Gillander boysI was born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland where my first interest in photography arose at the age of 14 through a love of boxing. I had been boxing since the age of 10 and wanted to make images similar to those that hung on the walls of the gyms.

By the age of 15 I was out of school and working as a carpenter/cabinet maker, which is a trade that still gives me occasional work and pleasure today. Despite a love of working with wood I wanted to re-engage with education and after gaining the required qualifications at night school I studied a Degree in Building Surveying.

10 years later photography had taken over my life and my day job had become an obstruction. With great support and encouragement from those close to me I gave up my career to try and make photography the main focus in life.

I have never once looked back and consider myself to be the luckiest person I know.

I first fell in love with the process of making photographs before I started to understand the potential historical importance each photograph can hold. The photograph provides a window to the past for future generations, and as such should be valued and treasured as part of our heritage.

It is undeniable that the digital age has revolutionised photography, but sadly the digital explosion has very quickly had a detrimental impact on the traditional photographic processes which I first fell in love with.

My obsession with traditional photographic processes, combined with a genuine fear that they could be forgotten, led me to research the history of photographic image making and to the Wet Plate Collodion process of the late 1800‘s.

It is my aim over the coming years to produce a series of wet plate collodion portraits and panoramic landscapes of Scotland whilst travelling the country in a mobile darkroom/campervan.


2011 Mar

WINNER Hansel Mieth Award for Photojournalism

2008 Mar

WINNER Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photographers

2006 Mar

WINNER Picture Essay of the Year, Scottish Press Photography Awards

2007 Jan

Shortlisted finalist in Arts Foundation Awards.

2006 Sep

BBC Documentary film “Black & White” on David’s work, Hopscotch Films

2006 Mar

WORLD PRESS PHOTO – Participant in the Joop Swart Masterclass.

2006 Mar

POYI Judges Special Recognition at the Photo of the Year International Award in the World Understanding Category for project on street kids in Ukraine.

2005 Dec

WINNER – UNICEF Photo of the Year

2005 May

Herald Saturday Magazine awarded Best Magazine for Photographs at UK Picture Editor Awards for David’s photo essay “The Lost Generation”. Published in Jan. 05’ this work documented the lives of street children in the former Soviet Union.

2003 May

Herald Saturday Magazine awarded Best Magazine for Photographs at UK Picture Editor Awards for David’s photo essay “Russian Roulette.” Published in Nov. 02’ this work focused on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in Russia.


2011 Feb

The Neglected, Street Children of Ukraine – European Commission Brussels

2007 Jan

Malawi, Gallery FCB, New York, NY

2006 Dec

BESPRIZORNIKI (The neglected ones), Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam

2006 Nov

Risk, Glasgow Knife Crime, Foam Gallery, Amsterdam

2006 May

THE CHEWA of Malawi, Offshore, Glasgow

2006 Mar

BESPRIZORNIKI (The neglected ones), Fotofreo, Perth, Australia

2005 Jan

BESPRIZORNIKI (The neglected ones), DGP Gallery, Glasgow

Online profiles