Earlier this year and with some trepidation I moved "into town" overturning my long held loyalty to abiding as near as possible to wildness and solitude. I chose "The Forward Town" Castle Douglas and it has been an engaging journey, and one with plenty of unexpected rewards.
Aside from the legendary array of quality shops and the convivial nature of the inhabitants I am struck by the many walks, shortcuts, nooks & crannies that have revealed themselves to me as I explore my new domain. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that the town possesses some impressive architectural landmarks and this coupled with the privilege of having its "shores" lapped by a unique and captivating jewel that is, Carlingwark Loch.
It was essentially through dog-walking that my eyes and mind were opened to the different layers that compose this cohesive and sure-footed small town. Early morning and later evening sorties fed my growing curiosity and I soon went into full image-hunting mode just as Spring delivered its joyful and colourful expression of the life force. Landscape photography can be a bit solitary but it is also reliably enhanced by chance encounters with like-minded people who are also out walking, walking usually for the simple, meditative pleasure of it. Walking early and late has become both essential "timeout" for the busy mind and useful for feeding my perpetual photo habit.
I have sussed out and savoured numerous views on offer from the surrounding gentle hills & gaps between trees & buildings that surround the town. I have taken delight also in how on the outskirts, both the agricultural lands and the wilder habitats merge into the dwelling spaces in a respectful way. I believe kids growing up here are most fortunate in having real countryside to grow up in. Its feels like one of the most valuable things I can recall from my own childhood experience.
Photography is mostly about seeing, the techy stuff is secondary. A great joy putting this work together is a sense of communion with nature, everyday semi-wild habitats on the doorstep are uplifting, surprising even, but also a connection with nature of human kind. Both of these accompany me when I am delving into new territory, it becomes a sort of mobile meditation. As I devised new angles on the town I relished the way a higher viewpoint elevated the stature of the towers and spires that define and decorate the skylines. I also find it intriguing how places can be immediately recognisable and yet, because of the viewpoint, they appear somehow unfamiliar, it's all about ones' "point of view".
It is with pleasure & privilege I offer this personal exposition of a great little town.
Castle Douglas - Portrait of a Forward Town
Exhibition runs at The Workshop Gallery from 1st - 31st July
183 King St. Castle Douglas (AD Livingston & Sons)
Hardback Book, 76 images, 4000 words, 24 x 29 cm, £20.00. available on line at
or at Livingston's furniture shop.
Launch 7 pm Thursday 30th June at the Workshop Gallery - all friends and followers welcome. (nibbles by Earth's Crust Bakery!)
I will be on hand 11am- 2.30pm Friday at The Gallery for book signing, general chat etc.