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Colin McPherson: An Independent Eye

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Colin McPherson: An Independent Eye
01 March - 14 April, Hillhead Library, Glasgow

For over 20 years leading up to the final print run of the Independent in March 2016, photographer Colin McPherson worked on a freelance basis for the newspaper, initially based in Scotland then in the north west of England, covering hundreds of stories and contributing thousands of images to the ‘Indy’.

Over the years, McPherson attended major news and sporting events, shooting features and other assignments which took him all over the nations of the United Kingdom and beyond.

Founded in 1986, the Independent had a unique way of presenting its photography, often giving equal prominence to pictures and text. Its reproduction of stunning black-and-white imagery marked the Independent as groundbreaking and daring and led many other publications to follow suit in their layout and design. In common with all major national newspapers, the Independent covered the day’s news in depth and detail, however, photographers working on the title, and its sister paper the Independent on Sunday were alway encouraged to ‘look for something different’ meaning photographers had creative licence to tackle stories in their own way, interpreting and representing the news according to their own vision. As well as tackling stories in a serious and thoughtful manner, photographers often captured moments of fun, irony and beauty.

After 2000, the Independent changed format and with it the impact of its photography lessened. The photographers working on the titles still continued to produce imagery of the highest quality and standard and throughout the last decade of the paper it went through a renaissance under picture editor Sophie Batterbury. The switch to digital-only content resulted in the picture desk staff being made redundant and an end to assignments for their photographers.

As the Independent passed into history, Colin McPherson published a small compendium of his images taken on assignment or reproduced in the paper to commemorate his contribution over two decades. Titled An Independent Eye, his photographs and original cuttings form the newspapers were then exhibited at Oriel Colwyn Bay to coincide with the first anniversary of the Independent turning into an internet-only publication.

For more information on Colin McPherson’s photography please visit www.colinmcpherson.com or follow him @germanocean.

Exhibition partnership with North Wales Photography Gallery, Oriel Colwyn.

Images: © Colin McPherson