The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Alasdair Roberts at The Mill Sessions

Steeped in traditional folk roots Alasdair Roberts has a very distinctive style. I first saw him playing at last year’s Midsummer Music Festival, where his acapella rendition of, The Sun Shines Down on Carlisle Wall, held the entire room spellbound. Last week he was back in the area to play at The Mill Sessions.

Quite often the only opportunity to do a photo shoot with the performers at Mill Sessions events is during the hour or so before the gig starts, which always feels a bit rushed. This time, however, Alasdair came down to Dumfries on the train around mid afternoon. I met him at the station and we had a wee bit of time before he was to meet up with Harry, who would be taking him along to Gatehouse.

I began trying to take some shots at Dumfries Station, but couldn’t get the right combination of light and environment. Strong sunlight cast harsh shadows I didn’t like, and the areas of shade all had unsympathetic backgrounds. We headed down to Dock Park, but it transpired the area I’d been thinking of was fenced off. Then the rain came down.

The ruins of Lincluden Priory were another option, although it’s not easily found as you have to find your way through the labyrinths of Lincluden housing estate and there are no signposts. The rain paused when we finally got there and I managed to get a few shots I was pleased with

Alasdair’s latest album is called A Wonder Working Stone, and according to Harry is the best thing he’s listened to this decade. The copies he brought with him for the gig all sold out, so I wasn’t able to get my hands on one immediately, but Alasdair’s promised to send me one this week and I’m looking forward to hearing it.

This was his encore piece at the Mill


hope said...

As usual, you don't know how to take a bad photo. :)

Love the 1st one.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - I do know how to take a bad photo. I also know not to post those ones ;)

hope said...

Well of course not. You're a PROFESSIONAL ;)

Anonymous said...

These photographs certainly work! I sure know sometimes it takes persistence.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I think I write comments in my head, and swear I've left them here, and when I check really is in my head.

I'm fascinated by how you made him look craggy, cut from stone, in the black and white photo.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - :)

Allen - the trick is making the final image look effortless - much like your incredible sketches :)

Guyana-Gyal - the advantage of black and white means you don't have to worry about skin colours clashing with stone colours - it's just the way the light falls that's important :)

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