Alexander Wilson Hill

Old Pier, Queensferry (About 1920)

About this artwork

This photograph, exhibited in Paris in 1926, is typical of Hill's pictorialist work. Pictorialism flourished among amateur photographers in Scotland from the 1890s until the Second World War. Using special coatings, photographers changed the appearance of a print to make it look like a charcoal drawing. The detail in this picture is blurred but this softens the image in such a way that the drabness of the boats sitting in the silt becomes more appealing. By working on the print, Hill intended to 'make an appeal to the emotions quite outwith the scope of straight photography'.

Alexander Wilson Hill

Alexander Wilson Hill

Alexander Wilson Hill was a prolific amateur photographer. He was born in Girvan and first dabbled in painting during the 1880s before turning to photography in the 1890s. His various postings as a manager for the Commercial Bank of Scotland included a period at Lochboisdale on South Uist, allowing him to exploit his love of dramatic scenery. Hill was a longstanding member of the Edinburgh Photographic Society and was the first convenor of its photographic Gallery and Museum established in 1931. He exhibited widely in amateur societies across Europe, receiving numerous awards and trophies.