Photographic relaxation

It’s been a while since I last did a photography-based blog, but I always come back to it eventually. I still remember receiving my very first camera, standing in the kitchen opening it. I even found it again a few years ago in a box I had long forgotten. It was completely dead and no use to anyone by then, but it went on many holidays with me and several month-long tours of different parts of Germany. It was nothing special but pretty much every photo came out well, leaving only the composition, which was my responsibility. Those were the days, of course, when every motorway service station had Truprint envelopes to send your photos off for developing and printing. And I still have albums and boxes of photos to show for it. There is still something about going through old photos that putting a slideshow on a laptop can’t quite emulate.

I plan on spending more time in the next twelve months with a camera in my hand. Never without one, really. And apart from events where a specific type of camera is needed, my plan is to use only two cameras, each with only lens, and in the case of the film camera, sticking with one type of film only. Because both cameras are pretty small and light, I should be able to have at least one of them around all the time.

Why two? Because I want to stick with the black and white film photography I started dabbling in last year, so that means the ancient Leica is in the bag. Slow, manual, not even a battery, being aware of the light and what the right exposure should be for that light, with a light meter in a pocket just in case or for when it’s so dark that I can’t guess the exposure. I just love the photos I get with it when it works.

But I also love the vibrancy of colour, so I’m going to allow myself a lightweight digital for that. One that nobody will notice.

To prove to myself that potentially good photos are all around us, I did a short experiment walking around Edinburgh for a couple of hours. Sure, there were no spectacular sunsets with palm trees, but that’s hardly Edinburgh, is it? What I am going to try to do over the next year is capture in pictures what I see as some of the essence of Edinburgh. And some of that will be best expressed in black and white, and some in colour. That will be fun (I think).

Here’s a little of what I started to see in those two hours. I’m sure I missed 90% of what was there, but it’s a start.

On the black and white front, a plant just sitting on a metal staircase:

Plant on steps

A beautiful staircase in the city’s Old Town:

Old Town

And a scene from the canal I know very well from the hundreds of miles I’ve ran, jogged and sprinted along beside it:

Canal

And then a splash of colour and lovely shapes from Luca’s recently renovated ice cream (and nachos – loved the nachos) restaurant (I’m pretty sure the colours jump out at me more when I’m trying to think in black and white):

Lucas

More colour in the Meadows:

Meadows

And a surprise find in Princes Street Gardens:

Carousel 2

This is why I don’t want to have to choose between black and white and colour.

And finally, one photo which for me was the beginning of a story rather than having much technical merit as a photo:

Rose and gravestone

 

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