Picture this - Fife town taps into photography roots for festival

Dr John Adamsons home on South Street, St Andrews, 1862. By John Adamson.
Dr John Adamsons home on South Street, St Andrews, 1862. By John Adamson.

St Andrews’ history in the development of photography is to be celebrated this year in a new festival.

BID St Andrews, the business improvement body created to support businesses in the town, is is working with the University of St Andrews and local businesses to launch an annual festival to celebrate the role and importance of the town s in the world of photography and engage with those who live, work here as well as visitors.

The first six-week-long festival, running from August 1 until September 11, will see events and exhibitions focus on the earliest days of photography in St Andrews as well as Scottish documentary photography over the last 175 years and contemporary photography.

Up to 15 local businesses will be involved, including cafés and restaurants, hosting small-scale exhibitions. There will also be tours, seminars, workshops and talks including guest photographers as well as workshops to demonstrate a variety of photographic processes including calotype and collodion - two of the earliest and those used by the town’s renowned pioneers of the art.

Amongst the exhibitions will be 175 Years of Scottish Photography, work by renowned press photographers George M. Cowie and Harry Papadopoulos, documentary photographers Franki Raffles, David Peat, Dr Hamish Brown MBE, Sean Dooley and photographic artists Calum Colvin RSA OBE, Kit Martin and Keny Drew.

Special events will include a ‘Become a Street Photographer’ youth workshop, a Victorian Tintype Studio, a photographic tour of the town and talks by photographers including Hamish Brown on his travels in Morocco.

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.”