Strokes of genius

3. Swan at Knapps Loch
Campbell Skinner’s “Swan at Knapps Loch”

Fiona Wallace looks forward to hearing her old tennis partner talk about his “other life” in photography at Kilmaurs Photographic Club’s next meeting.

The guest speaker on Monday November 26th is another frequent visitor to Kilmaurs Photographic Club – Campbell Skinner.

Campbell, who is president of Greenock Camera Club, may be better known to members as a photographic competition judge. Indeed he last joined us in February of this year when he judged the club’s 2nd Open competition.

On this occasion, however, Campbell will be slipping on his behind the lens hat, and will give us a presentation of images that best sum up his own personal journey in photography.

His talk celebrates his life as a photographer from his very early

2. Concert
Campbell’s passion for music shows in his image taken at the Brit Floyd concert at Portsmouth Guildhall

darkroom days right up to current images taken this month. Campbell jokes: “It not a “best of” session, as I personally feel that we all need to give a more realistic and an honest view of how we have developed our photographic styles.”


He continues: “I think guest speakers feel they should only show their top images, but I am including the parts that did not quite work because I truly believe these early mistakes helped me discover what I really wanted to do.”

Campbell is a very versatile photographer, and his images will cover a sizeable range of subjects and genres including his home town of Greenock, people, places, abstract, natural history, sunrises, landscapes and concert photography.

The last names topic there will come as no surprise to those who know Campbell, as his lifelong love of music is well-recognised and he sees concert photography as a great way of: “allowing me to merge two of my main passions at the one time.”

Shuttlecocks, shots and shutters

Equally coming as no surprise is Campbell’s other main genre – sports photography. A member of Greenock’s Nelson Street and Columban badminton clubs from an early age, Campbell also went on to try his hand at tennis where he won several championships  locally in both singles and doubles.

1. Flying High
“Flying High” Campbell’s award winning monochrome taken at the European Championships this year

He was frequently to be seen (and heard) practising at all hours of the day on the training wall at Fort Matilda tennis club. He laughs: “Although I don’t think John McEnroe was ever worried about me, I loved the bit of success I had when I was younger. I was really looking forward to making the gentle passage to the veterans section, but sadly a back injury curtailed my no doubt stunning career in the older age group.”

Campbell continues: “I miss the tennis a lot but that’s another story. What not being able to play any more did, however, was force me into channelling my energies into my photography.   If anything, it made me slightly more competitive and focused on the photography, which is both good and bad.

Bad in that it made me perhaps a little bit obsessive, and good in that it made me better at taking pictures.” With a laugh, Campbell adds “Although you may disagree on the night when you see them.”

Campbell has various photographic distinctions including success last year at the 9th Scottish Salon Exhibition where he had 15 images accepted across four categories.  On top of this, he also achieved the PSA Gold Medal for the best overall monochrome print with his image “Eyes Down for the Shot” and the GPU Ribbon – judges choice for his monochrome print “Ball Watching”

Most recently he has shot to international fame with a triple successes at the Wyvern International Exhibition picking up a Salon gold, Salon silver and an Honorary Mention.

His other 2018 achievements number a Gold medal, Bronze medal with 2 honorary mentions at the Bristol Salon; two certificates of merits in the Winchester international exhibition; the CSIP Ribbon at the Cheltenham International salon of Photography; the judges’ award for best picture in the Neath and District PS UK salon, and  a commendation in the Clay Cross projected image exhibition.

When we add to this Campbell’ position on the Scottish Photographic Federation’s list of judges, it is clear that he brings a wealth of experience which will feature in the talk. If you are interested in seeing a varied selection of prints, please feel free to join us on Monday November 26th to see and hear what will be an interesting insight to one person’s photographic journey. Campbell has very kindly let us use a couple of his images to whet your appetite for what should be a thoroughly interesting evening.