Students work with renowned photographer to document Aberdeen life

Students at Gray’s School of Art have worked with an internationally renowned photographer to capture images of the Granite City and its residents.

Jon Nicholson Fittee photoThe group of six students worked with Jon Nicholson, who has recently been appointed a visiting professor at the art school, over the course of two days, to document Footdee (or Fittee, as it’s known locally) and workers in one of the city’s fish factories.

Jon has worked in the photography industry for over 30 years and has seen his work published in many of the world’s major magazines including National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and the Sunday Times Magazine.

He has worked with a number of UN agencies including UNICEF in documenting current affairs topics around the world, while also carving out a strong relationship with many Formula 1 personalities and teams such as Lewis Hamilton and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team.

Jon said: “This visit marks the start of a long project with Gray’s and it was the first time I had wandered around Aberdeen. It’s interesting because there are some issues here which I am going to address with the oil and gas and fishing industries having a tough time – as a photographer, it’s important to cover these topics.

Alfred Eisenstadt did a great book featuring Aberdeen called ‘Portrait of a City’ and I am going to revisit that nearly 40 years on.”

Talking about his love of street photography, Jon added: “I work all over the world and watching people is great. I use small Leica cameras which are really unobtrusive so I can go unnoticed.”

Student Martin Bell said: “Getting to shoot alongside such a professional photographer as Jon, was a rewarding experience, both for gaining confidence and for technical tips and advice.

“Actually getting to meet such professionals, and working with them, gives students a different form of teaching that cannot be gained from within school confines, or from listening to a lecture.”

Professor Chris O’Neil, head of Gray’s School of Art, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jon as a visiting professor to the school and I know our students are very excited about the opportunity to learn from and engage with such a renowned photographer.

“The first photography workshops that he led have been really well received by the students involved and they managed to capture some extremely striking shots of life in Aberdeen.”

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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