I attended the Creative Light Photography Festival 2022 in Drumnadrochit last week.  One of my primary motivations for attending was a talk and workshop by Charlotte Bellamy whose work I admire.

Charlotte started her talk with a quotation from the photographer Edward Weston:

“Why limit yourself to what your eyes see when you have such an opportunity to extend your vision?”  (1961)

I assume that Weston is talking about the endless possibilities the camera offers to capture something more than a representation of what we see.  And while I like to use the camera in playful ways, I was a little concerned as to whether this approach was consistent with my aim to capture the Being of another.  I do, of course, work with intentional camera movement and combining multiple exposures in camera, however, I like to think my work is subtle and authentic rather than the gay abandons Weston’s quote seems to suggest.  However, as Charlotte continued, she recommended immersing oneself in the location and giving yourself time and permission to understand what is capturing your imagination and attention.  This is very much consistent with my approach although I would suggest that knowing a location takes years or months rather than something that can be achieved in a few minutes.  I would argue that in a new location, one can only gain an impression rather than an understanding of place and space.  From my perspective, finding myself in a novel place induced a sense of dislocation and fracture, rather than dwelling.

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

Charlotte recommended that we must be clear as to why we use ICM.  In my case, I seek to expose the essence of my subject through subtle movements that reflect the natural patterns and shapes of the reeds or trees.  She confirmed this approach by suggesting we might follow the contours of the landscape, moving up and down to capture trees and to draw a square when photographing buildings.

Multiple Exposure

Again, it is important to be clear why combining images achieves, something over and above a single image.  In my terms, the question is what is the “more than” in the third image?  My rationale for combining images is to enhance the luminosity of the loch, for example, or to increase the sense of movement in an image.  While I combine the images in camera, Charlotte generally combines her work in Photoshop, and in so doing, does not necessarily represent the scene that she saw when she took the image.  Indeed, she maintains a library of images that she can use to combine when she returns to the studio.  In my work, I like to work intuitively in the field and not spend lots of conscious time processing my images.  I like them to be as authentic as possible to what I saw at the time.

After a thorough briefing from Charlotte, we set out the following morning to put what we had learnt into practice.

ICM and Multiple Exposure Workshop – Image taken by Charlotte Bellamy, October 2022

ICM and Multiple Exposure Workshop – Image taken by Charlotte Bellamy, October 2022

For me, I wanted to experiment with slower shutter speeds.  Charlotte suggested between 1 and 2 seconds which is significantly slower than the settings I normally use.  However, the weather conditions in Drumnadrochit were calmer than the average day on the Isle of Skye!  In my work, I tend to enhance natural movement and use 1/30 – 1/10 of a second exposure in a howling gale.

By using a slower shutter speed than normal I seemed to have quite a lot of time on my hands, and I found myself overthinking what I might do.  I was almost stopping too soon, with the sweep of the camera coming to a grinding halt.  But after a while, I began to get the hang of it.  From the information on the back of the screen the images I was now taking, seemed to be much further from reality than I would ordinarily take and involved more conscious, rather than unconscious thought and movement than I think is appropriate for my work.  However, here are some of the images I took:

Creative Light Photography Festival 1 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 2 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 3 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 4 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 5 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 6 – Alison Price, October 2022

Creative Light Photography Festival 7 – Alison Price, October 2022

I enjoyed my time in the field experimenting with different shutter speeds but I need to reflect on whether this approach to producing the aesthetic of the images above is consistent with my ontology.  Special thanks to Charlotte Bellamy for her inspiration.



Weston, E. (1961). The Day Books of Edward Weston. Rochester, New York, George Eastman House.


Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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