Walking home from my book group recently, darkness had just fallen. I didn’t have my main tripod with me, but did have my wee Gorilla mini-tripod, with its bendy legs, and thought some scenes of people waiting for the evening trams in Saint Andrew Square would look good in monochrome, so I sat the mini-tripod on a handy post to raise it up, set the timer and crossed my fingers…
As I was zooming in more on the people waiting on the platform, I heard the rumbling of an approaching tram, so I left the camera on a long exposure, so you get that nice contrast between the stationary platform and people standing still, and the blurred motion of the tram passing them, which I quite liked:
A second tram arrived while I was still shooting, so I got a twin-tram snap for the last pic. Not the greatest, but not bad for semi-improvised night shots. As ever, for the larger versions, click on the pics to see them on the Woolamaloo Flickr stream.
I switched back to shooting in colour for this pic, just a couple of moments walk from the previous ones, looking towards the buildings on the south side of Saint Andrew Square, but also managed to get one of the cherry blossom trees into frame, the branches loaded with sakura, hanging over the railings of the now-closed gardens:
Dad and I had a nice walk around the Colzium in Kilsyth – gorgeous autumn day, lovely golden light, and that light was showing off a cascade of seasonal colours. The photos don’t really do the light quality or the foliage colours justice…
At last, very belatedly signs of spring here – walking home tonight it was a fine spring evening, glorious light quality, bright, clear. I noticed a lot of daffodils in full bloom, a full two months late – those should have been in bloom back in March but such was the appallingly, unseasonably cold (even for Scotland)weather for much of this spring they are only now blooming. It was so nice I went slightly out of my way to walk along the Union Canal on the walk home from work, and saw that – finally – the blossoms on the trees are starting to flower, again weeks later than they should (really they should have flowered and fallen by now leaving carpets of soft white and pink petals across the pavements). Normally I would shoot these delicate petals and the clear, blue dome of sky above in colour, but for some reason I felt like trying them in monochrome and actually I’m quite pleased with how they came out, which I attribute to the beautiful light quality more than my own eye.
It’s Scotland and it’s autumn, pretty much my favourite season here – the sunlight (when we get it!) from a much lower lying sun now bathes the land in a more stretched out coppery-golden hue, a beautiful quality of light, the low height of the autumn sun meaning we get good light but also many shadows, making it perfect for photography (and painting). And then there are the riot of colours as still verdantly green leaves mix with some already turning yellow, gold and russet, lit by the warm bronze tones of the low autumnal sun.
As I was out snapping some autumnal shots on Sunday I was briefly joined by this charming little fella, scooting rapidly between the old tombstones of Saint Cuthbert’s kirkyard, in the shadow of the Castle:
Amazingly even as September ticked over to October there were still some flowers to enjoy – clearly now on the wane and yet still boasting some vibrant colours:
And remarkably given the time of year and the chill wind (which was a contrast to the warm, copper sun), the flowers were still awash with numerous insects busily buzzing around for the last of the nectar before winter sinks its claws into our northern kingdom:
Even the less flamboyant flowers were attracting attention from the insects scurrying around for their last hurrah of the season:
The autumn light is great for taking pictures of buildings too, such as the fine 18th century Pear Tree, quick snap from its huge, walled beer garden as chum and I refreshed ourselves (will that be the last proper outdoor beer of the year? Sure we can have more outside, but I mean proper one where you can sit without the coat and gloves on and enjoy a pint) in the autumn light in between visiting some of the annual Doors Open venues:
As I was walking through the New Town with dad for Doors Open Day we looked up Castle Street and saw two jet contrails describing a huge Saint Andrew’s Cross in the sky above Edinburgh Castle. Legend has it that a vision in the sky before a battle 1100 years ago is the reason that the Saltire came to be the national emblem of Scotland (and one of the oldest national symbols in the world, I believe), so there was something especially magical about seeing this accidental creation above one of the great symbols of Scotland. Few minutes later or from a different vantage point and we’d not have seen this special view.