Edinburgh After Dark

With it being dark not long after four in the afternoon now it’s a lot easier to take night shots, without having to wait till much later at night and then stand around with camera and tripod as drunks come out the pubs! I was taking a few photos in Saint Andrew Square, one of two large, grand squares (along with Charlotte Square, home to the Book Festival each August) at either end of the Georgian-era New Town part of Edinburgh. In recent years the gardens in the centre of the square have been opened up to the public again and it’s a busy spot with folks coming and going, or using the garden paths as a shortcut to the other side of the square. I had been taking pics of the column and the new, small glass coffee store all lit up in the dark of a corner of the gardens when I looked behind me and realised that the wet, glistening path lined up perfectly with the vista of broad and rather posh George Street leading west, last glimpse of twilight still in the western sky. And I thought why have I never stood here and lined up this shot before? Especially at just the right time of evening where it is dark but with that last little light of dusk still in the west:

George Street, dusk
(as ever click to see the larger versions on my Flickr)

This is a zoom in on the statues that line the top of one the large, old bank headquarters on Saint Andrew Square – shot them before bathed in sunlight but not at night, the long exposure had the side effect of giving the fluttering flag this cool sense of movement which I was quite pleased with:

statues and very fluttery fluttering flag

And here’s Sir Walter Scott, seated between the enormous pillars of the soaring Scott Monument – again I have taken various shots and angles of Watty’s statue over the years but for some reason had never thought to zoom in and line it up so the illuminated clock of the Balmoral Hotel’s tower in the background would show over it like this at night, just noticed it while taking other pics nearby and realised it would make a nice picture. Funny how I have taken night shots around there so many times before but that perspective never occurred to me. One of the nice things about taking a lot of photos is sometimes you just see something you know very well in a different way because of the time of day (or night in this case), weather, season, just looking at it slightly differently…

Sir Walter and the Balmoral Clock, winter evening

Occupy Edinburgh

Occupy Edinburgh at night 04

The Occupy Edinburgh campaign continues, despite recent nasty weather like the high storms, the winter cold and now Christmas approaching, respect to them for keeping it going. Few nocturnal shots coming home from work the other evening, no tripod with me as I had been at work so improvised, sitting camera on conveniently flat topped railings around the square and using the timer to try and get a steady enough platform for a night shot in a pretty dark space. Does limit the angles you can have to shoot though, but still, beggars can’t be choosers and it did work. I like the ‘ghost’ effect on the left hand side as someone walks along the path while the shutter is open for a couple of minutes trying to drink in as much of the scant light as it can:

Occupy Edinburgh at night 02

Occupy Edinburgh at night 03

The banner is a little blurred here as the wind was making it billow while I had to keep the shutter open for a couple of minutes to let enough of the light in, so parts of it aren’t too sharp; still that gives it a certain kinetic quality of movement, I suppose:
Occupy Edinburgh at night 01