WE'LL TAKE DUNDEE
GONE THE WATERFRONT
Photographing Dundee before it changes
Back in June 2013 I embarked on a joint project with a very talented singer/songwriter/musician and close friend. Nicola Madill has grown up in Dundee and still lives there today, because of this, as well as here being one of my favourite models to work with she made the perfect collaborator.
Our project became a front page feature in The Courier's Weekend supplement. Follows a series of extracts from that article, some key shots and some narrative from me around the background to the shoot.
The history of this starts with my passion for David Bailey photography, and a conversation Nicola and I were having about a particular shared favourite of both of ours - his iconic We'll Take Manhattan shoot in the 60's with Jean Shrimpton who then went on to be his muse and later his wife. Bailey's shoot captured in a magical way the juxtaposition of the raw Manhattan streets and the fresh edgy fashion that was just emerging at the time. The idea to pay homage to Bailey and create a similar story board which also documented the significant change and regeneration of the city of Dundee felt natural to us.
We knew that finding the right locations for the shoot was all important. Nicola's local knowledge proved invaluable here. As well as the obvious Dundee landmarks, she was able to take me to some hidden gems.
The derelict building in the slideshow above lays between Broughty Ferry and Dundee and has been empty for years. It has an imposing presence and gives a real sense of the urban decay we were trying to document.
Spex Pistols in Johnstone's Lane has a real retro vibe and made the perfect location for the Bailey shot of Shrimpton in an arcade.
And the teddy in the shot (that's so important to the recreation of Shrimpton holding her bag and teddy), well it was 'borrowed' from our son Sonny. Keeping it in the family once again!
The Tay rail bridge
features prominently recapturing the spirit of Bailey's 1960s work.
The following story board shows our images in relation to the David Bailey shots from back in the 60s. We were keen to draw on the messages that Bailey and Shrimpton were creating in their shoot so similar placement and staging was very important to us.
This was a doorway that we felt told a story of Dundee in years gone by.
The Keep Left sign that drivers will recognise from joining Riverside from Magdalen Yard Road became a surprising feature shot.