Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2016

Rachel Owen reviews the 154th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2016 - an eclectic collection of images by talented photographers from around the world.

Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2016

If you're at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year (or any year even) you'll know it's busy.

Very busy.

For a shy, introverted person like myself this can be a bit too much to cope with, and alongside the need to find certain venues to get tickets I found myself getting rather stressed. To try and calm down, I decided to check out the 154th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2016 at the Photographic Exhibition Centre. It's a bit out of the way from the majority of the venues, but as a budding photography enthusiast I felt it was worth the walk.

The entry fee is £5, which seems quite pricey but you get a beautiful catalogue of all the images to take away with you which makes it worthwhile.

I was pleased to see such variety in the entries to this exhibition – the diversity of colour, composition and subjects kept me engaged as I wandered around the rooms. There seemed to be an emphasis on black and white photography, and this created some really striking images as photographers captured scenes, people and emotions without the use of colour. The stand out pictures was taken by photographer Dace Umblija, who created some really abstract pieces using what looked like ceramic objects. Clever stuff.

I really enjoyed the wildlife photography images and the way they captured animals doing what they do best. But I also found myself liking the images that had been set up using human models. Usually these types of images don't interest me at all but there were some exciting ideas being shown through this medium which was amazing.

I was surprised at the number of photo-manipulations on display at this exhibition. It was great to see these incredible pieces on display as part of the photographic community, and that they were being valued at the same level as traditional photography. It took me aback a little a first, I must admit, but soon it will be completely normal to see these creations at a photographic exhibition and that will be awesome.

It was also a nice surprise to find an image taken by my great uncle on display! Guess you have to be prepared for everything, don't you?

There was only one thing that let the exhibition down and that was the disappointing lack of information. I suppose this must have been to do with the sheer number of images that had been submitted, but it would have been nice to know a little more than the name of the piece, the name of the photographer and where they were from. I like having a little summary about how the picture came to be and perhaps the specification of the images so that I can try and recreate certain effects myself. Even if they couldn't have all that on the walls of the exhibition, it would have been great to have more in the catalogue.

But really, that's only a little thing and probably only annoyed me as an experimenting photographer – I expect most people wouldn't have minded not having any more information. I feel that this was an excellent exhibition that showcased the best photography talent the world has to offer. Even if you aren't a massive fan of photography, you'd probably find some images that you'd like – the range on offer was amazing! There were some humorous images (Octopus's Garden), lots with the cute factor (you can't go wrong with fluffy goslings) and so many wow! moments. You'll definitely come away asking yourself "How on earth did they do that?"


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