Photogaphy guide, John Bellany and harbour at night

In last weekend’s Guardian, there was an 80 page handout – The Guardian: A photography masterclass. Anyone who is a keen photographer should have a look at this – I have certainly learned much and am only half way through. There are sections on camera techniques and equipment, but also on photography as art, “emotional awareness”, street photography, landscape photography, sport, travel and still art photography. These articles are written by experts such as Eamonn McCabe and Don McCullin and what they give the reader is ideas and different ways of looking at what you might photograph e.g. don’t always go for the obvious.

There’s a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh and it features the artist John Bellany who was born in the fishing town of Port Seton which is 20 miles (32K) up the coast from Dunbar. One of my sisters has 2 Bellany paintings – gifts from the artist himself who now lives in Braga in Tuscany. While Bellany is not one of my favourite artists, there is a fascination in his work as he often juxtaposes the real and the surreal. In Edinburgh this week, I took the 1st photo below (phone camera so not the best quality) as it struck me as high art and low food, with the Bellany poster on the side of the National Gallery and the burger van below. While this is a juxtaposition of the real and the real, I thought it was a great contrast.

A walk long the harbour in Dunbar last night to try and get my night photography to improve. While I can take some good photos close up, I’m struggling to get good landscape photos. I have searched for advice on this but not found the right advice . There were two fishing boats in last night, both with catches of prawns. Next to each boat were flocks of noisy and disputatious seagulls. There was also a seal which dived and came up in the middle of the gulls, causing them to panick and fly up in unison. This would make a great shot and during the day, I could use my sports setting to catch this but it wouldn’t work at night. What I did get was photos 2 and 3 below – of a box of newly landed prawns waiting for collection, and a young seagull which landed on the harbourside next to the fishing boat.

High art and low food

Newly landed prawns

Young seagull at night


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