Glasgow-based photographer Alan Dimmick has been documenting daily life in Scotland in black and white since the 70’s. He is best known for capturing the Glasgow music scene, from candid portraits of Justin Currie of Del Amitri to studio sessions with The Pastels. We talked to Alan about his extensive photo archive and where it all began.
Hello Alan, please introduce yourself to our community and tell us a bit about yourself?
I have been taking photographs for 40 years - since I was 16 or 17. I started the school photography club and building a darkroom in disused ladies toilets, selling photographs of girls to prospective boyfriends were always popular along with class group shots...ha..
How did you originally get into photography?
I studied for 3 years after school at the only college in Glasgow at that time to offer a course in Photography - I quite enjoyed it learning about the technical aspects - I had been totally self taught till then. In my final year I spent most of the time doing documentary photography within Glasgow and beyond.
A lot of your photos document the Glasgow music scene from around the early 80's. Tell us how you came to document this and why you chose to photograph this scene?
I was lucky for my work to be seen by Oscar Marzaroli who encouraged me - I managed to be included in a couple of exhibitions when I was still relatively young. After that I worked at The Mitchell Library for a little while before getting a bit involved with the Glasgow music scene in the early to mid 80s when I shared a flat with the band Del Amitri. I continued to photograph my family and things that interested me. Around the mid 90s I went to Transmission Art Gallery with an artist and noticed the interaction between people at the exhibition previews which interested - I started to photograph them and fairly quickly I started to document many of the art shows in Scotland as well as lots of art events. I have been doing that for over 20 years now but now trying to spend more time on my own archive of over 40,000 negatives...
What gear did you use?
The gear for my Black and White work early on was an OM1 which I saved up for at school in 1979 - During the 90s it would been a Nikon F3HP - I have now reverted back to using OM3/4tis with usually a 35mm f2 lens. I have many cameras ranging from Leica M4 and Rolleiflex, also a Voigtlander Bessa T with 35mm f1.4sc. I used to like Olympus XA and the Minox range at one time - as well as the Olympus Pen FT 1/2 frame camera. Always used HP5 developed in HC110 dev.
For more information about Alan's work and to purchase his book Alan Dimmick: Photographs 1977 - 2017, please visit his website