top of page

About Andy

Hello and thank you

Hello! Thank you for stopping by my site and (I hope) taking the time to browse some of my images. These have been the results of years of highly enjoyable endeavour, improving my photography while learning all the myriad skills that are needed to be outside in remote locations and sometimes dangerous conditions. 

 

The years of photography have given me a knowledge of Scotland that I would never otherwise have had, but mostly the act itself has been a refuge of activity to lose myself in when I have needed escape from life's common pressures. The images may have been the target of trips north, mountains climbed and evenings on the beach, but in many ways they were a by-product of achieving a mindful state and provided me with more peace than I ever anticipated.

 

Please take your time studying my images, by all means ask questions about them. If you really love any and would like a print on your own wall, get in touch (see message box at the bottom of this page) as I do occasionally sell limited editions in A4, A3 and A2 sizes to offset some of the costs of equipment, safety gear and travel. I get a tremendous lift knowing that someone has enjoyed my photography enough to want to spend time with these images on their wall.

 

Scottish landscape photographer Andy MacDougall on location.

Artist's Statement
Artistic values: Values, Alliances and why I enter Competitions.

The values that are important to me are:

 

Ecology of habitats and landscapes – promotion of awareness of environmental issues, educating others in good practice and participating in photography with respect towards my environment and it’s historical context.  I am a member of Nature First, an alliance of photographers promoting the enjoyment of nature photography responsibly, and I try to live by their principles in the landscape. Click the logo to see these important principles

Nature First logo

Artistic alignment. In Landscape photography, for me, maintaining the integrity of a scene is important. In my personal code, it’s OK to remove transient manmade elements eg litter, but it’s not OK for me to add elements eg moving trees adding in skies from other days or places. The scene must look possible, otherwise a photographic becomes a graphic.  I’m not a fan of super saturations. Not that I have anything against graphics, they are enjoyable to create, and I let myself go a bit on these a little when photographing abstracts and man-made structures.

In 2015 I was delighted to join the Society of Scottish Landscape Photographers, a group of like minded amateur and professional photographers who make images to exceptionally (and award winning) very high standards while sharing a passion for photography in Scotland’s landscapes that respects the land.

Ethics are important to me. I try to ally myself with those that broadly share them, and avoid those that don’t. Competitions are a minefield in this regard and I choose very carefully which I am willing to support. For example if I see a competition behaving in a way that I perceive as unethical eg through exploiting artists, operating in an exclusionary fashion, bringing others into disrepute, greenwashing etc, then I vote with my feet and just won’t go near it again.   

So why take part in competitions at all? They are expensive to enter, prizes are unimportant to me and they are based upon the opinions of a very small number of people, whose ideas of what is a good photograph and what is not, may or may not align with my own views.

But they have value. They promote ideologies and they provide a platform for photographers to operate in the public eye. So here are my reasons for having taken part in and supported some competitions since 2010.

Personal Profile and Confidence. Simply, competition success rightly or wrongly gives you legitimacy in the eyes of the public and can lead to positive publicity. When I was starting out, my early definition of success was met and gave me the huge lift of confidence it takes to start showing photographic work to others.

  • Yardsticks. While winning awards in competitions is based on highly subjective preferences, being shortlisted generally means to me that I have met a combination of 1) a very broad interpretation of artistic merit; and 2) nearly always that technical capability has met a very high bar. If a serious competition shortlists me, I take it as an indication of having reached a level of quality across all other images where I feel have achieved a similar.

  • Fun. It shouldn’t be hard work to enter. I need to feel there is a respect between the competitions and the artists which is mutual, and I need to look forward to results day with eager anticipation, not dread. If I do well it should make me happy not relieved, pressure is the last thing I need in creativity.

  • Support of like-minded people. Competitions are always run by people with a passion for photography (at least the ones I‘m willing to enter). I’m happy to support people who share my passions and values.

 

And the results of the ones I have entered were as follows. I’m proud to have been at least shortlisted nationally every year since my first attempt in 2011, with a few awards and wins along the way.

Awards

Summary of Achievement
  • Shortlisted in at least one major national or international competition every year for 12 consecutive years.

  • Awarded on 12 occasions including 2 wins, 2 seconds, and a third place. 48 shortlistings in national/international competitions.

  • Awarded British Photographic Exhibitor status after being picked for over 25 camera club exhibitions.

  • Published in national press, magazines and calendars, plus numerous competition portfolio books.

Contact Me

Email - PhotoForMyWall@gmail.com

Andy MacDougall portrait

Thanks for your message!

bottom of page