admin's blog

Connect/Exchange: Residency Opportunities

We are delighted to be working again with Northern Film & Media, Metal (Liverpool), BALTIC + The NewBridge Project (Newcastle Gateshead) and Chapter (Cardiff) on Connect/Exchange; an exchange, research and networking residency programme for artists with a screen-based practice.

Artists are supported with the initial research & development of a new project via a two-part residency, together with associated professional networking and events. 

We’re looking for two ambitious and open minded artists who will benefit from the support and networking opportunities Connect/Exchange offers. 

For further information, see How to apply.

Application deadline: Monday 27th March, 10am

Artists: One artist based in North East England, one artist based in Scotland

Residency dates: Part One - 26th July to 2nd August 2017. Part Two (flexible access) 2nd October to 27th November 2017

Interviews: Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th April 2017

Residency Information

During a period of residency at Stills in August 2017, Connect/Exchange artists will have full access to a range of technical facilities. They will benefit from the advice and support on offer from technical and curatorial staff at Stills; the opportunity to take part in peer critique sessions to discuss their work and ideas; and the chance to hear from established moving image artists that live and work in Scotland. Timed to coincide with the opening days of the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival, the residency will begin with a week of practical work, discussion, research, talks and visits to exhibitions. It will continue with the option for each artist to have a further two months access to Stills' production facilities.

Artists will benefit from:

Fee: £2,000 per artist, plus £500 toward materials. Travel expenses and accommodation will also be provided.

  • A two part residency: Part One is an orientation week providing time for initial introductions, networking with the host partner’s regional art scene and community, providing time for initial research and making appropriate connections for the development of the artist’s project. Part Two provides flexible access to host partner facilities over a two month period to undertake the research and development the artists propose.
  • Peer support: Each of our host partners will support two residencies. The selected artists will undertake their residencies simultaneously to ensure mutual support and artist-to-artist networking.
  • Public and audiences: Artists will share their practice, and development of their research project via regular blogs updates on the Connect/Exchange microsite and also to a public audience.
  • Long term impact and signposting: Host partners will arrange a flexible programme of support for artists including for example, meetings, studio visits, talks, discussions, regional networking and introductions to relevant industry and sector contacts. Artists will also be provided with signposting, guidance and support to distribute and exhibit projects post residency period.
  •  National event: We’ll bring all artists and partners together in NewcastleGateshead to share their experiences and to meet key people in the North East art scene. This will be followed by a day of workshops and talks covering topics such as marketing, distribution and exhibition approaches and strategies specifically for artists working with moving image, also open to the wide North East arts community.
  •  Wider benefits: Artists based in the host partner regions will also benefit from events and activates happening in Cardiff, Liverpool, NewcastleGateshead and Edinburgh through Connect/Exchange.

Any questions? Contact Lauren Healey or Clare Gomez / 0191 440 4560



Connect/Exchange Funders Logos


10x8 Auction Reveal

Slide show: 
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal
10x8 Auction Reveal









Thanks to everyone who donated, bid, attended and supported our 10x8 Fundraising Auction on Friday night.

We raised a massive £3,447 from the online auction and a further £2,245 from the Live Auction.

Many thanks and congratulations to all involved. If you would like to find out the names of the artists for any print, please click here to load the slideshow in Google docs, or view the pdf below.



10x8 Auction

View the catalogue here

ONLINE AUCTION  18 - 28 October 
Closing 7pm on 28 October 

GALLERY DISPLAY 26 - 28 October, 11am - 6pm  
All prints included in the auction will be on display in Stills.  During this time a gallery assistant will be on hand to help you place an online bid.

LIVE AUCTION EVENT Friday 28 October, 6pm
All welcome!  The live auction will take place on Friday 28 October, 6pm.  On the night you will have the opportunity to place final online bids and have a go at waving your paddle in a live bidding event. Refreshments provided by the Edinburgh Beer Factory

Luminate Photo Challenge at Stills

Cumbernauld Housing, Chris Leslie


To complement the touring pop-up exhibition of architectural photographs created by older people living across Scotland, Stills will host a week long exhibition in the lower ground gallery space. The exhibition also features images taken by professional photographer Chris Leslie as inspiration for the Challenge participants.

Come and find out more about the important roles these different buildings play for communities nationwide.

Join us for the opening evening, Friday 7 October, 6pm – 8pm

The exhibition continues Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 October 2016, 11am - 6pm*.

*Please note that the exhibition space is occasionaly used for other activities and as such closed off to the public. Please call in advance to ensure the space will be open.

This event is being delivered as part of Luminate: Scotland's creative ageing festival.

Luminate is an annual festival that takes place across the length and breadth of Scotland each October, offering the chance to celebrate creativity, share stories and to explore what ageing means to all of us.

For more detailed information about the festival please refer to our website at

Image: Cumbernauld Housing, Chris Leslie

Luminate logo

CONTACT Young Photographers Registration

- Are you interested in photography? 
- Aged between 16 and 24? 
- Out of school but not yet working full time? 
- Do you want to try something new?

If you answered yes to all of the above then maybe CONTACT is for you…

CONTACT is an eight-week, introductory photography course led by one of Stills artists. You will learn new skills in digital and darkroom photography and have time to experiment and develop your personal projects.

Sound good? There’s more… 
- All material and equipment will be provided (we have great darkrooms and digital kit) 
- The course won’t cost you anything 
- There will only be eight people doing the course – a good small number. 
- You don’t have to have any formal qualifications – just a passion for trying something new with photography.


Where and When?
Stills Centre for Photography, 23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BP 

Friday afternoons, 2.30 – 5.30pm 
28th October – 16th December

How to apply
Simply fill in this short online form

Friday 14th October, 5pm

We would love to offer a place to everybody that shows an interest but this isn’t always possible. If you don’t get a place on this one, don’t worry, the course will start again in the new year








Connect Graduate Blog

Connect Graduate Day LogoI wrote a blog back in June in which I tried to distil some of the wonderful advice about graduation that I’d been given by colleagues and peers. I found their advice and support very helpful, sometimes just hearing how other people coped with the transition can be very reassuring, and people a bit further along have excellent advice to offer and knowledge to share.

With this in mind, we here at Stills have been working to put together an afternoon event for recent graduates to facilitate this knowledge exchange and perhaps give people the opportunity to start to make their own support network.

In fact, the second bit of advice on my list was ‘create (or keep) a peer group’. A group of people who can give you support, share work and opportunities, collaborate with, pass work between and just keep everyone involved in contact with photography.

CONNECT FOR Photography Graduates will be an afternoon of short talks all about how our speakers found graduation and how they went on to build the career that they have now. We have invited speakers from art, commercial and heritage sectors to share their experiences in what we’re hoping will be a nice, relaxed, informal, inspiring and hopeful afternoon.

The event will be free, but you will need a ticket, and bookings will open at 10am on 10 September. Join the event page on Facebook to be notified when tickets go on sale.

Are you a photography or art graduate who has established yourself in a career, or set up a business, who would be interested in speaking at future CONNECT FOR events? Get in touch with me at and let me know what you would like to give a talk about.

Nic Rue - Project Assistant

Luminate Photography Challenge

Slide show: 
A Light and Life Mission Church, © Chris Leslie
Housing, Cumbernauld, © Chris Leslie
District 10, Dundee, © Chris Leslie
The Old Post Office, Foula, Sheltand Isles, © Chris Leslie
Golfhill Primary School, Glasgow, © Chris Leslie
Oil Refinery, Grangemouth, © Chris Leslie
The Winter Garden, Rothesay, © Chris Leslie
Social Club, Airdrie, © Chris Leslie
St Mungo’s Parish Church, © Chris Leslie
Old Woolworths / New Tesco, Dundee. © Chris Leslie
Wemyss Bay Train Station, © Chris Leslie
New housing development, Govan © Chris Leslie














We are delighted to announce the Luminate Challenge for 2016.

Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, and Stills, Centre for Photography, are collaborating on a photographic challenge for older photographers during 2016. This is a chance for you to create something new this summer, and to share it with others around the country in October as part of Luminate.

We are inviting you to produce a single photograph to tie in with the chosen theme, which this year takes inspiration from the Festival of Architecture.

The deadline is 5th September, and full details of how to enter can be found in the Terms and Conditions document on the Luminate website.



The Challenge: we would like you to photograph a building that has played an important part in your own life or the life of your community.

Our cities and towns are being rebuilt, reimagined and redesigned by bold new architecture. In the process some historic, traditional buildings are preserved, but many are demolished and exist only through memory and archive.

We would like you to photograph a building that means something to you.

The building you photograph can be a home, workplace, a place of worship, or a building you visit. It can be an older building, a new building or a building facing demolition. We are looking for photographs of architecture that go beyond the picture postcard buildings. Think beyond capturing just the building - capture the spirit of the building and tell us about its connection with you and your community.

To inspire you we have commissioned photographer Chris Leslie to shoot some architectural photographs which he has shared along with some helpful hints and tips on approaching architectural photography.

A panel of judges will select a range of submissions that will be exhibited across Scotland, as well as being exhibited alongside Chris Leslie’s work at Stills, Centre for Photography in October 2016. Other selected images will be shared online on Luminate’s website.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 5th September 2016 and full details of how to enter can be found on the Luminate website.

Submission guidelines

- Luminate will accept photographs created on any camera device.
- Digital images submitted via the email address must be no larger than 8MB in file size.


Exhibition Video

Our current exhibition 'Lewis Baltz with works by Carl Andre and Charlotte Posenenske' is open until the 9th July, so if you've not had the chance to visit you still have time.

We are delighted to share with you a video blog by our current Marketing Assistant, Paige Hughes, giving you the opportunity to have a look around our exhibition with Director Ben Harman. We also have exhibtion interpretation material availble to download from the exhibition page as well as a free limited edition downloadable book published by co-curator Montabonel and partners. 

Introduction by Ben Harman and new essays by Nicolas de Oliveira, Nicola Oxley and Sebastien Montabonel. Click on the link below for a PDF version of the publication:

Lewis Baltz with works by Carl Andre and Charlotte Posenenske 

Director's Video Blog - Lewis Baltz with works by Carl Andre and Charlotte Posenenske from Stills Edinburgh on Vimeo.

Graduate Blog - Nic Rue

Huge congratulations to all you new photography graduates!
I hope that you are hugely proud of what you have worked so hard to achieve, and I’ll bet that you are also looking forwards to your freedom. I’m a recent(ish) graduate myself so I understand that the excitement of finishing up and entering the world can also be a little tinged with doubt about what lies ahead. So I have been speaking to some recent, and not so recent, photography graduates to try and gather together some of the great advice that they have been given and have to offer from their own experience. Hopefully you will find it useful!

Find your way.

You have just spent four years learning how to succeed in an academic environment, working in the world is different! You are suddenly working without the structure of set projects, deadlines and grades. You no longer have grades measuring your success or failure or externally set projects and deadlines to meet. It can be difficult to make the transition to your own practice.

This is a time for you to really think about what motivates you, how you work best, and what you need to do in order to balance money and your own practice. If you want to balance commercial photography with your own work, do it! If you need to protect your practice and work a different kind of job while making photographic work, then do that! The ‘right way’ is the way that works for you, now. This might not be anyone else’s way, and it might not be your way forever.

‘Leap into the Void’ by Yves Klein (Harry Shunk and Janos Kender), 1960Graduating can feel quite like this: ‘Leap into the Void’ by Yves Klein (Harry Shunk and Janos Kender), 1960

Keep (or create) a peer group.

Having regular contact with people who are facing the same struggles as you are can be immensely reassuring. It also opens up the chance for collaborative working and peer review which can be so valuable. As I talked about above, suddenly making your own work free from briefs and critiques can be a relief but it can also be really scary. You have to come face to face with your own motivations for making work and your own ability to judge the quality of what you produce. Having people around you who you can ask for advice and feedback can be a great motivator.

Figure out where you fit.

Then ignore it. 

Figuring out where your practice fits within the wider world of photography can be a great way of deciding who to target with your portfolio, and which publications and awards to submit to. At the same time, it can be when the boundaries between photographic practices are pushed that really interesting projects and collaborations can occur. 

Embrace opportunities.

Don’t be too frightened about whether it’s the ‘right thing’ or ‘good for your career’. If you are offered, or find, an opportunity with a very clear benefit to you, embrace it. 

Keep making work.

And if you don’t…

Don’t dismiss photography.

Some of you may find yourselves drifting away from photography. Having a break doesn’t mean that your practice is over. Maybe you will come back to it, or maybe you will use the skills that you learnt in order to do something else equally fulfilling. Don’t think that just because you have had a break you will have forgotten everything. If the desire strikes you then pick up a camera (any camera, the camera in your phone is also a camera). 

Nic Rue - Resurrection of the dead

From ‘Resurrection of the dead’ made after I graduated and 
submitted to the 
Jill Todd Photographic Award last year.

Be generous with your support.

While it can sometimes feel like there is only one opportunity out there and if you’re not part of it, you’ve missed your chance, I don’t believe that life works like that. It’s great to be driven and have a healthy grip on your competitive streak, but remember that often success drives wider success. So someone from your course, your town, or in your network, doing well, will benefit everyone around them. That’s the way that courses, areas, groups of people get a reputation for being excellent practitioners and a reputation like that will generate more opportunities for everyone around them. So be generous with your support and promotion of the people around you, it will benefit them, and it will benefit you too.

Believe in yourself.

You got this.

Nic Rue - Project Assistant
BA(Hons) Photography, Edinburgh Napier University, 2015.


Volunteer Blog

At Stills we have a fantastic team of front-of-house volunteers who generously give up a few hours each week to support Stills and welcome visitors into the space. As a valued part of our team we invited our volunteers to write a blog post for us, sharing their thoughts and experiences of being at Stills. We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two of our team, Dave Molnar and Yi-Chieh Chiu who discuss their relationship with Stills and the similarities between Lewis Baltz’ landscapes and the touristification of Edinburgh. 


I came to Edinburgh to attend Edinburgh College of Art and earn my MFA. I am an artist and photographer. Even before my arrival here I had heard of Stills, having researched galleries and photo-related organizations in the city. In considering what to write about I keep coming back to how rather singular Stills is, but I can’t quite stress it enough. I have worked at a similar place in my home state in the US, and know of several others, but there are not many. To have an all-encompassing center for education, display, access, supplies, books, resources, artists’ talks and events; it is something that should not be taken for granted. The staff is small, but their dedication and effort is incredible. I have always been more than happy to volunteer my time, effort and knowledge to making Stills the best place in Edinburgh to be (here comes the photo pun) “exposed” to photography!

Stills is a very unique place. There are few organizations like it in the world, and it is truly something to be proud of in the photographic community of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the entire UK. If you’ve never been, go. See whatever show they have on at the moment, take a class, browse the library… or just have a cup of tea and chat up the staff! Stills is a gem of a resource, and not one to be missed. I’m grateful for my time here, and only wish I could stay, and continue to be involved. I think they know how important they are to the community, but just humbly go about doing their thing, so I thought I would write a little bit about just how special they really are.

Dave Molnar, Minnesota, USA

If you fancy joinging our volunteer team check out our current opportunities


Lewis Baltz and Edinburgh

When I saw Lewis Baltz’ photograph of a Chevrolet car in this exhibition (Monterey, 1967), I couldn’t help but think of the Dinah Shore Chevy Show shown in 1956. At the end of this television show, Dinah Shore with a joyous tune encourages the audiences to “see the USA in your Chevrolet.” Dinah Shore’s message is extremely optimistic and American: for her, the American life is complete with a Chevy, a vehicle which has largely expanded their world.

Although the TV hostess implies that Americans have conquered and dominated nature, the Landscape in the show looks surprisingly awe-inspiring and magnificent. As a matter of fact, Chevrolet even published photo albums specifically about the astonishing natural environment of America which looks uncontaminated by human activities.

Lewis Baltz, however, looks at the American landscape differently. He is critical. He is anti-picturesque, iconoclastic, and demythologising. He turns his attention to the bland environments created by developers and he chooses an impersonal and cold style to present flattened images of desolate commercial and residential spaces. 

1961 Chevrolet Commercial With Dinah Shore

During my time invigilating in the gallery I have received divided opinions towards Baltz’ works. While some visitors are fascinated by Baltz’ unusual perspective, others find his works lacking direct engagement with the viewer. For them, his works are tasteless, forensic, and surveillance-like; these are not the type of landscape photographs they expect to see in Scotland.

Although these viewers express a rather negative response, their response in fact demonstrates that Baltz’ photographic intention is successful. It also indicates that the presence of Lewis Baltz in Edinburgh is significant at a time when Edinburgh faces a critical moment much like America in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Like Baltz in 1960’s and 70’s America, we are now surrounded by many constructions that will change our landscape permanently. The high streets have been inundated with shops dedicated to the tourism industry, and as a result, those streets have become lifeless - they are irrelevant to the life of people who live in Edinburgh. Moreover, Edinburgh City witnesses the prosperity of estate developments and building projects, some of which have put the city’s status as an UNESCO site in danger. The construction projects of hotels and student accommodation on Calton Hill, Cowgate, Causewayside, Leith Walk, and Haymarket will erase parts of the city that are historically important but which do not fit comfortably with the typical image of Scotland. These projects will change the cityscape in a destructive and irreversible way. For people who come from abroad, Edinburgh has long been equated with images of the Scottish identity, Scottish mythology, and Scottish Enlightenment. Nevertheless, those images have been used superficially and commercially to promote the latest developments which are imposing the most harmful impact upon the city.

Lewis Baltz’ works are not jolting and entertaining. His works undermine the American myth and show our complacency that has built a trap for ourselves. After seeing this exhibition, I contend that an investigation like Baltz’s has to be carried out to examine the damaged spaces of Edinburgh before it becomes too late.

 ‘Lewis Baltz with works by Carl Andre and Charlotte Posenenske’, Stills: Centre for Photography 2016. Photograph by Alan Dimmick

Yi-Chieh Chiu

Chiu, Yi-Chieh comes from Taiwan. He studied Classics until 2014 when he moved from Chicago to Dundee to join his partner, an Irishman in Scotland. He is now learning photography, printmaking, and Italian. He is also volunteering at Stills, a wonderful institution to work for. He very much admires John Thomson, a Victorian photographer from Edinburgh who had photographed Taiwan in 1870’s when this Pacific island was largely neglected by the Chinese Empire. Chiu, Yi-Chieh hopes he can make some contributions to the country of John Thomson by means of photography. 

More News

Syndicate content