winds and weather (I doubt a teacher’s income would ever have stretched to a cosy B&B, let alone a luxury hotel).
So one evening last week we headed out to Carrick just before sunset to see what it might be like as a potential location. However, Alan brought along some wood just in case the conditions were right.
The tide was out and as the sky darkened the temperature started dropping. Alan lit the fire in a manner of someone who’s done this kind of thing since he was a boy scout, and long since realised some firelighters and a match are an awful lot easier than rubbing two sticks together (although he assured me he could do it that way if need be).
I tried a variety of shots, and periodically driftwood was sought to keep the fire going, but in the end the most effective were where I used the wide-angle lens, which is ideal for capturing a sense of space.
These were my favourite from the shoot. Feel free to click on any of the images for larger versions.