Well, it is in Edinburgh anyway. The German market and all the attractions that come with it are here! The whole of Princes Street Gardens East gets transformed at this time of year into a winter fairground complete with an ice rink and the big wheel in the picture above. As well as this we have lots of stalls that sell German food and drink, as well as lots of other types of food, local and from further afield, and lots of Christmas trinkets, jewellery and other stuff. The whole place smells of amazing food – bratwurst, mulled wine, waffles, burgers, chestnuts, chocolate…. I’m making myself hungry here! Basically, its awesome. I love the German market!
I know I haven’t been posting much lately, but I finish uni next week and I only have a few essays left to do and I’m free for the holidays (well, from uni at least), so hopefully I’ll a few more regular posts over the next week, with more pics from the German market for you all.
Also no snow so no Edinburgh snow pics yet, but it’s getting pretty cold so it’ll only be a matter of time I think.
Hope you like the pictures to come, and that they can give you a littel taste of our awesome Christmas market/fair
I went a bit of an adventure the other day, since the weather was nice, and stumbled across one of the worst beaches I have ever seen. This pier was about the only nice thing there, the sand (not that there was that much) was littered with bricks that had washed up from the sea, in fact there were whole sections of wall lying around, as well as bits of metal and other junk sticking out of the ground. It is on the coast between the harbour and Edinburgh’s sewage works though to be fair (the smell was pretty terrible).
Having said that, I sort of liked it in a strange way. It was quite challenging to try and get some nice shots of this area, but I think I managed a few. I’ll post the rest over the next few days, hope you like
When it’ an office, of course! This is one of several boats that sits down Leith Shore in Edinburgh, one is a restaurant but all the others are offices, including this one. It must be very strange and also very nice to work on an office-boat, especially in this part of town. I definitely wouldn’t mind a job there, rather than in the call centre I work in!
This picture was taken up Calton Hill during an amazing sunset. I think it was probably the warmest day of the year so far and I tore myself away from studying to go out a walk with my camera and to meet Vicky out of work. The people in the picture were practicing some kind of martial art at the top of the hill, strange place for it if you ask me!
The builiding on the left is the City Observatory. The dome and the building next to it, Playfair House, have been there since 1882. Unfortunately the observatory was closed in 2009 due to vandalism and the theft of roofing materials, causing water danage. However since the building is listed there is a good chance it will be restored by the council in the future.
This is my first entry for the weekly photo challenge on WordPress, mainly because I keep forgetting to check what they are, my memory is terrible! This is a picture I happened to take last week, again on my outing to the Botanical Gardens. We were walking along a street I had never been on before when I happened to catch these shadows and decided to take a picture of them. I hadn’t actually paid much attention to this photo until now until I was trying to think of an image I could use for the challenge. Taking a photo for the challnege was pretty much out of the question because the weathers to be terrible all week; no sun = no shadows! (not the kind of shadows I wanted a picture of anyway). I’m quite glad I went back to this photo because I quite like the idea of the leaves and the shadow of the tree slowly creeping up the wall. There’s something really nice about the shadows a tree’s branches create, I love the random patterns they make.
This shot was taken last night on the side of Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park, just a few minutes after the sun had actually disappeared behind the clouds. I actually ran up the hill to try and catch the sunset, almost killing myself (it’s pretty steep)! If it wasn’t for the clouds I would have managed to get the sun in this shot, but as it is I think the clouds are one of the best things about this picture.
Because of the great views you get from Holyrood Park I managed to get most of Edinburgh’s landmarks into this picture. On the very right of the foreground is The Palace of Holyrood House, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. In the middle of the picture at the bottom is the Scottish Parliament (just to the right) and just to the left of that is Our Dynamic Earth (the white shell shaped building), an interactive exhibit telling the story of our planet. Above the Parliament building is Calton Hill with the National Monument (the one that looks like the columns of the Pantheon) and the Nelson Monument. On the left of the image, just next to the hill in the foreground, you can also just see the silhouette of Edinburgh Castle and next to that you can just make out the distinctive shape of St Giles Cathedral’s spire.
Click to get a more detailed view.
Here’s another picture featuring the magnolias from my trip to the Botanical Gardens last week. I was trying to filter out all of the colour apart from the red on the ladybird, but instead I was left with some pinkish tones in the rest of the image. I was going to fix it until I noticed it looked quite nice, so it turned out to be a bit of a happy accident! This is my first successful macro shot of an insect as well, I think it’s pretty appropriate now that it’s officially British summer time and that’s usually when you start seeing ladybirds everywhere, just waiting for the temperature to pick up a bit now. Enjoy!
Me and Vicky took a trip to Portobello Beach last night around sunset (although the sun sets on the other side of the city…) and, having finally worked out how to do exposure bracketing on my camera, I managed to get some shots to use for HDR toning. I’ve been messing around with this all week and this shot is the best I’ve managed to get so far.
I’ve been pretty mixed opinion wise about HDR toning. On the one hand some of the HDR images you see are amazing, but on the other hand they are overly ‘stylised’ and surreal or fake looking. I tried to go for a more natural look for this image. I did another version which was a lot more stylised, but I prefer this one. One of the main problems with HDR tonemapping are the so called ‘halos’ which can appear around trees or on the edge of buildings where there is a lot of one colour, like blue sky for example. It actually looks like this has happened in this shot with the pinkish light above the buildings on the left, but that is actually what the sky looked like when I took the shot.
So what are your thoughts on HDR, if any? I’m still undecided.
This is another one of the shots I took yesterday at the Royal Botanical Gardens, so I wont say much. For a change I actually managed to find out what type of flower it is though, a magnolia. Enjoy!
Our trip to Inverleith park today ended up being a trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens instead and I managed to get some great shots. The weather was great and we spent a good while walking about the gardens. I had never actually been before and I didn’t realise how big they were and how much effort went into looking after them. The gardens are considered one of the top four botanical gardens in the world and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the city, or anyone who lives nearby and hasn’t been for that matter, especially since entry to the gardens is free (entry to the glass houses is only £4/£3 concession). We didn’t go into the glass houses, but there were plenty of flowers and plants to shoot in the gardens, so there’ll probably be a few flower posts for the next few days! Funnily enough this shot came from the churchyard at the back of my flat, so apparently I didn’t need to go that far to find different flowers. We finished up the day with dinner and a drink in the pub, so all in all a good day!
As a side note I found this quote on a board in the visitors centre, which I thought was quite relevant given the recent interest in conservation, climate change etc, and made me realise that flowers like the one above aren’t just a pretty face, so to speak.
“Our species could not have evolved until plants had made the air that we breathe. They feed, shelter, fuel and cure us and if we want to secure our future we must tend to the leaves.”
Stephen Blackmore 2009
(Professor Stephen Blackmore, Regius Keeper of the Royal Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, is a world renowned conservationist and was recently honoured by the Queen for services to global plant conservation).
This another picture taken in Princes Street Gardens the other day. As usual I have no idea what kind of plant it is, so if anyone has any idea then feel free to let me know!
So I went a wander towards the docks yesterday and managed to find a way onto an old part of the harbour near the casino in Leith, where I found three old cranes. I managed to get some great black and white shots of them, I’ll probably post more. There were loads of birds living in the cranes, so it’s nice to know they’re not completely disused!
I got my new camera yesterday (unbelievably happy with it!!!), so I decided to go find some stuff to shoot in Princes Street Gardens. It was a miserable day, despite it apparently being spring it snowed in the morning and then there was a lot of mist/fog (what’s the difference again?). The only people I saw in the gardens were people taking pictures of stuff, except for a couple of people wandering about.
I stumbled about in some bushes for a while and found these flowers, I’ve no idea what they’re called, so if you do then let me know! I managed to get a really nice effect on this shot, sort of abstract (I think?).
In an a attempt to justify my constant picture taking to the girlfriend I’m going to start selling prints (minus copyright symbols and text) via Ebay, so I should have a link up for that within the next few days of anyone is interested.
Buy prints here
I just realised I hadn’t posted a picture in two days, I’m letting my goal of posting a new pic every day slip! Anyway this is a shot I took last weekend in Glasgow after being at a mate’s house for a drink the night before. The original wasn’t great but I’ve been messing around with HDR toning in Photoshop and I managed to give a really nice quality to this image using it. I’m not even sure of the name of the street because I didn’t stop to check, I do know it’s somewhere near New Gorbals though.
Buy prints here
I took this picture a couple of Christmases ago and I’ve been meaning to post it here. It was a ridiculously cold day but I went a walk in the snow and ended up going up Calton Hill. It was my first Christmas in Edinburgh so this picture reminds me of that whole winter a lot.
Buy prints here
This is a shot I took a couple of nights ago at The Shore in Leith, Edinburgh. The old lighthouse sits on a a walkway at the end of The Shore where there are a lot of trendy (expensive) restaurants and pubs. The Shore is quite a nice part of Leith – in fact its probably the nicest part of Leith – despite being right next to the docks. I was going to go to the library, but got completely sidetracked and ended up roaming about taking pictures instead, it was a really nice night with beautiful colours in the sky, and it actually felt kind of warm for a change.
This is another picture taken at Napier’s Craiglockhart campus in the south west of Edinburgh. I think It’s a withered butterfly plant, but I’m no expert so if anyone knows better feel free to tell me! I love the background of this shot as much as the plant in the foreground, the blurred grass looks quite nice, I also managed to get a lot of detail on the plant itself so I’m quite happy with it.
This picture was taken yesterday where the Union Canal runs along Harris Park between Shandon and Polwarth In Edinburgh. It’s a nice part of Edinburgh where I’ve spent a lot of time, especially in the summer, and there’s always people walking their dog, playing football, jogging or rowing on the canal (even in the middle of winter!). I know this type of effect isn’t the most original but I think it looks quite nice for this picture.
I took this picture today at Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Course, at the back of Napier Uni’s Craiglockhart campus in the south west of the city. This isn’t far from the Pentland hills, which I was trying to get a shot of. I gave up though because it was too cloudy and hazy, and because my camera can’t handle the long distance landscape shots. I like the textures in this picture, I think it really works well in black and white. I couldn’t help but wonder about how many people had used these steps over the years, they were in pretty bad shape. Not far from the steps there is a plaque detailing how Siegfried Sassoon had played golf at this course while he was recovering at the old Craiglockhart Military Hospital (which now makes up half of the uni campus) after WW1. Apparently he wrote his famous Poem ‘Dreamers’ while he was staying at the hospital in 1917.
This is technically a re-post, but I had to change my blog theme because of issues with the images and subsequently had to take down most of the pictures. It’s a nice shot so I decided I would put it up again. I really like the detail of the water droplets and the overall texture of the flower itself. I’m not 100% sure it’s a flowering Ivy, but that’s what Vicky seemed to think it was and Google seemed to think it was as well. Enjoy!
I’m posting this picture for the Digital Photography School weekly photography challenge. The topic is white so I thought this was pretty appropriate for the competition. The picture was taken a few days before Christmas at the church yard over the back from my flat in Leith. It was taken on my phone so it’s surprisingly good quality considering (I did fix it up a bit in Photoshop though). I’m going to stop looking at it now because it’s making me feel cold….
Accidentally got on the X25 after uni today instead of the 25, which goes to Meadowbank instead of Leith, and had to walk the extra mile or so back to the flat. I decided it would be a good opportunity to try to get some nice light trail shots and shot this one on Easter Road. I took a lot before I worked out the timing and settings for this, and even then I had to crop it, which I think makes it better anyway. The original looked really flat and lifeless, but I also got Photoshop CS5 today (wahey!) so after about half an our of tweaking I managed to bring out the luminescence and I’m really pleased with the results. I wish it was a little bit sharper but I think this is about the limit of my digital camera in low light conditions. And incase you were wondering the light trails are from a double decker bus. Enjoy, comments welcome as always!