EPS Member

Alexander Dunbar



EPS Bulletin

In the 1960s, the Edinburgh Photographic Society Bulletins ran a series of 'Club Personality' profiles.

Alexander Dunbar was featured in Bulletin No 64, in May 1963.

Alexander Dunbar  ***

EPS President, Alexander Dunbar

Reproduced with acknowledgement to EPS. [Photographer not known]

***  A question has been raised about who the 'Alexander Dunbar' is  in the photograph above is.  Please see  Answer 1 on this page.

Here is the text that accompanied the photograph above in the EPS Bulletin:

(The paragraph headings did not appear in the Bulletin.)


"Born 1907, Educated at Melville College, then Edinburgh University, B.Sc. (Hons.).  After graduating spent some time in London working on food chemistry and on return to Edinburgh took post-graduate PhD after two years."


"At this stage was made a director of the family business of aerated water manufacturers, James Dunbar Ltd.

Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1943.  Joined Merchant Company of Edinburgh in 1942, became Assistant 1959."


"At an early stage took photographs and the publishing of a whole page of these in the school magazine certainly did much to encourage the proud possessor of a 'magnificent' 1/4 plate Sanderson teak and brass tropical model."

Other Interests

"At University had not much time to take photographs and at this stage played some tennis but never gave up golf learned at St Andrews at a very early age.  Devoted a considerable time to painting and drawing."


"Joined EPS in 1945 and has been almost continuously on the Council in some capacity since.  President 1949-54 and again 1960-62 when was brought back to lead Society during Centenary celebrations.

Got RPS Associateship in the 1940's and the Fellowship in 1961.  This year has been made an Honorary Member of  EPS in recognition of his great services to the Society."

Ways of Life

"Has two enduring hobbies - ways of life rather - golf and photography!"


EPS Exhibitions

Exhibition Print Criticism

Alexander Dunbar gave criticism of entries in:

-   EPS Whole Plate Exhibition, 1948

-   EPS  Members' Exhibitions, 1956 , 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960.

1953 Open Exhibition

Alexander Dunbar gave the opening address to the 1953 EPS Open Exhibition.  The Exhibition catalogue quotes from his address:

"The practising photographer is photographically tough and often cynical, wary of accepting the new, scornful of the old. 

The lay-viewer is, to put it mildly, somewhat capricious; while the person about to be inspired is a very Proteus - one moment a callow youth still fumbling with a box camera the next a seasoned but jaded worker, convinced that he has run the gamut of photographic experience and that the game is not worth the candle."

Dr Dunbar also had two of his prints:

-  White Cliffs and Silent Sea

-  Rounding the Lighthouse

accepted in the exhibition and an advert for his company:

'James Dunbar: Fine Table Waters'

in the Exhibition Catalogue.

1957 Open Exhibition

Alexander Dunbar was one of the judges (selectors) for the EPS Open Exhibition in 1957.

1961 Open Exhibition

Alexander Dunbar was one of the judges (selectors) for the EPS Open Exhibition in 1957.

1970 Colour Group Competition

Alexander Dunbar judged the 2nd Colour Group competition in 1970-71.  The subjects were: (a) Pictorial, (b) Triangles.

Dunbar Trophy

Alexander Dunbar is now commemorated by the Dunbar Trophy, awarded each year, at the EPS Members' Exhibitions, to the best print in the Intermediate Section not already winning another award.


EPS Lectures

Alexander Dunbar gave a wide variety of lectures to to the Society:

18 Dec 1946

The Carbo Process
(demonstration to EPS Practical Photography section)

19 Jan 1949

Miniature Talk

15 Feb 1950

Toning Prints

7 Jan 1951

Technical Faults - Diagnosis & Cure
(lecture to EPS Practical Photography section)

9 Jan 1952

Enlarging  (with demonstration)

23 Jan 1952

Is Multiple Printing Inherently Dishonest?  (Motion: 'Yes')

24 Nov 1954

Finer points of Exposure, Development and Printing  (demo)

31 Oct 1956

Concerning the Picture

10 Dec 1958

Toning Prints  (demonstration)

17 Dec 1958

Club Night: One Man Show

10 Oct 1962


9 Dec 1964

D O Hill

10 Mar 1965

Enlarging  (demonstration)

9 Feb 1966

Setting up for Still Life Pictures   (demonstration)


Edinburgh Society of Professional Photographers

A W Hill was an amateur phtographer, but on  3 November 1930, he gave a lecture to the Edinburgh Society of Professional Photographers, entitled: 'On the Oleobrom Process'.

He described Oleobrom as

"a simple and practical method of making oil prints, devised by Messrs Wellington & Ward; a process that can be done without the special training that is required for making bromoil prints."


EPS Members