Glenrothes photogapher’s images from the frontline

Images from Afghanistan, as seen through the lens of Derek Noble, form the basis of a new photographic exhibition. Pic: Steve Brown
Images from Afghanistan, as seen through the lens of Derek Noble, form the basis of a new photographic exhibition. Pic: Steve Brown

Life on the frontline in Afghanistan, as seen through the lens of a Glenrothes photographer, is the subject of a unique exhibition coming to the town next month.

A collection of striking images by Derek Noble, an ex-Black Watch soldier and Territorial Army volunteer with 26 years worth of service under his belt, will take over the Photospace Gallery in Rothes Halls for six weeks after it opens in June.

Taken while on six months service in Basra and Lashkar Gah, the images came about after a chance opportunity to fill in a vacant photographer’s role.

“They knew I was a keen photographer and had my equipment with me and asked me to fill in. I was over the moon – it was a dream job,” said Derek.

Derek mustered all his experience of serving around the world in places like the Falkland Islands, Iraq, Cyprus, Romania and Gibraltar to capture the real essence of life on the front line for Britain’s armed forces.

“I’ve tried to capture life in all sorts of situations for soldiers that were serving out there, from the mundane and everyday situation to the adrenalin-fuelled patrol and enemy engagement and combat situations,” he explained.

“It was tough going, as I had to carry the extra weight in camera equipment to the rest of my kit, but it was well worth it.”

He added: “The exhibition has a narrative culminating in the show’s final image which I’ve blown up to about twice the size of the rest.

“I won’t spoil it for those who want to come and view my photos but I’m especially pleased by the final shot. It means a lot,” he added.

Having taken the pictures while on active service, all of Derek’s images remain the property of the Crown, which holds the copyright, but the Ministry of Defence has granted Derek full permission to put them on public display for the very first time.

‘Images From Afghanistan’ opens at the Photospace Gallery, upstairs at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, on June 22 and continues until August 1.

Teacher responsible for sparking photographic passion in Derek

A member of Edinburgh Photographic Society and Glenrothes Camera Club, Derek got his introduction to the world of photography at the age of 10 while a pupil at Warout Primary School.

Derek Hunter is the teacher responsible for first handing him a camera all those years ago, sparking a passion that has culminated in the ‘Images from Afghanistan’ exhibition, to go on display next month.

And the photographer is delighted by the news that his mentor and former teacher will be in attendance when the exhibition opens.

“I’m honoured that the man responsible for first sparking my interest in all of this will be along to see the exhibition. It means a lot and, hopefully, he‘ll approve,” said Derek.

Derek’s collection is just the latest in a string of exhibitions to grace the walls of the Glenrothes gallery.

Showing until June 13 is the Inter-Fife 5 Way Camera Club exhibition, featuring the celebrated work from Fife’s photographic societies from Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and St Andrews.