Saturday, 18 July 2015


Edinburgh possesses some of the most iconic landscapes and skylines that are instantly recognisable the world over. Thousands flock to our city every year for school trips, family holidays; to participate in a spot of the annual "cultural force" that is the Fringe Festival or simply to retrace Scottish roots. Och aye! Irrespective of how long you have actually lived in Edinburgh, some days may feel like your first few moments of swooning over bella vistas or being seduced by sunsets over the city scape. Other times, it can feel like you have always been a part of what goes on here and couldn't quite imagine living anywhere else.

Life before Edinburgh, did it ever exist? I'm not sure.

I have crept through closes, balanced on benches, perched on walls and enjoyed breathers on bridges grammin' the length and breadth of this city, and here are a few moments that highlight what makes it so flippin' special.

1. The castle

Even if you just know the basics (Princes Street/Royal Mile), visitors to Edinburgh are sure to identify with this medieval home on a hillside. I can barely recount the numerous times I have "captured the castle" and it makes for an incredibly sweet backdrop to this popular Scottish retreat. Visible from many arts and parts of the town, it acts more like a homing beacon that will assist you in finding your bearings as you navigate the cobbles and twisty lanes of "Auld Reekie".

2. Lens Flare

I love me some glare.

Usually expected as a prefix to a sunset, I can be found seizing those moments where the sun catches at just the right angle. These pretty sunbeams can bounce off buildings, warm the face or split trees.

The key is to always be ready, because you are never quite sure when they may strike. I am sure to sneak my Iphone in my pocket to ensure that I never miss a thing.

Flare is at the fingertips of every budding shutterbug, therefore composition is key. The cautious photographer will always be keen to prevent excess glare on any given shoot as it is commonly undesired, however, (flying in the face of convention) I am keen to embrace this wonderful, angelic effect. When you work it to your advantage it can bring a completely new quality and beauty to your imagery. 

I enjoy the delicacy and precision of capturing glare on camera, as literally a centimetre here and here or a quick side-shuffle are likely to produce the shot you crave. 

3. Skies/Golden Hour

Typically defined as that window shortly after sunrise or before sunset where the sun is low, light is much softer and often channels red, orange or purple hues that are just all kinds of wonderful.

They don't call it the magic hour for nothing...

Most popularly reserved for outdoor landscape shots and city scenes, this warm diffused lighting effect is incredibly flattering and will leave you all a-glow. The key to maximising your own personal golden hour is to shoot in frequent bursts and dedicate yourself to the entire time. At this time of day light falls away quickly and can dramatically alter your shot in seconds. So commit to the moment, take a flask if you need and simply hang out. Click..Click..Click...

Whether you are hopping out of bed early doors, or soaking up the final rays as the sun sets on another day, remember that any sacrifice you have made will ultimately be worth it.

The Golden hour is free, and happens twice every single day providing a whole range of effects. So be sure to stop in your tracks if you dream of adding texture, dimension and a magical quality to all future snaps.

Don't be afraid of multi-tasking either, plan something fun for this "prime time," like a catch up with friends or family walk and snap yourself happy.

So, there you have it. Edinburgh, to know you, is to love you.

If you know her already, make sure to take the time to appreciate her. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, we look forward to seeing you soon...

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