There are many different things that make Glasgow great but near the top of that list would be the people and the buildings. We caught up with Tony Clerkson who specialises in capturing the buildings and the people of Glasgow and had a few words about what he was doing, what he likes about Glasgow how it has changed over the years.

So Tony, what do you do?

I’m a multi-genre photographer, which means that I take photographs of everything depending on the mood and what is available. Sometimes I go out and shoot landscapes, sometimes if I’ve an idea in my head I go out and take some urban geometry pictures. I also like capturing people, whether it’s portraits or street photography. I’ve also recently started doing news, music and sports photography as well. I’m happy to tackle everything.

Squinty Bridge at Dusk - River Clyde - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Squinty Bridge at Dusk - River Clyde - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Do you have a favourite?

It really does just depend on my mood. Scotland is a beautiful country and it is great to capture its stunning landscapes. But, then again, I’ve always liked city photography. Walking about town and taking photographs of the people and situations is good. I haven’t done as much reportage as I would have liked since I got back, but I hope to change that in the near future. Sometimes it’s just a case of getting your eye back in. I’m always photographing something though.

You say you’ve moved back, which obviously means you’ve been away. Where have you been and how does Glasgow compare to where you’ve been?

I never lived in Glasgow at the time, but we were in here most weekends as teenagers, looking for records or new clobber. I think it was the Crazy House at the Tolbooth for Crombies and Jack the Lad along Argyle Street for Sta-Prest, Harringtons, Fred Perry t-shirts and the like. I left all that sartorial elegance behind to go to London when I was 17.

There were no prospects and it was getting me down. I was in London for 20 years but I did come back and forth quite regularly, so I was never a total stranger. Nowadays, Glasgow compares quite favourably to London. It’s obviously a lot smaller, which can be a good thing. There are plenty of bars, good music and it’s generally a lively, bustling place. The way I remember it, before I left in 1987, was as a dark and foreboding place. I think the city was still going through its sandblasting phase at the time…

Dog Of War - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Dog Of War - © Tony Clerkson Photography

The city of no culture at that point?

Yeah… it seemed a dark and grimy place and it seemed to mirror the mood of the people. Obviously, we were still being subjected to the brutality of the Thatcher era. As she was merrily swinging the axe, people were in a black mood and the black buildings around it seemed to fit.

The city certainly seems to have changed now, you hear lots of accents and I never really noticed that first time around. There’s a lot of new blood here, which is good, and it seems to have taken off as a bit of a tourist destination.

After London, I moved to Belgium, but the less said about that the better.

Swiftly moving on?

Yes. The amount of bureaucracy involved in living here is about 1% of the swathes of red tape that chokes the life out of living in Belgium. It made coming back here all the more appealing.

Never The Twain - Celtic & Rangers Match Programmes - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Never The Twain - Celtic & Rangers Match Programmes - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Is there any Glasgow building that stands out for you?

There is a lot of fantastic architecture, much of which I never really noticed the first time around, but I also really like the rundown shop fronts and pubs. They have a lot of character. There is a great wee place on Argyle Street, I’ve photographed it and I’ve taken portraits in front of it as well. It’s opposite the Ben Nevis pub at the end of Argyle Street. I really liked the greens and the blues…

Glasgow Colours -  © Tony Clerkson Photography

Glasgow Colours © Tony Clerkson Photography

It’s like a metaphor for Glasgow!

Aye, it’s got that Glasgow divide, and there’s a wee dash of red in there too for the Jags. I met the owner when I was taking some shots there. I don’t think he understood what attracted me to it at first. There’s a great 360 degree view from the top of the Mackintosh Tower and I like to go up there at different times of the year.

Built-up Area, Glasgow © Tony Clerkson Photography

Built-up Area, Glasgow - © Tony Clerkson Photography

We’re trying to put a focus on Glasgow traders, professionals, so can you give us a rundown of what you do and what people can get from you?

I have a lot of Glasgow photography and Scottish landscapes, but also quite a bit of other work from various travels. I’ve been fairly active in the past couple of years and I sell my wares in the Merchant Square Craft Market in the Candleriggs. I sell prints, photos on aluminium, photos on acrylic glass, I can do them made-to-order, made-to-measure, right down to the exact centimetre. From postcard size to 6’x4’ (180cm x 120cm) products that really impose themselves in a room. They’re gallery quality, crisp, contemporary products. Some people like the regular prints, but I have various samples and can also take orders for these products. As an overview, these are my main Glasgow images

As an overview, these are my main Glasgow images:

• Cityscapes
• Nightscapes
• Old Buildings
• Traditional architecture

There is a lot to choose from. I have shots of all the regular landmarks, but I like to get off the beaten track as well. I hopefully cover all bases for all tastes.

Giants On The Horizon - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Giants On The Horizon - © Tony Clerkson Photography

If people cant get along to the Merchant Square, do you have a website where they can see your work?

I have a website, its: www.tonyclerkson.com and you can email me. I don’t have an online shop at the moment but it’s something I’ll be sorting out soon. However, you can certainly get in touch with me and place an order via e-mail and I can have it delivered to your door or you can collect it from me. Some of my photos are limited edition runs so they’ll all be numbered and have my signature on it.

So we’re all waiting on you to pass away to see the value skyrocket?

Absolutely! In fact, I might do a Reggie Perrin so I can see the benefits myself. As for other projects, I’m going to start running photography classes in January where I’ll be taking people out and about in the city and passing on some of my skills and experience. I think I learned the hard way, so the idea would be to make new photographers’ lives a bit easier when it comes to the technical side of things, as well as passing on compositional tips. I love photography and I’m learning every time I take my camera out, so it would be good if others enjoyed learning alongside me. I’m also looking for models and make-up artists, as I want to spend a lot more time on portraiture and fashion next year, so get in touch if you’re interested. With a bit of luck, I’ll have a city centre studio where I’ll be working from. Keep in touch via my website or regular updates on Facebook.

Website: Tony Clerkson Photogrpahy & Prints

Facebook: Give me a like here

Twitter: Follow me here.

Firefighters tackle huge fire in centre of Glasgow 28/11/2011 -   © Tony Clerkson

Firefighters tackle huge fire in centre of Glasgow 28/11/2011 - © Tony Clerkson

The Undertones at King Tuts, Glasgow - © Tony Clerkson Photography

The Undertones at King Tuts, Glasgow - © Tony Clerkson Photography

General Strike and Protest March, Glasgow, 30/11/2011 - © Tony Clerkson Photography

General Strike and Protest March, Glasgow, 30/11/2011 - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Sparrow And The Workshop - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Sparrow And The Workshop - © Tony Clerkson Photography

The Great Divide - © Tony Clerkson Photography

The Great Divide - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Remembrance Sunday, George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, 13/11/2011  - © Tony Clerkson Photography

Remembrance Sunday, George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, 13/11/2011 - © Tony Clerkson Photography