Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I'm back. But only to redirect you to my new space at brendanmacneill.wordpress.com  or get there too at www.macneill.co.uk/blog.html.

And there's a brand new website at www.macneill.co.uk


Friday, 9 September 2011

Tiger Tiger stock

New images on stock site Alamy from a recent editorial shoot for Country Life. The white stately home is Blair Castle and the village Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Monday, 15 August 2011

Updated landing page

If you happen to head to my website you'll find the landing page has this collage image with each image leading to the relavent web page within the site.
Hopefully this will give a better insight into what I do.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Acoustic Panels by FriendsOfWilson

FriendsofWilson from Brendan MacNeill on Vimeo.

A short elevator pitch from client FriendsOfWilson. All put together in FCE.

Stills and moving coming closer together as the technology rolls into one.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tiger Tiger

An image from a recent shoot here. Shot from a 4 seater Cessna parallel flying to this 1938 Tiger Moth. Originally a trainer at a Perth RAF base this model has never left Scotland.
And remember when cameras were simple devices? Well this aeroplane has a spring loaded wind resistance gauge that measures speed. Altitude is measured by 2 simple pipes mounted on the wing. The simplicity just keeps going on making it very easy to maintain. 
Just the kind of brief that makes me realise photography is a great job.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Animals and Children

W.C. Fields had something to say on the subject along the lines of "don't work with them". Not being the type to take advice I accepted some commissions recently from Country Life to do just that. I wonder what he was on about.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Colour images from WW2 era USA

One of my fellow members of Pro Imaging posted a link to these fantastic colour, sorry color, shots from WW2 era United States. Shot by Farm Security Administration or Office of War Information photographers on 35mm and larger transparancy film they exhibit not only a great eye for detail but a fantastic understanding of what was then still a very difficult medium to master. See and read more at the International Business Times.

And if you're interested in seeing more of this and other work then head to The Library of Congress where you'll find a vast collection that documents the country from the early days of photography to the modern era. And most is public domain and available for download.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Ola nice attitude!

Religious Procession. from Brendan MacNeill on Vimeo.
It's not often that I get grabbed by the police. In fact it hasn't happened since the late 70's when I used to shoot demos in London. Those were turbulent days. But recently it happened again. This time in Spain. I was on holidays but taking time off from our R&R to photograph a religious procession with my crappy point and shoot. Stretching and attempting to photograph from the sidelines I was grabbed and dragged into the (now static) procession itself by a policeman. "Do it properly" or some such was uttered in Spanish and I was left to roam and shoot.
And then there was an unfamiliar reaction from all involved. I was actually made to feel welcome. Welcome despite the fact that I was shooting teenagers and even very young children. In fact parents encouraged their children to turn to my camera. What I wouldn't have imagined doing in the UK I was free to do unhindered in Spain.
Ola nice attitude!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Coffee is the new Black?

They say baking your own bread is the new black. I'd suggest it might actually be networking. In Edinburgh Friday morning at Centotre is where it's all happening with the Edinburgh Coffee Morning. This is informal networking where the only two requirements are that you turn up and buy a coffee. There are no speeches or presentations. And no having to bring in new members. You just come and chat and learn and share.
I've just finished a series of portraits of some of the attendees. Social media and internet geeks, marketing and design professionals, business start ups they're all here. And if you're a Twitterer the hashtag is #EdCM.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Wrap or Run?

You wrap up or run for it. Either way you're hot!

The PackshotUK side of my work has two new clients on board. Top is a shot for Edinburgh's MarchBrae who have commissioned me to shoot their merchandise for their revamped website.

And running close behind is work for the new NewBalance brochure.

Red not dead.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Food glorious food.

If you've been to my website today you might be wondering what the added splash item on my homepage is all about.
HospitalityMedia explain that "We provide a digital visual media service specifically to the Hospitality Industry.  We offer Stills Photography, Video and Web Design which the client may choose one or a combination of  services. We work alongside the client assisting them to fulfill their marketing and business strategy in terms of visual media. We aim for imagery to work in harmony with strategy, enhancing their product or service."
And I'm now shooting for them allowing them to market to the entire UK and Worldwide. Of added interest to them are my interactive panoramas allowing rooms and environments to be explored by viewers online.
Diet. What diet?

Friday, 2 July 2010

Charity starts in the studio.

- Fancy a portrait or print for your wall? All for charity too?  Get one and sponsor me to cycle for charity http://bit.ly/bz6PMP-

That's the tweet I'm posting like mad right now. I've been invited by a client or more accurately a mutual client to join their team and cycle a huge number of miles in the Artemis Highland100 this coming September.
It's all for charity or actually two charities in particular - CHAS and Cancer Research UK.

And to add a little spice to my fund raising I'm including some professional
services where all the fees go directly to the charities.
So I'm offering these prints for sale or if you'd prefer you can come to my studio
for a portrait session.

For details use the link above and head to my sponsorship page.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Gobsmacked 2

Following up on my earlier blog piece about a magazine wanting an image for nothing......

As I said 'I went about my business..' Well I headed out to the nearby Water of Leith and re-introduced myself to the delights of shooting some personal work. As usual it was a mixed bag as regards results with only two cutting the grade for me, one of which is here (bottom). The other two are from a previous trip to Ardnamurchan.

These 3 and others are to be offered for sale as part of the Artemis Highland 100, a charity fund raising effort in which I'm going to cycle 80 odd kilometres on and off road for CHAS and Cancer Research UK in September. I'll also be offering portrait sessions.
Details soon.

Friday, 25 June 2010


I've had a short email conservation with an editorial designer whose identity, for obvious reasons, I'll keep as 'ANON'.

Would it be possible for you to supply us with the image attached at
hi-res, we are working on an interiors article for Du¢¢¢¢¢¢ and G••••••••
L∞¢# magazine and [Interior Designer] is mentioned. Obviously we will credit the photograph to yourself.


I replied, presuming that no budget was being offered.

Yes, sorry no budget, it is a dps by one of our freelance writers and we
source images from various places but would have liked to use that pic
credited to you if possible.

I ignored the email and went about my business.

Hi Brendan,

In light of us having no budget for this piece, was your final answer

We would only use it as a one off, with your credit on it and not back
it up to our archive system if that helps towards my case at all......

plus I personally would be eternally grateful as I could stop ploughing
through numerous stock images to find something that comes up to the
same standard!

I replied:

Where on my website or anywhere else does it say "FREE"?
This is my business and income. Can I ask if you or any of your colleagues work for nothing? Do you get your gas and electricity for free?

Sorry but in the light of you wanting an easier option than "ploughing
through numerous stock images to find something that comes up to the
same standard" you might just need to pay!

Brendan MacNeill

Ok, thanks anyway..... was a bit cheeky and by no means was I
downgrading anything you do by suggesting you allow us to use your image
but it was only because our writer had directed us to the interior
designer who's images were taken by yourself. I thank you for your time
and will continue with my ploughing.

Have a good weekend.

Yes you said it - 'CHEEKY'. And being pedantic they're not his images. He has low res versions that I've licensed to him. The images remain mine at all times.

Friday, 11 June 2010


 Just a very quick entry to shout about a new page on my website for panoramas. Each image links to an interactive full screen panorama.(Apologies to iPhone and iPad users but it's Flash based - working on a workround).
Top image is from Jupiter Artland, just west of Edinburgh. Middle is Elm Park in Dublin, a very underoccupied new business park. Bottom is Edinburgh's Conference Square at twilight.
All were shot on a rig that allows the camera body to rotate around the len
nodal point thus avoiding parallax misregistration.
And if you're wondering why the cross projection well it's simply that it's one graphic interpretation of a 180 degree by 360 degree view. Think of folding each of the square portions to form a cube.
To learn more on Interactive panoramas start at Panoramas.dk.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ta but No to AllMediaScotland.

There's something bugging me about AllMediaScotland's new website and their offerings. I've been checking into the site on a regular basis since it's re-launch and have been itching to place an entry in the Talent directory. Itching isn't doing though. The directory now has 8 photographers listed, each paying £20 per year  to get there. This compares to a much fuller list in the original iteration of AllMediaScotland where we paid £10 for a years listing.

But the increased charge isn't what's giving me the rash. It's the fact that AllMedia seem to be playing gamekeeper and poacher at the same time. Looking deeper into their site you'll see that they offer the services of an 'award winning team of photographers' to suit all potential clients media needs. Unfortunately there are no photographs on display to illustrate the talent on offer so we must take them on their word. They also offer various design services but again without showing a portfolio from the award winning designers or 'celebrated' magazine designer .

But here's where my rash is coming from. They price this service. For £299+VAT you get  'A photography shoot of up to two hours on location, with all expenses, including travel, included' plus either burning to disk on location (sometimes call Dump and Run) or same day post production. Now I charge a bit more than that. But not too much more, in fact per half day or day my hourly rate is lower. But I'd never offer my day or half day rate to include all travel and expenses included in that figure. Nor to commit to post production for free without first seeing a brief and knowing the nature of what's required. So if the AllMedia photographers were to run up £100 of expenses/travel their initial fee would be the ridiculously low mount of £199 in reality.

Hurrah my itch has gone. Gone because of course AllMediaScotland isn't where I should be listing my services. If someone wants to work for these rates with these offerings then fine. If someone wants to commission them then fine. (Photographers looking for a fees calculator can download one here). No it's not for me because why should I spend money to list myself on a website that's promoting competitors offering what can only be a much reduced service at what seems to be hugely reduced fees? Given today's budget led rather than creative led commissioning will anyone on the list offering an upmarket service stand any chance of getting calls?

In fact all you get for your £20 is a link to your website. That's an expensive bit of SEO. Time to rethink it?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Twitter works? Fancy that!

I suspect that if you're reading this 'blog' you might be aware and accepting of the phenomenon of blogging and of Twitter in particular. But in case you're the Thomas in the room here's a little, a very little, story that might illustrate how it can work positively.

In January I was intent on getting to grips with producing interactive panoramas. I'd been dipping my toe in over the previous years but never got to produce a complete virtual tour. So one Saturday I headed to Edinburgh's QuarterMile to shoot a tour around this new 'village'.
During the following week I spent several hours putting two alternate format versions together and happy with the results so far I Tweeted it a couple of times including the QuarterMile hashtag.

The rest of the story is about QuarterMile discovering my Tweets, liking what they saw and seeing it's potential for their marketing, then getting in touch and both of us agreeing a licensing deal and it going online on their website.

Which brings me back to last summer when I asked an online list of photographers if they were using Twitter. Three or four answered instantly in the negative citing how effective face to face networking is. Which of course it is if you can get the appointment .... when you haven't got work on... if they like the look of your website ....... as opposed to the complementary and not mutually exclusive dead quick Tweet that can lead to the face to face.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Poetry on the Rocks?

Well yes and no.
Yes poetry was projected onto
the Castle Rock here in Edinburgh. It's all part of 'Carry-A-Poem', a joint venture between Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Scottish Poetry Library and City of Edinburgh public libraries which is happening for the month of February at four locations plus the Castle Rock for St.Valentine's night only.
Poets include Douglas Dunn at Edinburgh Castle where I shot one of three 360ยบ panoramas, Robert Burns on the City Chambers on Cockburn Street, Gael Turnbull on the High Street, Lord Byron and Robert Louis Stevenson.
No poetry isn't dead. Tweets have been whizzing back and forth on Twitter on just this aspect of the poetry. Elsewhere there must be scores if not hundreds more talking about all aspects of the project. Scotland and beyond is clearly in love with poetry.

PS 18th Feb : CarryAPoem have now blogged me. First time I've ever been the subject of a blog at that. Check it out here and leave a comment if you fancy. I'll try to get another couple in the bag over the weekend and add them to my amalgamated page here.