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John McKissock's Glasgow

Beautiful, painterly images of Scotland's largest city by Glaswegian photographer John McKissock.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

John McKissock's Glasgow

Things are so grim right now that we thought readers might appreciate some 'time out' to savour something a bit special.

When we first saw some of John McKissock's photographs via Twitter we thought they were paintings. We asked John if he'd ever exhibited his work and he seemed quite surprised to be asked. Although we've never met the man he comes across as very modest. Several other tweeters, including Grousebeater (aka Gareth Wardell) repeated our praise so we asked John if he would mind us showcasing some of his Glasgow images. We're delighted that he said yes.

We hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Here's John to introduce himself:

'Soon after joining Twitter I found in it a travelling stream of the most vibrant and informative expressions of the Scottish independence movement. Twitter was where it was at, and an antidote to the downbeat partisan lies about Scotland told by press and TV reporting. I had to do my bit.
A problem was I never seemed to have enough spare time to gain in-depth knowledge of political players and their characters. In early days I was overawed by Twitter members whose comments were surefooted and informed, whilst mine were hit and miss to say the least.
It appeared that my most effective deployment would be to post images of my home town, (and other places that drew themselves to my attention), along with pro-indy comments, to counter the weight of negative propaganda about Glasgow and Scotland.
Glasgow is not a place to take for granted.  It is a place that should make your jaw drop on a regular basis. All that is required is to look with mindful concentration.
I try to produce images that make the mundane seem unfamiliar and interesting and get people to stop and think about what they are looking at on their daily rounds. With a mind properly attuned the subconscious will stop you in your tracks every day as its wee sharp elbow lets you know there is something worth seeing. I am always very happy when someone says I have caused them to look at the city afresh, perhaps posting their own, magical, images.
I have no training in photography and all my photos in recent years have been taken with a phone. I have never owned a high-end camera. I stress (perhaps overstress) in my account that the demographic I represent is the ordinary Glasgow punter from a working-class family. There is nothing I do anyone else can’t replicate if they have the eye and the confidence. It took me ages to feel assured about my ability. If it is a plain message the message of my Twitter account is that there is nothing wrong with Glasgow, Scotland or native Scots. There is no defect that should prevent our resounding success as a self-governing people.
Life has given me some knocks in recent years, and I have been tempted to quit Twitter on a few occasions, but because of the pandemic I doubt I ever will. I was surprised by the number of people who said that my photos helped them cope in lockdown, or at least cheered them up during it. I believe that life should include elements of gratuitous service to the community. If posting snaps is the little I can do, I will continue to do it as long as I am able.'

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