Category Archives: Photography

Do Judge A Book By It’s Cover

Evie & Maria’s (S2) book cover design was a runner up for the Scottish Book Cover Competition 2016-2017. I love how they’ve bisected the cover, showing different characters from the book. 

Shannah’s (S6) photo cover of a frozen spider web and Niamh’s (S6) watercolour painting also received recognition for their entries. All four girls received book vouchers and a certificate for their skills. 

Braiders Of The Lost Art

I really love this photo taken from the shoot of Lois M (S5) for her ‘Queen of Hearts’ fashion design. It’s an outtake photo and was never used for her unit, but I can’t help but love the tones and textures on her plait, the shadows and lines of her concertinaed collar and the little touch of collar from the papier-mâchéd red torso. 

As Cute As A Bug In A Rug



This week’s Artwork of the Week comes from a student in my Higher Photography class. He had studied Intermediate Photography last year and did so well that Higher Photography was a certainty. Liam‘s photograph just screams cute and fun for me. The figure was not actually placed, it was found like this lying in the grass. His aperture settings are perfect and the sunlight and ISO levels on the shot make it highly dynamic. This shot just makes me love photography, love light and love being happy. Hope you like it too.

Katie Calls The Shots


Katie B (S2 / OLSP) has a huge interest in photography. Fortunately for her, she’s also got a great eye for a nice photograph. Her varied subjects and compositions make it a delight to look through her portfolio, below you will see a few examples from that collection.


Above, a beautiful ‘look through’ showing depth while attracting the eye to the centre of the image. Katie took the image in black and white, making the contrasts between light and dark much stronger while avoiding distracting her audience with colour. Below, Katie uses aperture to heighten the depth of field, drawing the viewers attention to the foreground pebbles while blurring into the background lets us know that the pebbles travel on for some distance. We’re shown a small piece of detail on a vast beach of sepia coloured rocks and stone.



Above, a beautifully stark image of the moon, surrounded by black negative space. The moon is slightly out of focus but rather than being a frustration to the viewer, it adds a beautiful halo around it’s outline which is the only element of colour in the whole image; a slight tinge of green. Lastly, below is a gloriously romantic image of what I presume to be cherry blossom. The contrasts in colour between the pink flower and sapphire blue sky adds a sense of dreaminess to the photo. This is only helped by a slight lens flare in the bottom right corner.




This month’s Pupil Spotlight is on a pupil from my Int 2 Photography class. Jenna M (OLSP) didn’t really think she had a skill for photography, though I completely disagree. Her shots display a level of layers that peel apart, the more you examine the image.

jenna manray b&w

The above image is Jenna’s Manray inspired image. Several different poses were photographed and each variation on the left eye was placed and merged onto her cheek using Photoshop. This photo reminds me of the work of Charles Burns, expecially his ‘Black Hole’ graphic novel. It’s got that mutant feel, though still looks very pretty.

Below, Jenna creates a single cover for the band ‘Passenger’. Using a variety of different photographs (taken herself, no Google Images here!), composited together and then, looking at the type of David Carson, she laid out the image (finding and downloading her own free for use fonts). It’s absolutely brilliant and one of the best designs I’ve seen from a pupil. It’s things like this that make me happy to be a teacher. Great work!!

jenna album cover flat bw final cover

Deery Me



I haven’t updated in a while due to increasing workloads and a little bit of being ill. I am trying to get everything up and running again, and trying not to focus the site’s updates too much on Instagram and Twitter. Sadly, the social networks get more traffic, so if you would like daily updates, follow the blog on my Instagram account, or my Twitter one (links found down the right hand column).

I’d like to show you a nice photoshopped image by Ashleigh McK (S6/OLSP). She has created an image for a Manray unit as part of her media photography course. Images were taken and then manipulated in photoshop to create a surreal feel. I love that it is a nicely dressed deer hanging out in a tree.

Capturing The Moment



This week’s ‘Artwork of the Week’ comes from Jenna M (S5, OLSP).  Jenna is a member of my Int 2 Photography class and has taken numerous great photographs full of atmosphere and grit. She can’t see it herself, but she has a good eye for capturing morbid imagery, with a little hint of tongue in cheek. This is the kind of photograph I love, dark humoured and layered with different meanings with every viewing. The photo above, of her dog, could be frightening or funny depending on how you read the dog’s expression. The dull browns and greys in the image make it look vintage, in a domestic setting, like you’re invited into her home for a small glimpse of a particular moment… Brilliant.

Dazzling Daffies



The astonishing drawing above was created by my friend and colleague, Val Hamilton. She is the Principal Teacher of Art & Design at Oban High School. It was created in the app ProCreate, on an iPad. Val took a photo of some daffodils, imported it into ProCreate, then used the tools available such as smudge, fill, paintbrush and eraser to manipulate and create the detailed and interesting image above. I really like how the image slowly becomes more painterly as your eyes browse across the work, we are forced to look around the work, deciding if the image is a photograph or not, trying to figure out if the image is real or created. Well, it’s both, a sum greater than each of its parts. If you have an iPad, try it out yourself and email me the result.

Poised & Focused


I have only recently discovered that Lois M (S2, OLSP) takes photographs. She kindly brought a few examples in for me to see and I was blown away with how strong they were. Lois is in S2, so to have an understanding of framing, composition and contrast of shapes and forms when snapping a shot is very impressive.


Lois has used the surrounding structures in Glasgow very successfully to attract the eye to the background of the image as well as reflecting the shapes in the lower half of her pictures, creating a broken symmetry and an interesting pattern. Her use of mixing strong, bold colours along with very stark and drastic monotone black and white shots make her selection here very accessible, almost telling a story or setting a scene.



She uses recognisable photographic compositions to achieve beautiful shots, middle symmetry above and leading lines below. Each attracting and moving the eye in a pre-determined manner across the image. The leading lines photos below are particularly strong, as our eyes are drawn into the centre of each photo, almost feeling like we are travelling through a tunnel or down a track, which I feel is really clever as the subjects (an avenue and a road) are all about movement and the journey.



I can’t wait to see more of Lois’ photographs and hope that she maybe tackles close ups, still life or portraiture next.

‘And In The End… She Did It Her Way!’

The great image below was taken and photoshopped by Fran K (S5, OLSP). It was created as part of my given task to compose a piece of work that embodied the surreal ethics of Manray. Fran focused on making her head look like a still life object and inserted it into a school locker. Considering she has just started taking photographs and that she has used Photoshop for a few hours, this is a marvelous feat. Fran had been featured on AOTW a few years back, though I feel her work just gets better and better.