Glasgow West End: Jim's West End Photo Diary February 2000

My picture gallery contains; photographs of the West End of Glasgow, photographs of Glasgow, and photographs of Scotland.

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February 20th

I'm still going through my night-time photography phase and it's proving to be a humbling experience - in as much as the majority of photographs I have taken have turned out to be absolute rubbish. My most notable failure was last Wednesday evening when, being unable to hold back my new found enthusiasm for photography I told Pat I was "away out to photograph Glasgow University" which is always lit up at night at looks magnificent. This was after 9pm and all traces of daylight had long since gone.

Anyway I was a happy trouper and felt I was off on an adventure - which it turned out to be. The University building is a truly magical sight and I enjoyed the experience of standing in the pitch dark with my camera and tripod feeling I was taking great dramatic photographs (subsequently this turned out to be far from the truth). The grounds surrounding the University are closed at night so to get as near as possible at one point I had climbed up the hill off of Kelvin Way and was taking photographs through the cast iron railing of the University gate. As I was doing this I noticed two shadowy figures re-tracing my footsteps up the hill behind me. Their ascent was sporadic, with frequent stops for consultation. I was getting a bit worried - thinking that perhaps they where discussing the exact methods they would use to relieve me of my tripod and my camera. I continued to photograph - denying myself too much leeway on the imagination front.

Eventually they arrived - and turned out to be two Americans ( or were they Canadians - if you are reading this excuse my bad manners) also intent on some evening photography - but not as content as myself to remain outside the grounds of the Univeristy. They were looking for a way in - because they were on work trips and wouldn't have another opportunity to visit. After a short - not entirely flowing conversation ( where no-one exchanged names and at one point I said "I'm taking photographs", to which one replied "we know") - they left with the information that my evening shots would eventually appear on this Website.

Glasgow University Tower at night War and Peace Stature at Kelvin Way Bridge

So here are the best two from that night and another evening photograph (below) which I took, last Saturday or Sunday, in a very wintry Byres Road (I'm standing under the bus shelter next to Hillhead underground station, looking north I think). The University photograph you will recognise from the description of the story above. The photograph (above and to the right) I took on the same night and is one of the four bronze statues by Paul Raphail Montford that frame the Kelvin Way Bridge. The statues represent; Navigation and Shipbuilding (south east pillar), Commerce and Industry(south west) , Philosophy and Inspiration (north West) and War and Peace. The picture above represents the War part of War and Peace.

A wet and windy Byres Road

February 5th

I have bought a tripod for my new SLR camera so I can try taking some evening photographs. I left work a little early on Thursday evening with the specific goal of photographing the Kibble Palace - a spectacular sight when it is all lit up. Mostly the results I got where disappointing but this picture below looked interesting - proving that the Kibble Palace really is a spaceship as I suggested in last month's diary.

Kibble Palace at Night

February 4th

My car has been off the road for the last week getting some seriously expensive work done on it. It's is a long story of mechanical woe which just might not be over yet - even thought I have now got it back I still feel the car is not running right. Being vehicle-less I have walked home from work on a couple of occasions this week - which has given me the opportunity to take some early evening photographs.

Charing Cross Mansions

I had spotted how nice the Charing Cross Mansions looked in the evening while walking past them a couple of days ago - but I didn't have my camera so I resolved to take a photograph the next time I came by. This is it - taken on my Ricoh R1 compact camera. I gave this camera some abuse in my diary last month - blaming the camera for my poor photography. What is it that they say about a workman and his tools?

Woodlands Road in the Evening

At this point, I have just passed Charing Cross and I am walking up Woodlands Road. I liked the look of this colourful taxi - set against stark outline of the church in the background.

February 1st

I spent a full hour wandering around and taking pictures in the Kibble Palace and the Main Range of glasshouses on Saturday - both of which are located in the Botanic Gardens. I had to go somewhere to avoid the rain which had started to come down in buckets. A visit to the glasshouses turned out to be a good choice; the Kibble Palace was warm, pleasant and beautiful; and as I walked into the Main Range I was welcomed with the vivid colour and intoxicating smell of a winter flower display. I took some pictures of this rather amazing flower on what is aptly named the Powder Puff Tree ( also called Calliandra inaequilatera) which is a native of Tropical America.

Powder Puff Tree

In the Kibble I took pictures of all the statues - apart from one - which I missed because I ran out of film. I also missed a good opportunity for a photograph. A little girl walking past with her mother pretended to take a picture of me with her toy camera. I spoke to them both and gave the little girl my camera to take a picture - which she did and seemed pleased. Unfortunately I never asked them their names and never asked if I could take their photograph - sad to say I have not quite developed the 'mind-set' of a real photographer yet.

Kibble Palace Statue Kibble Palace Statue

Kibble Palace Statue Kibble Palace Statue

Kibble Palace Statue

Here are the photos of the statues that I took as I went around - it was amazing how the colour and effect of the light changed as I walked around the circle of the main Kibble Palace dome. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has information about the statue names, who made them? when they where made?etc.

Ok I'll admit it I think these are the best photos I've ever taken in my life. I think there are a few reasons; the light was just right, I had a lucky day, it must have been a good spool of film, the subjects where not going anywhere, and finally I am now using a good camera ( see January's diary for details). The compact camera I had up until a couple of weeks ago was a good camera but it wasn't giving me anywhere near as good a picture as this old Canon T90 camera I've got now. I think one of the differences is that - in terms of composition - you get what you see through the lens (well at least 94% of it). With the compact I never knew what I was going to get when the pictures came back from the developers.

I have a selection of my photographs for sale in the Gallery Shop.


Finaly managed to access your page, looks great! didn't manage to look at it all yet, it's big!!!! The pictures are good, they make me think of home. Jane cant believe how beautiful the buildings are. Anyway got to go. See you around easter, see ya.

Peter and Jane.
--Peter and Jane ( PBYRNE at quista dot net ) from Scotland on 27.2.2000; 0:00:00 Uhr

Regarding the rainy picture - A Glaswegian when asked what is the weather like in Glasgow replies 'well it's either raining or about to!
--frances duffy ( f dot duffy at dial dot pipex dot com ) from Scotland on 23.2.2000; 0:00:00 Uhr

Delete this and type your comment here.
--jenny singleton ( e-mail at your dot host ) from Scotland on 9.2.2000; 0:00:00 Uhr