Churches to coffee shops – photographs everywhere

Rob Douglas demonstrated the calotype process at a pop-up event.
Rob Douglas demonstrated the calotype process at a pop-up event.

Take a walk around St Andrews, pop into a shop, stop for a coffee, head off for a meal – and you are certain to come across this year’s St Andrews Photography Festival.

It’s the town’s first such festival and is the first major initiative for the Business Improvement District (BID) working in partnership with the University of St Andrews.

Alistair Lang, BID chairman, commented: “Today’s technology ensures we can all be photographers and we’re inviting everyone to be a part of this unique festival which we hope will become a regular fixture in the town’s calendar.

“This event is about participation – engaging with people who live and work in the town as well as those visiting. We’ll be using the event to reach out to those who engage with us worldwide using photographs.”

And they have certainly achieved that with photographs appearing on streets, in shops and restaurants, bars and hotels.

The six-week long festival launched this week with a talk about Dr John Adamson – St Andrews’ own photography pioneer – and goes on with exhibitions across the town and a series of events and talks for all ages.

Already there has been a pop-up event demonstrating early photographic process the calotype, and planned for the weeks ahead are a workshop on abstract photography, talks and even the opportunity to meet one of the artists and enjoy a taste of whisky.

That’s photographer Sean Dooley, whose photographs on display at Forgan’s restaurant tour Craigellachie Distillery.

There are documentary photographs on show – the Old Union Cafe in North Street is the site of an exhibition of work by renowned feminist documentary photographer Franki Raffles and outdoors along railings of The Scores are images from a documentary photography collective.

Unsurprisingly, The Adamson, named for Dr Adamson in whose home the restaurant is sited, has its own show – works from Calum Colvin’s 30-year career.

Local photographers are involved as well – the St Andrews Photographers are exhibiting at Holy Trinity Church, while the work of members of St Andrews Photographic Society can be seen at the Town Hall.

Rachel Nordstrom, the university’s photographic collection manager, is on the record as saying that when photography came to Scotland it: “came to St Andrews.

“Scotland has produced a lineage of exceptional photographers now we are allowing visitors to delve into photographic history, in the home of Scottish photography.”

The St Andrews Photography Festival continues until September 11. More information is available on Facebook.