especially in the field of imageing, is both invigorating and
perplexing. For every fact about digital photography there seems
to be a corresponding myth. Gerry McCann has been at the forefront
in reinventing photography for the editorial market with these
modern tools since 1994.
are tried and tested in the field. He approaches each project
on its merits and creates a digital strategy. Whether the outcome
is the delivery of a portrait by e-mail, or the creation of
a fine art portfolio of a long-term commission, the aim of the
strategy is to dovetail with the client's existing systems.
Where these are in early development Gerry tailors his techniques
to ensure that the client begins to build their own digital
archive. These archives specifically allow for new developments
in technology and delivery systems such as broadband Internet
access. They are as futureproof as possible.
approach is to harness the best of new and not so new technologies
in a continually evolving hybrid. In 2002 this means using the
highest quality SLR and rangefinder cameras to shoot negative
and positive film in both colour and monochroome. The images
are then digitised on an Imacon Flextight scanner run on an
Apple Mac. They can be delivered by transmission or on CDs readable
by Mac and PC.
commissions illustrate this flexible approach, as Gerry describes;
the start of a housing project in Castlemilk for Home In Scotland
in 1998. This was done in gritty reportage style to show the
poor conditions people were living in there. Over the next two
years I went back and photographed the process of demolition
and consultation with the tenants themselves.
the new houses were finished. They had a sort of Mediterranean
look so I shot the final phase on sunny summer days to bring
out the real contrasts with the earlier pictures. Throughout
this shoot I collaborated with the key individuals involved,
first with the residents, and then with David Shaw of Home In
Scotland and David Whitton the Chief Architect of the Homegroup.
I worked with design and publicity creatives in the use of the
digitised images. These have appeared in publicity materials,
a stand-alone exhibition, websites, independent publications,
and in a portfolio of high quality giclee archival prints.
recent commission was for the Social Work Services Department
of Glasgow City Council. I was briefed to show the services
using real clients in real establishments so a high degree of
sensitivity was called for. We were after a set of images that
showed many different aspects of the caring professions in as
natural a way as possible. Basically we used genuine situations
and I used my skills in observational photojournalism to record
the inter-action between care staff and social workers, and
a wide range of clients.
created a digital portfolio of 250 print-ready images. These
were stored on CDs and an index print of the thumbnails of each
CD was provided. This outcome allows the client exclusive use
of the images in a wide variety of media, from information leaflets
to the web, without any further need for scanning by external
is convinced that our new technologies and working methods offer
an incredible degree of creative freedom. The challenge is to
exploit them for the sake of greater accessibility. He looks
forward to continued collaboration with other creatives. This
website is a good example of a joint effort between Gerry and
the designer Craig