Quick & Quirky Questions with Tom Langlands

Tom Langlands was born in Dundee, Scotland. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Architecture and a B.Arch (Hons) from Dundee University and an M.Arch – in architectural semiotics – from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. In parallel with his academic studies, he developed a serious interest in writing, photography and philosophy. These skills have merged to create a desire to understand and explore how we perceive the world we live in.

Having retired in 2013 from the architectural practice he co-founded in 1988, Tom now spends his time writing and taking photographs. He is a regular photojournalist contributor to the North American magazine Celtic Life International and his work has appeared in numerous publications at home and abroad.

Tom’s images have received commendations and awards in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and the Scottish Nature Photography Awards and have been exhibited at the Scottish International Salon of Photography and the Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography. He has also held several solo photography exhibitions. His poetry has appeared in print and online in Southlight, The Writers’ Cafe Magazine and The Blue Nib. He often uses his photography as inspiration for his writing.

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I am 67 years old and a retired architect
  2. I am a freelance photographer and writer with a regular photojournalism slot with the North American publication Celtic Life International
  3. My favourite photographic genres are wildlife photography and street photography
  4. I love art and music and pretty much anything to do with the creative arts in general

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

I have two favourite ages for two quite different reasons:

  • 34 – It was the age at which I co-founded my own business. It felt like a great sense of achievement.
  • 59 – It was the age I retired at, allowing me to concentrate on my other passions of photography and writing. It also felt like a great sense of achievement.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

My favourite fictional character is Peter Pan (he must be over 60 now) – mostly because I doubt I have ever grown up (my family tell me that I haven’t!) and also because I am intrigued by the mind and events that created him.

My favourite famous person over 60 is the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. There’s only a couple of his later works that I haven’t read (although they are here waiting to be read). I love the way he writes in the first person, his almost poetic, descriptive style and the way he makes his stories appear real and mysteriously surreal at the same time. My favourite is Kafka on the Shore, but it is actually hard to single out one particular favourite.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

The notebook in which I keep all my ideas for future projects: photography shoots, short stories, blogs and poems.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Photography and writing – now frequently merging as photopoetry.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

Sixty-six years ago – long before the advent of Photoshop – I won a Bonnie Baby photography competition (as the model – not the photographer!).

Read and admire Tom’s first Autumn Voices blog:

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