Thursday, 3 November 2011

Edinburgh: yon Empress of the North

Last week I spent spent several days up in Edinburgh (also once affectionately nicknamed "Auld Reekie", because when buildings were heated by coal and wood fires, chimneys would spew thick columns of smoke into the air. Certainly there were signs off this from the blackened facades of old Georgian buildings.

Early morning mist, Edinburgh

Never having been to Edinburgh before, I wanted to cover some of the main places of interest in the city centre. This included the Castle and the Royal Mile, the Scottish National Gallery (with a small but lovely collection of the great Impressionists altogether in one small room), The National Museum of Scotland, Princes Street, the Scott Monument, Calton Hill and the monuments around that area, as well as a walk up Arthur's Seat (well worth the hike).

The weather couldn't be better for late October - bright sunshine for most of the time and relatively warm. I was prepared for more gloom and anticipated a more 'moody' setting, but the strong light meant that my best images were in the early morning, just after dawn and again towards dusk. I didn't want the hassle of traveling up on the train with the addition of my tripod and so, inevitably, this limited my scope for night photography.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
Edinburgh certainly has one of the most attractive and dramatic skylines to be found in Britain and I took advantage of this whenever possible. There are great views from Calton Hill as well as Arthur's Seat, where the summit offers the best panorama of the city and surrounding area. I shot mostly in RAW, so that I could work with my images once I got back. Any images where I thought the exposure was just too far off or the white balance was wrong, I binned them instantly.

I thought I might have had chance to take more street performers, but I guess with it being October it was a bit late for that (the Edinburgh Fringe is through August). That said, there was more than a few bagpipers on the Royal Mile and Princes Street.

The cannons of the Half Moon Battery, Edinburgh Castle, as well as in Calton Hill park made for some interesting shots, with city backdrops, experimenting with narrow depth of field. Some good interior shots in the Castle's halls and palaces too.

Royal Crests, Edinburgh Castle

Sadly, there wasn't enough time to do everything, or see everything, but I think I got the most I could from those few days, but definitely want to go back, even if just for a few days again, as part of a longer tour through Scotland.

You can see my Edinburgh Collection on Flickr.

No comments:

Post a Comment