Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Edinburgh's Christmas Festival


Before we attended the Torch Parade yesterday evening we paid a visit to the Christmas Market and entertainment area in East Princes Street Gardens by the Scott Monument.  We did visit it before Christmas but it was so busy you could hardly see anything.  On Tuesday evening the area was busy but not so you couldn't enjoy the atmosphere, see the stalls and have a drink and a bite to eat.


Edinburgh's Christmas is a spectacular, six-week season of festive entertainment in the heart of the city. The festival features a host of shows in the beautiful Spiegeltent, as well as ice skating, markets and rides, including the Big Wheel and the 60-metre Star Flyer, with breathtaking views over the city.

The festival gave me plenty of opportunity to indulge in a spot of Street Photography to finish off 2014 nicely.

Edinburgh's Christmas festival is on until January 4th - more details HERE

















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MacLean PhotographicTours and Workshops for 2015


Do you like the pictures on this blog?  Do you want to know how to take pictures just like them?  Would you want to explore East Lothian with a photographer who knows his way around one of the best counties for landscape photography in the UK?  Well we are launching the MacLean Photographic Tours and Workshops for 2015 which are suitable for photographers of all ages and abilities.

We are also launching a one day Beginners in Photography workshop in and around Dunbar aimed at novice photographers who want to get more out of their camera, whether it is a DSLR, Compact or Smart Phone.  At the end of the workshop you will have a better understanding of how a digital camera works, getting the right exposure and being able to arrange the elements within the frame to improve the overall composition. 

Prices start at £75 for the Beginners in Photography workshop, with the Tours and more advanced workshops at £150 per person.  The beginners workshop is limited to six people while the more advanced courses and tours are limited to a maximum of three photographers.

Also for the first three months anyone booking a Tour or Workshop who lives in East Lothian with a postcode starting with EH39, EH40, EH41 or EH42 will receive 20% off the final price of their booking.

CLICK HERE for more details on the tours and workshops available in 2015.

The MacLean Photographic website is also easy to find with the new website address of www.eastlothian.photography  



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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Torch Light Procession Kicks Off Edinburgh's Hogmanay Celebrations


This evening we headed to Edinburgh to see the start of the three day Hogmanay celebrations in the Scottish capital city.



Over 35,000 participants and spectators took part, joining the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings, massed pipes & drums and thousands of torch carriers as they illuminated the city from the start position on George IV Bridge to the finale viewing areas at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill. The Torchlight Procession was concluded with a fireworks finale.




We viewed the procession from the steps of the Scotland National Gallery as the pipes and drums led the way down Princes Street towards Calton Hill.  As the parade progressed more and more torch bearers joined the throng.  The sight of so many torches stretching the length of Princes Street was an awesome sight.









The fireworks began at 8:30pm an lasted for around 10 minutes.  They acted as a precursor for tomorrow nights display as Scotland joins the rest of the world in celebrating the start of 2015.





CLICK HERE for more information on Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations

All images taken on the Fujifilm X100 or the Fujifilm X-T1 and either the Fujinon 10-24mm f4 or Fujinon 56mm f1.2

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Last Photographic Trip of 2014 - Part 2

Sunset in Glen Lyon
Yesterday's blog was about climbing Ben A'ag to capture the pre dawn light over the Trossachs National Park.  We arrived back at the car park at the bottom of Loch Achray around lunchtime and after a coffee and a bite to eat we set off for the next stop at Loch Lubnaig on the A84.

Loch Lubnaig is around 5 km long, and has depths of up to 44.5 metres. The loch nestles in the space between Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlich. The name is derived from the Gaelic Lùbnaig, meaning crooked.

When we arrived we noticed the near shore was frozen while the hills on the opposite bank was still covered in snow.  We pulled into the car park opposite a boat house on the far shore and used the frozen reeds on the bank as foreground interest.














After 30 minutes we carried on heading north up the A84 before turning west on the A827 through the village of Killin and the famous Falls of Dochart.  We decided not to stop to capture the falls as there was no ice or snow and, to be honest, the falls have been photographed so many times that I wasn't interested in capturing another similar image.  So we carried on before turning north on a small track towards Glen Lyon.

A couple of miles up the icy road we stopped at the Lawers Dam at the bottom of Lochan na Lairinge, which provide hydro electricity to the national grid. The dam sits below Ben Lawers, which at 1214m is the 10th highest mountain in the UK.





The next stop was a couple of miles up the frozen road as we stopped next to a small burn that fed the main river.  The sun was setting behind the mountain range in front of us, back lighting the clouds.  The water in the burn was still flowing but there was a lot of ice and icicles on the banks.







The shot below was of a small corrugated iron hut next to the road that had been built next to an old ruined stone croft building.  I just had to stop and take a shot, which works better in black and white. 



As the sun began to set at 15:45 the clouds above the snow covered mountains began to turn pink and orange and these colours were reflected off the snow on the peaks.










The final stop was after sunset as we came across an old stone bridge on the opposite bank of the River Lyon.  The sun had already set and the light was fading fast so with the X-T1 on the tripod fitted with the 56mm lens I took the shot with a 30s exposure which blurred the river and the waterfall. 



We then headed home via the fish and chip shop in Dunkeld, having seen and photographed another beautiful part of Scotland.  More trips to the Highlands are being planned for the New Year. 

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