Birnam 2021 – Playing with Light

Welcome to the Perthshire Photographic Society 2021 exhibition. Playing with Light brings together the work of 19 of our members who have chosen some of their favourite framed photos for the gallery and selected images for the digital display. You’ll also find both framed prints and smaller unframed items for sale.

Each of us has been influenced by where we live and the travels we’ve taken. Some of these photos have stories with them – to invite you into the image and the moment when we took the photo. Others are simply for you to see what the image says to you.

These captured moments bring together times of joy and sorrow, challenges and peace.

We hope you will enjoy your time here at Birnam Arts today — maybe you’ll find a photograph that speaks to you. If you find a photograph you’d like to buy, please take note of the purchase code and speak with the staff at the Birnam Arts shop downstairs and tell them that code. They look forward to helping you. There are some photographs that are not for sale – thank you for understanding that not all photographers with to sell the artwork they are exhibiting.

Once again, we are delighted to bring you an exhibition of some of our favourite photos for you to enjoy. If you would like to discover more about the Society, please visit our website.

Alan Edwards

Alan is a keen local photographer who treats his photography purely as a leisure activity that he can pursue in his spare time. He is keen to learn about all aspects and genres of photography and improve his skills along the way. He particularly enjoys capturing sports and nature as well as being out in different locations photographing landscapes.

Loch Tay: View of Loch Tay taken from Kenmore. 

Plockton wreck: Boat wreck hidden away in a small bay at Plockton.  

Lone tree: Lone tree photographed after a recent snow fall. 

Alastair MacIntosh

Alastair retired from a varied career in the glass industry, notably as a glassmaker / designer. He has been interested in photography from a young age, from developing black and white film to the colourful digital present, finding inspiration in landscapes, people – and the occasional unexpected things that he encounters. His camera of choice is a Pentax.

Monster Munch: Tyrannosaurus Rex could be forty feet long and had a brain the size of a bag of crisps but is extinct fortunately. Otherwise, he really would be – your worst nightmare.       

Say cheese: A young mother took her kids to Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow and stopped to take a picture of them. 

Port Ellen, Islay: A calm summer evening looking across Leodamais Bay to the MV Finlaggan, berthed at Port Ellen pier.  

Annette Forsyth

Annette is a semi-professional landscape & close-up photographer based in Crieff, who leads photography workshops and is never happier than when outdoors and walking up a hill. She is drawn to mountains, water and mood and whole-heartedly embraces texture and intricate detail. She has recently discovered cyanotypes and enjoys this camera-less, analogue process very much.

Ice bird: On a frosty winter morning, I spotted the near perfect eye shape in a frozen puddle. Back home, I had the idea to flip the image and stitch them together and was taken aback to see a bird face take shape. Fine Art Giclee Print. Other sizes available on request.                                        
£160  Purchase code: 5A

Still winter morning, Rannoch Moor: The snow-laden cloud at Rannoch Moor was low, the hills barely visible. The true stars of the show were the trees that morning. There was a stillness, calm & quiet you only get in a landscape enveloped by snow. Fine Art Giclee Print.                                                                             
£195  Purchase code: 5B

Cyanotype originals: Each of these botanical cyanotypes is unique and cannot be recreated. Cyanotype is one of the oldest photographic techniques, first seen in1842, with no camera involved.
A paper is coated with UV-light sensitive chemicals, an object is placed on top and the paper is exposed to sunlight, leaving a negative image of the object. Upon exposure, the chemicals turn from a yellowish-green to the characteristic blue-cyan colour, giving the process its name. For this particular type of cyanotype, the paper is used wet, which allows more colours and textures to develop. Importantly, cyanotypes much be hung out of direct sunlight to protect the colours. 

Anemone nemorosa – Wood anemone                               
£45  Purchase code: 5C

Anthriscus sylvestris                                                
£45  Purchase code: 5D

Petrosilium crispum – Parsley                                             
£45  Purchase code: 5E

Paeonia ludlowii – Tree peony seedling                              
£45  Purchase code: 5F

Carolyn Bell

Now retired, Carolyn has been taking photographs since the age of 7 when her parents gave her a Kodak Brownie camera. She still enjoys trying to capture some of the many and varied scenes she sees whilst going about her life so they can be shared with others. Her work frequently focuses on landscape details and abstract patterns.

Ripples on the Clyde: The interaction of a surface of water with the light and environment around it fascinates me. This abstract image shows a patch of the Clyde near the Riverside Museum in Glasgow rippling in the breeze of a blue-sky autumn day in 2019.
£70  Purchase code: 1A

Haifoss: Haifoss (high waterfall) is near the volcano Hekla in southern Iceland. I visited it on a stormy morning in August 2015. It was so windy that I had to lie down on the ground to be able to take this photo of the windblown water at its base. 
£100   Purchase code: 1B

On the Cateran Trail: Every winter I enjoy walks along the Cateran Trail, especially when it has snowed. This untidy group of twisted trees with shape of their bendy trunks accentuated by a coating of driven snow caught my eye.      
£70 Purchase code: 1C

As well as her framed works, Carolyn has an A3 print of On the Cateran Trail and Young birch in snow available for sale.

David Stanghon

David is currently interested in macro photography and learning all the time about the techniques in doing this. He can also cast a quirky eye over a subject that others might miss and produce something different and out of the ordinary. When all goes right and that rare, good photo emerges it is a great lift and enjoyment to him.

Coffee Shack, Helsinki: This beautiful young lady was giving away coffee drinks if you did a minor deed like picking up litter. This was all explained on a chalkboard alongside.            

Layers. Lock 15 Crinan Canal: This is the seaward side of the lock and the layers and patterns formed caught my eye.                                                 

Graham McKenzie

Graham is a semi-retired train driver and a keen photographer, enjoying the outdoor life more than ever and has a particular interest in landscapes and waterfalls.

Little and Large: On an early evening ferry, we passed these 2 vessels and the colours of the sky caught my eye.                                                                                 

View from the Devil’s Staircase: While walking down the Devil’s Staircase, the weather was about to change. Made a lovely atmospheric shot.                                 

The Cuillin from Elgol: A great view awaits from the jetty at Elgol.              

Graham Robb

After a lifetime as a performing musician, composer, music educator & author, Graham is entering a new career as a photographer; he has a particular interest in photographing people at work and at play. He takes photos of a wide variety of action sports, particularly mountain biking, and – this being Scotland – of the Beautiful Game: football! He is delighted that having worked his way up as a “snapper” through the Scottish junior league and second divisions, he is now an accredited photographer for Motherwell FC and Motherwell Women’s squad, both of which are – of course – Scottish Premier League teams. 

Focus: One of a series of photographs of the mechanics at work at Bob’s Mechanical Repairs, Birnam.                                                             

Man mends machine: This is one of a series of photographs of the mechanics at work at Bob’s Mechanical Repairs, Birnam.                                              

Kyle: This is one of a series of photographs of the mechanics at work at Bob’s Mechanical Repairs, Birnam.                                                                  

Hillary Sillitto

Hillary studied physics and applied optics at university, spent much of his engineering career in and around optical systems, and in retirement is enjoying using quality optics in his photography hobby. He has completed the Munros, kayaked across Rannoch Moor, and sailed to the extremities of Scotland. For 40 years he has been trying to capture the magic, excitement and wonder of wild and beautiful places in his photography, and continues to learn.

Torry Light in winter storm: After three days continuous easterly wind, four metre waves were battering the Aberdeenshire coast. This dramatic image shows a wave smashing onto the Torry Light at Aberdeen Harbour entrance. It was a cold blustery day, but I was well rewarded!                                                                     

Loch Linnhe squall: Driving south, just north of the Ballachulish Bridge, I saw wonderful shafts of evening light illuminating rain squalls against the dark background of the Ardgour hills. I was lucky to catch one of them silhouetting the navigation mark south of Corran Ferry. The image is almost black and white but not quite, abstracted to just its key elements.                                                                                                      

The Black Cuillin: The Black Cuillin have always fascinated me. This picture was taken with a telephoto lens from the approach to Arisaig harbour, late in the evening. The black and white treatment highlights the shades of grey in the distant hills and clouds, and the black and white contrast of the ripples in the water reflecting the evening sky. 

Ian Mackay

Ian has retired from a career in the airline business and now spends time playing traditional musical instruments and producing photos and videos. As he travelled all over the world, he was inspired by the beauty that surrounded him wherever he went, and he tries to capture this in his photography. While he very much enjoys taking photos of people and nature, he just loves being on his own in wild, lonely places, photographing the beautiful landscape around him.

Clachaig Falls, Glen Coe: It rained all day yesterday. That’s good news for me. The water levels are high and the falls are spectacular! And don’t you just love this view down Glen Coe towards the Aonach Eagach ridge! What a great way to spend my morning!                    

River Ba, Rannoch Moor: It’s a cold April morning. I’ve had a long hike across Rannoch Moor. I like visiting this small waterfall. If only my rucksack wasn’t so heavy! Never mind, that flask of coffee is going down well. What a magnificent view of the Black Mount. I love landscape photography!                                                       

The road to serenity: It’s a tranquil day in north-east Iceland. Not a soul in sight. I’ve pulled into a lay-by. Well, I just had to stop. What a magnificent scene! The air is so clear and cold. My fingers are freezing but I don’t mind. Winter in Iceland. Wow!  

Katherine Fotheringham

Katherine is an amateur landscape photographer based in Perthshire.  She has a keen interest in Scottish history and enjoys exploring and photographing the hills and glens of Scotland together with her border collie Skye. 

Sgurr an Fhidhleir: I wasn’t holding out much hope for a sunset as I began my walk in the pouring rain to climb Sgurr an Fhidhleir. However, as I neared the top, I could see snow showers and light dancing below and despite the cold I enjoyed watching the show till well after dark.                                                                      
£160 Purchase code: 6A

Island of the Dead: I was visiting Glencoe as Storm Ciara hit. I noticed waves hitting Eilean Munde which has been used as a burial island by clans, including the MacDonalds of Glencoe, for hundreds of years. It was difficult to stand upright in the wind, so I found a wall to shelter by to take this photograph.                                 
£150 Purchase code: 6B

Lynn England

Lynn has spent much of her adult life moving around Europe and the USA before returning to Scotland and settling in Crieff. Her images highlight details, transforming everyday items through focus, lighting, and abstraction. She loves to capture the intricacies of vintage objects, decorative glass or architectural details and styling still life images using natural light. Recently she has been experimenting with double exposures to create texture in her fine art images.

Love in velvet: Love in Velvet …a double exposure print. Two original photos layered to create an art print with a feeling of texture.                                 
£45  Purchase code: 4A

When love fades: When love fades …a double exposure print. Two original photographs are layered to create an art print with a feeling of texture.            
£45  Purchase code: 4B

As well as her framed works, Lynn has a selection of art board prints, art cads and art stickers available for sale.

Malcolm Lind

Malcom’s photography comes from tales I write for shoots. Inspiration is the landscape, ecology and myths of Scotland. Models and minimal props repopulate the archaeology of straths and hills.

Irrational fears: Why do we learn to fear “witches”, and not the witch-finders and ministers who persecuted, drowned and burned them? The Scottish Parliament is soon to debate a pardon for the thousands of (mainly) women drowned and burnt alive, charged under the infamous Witchcraft Act, between 1563-1736.                                                             
£150  Purchase code: 8A

Masking troubles: Any person who has experienced clinical depression or anxiety, may recognise the forced emotions and illusory controls used to mask the real feelings and fears.                                                                                 
£150  Purchase code: 8B

Windmills of the mind: When visiting a ruin, my mind maintains a flow of images of what I have seen, and what I expect to see. When I get to the deepest or tallest part, all those images of the ruin become a montage, a way of seeing through to the past.            
£150  Purchase code: 8C

Michael Nicoll

Michael is a Landscape Designer who had been interested in photography for more than 40 years, including his 34 years as a member of Perthshire Photographic Society. He enjoys taking photographs of a wide range of subjects, but flowers, landscape and motor sport are a particular interest of his.

Blue copse:  This is a Cyanotype photographic print using a negative of an original print of a copse of trees in a field near Bridge of Earn taken on a cold misty morning in January.
£120 Purchase code: 9A

Getting past: British Touring Car Championship. The last race of each meeting is a reverse grid and is the most entertaining of each meet as the faster cars at the rear try to make their way through the field.  

Talisker Bay: Talisker Bay on the Isle of Skye. 

As well as his framed works, Michael has an A4 print of both Getting Past and Talisker Bay available for sale.

Mike Bell

Mike retired from the NHS in 2012 after developing a keen interest in landscape and travel photography. He has worked on projects for countryside trusts and tourist organisations, taught landscape photography techniques on photographic workshops and written magazine articles. He was PPS president from 2017 to 2019.

Roussanou Convent: Roussanou Convent is one of an amazing series of monastic buildings set atop natural limestone towers in Meteora, Northern Greece. Taken just after sunrise in October. 
£80  Purchase code: 2A

Varlaam Monastery: Varlaam Monastery is one of an amazing series of monastic buildings set atop natural limestone towers in Meteora, Northern Greece. Taken just after sunrise in October. 
£80  Purchase code: 2B

Bryce Canyon hoodoos: The hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, Utah, were formed by weathering of the soft rock by rain and ice. In certain lighting conditions they seem translucent.                
£80  Purchase code: 2C

As well as his framed works, Mike has an A3 print of 5 different photos available for sale.

Sandie Smith

Sandie’s photographic subject matter is mainly the natural environment of rural Scotland but also the Roussillon and the Pyrenees in Southern France. A particular interest for her is the passage of time be it in a macro image of a dandelion clock or the shift of the seasons and their effect on the land.

Sea potatoes: Sea Potatoes are hairy little creatures which live in the sand on the shoreline. They are like sea urchins and related to starfish. When their lives are over, a skeletal very fine bone like structure remains. It is highly detailed, intricate and fragile.       
£45  Purchase code: 10A

Sea potato test: The remaining skeleton of the sea potato is called a test. For me it is a fitting description for the intricacy of the structure left. Finesse and exquisite delicacy in the remnant of a very ancient natural sea creature.                 
£45  Purchase code: 10B

Urchins of the heart: The other name for Sea Potatoes is Heart Urchin. It’s clear to see why, given their distinctive shape as a residual shell.               
£60  Purchase code: 10C

Sandy Swanton

Sandy is a professional wildlife and wild places visual storyteller, with nearly a decade of freelance travel writing and photography after a career in marketing and communications. Originally from Sydney Australia, she has also lived in western Canada and central Italy and has travelled further afield. Now making home in Perthshire, she is looking forward to exploring less-travelled corners of Scotland through the seasons.

Winter contemplation: Winter sunset by the water of Vancouver Island offers beautiful sunset views. Looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, towards the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, the short stretch of water offers a quiet place to contemplate the enormity of life in the wilderness, mountains and the sea.          

Winter on Mt. Wellington: Tasmania’s winter weather is full of surprises, and the top of Hobart landmark, Mt. Wellington, is no exception. The storm had raged through leaving the landscape a frozen icescape. As the day warmed, some of the ice melted, leaving eucalyptus leaves frozen in time.                                                  

I really am in Paris! Jet-lagged and on a bus, I suddenly woke to find myself staring out the bus window as we pulled up beside the Eiffel Tower. I guess I really am in Paris now!           

Tom Ryan

Tom has a background in Physics and spent most of his career working in the semiconductor industry in USA. His work took him frequently to the Far East where he developed a love for the neon-lit canyons of busy, crowded Asian cities at night. Perth may not quite compare with Tokyo, but Tom has discovered that the city can have its own beauty and charm on a rain soaked evening.

You deserve so much better: A rainy night in Edinburgh. Two girls deep in conversation in a coffee shop. Condensation streaming down the windows. What are they talking about?                                                                               

Skinnergate: Late at night, a woman walks her dog through the centre of Perth. Along St John St and the Kirkgate, across the High St and home by the Ship Inn on the Skinnergate. Maybe she popped in for a nightcap and a natter?        

St John’s Kirk in Perth: Built in the late 1400’s and birthplace of the Scottish Reformation, St John’s is one of the most glorious examples of medieval architecture in Scotland.                 

Wallace Gilbraith

After many years of taking disappointing photographs of the great outdoors, Wallace resolved to up his game. While this remains a work in progress, he finds himself increasingly comfortable with indoor environments as well. Ultimately, it’s about the light, and the light is everywhere, so the work becomes a process of cultivating the ability to see.

Birds on a stick impression: Shilasdair Yarn shop, at the north end of Skye, had this lovely construction on the wall in the porch. Earlier in the week, I’d seen eagles in that area, and this simple shape gave me the impression of birds in flight.                                   
£120  Purchase code: 7A

Life of Riley: There was magazine article a while back showing people in art galleries dressed to match the artworks. Great fun. Credit to the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh for permitting unobtrusive photography during Bridget Riley’s retrospective show. 
£120  Purchase code: 7B

Yvonne Deed

Yvonne is a local amateur photographer who enjoys all aspects of photography, travelling throughout the UK in order to find interesting subjects. Yvonne has a particular interest in nature, landscapes, and portraiture.

Mooring Line: View of the Forth Rail Bridge from North Queensferry.      
£60  Purchase code: 3A

Greater Stitchwort: Greater Stitchwort, scientific name Stellaria holostea. 
£60  Purchase code: 3B

Llandudno Pier: A long exposure of Llandudno Pier. The pier, designed by James Brunlees, opened in August 1877.                                               
£60  Purchase code: 3C