These images were all taken on and around Calton Hill using my Contax T2 and Fuji 400H. My Mum, Dad, Auntie and I went up early one morning for a walk and the light was particularly beautiful that day.
First up is an image of The Burns Monument on Regent Road at the foot of Calton Hill, the foundations of which were laid in 1831. The monument was built to house a white marble statue of Robert Burns and it did so until the statue was moved to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery due to smoke from the gasworks below affecting the marble.
The Old Royal High School, also known as New Parliament House, is a 19th century neoclassical building on Calton Hill which, despite its name, isn't home to the Scottish Parliament. A proposal in the 1970s for it to house a devolved Scottish Assembly fell through as the 1979 devolution referendum failed to provide sufficient backing for a devolved assembly. Since then the building has been used for various things such as a place for meetings for the Scottish Grand Committee and as offices for departments of Edinburgh City Council. In December 2015 plans to turn it into a luxury hotel were rejected by the council.
The view from Regent Road.
A closer look at the impressive architecture of the Old Royal High School.
Waverley Station and the North Bridge.
St Andrew's House, the headquarters of the Scottish Government.
The top of The Nelson Monument peeking over the nearby greenery.
Overlooking New Street.
It seems that people rarely take a picture of just the Dugald Stewart Monument on its own, it's almost always accompanied with the Edinburgh skyline in the background. For me, I wanted to focus on it along with the subtleties of its surroundings such as the lone tree, the green poles and the shadows on the paths in the foreground.
Old Observatory House on Calton Hill.
Some others enjoying an early morning walk.
Construction of The National Monument was started in 1826 but was abandoned in 1829 due to lack of funds. It was modelled upon the Parthenon in Athens and is a memorial to those who lost their lives during the Napoleonic Wars.
It's an impressive structure but that's not why I like this photo, let me explain why I do. Triangles are a big compositional tool in photography, and whilst I'm not going to go into the details of why (I'm not qualified/knowledgeable/talented enough to do so), they are something I notice quite often in my own work, sometimes after the fact. Which brings me to what attracted me to this picture, the people, particularly the spacing of them. For example the space between white trousers person, monument person and red top person. Or the space between monument person, red top person and the person to the left of the lamp post. Both of these examples also create triangles. I don't have a reason for why I find this visually pleasing, I just do. Another feature I found pleasing was the juxtaposition between the two people at the monument and the two people either side of them. One of the people at the monument is taking a picture of the other, there is a relationship between them, whereas white trousers person and red top person are heading in completely different directions and appear to be singular with no relationship between them. Now, I'm certainly not claiming that I saw all of these things at the time of taking the photograph, I was only aware of the pleasing spacing between the people and, in terms of timing, trying to make sure the two people on the right didn't intersect with the lamp post, but I think noticing visual features that you like afterwards is important because it gives you more insight into what kind of things you like to see in your photographs and also teaches you to look out for these things when taking photographs in the future. Hopefully that wasn't too boring of an insight and apologies if it was too convoluted.
This is the Nelson Monument, built in honour of Horatio Nelson. For £5 you can climb the spiral staircase all the way to the top and see some incredible views of Edinburgh.
The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace. Dynamic Earth, The Crags and Arthur's Seat viewed from the top of The Nelson Monument. Film captures light like this so beautifully.
Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street, Waverley Station and the North Bridge from The Nelson Monument. Not the most unique image I'll ever take but I'm happy with my version of it.
A lovely view of the City Observatory. In 2009 the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh moved out of the Observatory and the buildings reverted to the City of Edinburgh Council. In 2012 the Council started redeveloping the complex in partnership with the Collective Gallery who relocated from their old premises in 2014. Today they run exhibitions in The City Dome and they aim to finish redeveloping the rest of the site and have it fully open to the public in 2017.
Another Edinburgh cityscape. I love the orange house down the bottom left.
This is my final image from up at Calton Hill and I think it might be my favourite. Like I mentioned with my photo of the National Monument, the placement of the people and the triangles they create really stood out to me. Specifically the couple admiring the view, the girl emerging from the shadows at the bottom of the path and the person under the tree. That was my focus with this one because, quite frankly, the view takes care of itself.