Inside this issue
David Queenan is a freelance graphic designer and photographer based in central Scotland. He credits the use of Photoshop in his career as a graphic artist with rekindling the passion for photography that began while studying for a degree in Graphic Design. He now shoots mainly Scottish landscapes; he has been commended in the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year and ‘Take a View’ Landscape Photographer of the Year competitions, and won the Scottish Nature Photography Awards in 2015.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Sometimes you can remember clearly the first image that you saw from someone that made you sit up and take notice; in this case, it is ‘Cloud Construction’. Periodically since David Queenan’s images of the Forth Bridges have punctuated my feed, bringing back memories of the commute that used to sandwich my working days. Rather than restrict image selection to just ‘natural’ landscapes, I wanted on this occasion to include a number of David’s photographs of buildings and structures. I like the graphic quality of these, and they are a good reminder to us all to stop and look up. It also reinforces the point that, while we (or others) may consider ourselves primarily ‘landscape photographers’, there are no boxes in life and we need not limit our curious minds.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, your education and early interests, and what that led you to do as a career?
I was born and brought up in Bo’ness, which is a small town in West Lothian about 20 miles to the west of Edinburgh. I still currently live and work there as a freelance graphic designer and photographer – it’s a very central location with good access to motorways and allows me to reach many of my favourite photographic locations within a couple of hours.
I attended the local schools and, although I wasn’t a great academic, I managed to come out with 5 O-Levels, 4 Highers and a ‘Sixth Year Study’ in Art, which was enough to gain me entry into the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. Art was easily my strongest and favourite subject at school, and I was always drawing and painting in my spare time. I was a big fan of Yes at the time and always loved their album cover artwork by Roger Dean and decided that graphic design was what I really wanted to do – although, not realising at the time that very few designers actually get to work on album covers for famous bands.
How did you become interested in photography and what kind of images did you initially set out to make?