St Monans, the Photography Village

Media Release

... from Easton to Eastman, photography in the East Neuk …

The picturesque East Neuk fishing village of St Monans has acquired a new title: “The Photography Village”. The move is based on the village’s historic and present day associations with photography, and is backed by several organisations in the village, with a new website launched to promote the village as a photographic destination.

“We see several strands coming together in support of our being a significant destination for people throughout the world with a keen interest in photography and its history,” said Gordon Bell, who proposed the idea to the Community Council, and is also a director of the Jim Matthew Camera Collection Trust.

“Our village has several features that are on many photographers’ hit lists. People travel hundreds, and sometimes thousands of miles to photograph our famous ‘zigzag’ breakwater, better known as ‘the Blocks’ locally – images of which have won major photographic awards. Others will be checking out the rest of the harbour area, with its quirky Welly Boot Garden, or the Windmill and Salt Pans, or the ruins of Newark Castle, or the Auld Kirk, with its dramatic location closer to the sea than any other church in active use. And there is plenty more – not least the dramatic scenery and great opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography on the Fife coastal path that traverses the village.

“Then there is our heritage, with the village featuring prominently in the works of pioneering nineteenth century photographers such as William Easton, whose work is on display in our heritage centre, along with other local images from early photographic pioneers.

“An exciting new development is the proposed purchase of the Jim Matthew Camera Collection. This includes one of the most complete collections of Kodak Brownie cameras in the world, as well as other thematic collections such as stereoscopic and 3D cameras. It will be a major asset to the village, reinforcing its appeal to photography enthusiasts. A trust has been set up and a fundraising appeal is being launched to keep the collection together, in its current location.”

Dave Smith, also a trust director, and the local photography competition’s organiser, added:

“The role of photography is further recognised within the St Monans Community Arts Festival which includes an exhibition and a competition for local photographs, with entries used for local publications such as the calendar that raises funds for the village’s famous floral displays.

“And last but not least, we are linking the various strands together, with this announcement, and by building on them with a coordinated approach to promoting them, including a new website dedicated to the role of photography in our village.”

To mark the development, and support and promote the prominent role of photography in St Monans, a new website has been launched. Notably the website takes advantage of a very appropriate new top level domain – – and more details about photography in the village will be published there, including news about the development of the camera collection and forthcoming events that highlight and promote photography in the village.


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