Photographer Fin Macrae has been working with offenders based at HMP Open Estate, Castle Huntly. Participants were asked to reflect on their concept of ‘home’, taking images using pinhole cameras they constructed themselves, in prison and on home leave.

The workshops began with discussions on the history of photography, portraiture and early cameras, drawing on the Scottish National Photography Collection’s vast holding of photographic images for inspiration.

Participants took photographs in and around Castle Huntly before being given a camera each to take on home leave. They were encouraged to work with friends and family outside of prison to develop their ideas and images before returning to the prison to discuss their work with their peers.

The images they have created reveal the pinhole camera’s ability to develop an aura around everyday scenes that make clear that the inmates leaving prison have real lives and families on the outside. Making the images has highlighted their sense of facing up to the challenge of creating new lifestyles.


Thomas Annan, Close, No. 46 Saltmarket, from Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow
Scottish National Portrait Gallery