August 04, 2014

Scotland (part 2 of 2) - Edinburgh

This post is the second in a series of two about a recent trip to Scotland and is focussed on Edinburgh.

A day trip to Edinburgh as part of the break allowed for just five-and-a-half hours exploring this amazing city.  It was the day before the Edinburgh Festival Fringe started, and so there was a real buzz and the city geared itself up for a month of fun!

After being dropped near Princes Street with limited time available I decided that Edinburgh Castle should be the first port of call (after a coffee, of course!).  The Castle, on the edge of the Old Town part of Edinburgh, overlooks the New Town part and beyond with spectacular views.  The famous One O'Clock Gun was a great photo opportunity, so I picked a place with a good view for photos and despite some rude tourists shoving to get a view I still got a good shot by holding my Olympus OMD E-M1 camera up high and using its handy tilt screen to keep everything in frame.

Leaving the Castle behind I went on an open top bus tour of the city to see the highlights.  Although I got caught by a passing shower (luckily the E-M1 is weather proof!) it was a great way to see the city and learn about some of its history.  

Time ran out on me, and I definitely plan to return to Edinburgh one day to see more of the city.  If I could combine it with a trip the Fringe, that would be amazing!

This gun is fired at one o'clock each day... despite being shoved around by fellow tourists I got the shot.
Quite a scary sight, a canon aimed at Princes Street.
The views from Edinburgh Castle are spectacular.  As well as the cityscape, water, and greenery,
you can spot an aircraft, cruise ship, and the Forth Bridge.
A lovely lion at Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle can be seen from almost everywhere in Edinburgh, including here on George Street.
A view towards Princes Street, showing one of the many Edinburgh parks.
Impossible not to include a photo of some tartan kilts and bagpipes.
The imposing Balmoral Hotel, which has its clock set four minutes fast, a tradition left over from days gone by
to allow travellers to ensure they always caught their train.
A taxi modelling the Scottish flag.
One of the many street artists, in the lead up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

August 03, 2014

Scotland (part 1 of 2) - Lochs and Travels

As readers of the Just 10 Photos tweets will know, there's two posts coming up from my recent trip to Scotland.  This first post focusses mostly on the Lochs, with a few other photos thrown in for good measure.

The five day coach break with Bakers Dolphin involved two days of travelling to and from Scotland, and three days exploring the Trossachs national park and Edinburgh.  Coach trips aren't very relaxing as you're always on the move, but it's a good way to see the area and let someone else do all the driving (a good opportunity for a nap on the move!).  

Although lots of miles were covered and lots of stops were made, none were long enough for me to fully explore and photograph in detail.  But I had long enough to get a good feel for the area and get few photos of Scotland's stunning scenery.  This was my first trip to Scotland, and I'll definitely be retuning one autumn to capture the autumnal colours which I imagine will be amazing.

The weather was a mixed bag although I only got wet on a couple of occasions.  For anyone who like to see or photograph landscapes and never ending greenery you must add a trip to Scotland to your list!

This photo, taken from the shores of Loch Lubnaig, almost looks like a desert island scene.
The Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin.  Using a Neutral Density filter I was able to smooth out the flowing water.
In autumn or winter, with more water flowing, this would be an even better location to shoot.
This photo, taken from the shores of Loch Tay, shows how the trees grow above the
water line and keep their roots exposed.
The Black Watch Memorial in Aberfeldy, erected to commemorate the first ever muster
of this famous Scottish regiment in 1740.
A highland cow with Loch Venachar in the background.
Evening entertainment at the Rob Roy Hotel - singing and lots of information about kilts! 
The Inversnaid Hotel which commands stunning views over Loch Lomond.
Even on a gloomy and rainy day, Loch Lomond is a stunning place to be.
One of the Loch Lomond cruise boats heads out.
A quick trip to Loch Lomond Shores where there's shops, restaurants, a Sea Life Centre,
and a big inflatable Scottish man (with a real man inside!) who walks around to entertain people.