News & Updates
About Mechanical Landscapes
Mechanical Landscapes is an unsophisticated fusion of my interests in black and white photography urbex, mechanical engineering and the industrial landscape. My other website theviewfromthenorth.org has been online since 2007, and out of that large body of work has emerged several themes. The logical consequence of all that is this website, which I like to think of as a portfolio of my better work and a showcase for my newer work.
I don't have much in the way of formal artistic training (which probably shows through in my photographs) as I'm an engineer by education and profession (which probably shows through in my photographs). My life has been spent living and working in the industrial landscape of Lancashire, forever staying, as David Plowden would say 'one step ahead of the wrecking ball', both as a photographer and in my engineering career. My photography is a reflection of this - I'm both an insider looking out, and an outsider looking in. I've spent my life naively figuring out ways round my own perceived limitations (usually doing things the hard way) and I've spent the past few years experimenting my way through 3 solo exhibitions, eighteen (and counting) 90 minute talks on my photography at camera clubs across the north of England and am on the second edition of my self published book 'Shadows of the North'. I've also had the privilege of being commissioned to shoot London Road Fire Station using the Samsung Galaxy S7 as part of the launch for O2 in the UK.
My aim is not just to present a record of the places I visit, but to present a 'creative treatment of actuality', a term coined by the Scottish filmmaker John Grierson. Black and white photography is a medium which allows me more leeway to express something beyond just 'I was here, this is what I saw'.
I also do a bit of writing, something else I've a lifelong love of but precious little talent for. But I persist - my main blog is at blog.mechanicallandscapes.com and there's also a few more in-depth articles on this area of my website - www.mechanicallandscapes.com/writing/.
I hope you enjoy the photographs on Mechanical Landscapes, please leave me any feedback (good or bad) via my contact page.
Amateur Photographer, 31st January 2009, 4th June 2011
Urban Realm, Brymbo Ironworks, Summer 2012
Lancashire Magazine, Accrington Conservative Club, January 2014
BBC News Online - March 2014, Backbarrow Ironworks magazine article (click here)
August - October 2014, Ebb and Flo Bookshop, Chorley
October 2014 - January 2015, Georgian House, Bolton
February 2015, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
June - December 2015, Queen Street Mills Textile Museum
O2 - Samsung Galaxy S7 Launch - link to press release.
Please contact me via the contact form at the bottom of this section or through the contact page (link in the banner at the top of the page).
Mechanical Landscapes – Exploring the Industrial North
This thought-provoking talk is approximately 90 minutes and is a wander through the remnants of the northern industrial landscape. Covering a diverse selection of sites such as the enormous slate quarries of Snowdonia, abandoned textile mills in Lancashire and Yorkshire, a disused underground coal mine, the bizarre landscapes of active steelworks, a beached passenger ship, as well as unique views of the inside of derelict cooling towers, this talk is somewhat different to the majority of camera club talks. The images are predominantly black and white, with splashes of colour.
This talk has now been presented to 15 camera clubs and is constantly evolving!
Beyond Mechanical Landscapes
As a follow on talk to Mechanical Landscapes, I have written this new 90 minute talk that follows a different format. The first half explores the idea of the industrial landscape being a backdrop to northern life, while the second half is a look at some ideas for presenting your photographs that I have experimented with - websites, exhibitions, books, etc. This is more of a 'why' than a 'how', as it's impossible to impart an authoritative body of knowledge in 45 minutes, but it provides a starting point for further exploration of the concepts.
Digital (Pictures to exe / Powerpoint)
Weekday evening talks - 50 mile / 1 hour radius of Chorley in Lancashire. I will consider talks further afield, but I am in full time employment so I am not in a position to travel long distances during the week.
Weekend talks - I am happy to consider talks at weekends further afield, please contact me to discuss.
Weekday evening talks - flat fee of £50 (includes whatever mileage I incur).
Weekend talks - minimum of £75, dependent on distance, etc.
I am delighted to have been invited to speak at the following clubs on these dates:
-Bolton Camera Club, Thursday 22nd June 2017
-Lincolnshire Monochrome, Sunday 2nd July 2017
-Rochdale and District Camera Club, 22nd August 2017
-Settle Photographic Group, Monday 18th September 2017
-Preston Photographic Society, Thursday 2nd November 2017
-Nantwich Camera Club, Tuesday 27th February 2018
-Accrington Camera Club, Friday 9th March 2018
-Halifax Photographic Society, Tuesday 24th April 2018
I have successfully held three solo exhibitions. At present I am concentrating on other projects, but please contact me if you are interested in hosting an exhibition, using some of my work, or would like to hold a joint exhibition - I have access to a large number of frames. I'm also happy to pass on some of my hard earned experiences if you are holding your own exhibtion!
Ebb and Flo Bookshop, Chorley
August - September 2014
Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
16th February - 1st March 2015
Queen Street Mills Textile Museum, Burnley
6th June - 1st December 2015