John Smith: artist and photographer living in Kirkcudbrightshire, South West Scotland. Trained at Birmingham College of Art and taught same for 32 years mainly in the English Midlands. Former Chairman of The Stewartry Camera Club which meets each Wednesday evening in Kirkcudbright, a delightful coastal town with an active fishing fleet.

I regularly exhibit my work alongside my wife who is a talented artist.

Diversity in photography is important to me, so you will find here a whole range of types, styles and formats of picture.

Travel is also something that I enjoy and have been fortunate in being able to visits lots of interesting places, but this site is not a travelogue, it’s about the art of photography.

I do try to keep my comments to a minimum, but believe that a few words can give a context, set the scene, and add flavour to what you see. Words can validate, but it stands or falls on the picture quality.

I really do enjoy hearing from you. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired.

If you are interested in my work and would like to receive an email each time there’s a new post, just click on the RSS feed in the right hand column.

Please be aware that all my photographs are copyright and may only be used with permission.

Best regards


January 2012

172 thoughts on “About

  1. Aha ….. Mistakes. Yes, many, but from some of them you learn. The mistakes generally occur in the camera. Correcting them means cropping,and adjusting in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. There are very few that I get right first time.
    Life’s mistakes. mmmmm ….. best kept quiet!
    You ask difficult questions Dilbag!!

  2. its wonderful to read your mind. hehehe. i love this process. yes i got you.. life mistakes are funny and dangerous as well. but we can learn great from them. many people fails to do so. but God bless all souls. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ .. you can tell a single mistake.. let me see . hehe

  3. Love your wide range of subjects, John. Each photo conveys a story. They say pictures say a thousand words. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Love yours. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Hasayang. I enjoy the opportunity to see what you and all our WordPress friends are getting up to. …..and isn’t it much better to give our pictures an airing rather than them being hidden away inside that black hole that is a hard drive.

  4. Hello John, you have some wonderful work here. I am designing a promotional card for a friend of mine who is teaching movement and yoga and wondered how much you would charge to use your image ‘The Spirit of Dance’? It would be used cropped to A6 on a short print run of 250. We don’t have much of a budget but I thought I would check. We would credit you of course.

    Best wishes

    PAul (paul@graphicnet.co.uk)

  5. John,
    First of all, thank you for stopping by my blog http://reflectionsofchina.wordpress.com/, for the likes and the follow, they are truly appreciated..Then, a big thank you for taking time out to comment on some of my images, your words of kindness really inspired me…Now to your blog…Wow, I love the creativity, your artistic skill and your use of light and composition, all together creating some fantastic images. I will now have to keep coming back to see what’s next. I love the Mist on the Loch and Banks of the Nith…Thanks for connecting and for sharing your talent.

    • Coming from a photographer who’s work I admire and respect greatly, your words of support and encouragement are received with much appreciation and thanks. Self doubt rules us all. We do not seek praise and flattery, only confirmation that we are on the right track ….. but it’s a long road…. and on it we learn so much from sharing our vision. Thanks Mark.

  6. Hello John, I am currently designing a small promotional card for a friend of mine who teaches movement. I found your photograph ‘The Spirit of Dance’ and wondered if you would consider licensing its use (with credit of course). We don’t have much of a budget and the print run would be 250 A6 cards. Could yo let me know what your terms would be please? Unfortunately I couldn’t find an email address or contact number for you so had to do this via this post.

    Kind regards

    Paul (paul@graphicnet.co.uk)

  7. Hello John, your work is beautiful. I am working on the design of a promotional card for a friend of mine – she teaches movement. I wondered if your image ‘The Spirit of Dance’ is available to use on a short (250 A6 postcards) print run. If so could you let me know what you would charge please.

    Sorry that I’ve had to pos here. There doesn’t appear to be any contact information for you on this site.

    Best wishes,

    Paul (paul@graphicnet.co.uk)

  8. Hi, its sam (i was in the gallery this afternoon) love the pictures, especially the indian ones! Check out some of mine here, critique away if you like πŸ™‚

    Lajares Beetle
    • Thanks Sam, its good to hear from you. I will certainly view your pictures and am happy to offer a critique. In the meantime, good luck with your photography.
      Regards, John

  9. Hi John

    I thought I would leave you a comment here πŸ™‚ Thank you for your recent helpful comments. There are not many people who offer up comments and ideas but I really appreciate that. I decided just last year to buy myself a camera and opted for the Nikon D3100 with the 18-105mm lens. I’ve been looking at other people’s photographs and getting ideas from them. That’s why I started the blog, to get comments and helpful hints. I just don’t have the time to belong to a club at the moment and I’m not sure where my nearest would be…

    I really like some of you work and I can see some of the shots you have taken that I tried but failed at, mainly because I had not set the camera up right. I also started playing with software but I realise that sometimes it is just best to leave that picture alone πŸ™‚

    I love Scotland by the way. I have spent sometime on Mull and Iona. We went on a camping holiday last year working our way up from may parents in Sutton Coldfield to near Edinburgh and then across past Ben Nevis to Mull. We are planning a visit this year, working our way up to the Orkney’s and back down past Loch Ness.


    • Thanks Stephen, I enjoy looking at images, both paintings and photography, and am happy to critique so long as I don’t upset anybody. You have a good eye for a picture and your standard and choices are high. If you pass by SW Scotland you are welcome to call.
      Thanks very much for your interest and openness. Regards, John.

  10. Hi John
    I just read the comment you have left on my blog for the “Sufferer” post. Such words coming from such a professional and experienced artist mean a lot to me as I am only a learner in this subject. I would like to say thank you very much for noticing my work.

    • Believe me, we are all learners….. I certainly get comments from experienced friends that bring me up short. They keep you on your toes. Its so easy to get complacent and to post photos that have not been considered from all points of view. you have to ‘live’ with your pictures and keep going back to them in order to see where there are issues. This is particularly true in relationship to composition. Distractions near the edges of photos is often something that can be overlooked.

      As for ‘noticing’ your work……. the quality stands out. The set in question is second to none……… second to none..
      Best regards, John.

  11. Thank you for kind words on my photoblog. It means lot coming from an experienced artist – photographer.

    I follow your page and enjoy your fantastic work. Greetings from Ukraine.

    • Greetings from Scotland, Mirjam. I so much enjoyed seeing your excellent photography and would encourage all my visitors to go and see the work that you do, not just in photography, but your work with children as well. Please visit Mirjam’s blog … http://mirisphotos.org/
      Regards, John.

  12. Hi John, thank you very much for your great comments on my posts at ‘ellispictures.com’ Im glad you enjoyed them, it means a lot to me that someone has spend their time looking through my work and its a pleasure to read good comments too. Best wishes Steve

    • Hi Steve, as you will have seen, I have started following your blog. You are dealing with an area of photography in HDR that I have had trouble accepting, probably because it is usually done very badly. It was a joy to find your blog because it got me really excited, so I would encourage other visitors here to come and see your work for themselves. Regards, John.

      • Hi John, Thank you once more, it would be a absolute pleasure if you could mention my site to your fellow followers. I am fairly new to photography so Im very much still learning different techniques which im really enjoying doing at the moment
        Best regards Steve

  13. Hello John, thank you so much for your feedback on my photoblog! That means a lot to me! It makes me see my own pictures from another perspective. Love your work and I will definitely follow your blog! Thank you for sharing your treasures! πŸ™‚ I wish you all the best! Violeta

    • Hello Violeta, I very much enjoyed looking at your work. You are a talented photographer and I will visit your blog regularly. Thanks for your visit here….. we shall meet again. Best regards, John.

  14. Hello, John. I have just paid my first visit to your world, thanks to Scott Brill’s repost and brilliant essay inspired by one of your recently-posted photographs. It has been quite some time since I have been so captivated by the imagination of a newly-discovered artist, and I am very happy to have found you and your work. I am now a follower.

    • Hi Suze, I must say that is so very kind and thoughtful of you and I really appreciate the honour. Wow, I just hadn’t thought that anyone might do that. Thanks, and a big hug back to you… πŸ˜€
      Best wishes, John

        • I use Photomatix Pro for the HDR editing which is available for a free trial period. If you look for some review sites you can obtain a code that allows a discount if you come to buy it later. That should be enough to see if your computer can handle it. Regards, John.

          • Ok, I will look into that πŸ™‚ Thanks for the suggestion!

            I am also considering purchasing something like Adobe Lightroom – once budget allows me to. Currently my ‘post-processing’ consists of simply adjusting exposure, brightness, saturation and contrast, but dodging and burning seems like something I would like to try πŸ™‚ I have carefully tried to give it a go with my old Photoshop CS3, but it’s still experimental πŸ˜‰

    • Umm, the in’s and out’s of WordPress are baffling….I think that you can ‘follow’ from the top bar, next to the WordPress logo….possibly….that’s what I do….:-)
      It’s an honour if you do…..!

      • I have done that, but I only get updates in the reader, I don’t get an email. If you want people to subscribe and get emails when you update, you can do that via the widgets, there is a widget for it, that is what I did.

      • Hi John, I haven’t much from you, I don’t know if you saw the post I did on unwanted criticism, I just wanted to let you know that I was not referring to you at all. I know we got off on the wrong foot, but I do really appreciate what you have to say. I love hearing from you and I hope you didn’t think I was talking about you. I had a couple of people from out of no where just start criticising everything I did. It was most off putting. They have disappeared now, which I am pleased about. But I really wanted to let you know that I was not talking about you. I actually really do respect your opinion now.

        • Hi Leanne, your thoughtfulness is much appreciated. I have replied by email. I have no worries about this issue and always enjoy my visits to your very interesting blog. Best regards, John.

  15. hai Sir,
    you remember me? I’m Soumyasree, daughter of the Artist Sreejith from (Kannur) Kerala,India.
    u visited us a few weeks back after seeing that 3d street art painting we did at Kochi & took some nice snaps of mine & dad when you came to our home with ur friend…Well.i just mailed you to remind you to send us those snaps..& please note to send that snap of a guy (a fair & handome) also which you found inside of a shop, while walking back to the main road to catch an auto with me..Anyways take ur time…
    i tried to send an email..but it was not getting delivered..some problem with the address! looking forward for more!
    I just saw ur blog…so much mindblowing snaps…owoww! Great!

    Hope you are fine…where are you finally now? hope you had a great time in India.take care.

    Thanking you,

    • Hi Soumyasree, good to hear from you. Never fear, as soon as I have processed your photos I will send them to you. We had a wonderful time and the visit to see you and your father was a special part. I will send my email address again shortly….best regards, John.

    • Hi David, and good to hear from you. There are days when I think I’ve had enough, despite enjoying putting the images together…..tomorrow I may feel reinvigorated…… πŸ™‚
      Welcome aboard.
      Regards, John

  16. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Images of people from India on your blog are excellent in quality, technically as well as emotionally. Lovely work.

  17. Dear John
    thanks for visiting, commenting and particularly following. Your images are an inspiration and I love your comments (as far as I understand ;-))
    Regards, RG

  18. John, just popped over to your blog and absolutely love the portrait photographs (well have not come across others yet). Excellent material and look forward to seeing more and your complete diverse range. MM πŸ“·

    • Welcome, and thanks for dropping by. You have an interesting range of material on your own blog to be sure…. and i will be back to visit again. In the meantime, give my regards to Cork.

    • Hi MM……….I feel honoured that you should make this nomination. It is very encouraging.
      Sorry, but your link is not working for me.
      To be honest, I am finding it difficult to continue to give the time to my blog and so regret that I must decline to follow it up. This I do with much regret and should not be seen as a rejection of your kind and thoughtful consideration.

  19. I found your blog this morning and am quite captivated by your photography. Beautiful, beautiful work. The portraits and snippets of Life in India are particularly intriguing, but also Scotland because I’ll be visiting there this May for the first time. I’m now a follower of your blog!

    • Hi Debi, sorry to be so slow in responding. Thank you very much for your comment and welcome. I do hope that you enjoy your forthcoming visit to Scotland and I will try to catch up with you on your blog soon…..best regards, John.

  20. Thanks for the like and comment on my blog, much appreciated. I do some photography myself. The links are on my blog’s sidebar if you’re interested.

  21. Hello, John! I’ve given you an award! You may be award-free and that’s okay by me…just wanted to share your work with the world. If you want it go by my blog and pick it up! I DO so love your work.

    • Hi Ray, you certainly honour me by suggesting that I’m a creative blogger, and I thank you sincerely for that. We have been preparing to take a vacation and consequently have been busy and I haven’t had much time to consider how to respond.
      Although they are a bit of fun, I don’t generally join in with them because they seem a little like social media, and that’s not what I’m about. Not that I don’t appreciate the nomination. You are very kind.

      Best regards

  22. While I have checked out your blog earlier but I guess I’ve missed subscribing to it…I’m doing so now!
    Scotland is really interesting place for me. the countryside is just so amazing full of natural beauty..hope to see it in person! till then your blog will help me uncover it little better!

    • Thank you, I was hoping to visit for the 8th time in April, but my father died recently, he was 101. My family on my mother’s side, several generations ago, lived and worked in India and I had a great uncle who came to live in the UK after partition who was married to an Indian girl.
      Almost without fail I have enjoyed my visits, and meeting people has always been the high point of my stay.

      • Thank you for the feedback. I had a plesant surprice that you are a frequest visitor to India and even have Indian connection.
        I am sorry to hear the sad news.Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dear dad.
        Glad that you had wonderful time during your visits here inspite of certain limitations. Thank you once again.Warm regards.

  23. Hi! I just started browsing around here and just love your photos. I will be looking more and I know I will find inspiration and ideas for my next projects that I will be adding to my little blog.

  24. Only recently discovered your page. I’ve particularly loved the photographs of India. Any shots of Diwali celebrations?

  25. I do believe you’re off by a year in your shots of Stoke Junction and the steam sheds. Stoke Junction closed on the 17th July 1966 along with 12 other mechanical boxes. I was a box lad in those days. The gantries that carried the overhead wires were going up as you can see in the photograph you took but no wires had been suspended from them. I would say this picture was taken either in the summer of 1965 or early spring of 1966 not long before the box closed. Do you have anymore pictures of Stoke Junction Signal Box? Any interior shots? It would’ve all depended what Signallmen were on duty the day you took the pictures. Stoke Junction was a LNW design of 128 levers and had two resident Signallmen on each shift. I knew them all.

    Sorry for the correction. If you have anymore pictures of it please contact me. My email is thebrit12@netzero.net

    • Hello Mike and thanks for your comment. You may well be correct about the date as I was relying on memory although I did usually keep a note book and I was on a pottery designers course in Stoke during the year in question. I would say that it was early β€˜66. There should have been another roll of film with some she’d interior shots but it seems to have been lost over the years. I don’t think that there are any others of the box. Regards, john

  26. Dear John Smith;
    I’m one of the founders, along side of Frank Hogan, of the John 3:7 Street sharing Street sharing Ministry. May we use your photo in our non-commercial portfolio?

    Blessings to you John

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