Discomfort

Back in October when we visited Berlin, I took two cameras with me - my Nikon DSLR and my Bronica. It was nice just having the two compared to some trips but that Bronica doesn't get any lighter. Regardless I put a roll of film through it with a patient family standing close by along the way.

Our first stop was the holocaust memorial.  I had a very simple idea of what expect from photographs online but nothing really captures what it was like. What hit me straight away was the vast ground it covered for being in a city - from the edge of the memorial where we stood it seemed to go on for as far as I could see. I set off with my cameras into the memorial leaving my wife - who had see this before - to look after our boy who was getting hungry.

Standing within the memorial was massively uncomfortable. The stones that had stood at ankle height were now soaring overhead. It was an incredible place to be and think - the close stones brought an eerie quietness from the busy city outside. I had mentioned in my previous post about Berlin that it is uncommon to be in a city that's history really does focus within the last 100 years, some within my lifetime. I'll never forget it.

Resolutions 2015

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Another year has passed us by and what a great year it was. I started the year the same way I finished it - on the balcony with my wife, watching the Edinburgh fireworks display, with a glass of fizz in our hands (and a Nikon remote control in my other). So much has happened in the last twelves months though - I've watched my little boy morph from a baby into a toddler and that has been wonderful to see...and tiring. We also had our first holiday (which included an aeroplane) as a family in Berlin which was so enjoyable.

A new year means resolutions time and for 2014 my resolutions were simple - shoot and print more. I certainly managed that. I was out shooting with most of my cameras - granted there is still room for improvement - and in the latter part of the year I began to make regular monthly trips to the darkroom. 2014 was also the year I started a move to large format photography when I bought, restored, and customised an Anniversary Speed Graphic 5x4 camera - sadly it stopped there and it now sits on my shelf ignored. There are no prizes for guessing what my resolutions include for 2015. Something I was really happy with this year was establishing Daisy Cheynes in Stockbridge, Edinburgh - a gift shop - as a supplier of framed prints. The first batch went well with the second batch now in store.

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So what will 2015 hold? Well, as I mentioned before, the large format camera will be getting used a lot more. Over the Christmas period I was in the lucky position to get everything I will need to shoot and process sheet film, so I'm excited to get started with that. All that, along with some older work will lead me into my next resolution for the year - a gallery overhaul with a lot more images making it to the website. I'm quite excited about this as it's been a long time coming and I have started to piece iyu together already. My last resolution is one I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm not sure yet if it will be available outside of my family. It's a 365 project but I'm not quite sure how it will be documented. Either way, I've started and hopefully I'll have something sorted out soon.

That is how my 2015 is looking and I can't wait to get started. As always, let me know what you your plans are.

A Room with a View

Returning to a location is always a good thing - you can see how the light behaves at the different times of the day or year and you'll almost always find something different. I return to many places across Edinburgh to try a different angle or technique. A favourite is definitely Stockbridge in Edinburgh where I will return to the market archway or Royal Circus Lane.

What I am showing here is a little easier for me though - it's my living room window. I am lucky enough to live in Edinburgh with stunning views of Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, and Calton Hill. Since getting my DSLR, these views have become a favourite to return to on those quiet moments when something catches my eye.

This is one of the first I took when I was given a lens by my Dad. It was the clouds that grabbed my attention and how they almost match the shape of the trees.

The first silhouette of Calton Hill I took and what I regularly return to. It was taken during a stormy period which broke for a lovely sunset.

I had actually spotted a similar scene to this before but my camera was nowhere to hand. Since then I had been watching for the moon to be in a similar position at sunset. It was worth the wait.

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Sometimes a sunset will amaze you - how can the sky be so different each time the sun sets?That is why I enjoy capturing it, made better by a lovely foreground.

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From time to time I will focus on Salisbury Crags. It wasn't until I downloaded this photo from my camera that I noticed a lone figure standing on the edge of the crags taking in the same sunset.

Believe it or not, but this was taken a few moments after the previous one and shows how quickly a sky can change.

At New Year we get an incredible view of the fireworks that are launched from Edinburgh Castle directly behind Calton Hill. This again is a wonderful framing.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to shoot this view until the day we no longer live here. It's one of my favourite views of Edinburgh and I'm lucky enough to have it from my living room window.

The Lock

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I recently started scanning my negatives again and, although I've never been impressed with the scans my home scanner produces, it's a good way to share the images that I'm happy with and what I'll be taking into the darkroom when I'm next in.

Here is a new image from that scanning I want to share with you. It was captured at the Kelpies near Falkirk on a pinhole camera. It is actually one image of many I made that day but the rest didn't make me smile quite like this one. I'll definitely be taking this into the darkroom.

Let me know what you think.