One of Scotland’s most talented photographers has expressed puzzlement at finding herself the only female among almost 100 “snappers” at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Jane Barlow, a former Scotsman photographer, whose awards include Scottish Sports Photographer of the Year, ignited debate after posting on Facebook about the gender balance of photographers at the tournament in Angus.
Ms Barlow is out with dozens of male photographers on the championship course vying to get the best action shots of world-class golfers such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Kevin Kisner.
Ms Barlow, from Edinburgh, posted “There are 96 photographers from all around the world at Carnoustie covering the Open and I’m the only woman.”
A number of other women photographers replied including Katielee Arrowsmith who posted “...I was amazed when I moved to Scotland and found so many female togs. No clue why there are so few of us in certain parts of photography.”
Ms Barlow replied: “Yeah, very sad. There’s not many of us doing press and sport though...”
Roger Jonathan, former group picture editor at The Scotsman, speculated on reasons for the disparity.
“I don’t understand why, I always had superb women photographers working for me, including you, of course, but there were always more men. Perhaps its the hours/physicality/family issues. It certainly isn’t anything to do with talent.”
While Donald MacLeod, former chief photographer at The Scotsman, posted: “There are no men or women in our job, just photographers.”
One male photographer, Callum Moffat, exhibited “old-school” tendencies by posting the tongue-in-cheek remark: “You have my sympathy Jane...that’s an awful lot of shirts to iron..”
Ms Barlow, whose working day during the Championship starts at 6am with a briefing in the media room and ends around 9pm, said: “I’m really baffled by this. Photography generally is largely dominated by men, especially in sport.
“When I cover the football or rugby sometimes it just me or maybe there are two women, but that’s quite rare.
“Often I’m the only girl at Hampden or Celtic Park.
“It could be something to do with so many jobs being cut in the industry.
“It’s just a shame that more women aren’t coming in to be photographers and photo-journalists.”