With the end of the British summer came the opportunity to spend a, well earned, extended break in Edinburgh and the North East of England. We had decided to treat ourselves too, and booked for us to stay in the boutique city centre hotel The Bonham.
Neither of us had been to Edinburgh for some time so we were really looking forward to taking in the elements of Edinburgh that had changed over the years since we last visited. Although the Fringe and International festivals had come to an end, Edinburgh is one of those cities that always appeals to visitors, so it was still pretty busy. The one thing that was due to hamper our stay though, was the wet conditions. Unfortunately, the conditions on the Wednesday effectively rendered a visit to St. Andrews worthless too, which was a real shame. I’d been looking forward to taking some landscape images and maybe even the opportunity to capture photograph some of the local seals.
The weather being the way it was, it was just as well I decided to set myself a photographic challenge and shoot with nothing more than the one Nikon 50mm F1.4 lens for the entire trip. I’m as guilty as the next photographer when it comes to collecting lots of different lenses. Although I tend to stick to a core set of lenses when photographing a wedding, there is still often the need to pack specialist lenses that might only be used the once during a wedding. All in, these add up to some hefty amount of glass in a back pack and I wanted to revel in the enjoyment of only packing light for this trip, I was on holiday so why not. So it was something of a relief, to the weary shoulders, to only carry the one camera and my fabulous Nikon 50mm.
The other part of my challenge was to shoot entirely in Black and White. This worked great, as the overcast and somewhat damp conditions lent itself so well to the monochrome feeling I wanted to portray. I didn’t originally set out that way, but as the shots came together things evolved so that I only photographed Edinburgh’s more popular tourist sites as out of focus elements to other aspects of foreground interest. I wanted to photograph Edinburgh for so much more than the typical tourist snap shot. I’m hoping the final set of images I produced show that. See if you can spot the sites of Edinburgh.
One of the downsides, of visiting Edinburgh so close to the end of the Fringe and International festival, was the fact that so many of the galleries were in a transition to their new exhibitions. Despite the National Portrait Gallery being closed, which was a real shame, we still got to visit a number of exhibitions during the trip. Highlights were certainly time spent at the City Art Centre. They had two photographic exhibitions on:
William Wegman – Family Combinations – Which was a quirky view of the world through Wegman’s eyes and his Weimeraner dogs
Edward Weston – Life Work – A great selection of both his iconic images and unpublished prints, from one of Ansel Adams contemporaries
Certainly worth seeing, if you get the opportunity.