This post is the follow up to my post, "Scotland - the best landscape photography in the world?", and I thought I'd share the details of day two of my trip. As I stated in the previous post, the purpose of this trip was two-fold. First of all I wanted to get some great landscape photographs to put into my fine art print sales gallery, and also to do some investigation into possible locations for my forthcoming trip with M&M Photo Tours.
After arriving back to Edinburgh from Oban, with a few detours along the way, I tried to head over to a spot I'd picked out using Google Maps to get some night photographs of Edinburgh Castle. Bear in mind here that it's probably the best part of a decade since I was last here and to my horror the entire city centre was in utter chaos. They are in the process of installing a tram system across the city which meant that all over the place roads are closed, diversions are in place, one-way systems now run the opposite way and even with a little knowledge of the road layouts and two sat nav systems, I ended up going round and round in ever increasing circles. Frustrated doesn't even come close. After about 2 hours I had to admit defeat. I returned to my lodgings determined to get the stock images I wanted in the morning.
Funnily enough, even in the darkness before dawn, I arrived exactly where I wanted to be almost straight away. This time though I had another problem. Edinburgh, like any other major British city at 4am on a Sunday morning, can be a rather boisterous and intimidating place to the stone cold sober photographer wandering around with thousands of pounds worth of kit on their back. Whilst I've grown quite attached to my gear over the years, I'm more attached to the prospect of keeping my head on my shoulders, my bones intact and my blood where it belongs, in my veins. I'm well practiced at whipping memory cards out of cameras in a flash (no pun intended) and would have no qualms at surrendering my gear should trouble arise but I simply prefer to try and avoid trouble in the first place.
So I headed over to some slightly quieter parts of the city up towards the Mound and the Castle only to come very close to being dragged into a huge fracas outside a nightclub. When I find a scene worth making a photograph of, especially at night, it takes me a while. I like to set my tripod and carefully compose my image. Not exactly appropriate for an environment where loitering very quickly attracts unwanted interest.
Fortunately by the time civil twilight rolled around at 5:30 things had quieted down somewhat. Unfortunately the weather hadn't. All prospect of an inspiring dawn had disappeared as the grey dank drizzle clouds rolled in. I made the most of what was available, but conscious of the length of the journey home and the various other places I wanted to drop in on, my time was limited.
I'm happy with the photographs of Edinburgh Castle that I made, but I know that had the massive unsightly seating arrangement for the forthcoming Tattoo not been in place and the light better, I could certainly have done better. But you've got to make the best you can with what's available.