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A place in my memory: Edinburgh

I have reached the end of the stream of photographs from my most recent expeditions, which means that I will be picking up again the loose series of memorable travel shots from my past journeys. There are over a hundred of them in the Lightroom collection that I set aside for this purpose, so you will be overjoyed to know that if I decide to only post one of them a week, it can last me a couple of years…

The first shot served up by the randomized selector is this view along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

Here I am, in Edinburgh after having spent several days tasting whisky after whisky all over the Highlands and the Speyside. I am trying to fit meaningful sightseeing into just a few hours. As I walk up the sloping Royal Mile, I am attracted to the geometry of the street and the tower of Tron Kirk, to the colors of one more modern apartment building among the many older gray ones, and to the queue of taxis awaiting their fares. Pulling the camera to the eye level and taking a few shots with different focal lengths is almost an instinctive thing for me in these situations.

Where I should be a lot more deliberate – and fail to do so – is in composing the shot. I want the shaded side of the street to be prominent and I am shooting in the direction of the sun, so making just one or two steps left may help to get more balanced exposure. It may also allow me to capture a bit more of the sunny side of the street at the right edge and make the contrast more interesting.

Alas, I throw a cursory glance at the camera screen to ensure that I did not get exposure too wrong and then I keep walking. When working on the photograph a few weeks later, I manage to get it into reasonable shape but recognize with regret how I could have done better.

Which actually enhances my memory of the place, the Old Town of Edinburgh. I loved its historic grandeur, the unmistakably Scottish vibrancy, the occasional juxtaposition of architecture old and new, the many grand perspectives and picturesque corners it affords to a willing photographer (especially one that is not constrained for time). Retaining a vivid sense of what I have and have not done for this picture helps make my memory of Edinburgh nearly solid to touch.