Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Long view of tiger mural II

I wasn’t going to bother with this pic, as it’s both a long distance of the Mark II tiger mural on the city centre section of the Clyde Walkway.

I really did prefer the original Fire Tiger, but I suppose this occupant of the same site is beginning to grow on me over time, and it does actually look a lot better than I thought it did, at least from the greater distance of the opposite bank.

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural


February 21, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Street art surprise in George Street

I often suggest people wake-up to their surroundings, and pay just a little more attention to what happens around them.

Along with quite a few others, I advise others to ‘Look Up’, especially locals, and especially in Glasgow, where there’s a whole new world that I know many are completely oblivious to.

But sometimes all it takes is a look at places you’ve been seeing ‘forever’, as the fact that they haven’t changed for years doesn’t mean they won’t.

Case in point, this doorway in George Street, passed many times yet never interesting (although I do always look at the building it lives in), yet a quick glance changed that.

I wonder if it would have been different if seen earlier, if perhaps some politically motivated moron thought using it might make one of their similarly moronic posters more noticeable?

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Inventor mural in Switzerland features Tesla (and some others)

Chances of me ever seeing this are conservatively rated at slim to nil, so no secret this does NOT come form my pics, but I can’t let it pass.

Described as coming from Basel, Switzerland, it features Tesla, Edison, Einstein, Curie, and one other for whom I apologise – I do not recognises, and cannot make out the name in the source image.

If you know, PLEASE add in Comments below.

The first pic looks quite innocent, and not too controversial (there’s more detail, so click for bigger).

Wide Basel Swiss Tesla Mural

Wide Basel Swiss Tesla Mural

A second view was provided, and it’s possibly a tad more controversial (also clickable).

Close Basel Swiss Tesla Mural

Close Basel Swiss Tesla Mural

Some would question the placing of Edison and Tesla next to each other, given the War of the Currents, but this would be a mistake.

Tesla came to the US virtually penniless, yet a letter of introduction was enough to convince Edison to give him a job.

That the two were brilliant in their own independent way could not be seen, and the two parted company.

Edison is often portrayed as ‘The Bad Guy’, but he was not alone, with both he and Tesla having their powerful and wealthy backers fighting their case.

Both were sad – Tesla didn’t pay enough attention to the financial aspect of his work, and Edison lacked the ability to see past his own ideas.

That still oversimplifies things, and forget the backers, but just think where we might have been had the two been able to cooperate, rather than go their separate ways.


February 12, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

The spaceman hiding in Trongate

One day I’ll make the mistake of downloading one of those ‘Glasgow Mural Trail’ leaflets and ruining all the surprise.

But rather than make an expedition, or mission, of going out to find them all, I think I prefer to find our growing collection of city murals by chance, which I have the luxury of doing at my convenience, since I live here – unlike the busy tourists who have only a limited opportunity to ‘Go Find!’.

This was a completely chance find as I passed the Britannia Panopticon (the World’s oldest surviving music hall) in the Trongate one day, thinking (as usual) “I’ll have to visit this place and see inside one day”.

I grabbed a quick pic, just to make sure I didn’t forget where it was (more than likely with my memory).

Trongate New Wynd Spaceman Mural

Trongate New Wynd Spaceman Mural

The more I looked it, the more I became irritated by not being able to see it properly, restricted by the view down the narrow wynd or alley,

So, it was time for some stretchy squeezy image manipulating to come out of the box.

Given the restrictions and source material (the stuff far down the lane is not really in focus) I don’t think the final result is too bad.

I’m not sure if the scaling is close, but on the other hand, as I look at the distortion that a scene can suffer merely by using a different focal lens, it’s no longer something I lose sleep over.

New Wynd Stretch

New Wynd Stretch

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Clearance for the Hip Hop Marionettes

Looks like somebody reads my posts AND takes my advice (I wish 🙂 ).

When I took some pics of the Hip Hop Marionettes mural in George Street a while ago, I complained about the ridiculously placed and intrusive advertising billboards sited in from them, ruining the view and destroying any chance of an easy and clean pic (or even view) of the mural.

George Street Mural Spoiled View

George Street Mural Spoiled View

A recent pass of the same place (while it was light) came with a surprise…

The mighty advert god had been felled, and the billboards were gone!

I couldn’t believe it – I’m more used to being kicked in the teeth by advertisers, having my eyelids peeled back, and blackmailed with “You appear to be using an adblocker. Please disable your adblocker to continue using this site yada yada yada“. (For anyone responsible for this tripe – NEVER will I do such a thing!)

There is still a slight problem, which can be avoided, and the view isn’t permanently ruined, as it once was.

Sometimes, George Street plays hot to a coach park.

George Street Coach Park

George Street Coach Park

But, on a good day.

George Street Marionettes Set Free

George Street Marionettes Set Free

February 10, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | 1 Comment

Cat mural

Lucky catch this morning, while flicking through some photo-sharing.

No details with this one, not even country, but I’m guessing it’s not local, and probably somewhere in Continental Europe – they’re quite good at these.

Unknown Cat Mural

Unknown Cat Mural

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Tontine Lane surprises (and a mural)

I collected the mural below by sheer chance one day, after glancing through some locked gates – it pays to be nosey!

I’d heard of Tontine Lane but in all honesty had no real idea where it was, and only learnt that was the name of this place later.

I’ve read that the locked gates are a leftover from the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games, when similarly dopey security fears led to access to this lane being locked out when someone realised terrorists might use it to get into the Commonwealth Games offices, which backed onto this lane.

Now, why would ANYONE have wanted to bring harm to the great Lasting Legacy that was the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

Didn’t EVERYBODY love them?

Yeh, right!

I had a quick hunt for any info related to this mural, which I don’t think it mentioned in any Glasgow mural trails (but I may be wrong, I only glanced), and it seems it dates from 2015, when somebody opened one of those pop-up bars, and maybe made a quick buck.

A similarly trendy graffiti artist was supposedly imported as the star attraction.

The view from the street is oblique, so I’ve had to edit things to make it visible.

Tontine Lane Hidden Mural

Tontine Lane Hidden Mural

Seen through the bars of the gate.

Tontine Lane View

Tontine Lane View

This flagged up some more interesting objects, currently out-of-bounds unless the paranoid security expert that had the lane locked back in 2014 can be tipped out of bed and forced to unlock the gates. Opening them apparently seems to be less of a priority than having them locked.

The EMPIRE sign, and unfortunately almost invisible in this pic, the Mitre Bar sign to its left, were once part of “The Merchant City Public Art Trail”. They could still be if there was free access, and each has their own story – but that’s for another day.

The were illuminated, but I don’t know if this is still the case. I haven’t been there at the right time.

That said, it was dark when I was there (the above are low-light pics) and the signs were clearly not lit.

An old sign just about survives over the lane entrance.

Tontine Lane Sign

Tontine Lane Sign

There is some further underpainting just visible by flash.

Tontine Lane Sign

Tontine Lane Sign


February 6, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow panda fun

Glasgow’s mural trail is now fairly well-known and seems to be a standard catch for anyone wandering around with a camera.

Most are fairly easy to find thanks to leaflets and features, and can be photographed easily, but I’ve noticed quite a few are slightly hidden down lanes, and his can make them hard to get a decent pic of. Either a wide-angle lens or equivalent is needed, or you might just try editing a pic taken looking into the lane.

I came across this one a while back, and it’s lit well enough by the nearby barber’s to take a decent pic.

Original Panda

Original Panda

But I had just grabbed this by chance when passing, and didn’t have an opportunity to try for something with better perspective.


Time to revert to a little editing, just to see what might come out.

Not the greatest of differences, but in this case the horizontal convergence wasn’t extreme, and there was virtually no vertical component.

Stretch Panda

Stretch Panda

February 2, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow, the friendly city

While I may not be a professional photographer, I try to conduct myself professionally in places where there may be conflict, and am reasonably familiar with photographer’s rights and responsibilities, and  the difference between public and private places.

The latter can be amusing, as a landowner is fully within their rights to instruct someone not to take photographs while standing on their land (and can legitimately report them to the police for failing to comply), yet one can take what can effectively amount to what is the same photograph quite freely if standing on public land – and that may only require taking one step to make sure you are on the right side of the property line.

I made sure I was standing in the public street when I took the pic below, and was fully in compliance with the sign.

The location should be fairly obvious by now.

Billy Connolly Mural Photo Warning

Billy Connolly Mural Photo Warning

You can find a few articles to the relevant advice in the ‘Links‘ section to the right.

January 2, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

A couple of months ago there was a party

Another of those pics I ‘lost’.

A little longer ago than I thought, I had made the mistake of thinking I might get to enjoy a bit of fun back then, and maybe change my style a bit.

Being adventurous never pays off though – it’s rather like ‘No good deed goes unpunished’.

Far from enjoying myself, it seems I picked up a gut bug that has grumbled on for weeks and curtailed most adventures.

And that meant thoughts of learning how to break my habit of excluding people from my pics went on to the back burner too.

It may seem an odd thing a world of selfies and the like, but I really don’t like having people in my pics, and can go to extremes to avoid them. It’s just a habit that developed from being mainly involved in photographing ‘things’ for years.

I was just about to turn around from my walk and head home when I spotted this group over the wall.

I was also kicking the wall in frustration at this point, having just missed a shot that would have caught one of them inverted, and dancing on their hands.

Clyde Walkway Tiger Bay

Clyde Walkway Tiger Bay

A complete contrast to the group I didn’t dare point my camera at, a short distance behind me, in the next bay past the La Pasionaria statue. Oh, and there’s another pic collection I’ve forgotten all about.

They were skulking on the steps below the old public toilet building next to the Jamaica Street bridge, and having an Electric Soup (Eldorado), Buckfast, and vodka party to round off their day (shoplifting).

I wouldn’t have noticed them, but for their method of celebrating each bottle emptied – triumphantly smashed on the adjacent steps.

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Woman Mural at The Barras – lucky I had an older view

Looking through some forgotten pics I never got around to using, I noticed a mural that probably went largely unnoticed when it was new, and is even less likely to be noticed today.

Frankly, I took this pic to record Pearsons and Bill’s Tool Store, just in case ‘they’ decided to knock it down, and catching the still visible mural was just a happy accident.

Painted on a gable end visible from Moncur Street, the gable was brought into view when one of the best old buildings that made a day at the Barras fun was demolished a few years ago. In its day, this old multi-storey building was packed with stallholders, and even more packed with punters looking for a bargain. Sometimes it was hard going just to get up and down the stairs, or even reach the stalls to see what was on offer.

Today, the site has been occupied by flats which appear to made out of shipping containers, stacked so the now block this view of the mural.

As far as I know, it’s still visible from Stevenson Street (parallel to Moncur Street) and the lane joining the two.

Barras Woman Mural

Barras Woman Mural

September 21, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

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