'A different view of the ordinary' - how an Edinburgh photographer captures the Capital at its most elegant

"It's about constantly looking for a different way of looking at the ordinary."
Photographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its best (Image - Brodie Duffin)Photographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its best (Image - Brodie Duffin)
Photographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its best (Image - Brodie Duffin)

It's no secret that Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful city.

Be it the quaint buildings of the Old Town, the imposing allure of the castle or its rugged hilly surroundings, the Capital never fails to be pleasing on the eye. A resident for 40 years, Tom Duffin knows that better than most.

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But the 60-year-old photographer somehow manages to breathe new life into those ever-typical shots of Edinburgh landmarks one could be forgiven for thinking had been done to death. His spectacular snaps of the city's beauty spots at dusk and dawn have earned him tens of thousands of followers on social media.

Photographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its bestPhotographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its best
Photographer Tom Duffin captures Edinburgh looking its best

"Something that probably drives me a lot is finding that different perspective", the Kirkcaldy native, who ran an adventure sports business before dedicating himself full-time to photography just over a decade ago, told the Evening News.

"I work really hard on that. That's probably what has kept me doing it for so long. Finding something that other people can't see easily is, for me, the challenge. It's about constantly looking for a different way of looking at the ordinary, I suppose."

'Big sun' and 'big moon' photos are two of Tom's specialties, requiring him to trek up hills at all hours to catch the perfect shot. He said: "One of the tools that I use is a huge lens which allows me to zoom in on things, and what it introduces you to is getting things in the same frame as the sun or the moon.

Tom walks up Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill at all hours for stunning city shotsTom walks up Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill at all hours for stunning city shots
Tom walks up Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill at all hours for stunning city shots
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"Once you start doing that, you start getting hooked with it. You start looking for vantage points to get, for example, St Giles with the sun behind it.

"If I'm walking up Arthur's Seat, I'm looking at something different from what everyone else is looking at. I'm looking at juxtapositions, these little perspective gems that are out there where you get one thing in front of another whether that's the Forth Bridge behind the castle or knowing that the sun's going to be in a certain position behind the Nelson Monument."

Tom's favourite place from which to photograph the city are the Salisbury Crags. He continued: "You can get Ben Lomond or the bridges from behind the castle looking like they're together and the ideal place for that is probably about halfway up the Crags.

"If I had a Doctor Who box that could take me there I'd go to a wee window on the rockface."

Tom's favourite of his images shows two young basketball players on Arthur's SeatTom's favourite of his images shows two young basketball players on Arthur's Seat
Tom's favourite of his images shows two young basketball players on Arthur's Seat
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He took his favourite picture on Arthur's Seat, featuring two young members of Boroughmuir Blaze Basketball Club, for whom his son also played, jumping for a ball with the city's vivid skyline in the background.

Tom added: "It's almost like a coming-of-age photo. These boys had played together and were a really great team because they got on so well together.

"They'd just won the Scottish Cup the day before we took those shots but, ironically, that was the last time they were going to play together as a team. It was a really bittersweet moment so I wanted to make the photo about that.

"It was a swan song. It marked the end of a really good time for them but also the start of what was going to be a really good time for them as well."

His images have earned him a large online followingHis images have earned him a large online following
His images have earned him a large online following
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Tom was known online as 'Wee Photos of Edinburgh' for years but his pages now carry his name. His following is made up of people from all over the world with connections to the city.

He said: "I tend to find it's people who either live in Edinburgh or love Edinburgh or they used to live in Edinburgh and love Edinburgh.

"There's a group of people as well who have visited Edinburgh and love the place. With all of them, there's an unquenchable thirst for pictures of the city."

Tom sells prints of his images online as well as offering his services for community events around the city and offering tuition to budding snappers. He has now launched a Substack page through which fans of his pictures will be able to access extra content.

As well as exclusive photos, subscribers will be able to read commentary by Tom explaining the stories behind pictures and the places they show. You can sign up here.

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