100 weeks of Scotland: Hawick

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In the run-up to the independence referendum in 2014, photographer Alan McCredie will be telling the story of the nation in photographs.

Week 26

100 Weeks of Scotland

100 Weeks of Scotland

It is often the case that the hardest place to photograph is the place where you live. I live in Edinburgh, which is without doubt one of the loveliest cities of them all, yet I find it almost impossible to photograph. I am so used to the city’s effortless northern beauty that I rarely see it anymore and it just becomes commonplace. A few years ago I helped out a New York photographer who was doing a photo essay on James Boswell. It was a strange feeling seeing the city through her eyes as everywhere she turned she saw incredible potential shots whereas I just saw the streets of the town I lived in. This is why I love visiting other places. I become the outsider seeing things that the locals take for granted.

I had a photoshoot this week in Hawick, a town I had previously never visited, and had a few hours to spare after the shoot. As I wandered through the town I saw countless images leap out at me and spent a very pleasant afternoon snapping away. At one point some school kids came up to me as I was photographing a wall below a church (image one in this weeks photos) and they asked why I was photographing something so boring. I forget what I

replied but it must have been incredibly clever and witty as they wandered off laughing, happily throwing things at me.

So this weeks images are all from Hawick. I really took a shine to the place. It is a proper small town, part pretty, part functional and with a real sense of a faded industrial past that is being replaced by a renewed sense of dynamism.

It is funny how sometimes you have to travel miles and miles just to see what is right in front of your eyes. Worth it too.

Alan McCredie began the ‘one hundred weeks of scotland’ website in October last year, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

McCredie says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

You can follow the project at www.100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter.

• All pictures (c) Alan McCredie/ 100 weeks of Scotland