Tidalfire Exhibition

The time is getting nearer to the exhibition that I'll be having at Tidalfire in the centre of Edinburgh so I thought I'd give you all the details.

If you're not aware, Tidalfire are a web and technology training company specialising in Adobe products. Their premises on St Mary's Street have a reception area with bare walls at the front and an empty window display that they have invited artists to fill for two week periods. They call it the Window of Opportunity. On Monday, 22nd October 2012, I will be setting up my exhibition of photographs and hope people can make it in at some point to see them. Although it's worth checking out what Tidalfire have on offer, don't be shy on going in just to have a look at the images on show - they will welcome you with open arms.

The set of images I will be showing are of my favourite places in Edinburgh and all shot on various film cameras and black and white films ranging from pinhole cameras to infrared film. They will be available to buy directly through me and individually priced at the exhibition as well as on here for those who can't make it.

Thanks, and let me know what you thought of it.


  • Dates: 22 October to 5th November 2012
  • Location: Tidalfire Ltd, 42 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SX
  • Opening Times: Monday to Friday - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Points Make Prizes

I've been a bit quiet recently - on here, Twitter to a degree, and definitely on Flickr - but there have been things happening in the background that I thought I would let you all in on.

Firstly, the group exhibition in May - "Two Cities" - had a prize giving night where a panel decided which photos were the best of the bunch for a handful of categories. The prizes were divided into "winner" and two "commended" slots for each category and then there was a "Viewers Choice" which was voted for through the week by visitors. If you missed the theme of the show then it was to display two photographs of Edinburgh with contrasting views of the city.

Two Cities Prizes

Two Cities Prizes

I was delighted to win two "commended" prizes on the night - one for best photograph with "The National Monument" and one for best photographs that matched the theme. For me, these were two main categories - they showed your ability as a photographer and that you can curate your work adequately enough to a theme.

2012-06-06 18.53.10 HDR.jpg

Shortly after the exhibition in May I heard that The Edinburgh Sketcher, Mark Kirkham, was displaying his work at Tidalfire in Edinburgh. Tidalfire are not a gallery but a training company that specialise in Adobe products, design and coding languages. Inside their shop on St. Mary's Street (just off the Royal Mile/Canongate) they have blank walls and an empty window so they created "WoO" - the Window of Opportunity. Artists can use the space to display their work for two weeks using the walls inside and the window display. It's an opportunity I want to be part of so I will be displaying my photography there from the 22nd October until the 5th November 2012. I'll post more details as I have them.

Friends and family have been very supportive over the last year or so by promoting my work, but I also love the honesty when you need to hear it most. "Iain, you need to get some new photographs up" said Matt, my brother-in-law, and he is absolutely right. I've been shooting quite a lot over the summer, experimenting with different techniques and formats so I have a lot of black and white film still to be processed which I hope to have done soon. The summer months have had me on holiday quite a few times with my wife including visits to Bath, The Highlands, and Venice where I have shot a lot of colour film for a change. With all that I'll have plenty of photos to be sharing with you all soon.

Two Cities Photography Exhibition

Last week I submitted two pieces of work to be shown at the YMCA in Edinburgh as part of an exhibition called Two Cities. It's the first time I have put my work on show outside of the internet and it felt like the perfect exhibition to take part in to get me started.

The idea was a simple one: one piece being a classic view of Edinburgh and one that is more hidden. I looked at my favourite shots of Edinburgh and knew what Classic Edinburgh" shot I was going to use straight away - I took a pinhole of the National Monument back in January and I was very proud of it. The "Hidden Edinburgh" was a different story, I pondered this one for a while constantly aware that I would need to have it printed soon. What angle do you go for? Urban decay? It's been done so much and in better ways that I have. In the end I stayed with what I enjoy shooting most in the City and that is the Georgian New Town and that includes a small lane that runs behind the grand houses of Royal Circus - Royal Circus Lane. I took this photo in February 2011 (the same day I took the photo of "BERNIE the Bingo Machine") and I was very pleased with it.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 9th June 2012 until Sunday 17th June 2012 and I'll be heading along for the first time tomorrow night for a look at what the others have put together, it would be good to see you there.

(A Kind Gesture of) Distant December Honesty

I was recently asked by a talented local poet if he could accompany his poem with one of my photographs. Last year he’d taken a walk up Calton Hill during the heavy snow we had and was inspired to write this poem. Around the same time I had also walked up and had taken photos of the scene from the top. When I read the poem, there was no question; it reminds me of the day I took these photographs and how I felt once reaching the top.


(A Kind Gesture of) Distant December Honesty

by A. Waddell

Through snow, we talk.
Your soft and often sullen voice
soaks into my feet.
Now then, now there.
We groan in mild despair.

The Crags ragged as ever,
black on white.
The National Monument towering solid
despite growing bitter ache.

Like a “trippy cloud” you say,
the snow from the East
dissipates the grey of the city.
But in my sight, two bright blue lochs;
a kind gesture of distant December honesty.

I turn and smile at the city lulled.

Our chancy canter
gathers speed on the way down
not from momentum but
the proposal of a pint
and ease of unravelling tales.

Not long and an aura of heat
cushions our chilled skin.
Soft leather,
polished mahogany
and posters.
I remove scarf and jacket
and sit.
Sip sip to sup
we drink.

We chat,
watching wisps of winter
form on the window,
listening to passing hearts
muffled by the slush of Scottish spine.

If you would to read more of Alan’s poems then you can visit his blog at www.waddellpoetry.com.