Urban photography in Glasgow – back alleys

Back alleys, reserved minimalism of exposed pipework, splashes of bright colour against the stonework and cheerful rows of rubbish bins inspired my recent exploration of urban photography in Glasgow.

Wandering past a deserted back alley I was struck by the juxtaposition of waste and glamour. A colourful assortment of Glasgow City Council (rather tidy) rubbish containers lined the wall that proudly boasted an imposing billboard. An occasional Glaswegian set on bypassing the hustle and bustle of the main street crowds is highly unlikely to stop and appreciate the ad.  Yet here it is, the triumph of advertising!

Large advertising board at the back alley next to the row of rubbish bins in Glasgow

Glasgow - the triumph of advertising

The austerity of the industrial lines and textures of Glasgow back walls almost exposes the neo-Classical pretence of its Victorian and Edwardian façades. The clusters of LG fans and exhaust pipes, generators and plumbing resonate with the technological complexity of city life itself.

Every surface is strictly utilitarian and yet conveys a sort of urban aesthetic. The stepladder, diagonally chained to the pipe, draws the eye, and bright orange tubs propped against the patchwork of the stone wall almost create an urban still life. Not a single person in sight, just me, my camera and the back alley…

Glasgow building - a view from the back alley

It's amazing how industrial the backs of Victorian and Edwardian houses look

LG fans

Urban photography in Glasgow - cluster of LG fans

Urban aesthetic - a stepladder at the back walls

Urban aesthetic - a stepladder at the back walls

Minimal - orange tubs against concrete wall

Minimal still life - orange tubs against the stone wall