We live in one of the most photographed cities in the world; the Castle, the Festival and Arthur’s Seat among the attractions to feature in countless treasured tourist snaps.
But it is not just visitors who enjoy capturing a slice of Edinburgh action. So with the sun shining and the Festival in full swing, how can locals be guaranteed their photographic end results will be as hoped? Plus, how can Edinburgh be captured differently, away from tourist hotspots?
“Always look up,” says Owen Clayton, national trainer for Jessops Europe. “If you go down to Princes Street there’s some amazing architecture above the shops, for example.”
The expert has helped compile a list of dos’and don’ts for budding city photographers. He admits it is just a starting point, with so many ways to capture Edinburgh available to the snap-happy.
“The city almost offers too much,” he says. “Taking your time and think – perhaps change your angle of view.”
Taking portraits outdoors means you can work with lots of lovely daylight, and at this time of year you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning natural backdrops. When you position your subject, make sure they won’t be squinting or pulling a face because the sun is in their eyes. Face them away from the sun – side lighting works well – and ask them to stand in a shaded area for a more flattering, less harsh light. Then all you need to do is turn the exposure mode dial to aperture-priority, focus on the eyes and take the shot!
Feeling a bit more adventurous with your photography? Then try panning. This clever technique gives your photos a sense of movement. Pick the point you want to take the photo and face it, but then turn to the direction the subject will be coming from. Half press the shutter button, and without moving your feet, turn smoothly to follow the subject, fully press the shutter button at your chosen point to take the photo and continue to follow the subject out of shot.
Kids rarely stay still long enough for you to take their picture, but instead of resorting to bribery to get them to sit down for a photo, start photographing them on the go. Either choose your camera’s sports mode or select shutter-priority and continuous AF.
In both cases, your camera’s autofocus will keep your subject in focus, even when that’s a toddler wobbling around a playground on a bike with stabilisers. It really is child’s play to get a good shot!
Whether you’re enjoying a barbecue in the back garden or a walk in the park, it’s a great opportunity to get some photos of everyone together. And with just a bit of planning, you can get some lovely photo memories.
Before you gather your group, scout out a good spot and think about your composition. All in one long line is boring, so consider arranging them in two lines; ask some to sit, or have the kids kneeling in front; or how about running towards you? Lines, by the way, don’t have to be horizontal; think vertically, too, and have fun!
Many cameras are waterproof, sand-proof, dust-proof and even drop-proof these days – so if you want to take great shots without worrying about the kids’ grubby hands, or damaging your new piece of kit, consider a camera that’s up to the challenge.
Recommended is the Ricoh WG-4 GPS. It’s waterproof to 14m, shockproof to two metres, and can survive being crushed by 100kg weights: perfect if you want a camera that’s safe around kids, without compromising on quality.