Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lux: W Europe # 3 Edinburgh

One of my favorite cities of all, Edinburgh, is a stark contrast to the industrial aesthetic of Glasgow. It's castle is nestled a top a hill right in the middle of the city centre. Gorgeous Georgian architecture surrounds and nearby in Hollyrood Park stands Arthur's Seat, a tilt of a peak that over looks the city. After spending an unseasonably warm afternoon for a Scottish September walking along the Royal Mile, Neeta and I began scouting for our second UK shoot well before it was dark. We were determined to get some sleep. Via car at the end of the Royal Mile we followed the 5 mile loop around Holyrood park until we found a smaller one-way road weaving upward toward the Seat. After circling around the back of the park the road brought us back out toward a city view of spires, old buildings and the castle on the left and Athur's Seat on the right. There was no way I was going to find a better interplay of land and city for this shot. Relieved and happy to have found it so early we decided to take another lap around the park and just see what else was around. Within the 5 minutes we had made the loop back to the gate to our smaller one-way road, some how, unbelievably a fire had started and the gate was closed. Yes, A FIRE HAD STARTED. What are the chances? We had no way back to our spot...another pitfall. Luckily Neeta stayed calm and though I admitted I might lose my mind we brainstormed for a solution; we could either hike up the mountainous hill with all our equipment OR we could park by the exit gate to the road, wait until dark and drive up the wrong way to our lookout. We opted for the second. Around 8:00 we drove Neeta's Rav4 over a little curb past the gate and braved the one-way backward to our point. Luckily the park is open all night to the public which meant we could both shoot without a problem and but also that we were going to have some visitors. I set up the two cameras on an embankment sloping down from the road for another 2 hour exposure. So far UK cities are much dimmer than the US cities I've gotten used to shooting. The 2 hours should allow for some overexposure but this is a safer bet for getting enough information on my neg. It was a nice dry night with low clouds (which I like because they reflect the light I'm trying to record). Our only tense moment came when a jovial group walked by. Seeing the cameras one girl got curious and was about to climb down to see what they were. Both Neeta and I scared the hell out of her jumping out of the car yelling ''NO!!!'' A quick explanation curbed her curiosity and we all chatted a bit and laughed it off. Relieved for sleep we headed back to our B and B around midnight. No dew this time! Shoot 3, fin.

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