Beyond Words


This page lists our upcoming and past events. You can keep up-to-date with forthcoming events by subscribing to our email newsletter or by regularly checking this section of this website. In some cases we still have signed copies of the books from past events, see the Signed Books section of this site for availability.

Past Events

Bruce Percy
Art of Adventure The Art of Adventure
Bruce Percy
Preface by Michael Kenna
Bruce Percy launched his first book, The Art of Adventure, on 28th November at Mcdonald Road library. For a preview of the book click here.
 John Blakemore

Photographs 1955-2010
John Blakemore

Publisher's Price £40

Our Price £36

John Blakemore gave an enlightening and engaging talk on the subject of this stunning retrospective.

There is also an exhibition in London to coincide with the retrospective at Hooper's Gallery.
Paul Hill

Corridor of Uncertainty
Paul Hill

Publisher's Price £35.00

Our Price £31.50


Paul Hill is one of Britain’s most revered photographers and photographic educators. In the 1970s he was head of the ground-breaking Trent/Derby Creative Photography course – the forerunner of every art photography degree now available. In 1976, he and his late wife, Angela, established The Photographer’s Place, the first residential photography workshop in the UK, and a centre which influenced a generation of British photographers.

His book White Peak, Dark Peak is a classic work of landscape/documentary photography. Approaching Photography remains a hugely influential exploration of the creative process of photography.

Paul Hill signed copies of his latest book, Corridor of Uncertainty

 “The book is an instinctive response to the uncertain and new world I entered without my best friend and constant companion of 42 years who died in 2006.” (Paul Hill)

Corridor of Uncertainty is a metaphorical meditation on loss and pain, despair and hope, beauty and banality, and seeming to be in a foreign country without a map, where reactions range from pity to incredulity. Although a very personal journey, it has resonances for a wide audience.

Stephen McLaren

Street Photography Now
Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren

Publisher's Price £19.95

Our Price £17.96


Stephen McLaren is a renowned street photographer and co-author of Street Photography Now, the bestselling compilation of the work of 46 contemporary image-makers noted for their candid depictions of everyday life in our streets.

Stephen is a Scottish freelance photographer, workshop leader and writer currently based in London. He will be signing copies of the newly published paperback edition of Street Photography Now.

Above Scotland

Above Scotland - The National Collection of Aerial Photography

In early November we held a book launch for Above Scotland: the National Collection of Aerial Photography. The Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland holds the national collection of aerial photography with millions of images dating from the 1920s to the present day. These photographs – many of which have never been seen before by the public – tell the remarkable story of a changing nation, from stone circles, Roman remains and ruined castles, to the growth of villages, towns and cities, the rise and fall of heavy industry, the country at war and the proud engineering and architecture of the modern landscape. For the first time in one volume, RCAHMS has brought together the finest images from its collection in a stunning illustration of Scotland’s past, present and future.

Build Your Own pinhole Camera

Build your Own Pinhole Camera
Monday 12 October at Stills Gallery, 23 Cockburn Street, from 6.30

A fascinating and lively evening with Justin Quinnell, author of new title How to Make a Paper Camera. In his previous book, The Extraordinary Mouthpiece, his own mouth became the camera. You can find more information about Justin's work on his website


Fin Macrae - ThreeSixFive

As part of the Highland Year of Culture 2007, Fin Macrae asked 52 highland residents to keep a photographic diary for a week.  Here he publishes the results, together with his own portraits of each of the participants.

Fin was in conversation with Robin Gillanders, whose own Highland Journey:in the spirit of Edwin Muir was recently published.

Highland Journey  

Robin Gillanders: Highland Journey book launch

Over a period of 90 days, Robin Gillanders journeyed throughout the Highlands of Scotland and Orkney in the spirit of Edwin Muir’s Scottish Journey of 1934, photographing whoever and whatever he encountered. The journey was made in a campervan with the shower converted into a darkroom, so that film processing could take place ‘on the road’. In the manner of itinerant photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries, he used a traditional large format camera and black and white film; the photographs, each with accompanying text, describe the journey and relate to specific issues facing the Highlands today and draw comparison with Edwin Muir’s Highlands of 75 years ago.

Robin Gillanders is Reader in Photography at Napier University, where he has taught for 25 years. He is the author of The Photographic Portrait.


Colin MacLeod: Exhibition launch and book signing
Friday 1st May, 6pm – 8pm

In May we opened an exhibition of Colin MacLeod’s recent photographic work which runs until Saturday 18th July. Colin is better known as a teacher and filmmaker than a photographer, but he trained in photography in the 1960s and has continued to work intermittently with the medium. This has now become a full-time practice, and the upcoming exhibition represents an attempt to explore the way still images become objectified by heightening the viewer's curiosity about what they actually see. The work on show will be a development of the theory that the viewer strikes up a conversation with the subject while putting aside the artist's a priori imprint.

Looking for Lockerbie

Looking for Lockerbie

In March of this year we held a book signing and talk with Lawrence Mason, Jr. (photographer) and Melissa Chessher (journalist) who together produced the book: Looking for Lockerbie. The book celebrates the connection between the Scottish town and an American university, forged from the grief and sorrow arising from the horrific air disaster in which 35 Syracuse University students were among the victims. In the intervening years a programme of exchanges has sent young people from Lockerbie to Syracuse, and vice versa.

Lawrence Mason, Jr is a photographer and professor at Syracuse university and through his stunning photographs and personal vignettes, Looking for Lockerbie introduces to the world some of Lockerbie’s most engaging personalities, events and places: its last milk delivery man, its boy racers, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and many of the castles, ancient stone sites and Roman landmarks that make the town historically significant. The book has already been praised by the Daily Record and Independent.


Steve Gosling - Talk and Signing

Lensless Landscapes is a new book of black & white landscape photographs, all taken with a handmade wooden and brass pinhole camera by photographer Steve Gosling. Each copy of this limited edition book is signed and numbered and destined to become as collectible as Steve's exhibition prints. Steve visited us on Saturday 29th November and gave an enlightening talk about the book and his pinhole work. Signed copies of the book are available.


Stuart Franklin

Award-winning Magnum photographer, and the agency’s current president, Stuart Franklin, gave a fascinating illustrated lecture at the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre - Weston Link as part of the National Gallery's lunchtime lecture programme and afterwards visited our Cockburn Street shop to sign copies of his new book Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux and further discuss his work in more intimate surroundings. The book expresses deep ecological concerns about the fragility of the European landscape. His work also appears in the recently re-printed collection Magnum Magnum (Thames & Hudson, £35).


Joint event with John Muir Trust

In September we hosted a joint event with members of the John Muir Trust in which JMT director, Nigel Hawkins, talked about the work of Scotland’s leading land conservation body.


Book launch: The Call of Trains

Jim Shaughnessy visited us on Tuesday 9th September to talk about his lifetime's work photographing North American railroads. Shaughnessy is a revered name among railway photographers and The Call of Trains collects his best work from a career spanning over forty-years. Featuring photographs taken between 1946 and 1988 (with an emphasis on the American railroad culture of the fifties and sixties), it shows him to be a serious rival of Winston Link. We now have signed copies of this book in stock.


Martin Parr Book Signing

Martin Parr visitied our Cockburn Street shop on Wednesday 13 August, 6-7 pm, to sign his recently published Postcards and Objects and the limited-edition Parrworld. He also signed a number of his older titles. Check the signed books section of the site for details.


Tim Daly Workshop

Our second workshop was led by Tim Daly, based on his Creating Exhibition-Quality Digital Prints and covered topics such as: colour settings in Photoshop, image file preparation, raw file preparation in Lightroom, soft-proofing and colour management techniques, darkroom-style printing techniques and printing with profiles.


Josef Hoflehner

Austrian photographer Josef Hoflehner visited us on Saturday 1 December for a book signing. We started stocking his books - which are not generally available in the UK - last year and the sales have been phenomenal. Iceland has been the biggest seller but Frozen History, which retraces the Antarctic expeditions of Scott and Shackleton is another gem. His retrospective Unleashed is now out of print but we have copies of its follow-up Unleashed Two (£42). If you have not seen Hoflehner's work, you can seen examples on


Slate, Sea and Sky
Poems by Norman Bissell and photos by Oscar Marzaroli
Nort Atlantik Drift
Poems and photos of Shetland by Robert Alan Jamieson

Double book launch of Luath Press titles: Slate, Sea and Sky - poems by Norman Bissell and photos by Oscar Marzaroli; and Nort Atlantik Drift, poems and photos of Shetland by Robert Alan Jamieson.


Scottish Photography: a History
by Tom Normand

Book launch of Scottish Photography: a History by Tom Normand (Luath Press), a landmark publication that places Scottish photographs in their international context. Tom Normand gave an illustrated talk on how Scotland was instrumental in the invention of photography, and how photography is developing in Scotland today.

  Scottish Mountains
by Alan Gordon

Book launch of The Scottish Mountains - photos by Alan Gordon, text by renowned mountaineer and writer Hamish Brown, published by Colin Baxter. This collection of panoramic photography captures the physical power of Scotland's mountains, and their ever-changing beauty.

Chris Dickie Workshop

This was Beyond Words first ever weekend workshop. Led by Chris Dickie (formerly the publisher and editor of the British Journal of Photography and is now publisher and editor of Ag photographic magazine and author of Photo Projects: plan and publish your photography - in print and on the internet (Aurum Press) the workshop followed on from that book and took participants through all the steps needed to prepare their work for publication.


The Storr - Unfolding Landscape

In August 2005 nva created an unforgettable installation in one of Europe’s most hauntingly beautiful landscapes – the high cliffs of Coire Faion and the Storr on the Isle of Skye. For six weeks around midnight, groups, equipped with head torches and walking sticks were guided through this inspiring landscape as the words of Skye’s legendary poet Sorely MacLean
echoed down from the mountain. This new publication captures this incredible site-specific environmental artwork.


John Comino-James - A Few Streets, A few People

In this, his third book, John Comino-James shows us the world that is contained within just a few streets in the very ordinary neighbourhood of Cayo Hueso in Havana, Cuba. Through portraits and candid observation he builds an honest and intimate record of a small and tight-knit community. This is not the Havana of the tourist, but a city in which people go about their daily lives, dealing with the everyday realities that have resulted from decades of political isolation.


Iain Stewart: Land's End Cape Wrath

Stewart's epic journey from the Southern most tip of the UK to the extreme North Westerly corner seems to be drawn from some deep emotional pull as much as geographical extremes. This event provides a fascinating insight into the creative process behind this project, as well as into the design and publication of an artist's book.

Each copy is individually signed and numbered in an edition of 200 and comes with a limited edition print.


Colin Prior - The World's Wild Places

Following on from two very successful books concentrating on the wild places of the Scottish landscape (Highland Wilderness & Scotland: The Wild Places) Colin Prior has spread his net wider for his new book. For The World's World Places he has spent ten years making panoramic photographs of some of the most spectacular and remote landscapes in the world. The result is a collection of awe-inspiring photographs which provided the basis for a slide show and talk by Colin Prior when he visited Stills Gallery in mid-October for a Beyond Words event. Signed Copies of his books are available, see the signed copies section of this site.

  Martin Parr

For the second August running we have been delighted to welcome Martin Parr for a book signing event at Stills Gallery. This time he spoke entertainingly about The Photobook Volume 2 (Phaidon £45) and his other new book, Mexico (Chris Boot £25).

As a result of this event we have signed copies of Martin Parr's Retrospective, the now out of print Last Resort, Boring Postcards, Photo Book Vol 1 and Mexico.

    image courtesy of Richie Smith
  Jason Baxter
Edinburgh: a new perspective

(Mercat Press £18.99)

Edinburgh has a fascinating history; its blend of old and modern architecture and its unique location makes for a very scenic city, capturing the romantic nature at the heart of Scotland. Jason Baxter is an exciting new photographer, and a new resident of Edinburgh. Through breath-taking panoramic images, Jason has captured the Scottish capital with fresh eyes, delighting those who know it well and those who wish they did. As a result of this popular event we now have signed copies of this book.

  Albert Watson

On a very warm Edinburgh afternoon we were delighted to play host to an entertaining and informative talk and question and answer session with the great Edinburgh-born photographer Albert Watson on the occasion of his major retrospective Frozen at the City Art Centre.
    image courtesy of Martin Parker

Ian Rankin, Tricia Malley & Ross Gillespie - Rebus's Scotland

A packed Stills Gallery played host to this unique event in early November. Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie’s photographs, featured on the covers of Ian Rankin’s books, have played an enormous role in reinforcing the atmosphere and identity of the Rebus novels. After an introduction by Ian Rankin, Tricia and Ross will gave an illustrated talk about this new book which presented them with a fascinating conundrum: how to take photos for a biography of a fictional character! All authors were then available to sign copies of Rebus’s Scotland.

For more information regarding Rebus's Scotland visit the website here, where you can also purchase prints of images from the book.


Geoff Dyer - The Ongoing Moment

Geoff Dyer is a leading British writer of fiction and non-fiction. In his last book, Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it, he confessed that, not only did he not take pictures in the course of his travels, but that he did not own a camera. With characteristic perversity, his new book, The Ongoing Moment, is an idiosyncratic history of photography. Seeking to identify their signature styles, Dyer looks at the ways key figures such as Stieglitz, Strand, Walker Evans, Kertesz, Lange, Arbus and Eggleston have photographed the same things (benches, hats, hands, roads). In doing so he constructs a narrative in which the same photographers – many of whom never met in their lives – constantly come into contact with each other. Great photographs change the way we see the world; The Ongoing Moment changes the way we look at both.

Geoff Dyer gave an illuminating illustrated talk and signed copies of The Ongoing Moment.


Catriona Grant: The Examination Room

Edinburgh-based photographer and photographic teacher, Catriona Grant, gave a talk and slide presentation about her project, The Examination Room, the exhibition of which has been touring internationally, most recently at Belfast Exposed. The Examination Room deals with the confrontation between the fragile human form and the cold spaces of medical institutions. An excellent catalogue of this work has been published (£10) and signed copies are available at Beyond Words.



Martin Parr: The Photobook

In one of our most popular events Martin Parr, one of Britain's best-known photographers and member of the Magnum agency, talked about his work and recent book, The Photobook: a history (Phaidon), co-authored with Gerry Badger.


Joe Cornish: Scotland's Coast

At the beginning of June we hosted the only planned event in Scotland to mark the launch of Joe Cornish’s Scotland’s Coast (Aurum hardback £25). Following the success of his best-selling First Light, Joe Cornish has now turned his attention to the magnificent scenery of Scotland’s 6000-mile coastline. Each photograph is accompanied by text in which he explains the aspects of each particular landscape that made it special to him.


Wild Land: Images of Nature from the Cairngorms

Capturing the spirit of this special part of the world in a series of stunning landscape and evocative wildlife images, 'Wild Land:Images of Nature from the Cairngorms' also takes a look at environmental and conservation issues, making a plea for the importance of nurturing our
precious land. The launch of this event was held in conjunction with Stills Gallery and Mercat Press.


Tillman Crane: Touchstones

Tillman Crane is a friend and student of Paul Caponigro. His first book, Structure, is a collector’s item. He has now produced a new book of black-and-white fine art photographs of Scotland, called Touchstones, focusing on the place of stone in Scottish interiors and in the wider landscape. Tillman talked at length about the process of making the book and treated everyone present to some fine examples of his palladium printing. You can look through the images in this beautifully produced book at At the time of writing, Beyond Words is the only outlet for Touchstones in the UK.


John Blakemore: Black & White Photography Workshop

John Blakemore gave a fascinating talk about his working process and signed copies of his new book 'Black & White Photography Workshop' (David & Charles hardback £22.50). The book has a similar structure and format to Robin Gillanders' 'The Photographic Portrait', launched at Stills last year. John Blakemore has been a key figure in British photography for over 30 years. He is a recognised master of the black and white medium, and his new book presents a unique and practical masterclass in the techniques that have earned him worldwide acclaim.


Iain Roy: Beyond the Imaginary Gates

Beyond The Imaginary Gates offers a "'collection of images of one of the last unsullied wildernesses in the world: the vast, uninhabited spaces of north-east Greenland". An awe-inspiring collection of beautiful and poetic landscapes taken in one of the harshest environments on earth.


Paul Hill: Approaching Photography

Essential reading for all photographers, this fully updated and revised edition of Professor Hill’s seminal book examines photographic imagery and the medium in general, looks at photographs as modes of expression, and gives thought on how to view them as artworks and forms of visual communication


Craig McMaster: Elements: The Landscape of Scotland

Craig McMaster's breathtaking black and white images of Scotland's wild landscapes create a sense of magnificent timelessness, while alerting us to the need to conserve this fragile and threatened environment.


Robin Gillanders: The Photographic Portrait

Robin will be well-known to many of you as a lecturer in photography at Napier University. Subtitled 'techniques, strategies and thoughts on making portraits with meaning' this book combines detailed technical explanation with personal and philosophical insight and an excellent selection of Robin's own photographs. I am sure it will become a standard work.

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