Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Would like to meet


Now envy isn’t the nicest of emotions, but I am willing to admit to being be a tad envious of Stonehead this week, he’s not had such a good run of things of late, what with his teeth an’ all, but this week he’s had a bit of a treat, (well it would be for me) the Stonehead croft is to feature in an article about smallholding’s, in the Observer newspaper, it’s not the article that has brought out the green eyed monster in me , what I know about running a smallholding, would just about fill a post card not a magazine article, no, it’s the fact that the photographs to accompany the article are to be taken by Murdo McLeod

I have been ‘Murdo spotting’ as it’s become know in this house, for the best part of two decades, he is my favourite photo journalist, my appreciation of his work all started way back, when Mr Uhdd and I lived in Scotland, I had a daily commute, to Edinburgh, on the outward journey I read the Guardian, on my return Journey it was the Scotsman newspaper ( it was particularly important not to fall asleep on the way home, or I would end up in Inverness, which was along way from our home.)

Never since have I managed to read two newspapers a day, but even when work and family commitments have curtailed my reading, I’ve usually managed a quick glance at the pictures (I’m a visual sort of gal) and I can spot a Murdo from a good distance, it’s the way they are lit and composed not to mention the landscape that the majority are taken in.  Mr Uhdd and I have often debated, would Scottish news items get as many column inches if it were not for the imagery of Murdo McLeod, which came first the chicken or the egg? I usually cut and paste images from the Internet with gay abandon, but such is my respect for this mans work, that I couldn’t possible reproduce his work with out permission, so if you are at all interested, you will have to go and look for yourself.

My three favourite

Drugs users in Glasgow, arresting, powerful edgy

Reportage on the foot and mouth outbreak 2001, harrowing, sad, angry

Roy Keane and the ravens skull, simply a hypnotic photograph.

I would love to spend a day just watching how he does it;  so who  dear reader would you like to meet, past or present, one person who you would want to see at their work, do please tell.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “Would like to meet

  1. David Attenborough, without a shadow of a doubt. I entered a couple of BBC Wildlife Magazine competitions when I was a kid, with a day with Sir David as the first prize, but never won. Boooooo.

    Also Richard Branson. I just think he’s really cool.

  2. I’ve seen some of his pictures without ever asking myself who took them. Totally amazing. Envy isn’t nice, but I’ve got it too.

    Who would I like to spend a day with to watch them work? Hmmm. I think probably it would have to be a dancer. Ballet probably. One of the greats … Nureyev? Mikhail Baryshnikov?

  3. I love watching people work at whatever they’re passionate about. Actors, engineers, farmers, poets, barbers, molecular biologists, fishing guides, priests, politicians, the guys who work on my well . . . could never pick just one!

  4. Thanks for the links to Murdo MacLeod and his photography. I can see why you appreciate his work. He captures so much of the story in each photo ~ he certainly has an eye, using various perspectives, contrast, etc, resulting in very dramatic shots.

  5. I would have loved to have talked to Alfred Wainwright.
    Lots of others but he stands out the most

    If your talking about someone who is still of this world. My cycling hero Sean Kelly

  6. For me it has to be James Stewart. xx

  7. The Observer article was brought forward by a week and the photo shoot had to be rescheduled. That meant Murdo couldn’t do it. Instead, we had Martin Hunter who’s a very good portrait photographer from Glasgow.

    He was here for four hours yesterday, and did three separate set ups. One with us, a pig hut and a pig out on the hill with the view to the mountains as the backdrop; one of the Other Half and I contemplating; and one of the family sitting on a drystone dyke with another country view behind.

    There are some really stunning photos amongst them, with several having the look, feel, drama and emotion of a Thomas Gainsborough painting. They’re the sort of photos you’d expect to see in a major photography exhibition in a national art gallery. (Martin was well chuffed when I said that to him.)

    The hill view set-up took about an 90 minutes to set up (carrying the pig hut, getting a pig out, getting positioning and lighting right) and about 30 minutes to shoot (as Martin tried to get the right combination of us, pig and changing natural light).

    The other two set-ups took about 40 minutes to prepare and 15-20 minutes to shoot.

    It was an exhausting job for Martin and his assistant Neil, and for us! (I’ll post more on my blog later.)

    Anyway, who would I like to see in action?

    Any master blacksmith, weaponsmith, armourer, wainwright, wheelwright, cooper or old-fashioned, village carpenter.

  8. Oops, I should have said Martin was here for six hours (2pm to 8pm). Looks like my maths skills are declining with age. The extra time was spent on looking the place over, trying set ups that didn’t work, and the odd cuppa and biscuit.

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