Edinburgh 2015

The Two Towns came about during a week-long visit to Edinburgh in December 2015 that sparked off a documentary landscape and street photography project. The project has become a very personal one representing a period of calm before the storm of my mother’s cancer diagnosis the following year.

Edinburgh features two distinctly different areas within the centre of the city. The old town is the original historic area of the city including the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. The new town with a grid system came later after the Nor Loch was drained between 1813 to 1820 to aid the city’s expansion. The main shopping area of Princes Street is located in the new town.

The Photography

The photography came together quite instinctively and borrowed from earlier iPhone shot projects. The biggest benefit of shooting images on the street with a mobile phone is the speed. It also doesn’t attract attention especially in a city packed with tourists like Edinburgh.

The Hipstamatic photo app was employed again using similar filter settings to those used for the Sea, Sky, Sand and Street project a few years earlier. A number of small changes were made to improve image clarity.

A benefit of shooting with the Hipstamatic app was that colour versions of all the Hipstamatic shot images were later found stored on the iPhone.

Shooting at night proved to be tricky but not impossible with the iPhone 4s. Probably the worst lighting was encountered on board the Necrobus, a ghost tour bus that combined comedy, theatre and Edinburgh’s haunted locations. Fortunately, there was just enough light to get a good colour portrait of Jasper the creepy conductor. It did help that he posed for the picture though.

the one o'clock gun at edinburgh castle - from the two towns project

Favourite Photograph

Lots of images to chose from but the One o’clock Gun photograph is the one that i remember waiting to capture the moment of firing. Waiting for the gun to be fired felt like an eternity and, like the firing of the gun itself, it was a one-shot photo. No retakes!

The number of people waiting to see the gun fired did surprise me considering in was at the end of November. I like the depth in the image with the hat-wearing visitors in the foreground to the smoke from the L118 105mm field gun. It is a very popular event for tourists and the image captures that scene perfectly.

Writing for the Book

The design and layout of the book has been complete for some time with the writing for the book being the main delaying factor for release. Writing about such an important part of your life is never easy and getting that down on the page can take time. The delays have produced some positive outcomes though including a book redesign to include more images from the Two Towns project.

Book Details

  • The Two Towns will be a small square 7×7 (18x18cm) format book containing approximately 80 pages.
  • The book will contain approximately 50 images from the project.
  • The current release date is set for the tenth anniversary of the trip – November 2025

Related Galleries

The Two Towns photography is an offshoot of the Scotland: Lowlands, Highlands and Islands project.

The gallery of the 2015 Edinburgh photography project called ‘The Two Towns’ can be found HERE


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