The other Edinburgh Tattoo

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Portraits are my favourite thing to shoot. I enjoy trying to bring out something of the character of the subject, and there was no shortage of character at the Edinburgh Tattoo Convention last weekend. I didn’t have a huge time to hang around due to another job, but was happy with the results I did get.

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Pictures of the month – February

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I met Big Issue vendors James Boan and Billy Lawrence at a church in Dundee when we were covering the tragic story that 12 people had died from drugs overdoses in the month of January alone. They were both on a methadone programme and chatted to The Times over sandwiches and soup made by elderly Christians about the difficulties in shaking off their addictions. You can see easily in their faces that their lives have been a challenge. It was the type of job where one small camera and a simple prime lens would suffice. Any more than that would draw unnecessary attention.

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Uppies and Doonies

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I left the Jedburgh Handba’ game wondering why someone hadn’t been maimed. Every year the men and boys of the borders town gather on the High Street to wrestle over a small leather ball with ribbons on it. Traffic continues as normal. The pitch is made of concrete. The only safety measure is that all of the shops board up their glass windows.

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At the coal face

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I can’t explain why I had a lump in my throat when I arrived at Kellingley Colliery a week before it closed and brought an end to coal mining in the UK. My dad wasn’t a miner, nor my grandfathers, but when I set foot in the place I was almost brought to tears.

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Wolf at the door

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I travelled with a colleague recently to the Alladale estate in northern Scotland. The owner of the estate, Paul Lister, is famous for his wish to re-introduce wolves to the area. He has some interesting ideas about humans and nature, saying that “animals are more civilised than humans”. The shoot was difficult because of relentless rain and freezing temperatures, but I came away with a few images that I liked.

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