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Festival puts focus on St Andrews’ role in birth of photography

Sam Brown, 10,  visits the Festival of Photography and has a look at the Stereotype Photograph through the glasses which has been printed onto Chocolate, at St Andrews Festival of Photography
Sam Brown, 10, visits the Festival of Photography and has a look at the Stereotype Photograph through the glasses which has been printed onto Chocolate, at St Andrews Festival of Photography

Snap happy photo fanatics will be setting their sights on St Andrews for the next month.

The town is focusing on the past, present and future of life in the picture as it launched its first ever photography exhibition on Tuesday.

A host of displays and workshops will take place throughout the town centre area in the coming weeks, with organisers keen to celebrate St Andrews’ links with the lens.

Wendy Clive and Scott Pearson, from Kirkcaldy, view the Document Scotland exhibition on the railings of The Scores in St Andrews - one of the 18 exhibitions in the inaugural St Andrews Photography Festival.
Wendy Clive and Scott Pearson, from Kirkcaldy, view the Document Scotland exhibition on the railings of The Scores in St Andrews – one of the 18 exhibitions in the inaugural St Andrews Photography Festival.

Festival organiser Rachel Nordstrom said: “While most people think of St Andrews as the home of golf, or the home of an ancient university, there is a rich photographic history which is often overlooked by many visitors.

“Over the past three years we have seen a resurgence in Scotland for the appreciation for historic and contemporary photography.

The University of St Andrews Careers Centre, which was originally the home and studio of pioneering St Andrews photographer Thomas Rodger, is hosting an exhibition of his work as part of the inaugural St Andrews Photography Festival.
The University of St Andrews Careers Centre, which was originally the home and studio of pioneering St Andrews photographer Thomas Rodger, is hosting an exhibition of his work as part of the inaugural St Andrews Photography Festival.

“Our aim is to build on this but highlight the vital role St Andrews played in the earliest days of photography, and the role Scotland played for the following 175 years.”

An outdoor demonstration on Calotype photography and the development process at the launch of the festival on Tuesday.
An outdoor demonstration on Calotype photography and the development process at the launch of the festival on Tuesday.

The festival kicked off with a demonstration of classic Calotype photography on the lawn of the St Andrews University library.

The technique, which dates back to 1841, is one of the earliest documented photographic processes, requiring a pop-up darkroom to process images.

A photo by Keny Drew printed on glass at The Eden Mill Tasting Room, Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews.
A photo by Keny Drew printed on glass at The Eden Mill Tasting Room, Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews.

It was the first of 35 events and 18 exhibitions that will be held over the next six weeks.

The festival is being hosted by BID St Andrews, St Andrews University and local businesses in a bid to showcase the town centre area and the history of Scottish photography.

Keny Drew, a photographer from Crail who prints his work on glass, is one of those displaying his work as part of the festival.

The Alicia Bruce Menie: TRUMPED exhibition at Luvians Ice Cream Parlour, St Andrews.
The Alicia Bruce Menie: TRUMPED exhibition at Luvians Ice Cream Parlour, St Andrews.

He said he hoped that the event would tap into the boom in interest in photography.

“There’s not enough photographic exhibitions in this area,” he said.

“It tends to be about watercolours and paintings of harbours.

Julie Lewis, managing director of The Adamson restaurant, views the stereo photo Portrait of Sir David Brewster by Calum Colvin.
Julie Lewis, managing director of The Adamson restaurant, views the stereo photo Portrait of Sir David Brewster by Calum Colvin.

“This is great as it has historical photos and documentary photography, which is really interesting,

He added: “Digital photography changed everything.

“You can take an amazing photograph on an iPhone but to see some of these techniques might enthuse people to go backwards a little bit.”

The festival runs until Sunday September 11.

See more at www.facebook.com/StAndPhotoFest.

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