Edinburgh has formed the launching point for My Place in Print. However, given my aspirations to take my landscape photography beyond Edinburgh to capture other places in print, I’d better make a start on my expansion plans!
So where next? Well, I’m a little bit constrained by my geographic position, so by default next on my hit list for photographs has to be the other main Scottish cities and towns; Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling, Perth, St. Andrews, Dundee…….and the list goes on. And after that, then who knows, but most likely an attempt to take on places heading south; Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London…………Cambridge, Oxford…..Nottingham……then where to stop, Sydney?
So the plan seems pretty epic indeed and I know some of these places are going to form much trickier subject matter than others. Edinburgh is easy when it comes to landscape photography as it is spoilt for choice in terms of photogenic subjects, such as Edinburgh Castle, and easily accessible vantage points. More industrial, low lying cities such as Glasgow, will certainly be more challenging. However, I very much feel that my overriding philosophy will pretty much apply anywhere – that each of these places means something special to those who know them well. My challenge is therefore to find the best of these places and I feel this is certainly possible as each is very individual and has something to offer in its features and form. The test will be getting in amongst each place to find out the most memorable subjects, the best angles, compositions and vantage points, and the ideal times of year and day for critical factors such as the positioning of the sun, but all at the mercy of the weather! So basically, not easy. And all this to make the most of the photographs and the places they portray. Ha! I have bitten off a pretty chunky bite but hopefully not more than I can chew.
Homework and Recon
For each new place there’ll be a learning curve to overcome. It wont just be a question of rocking up and getting great photographs!
To start with my plan is to do some homework on each place, looking at popular images, iconic subjects, or features and styles of particular pertinence to the places I’ll be visiting. Then it’ll be a question of studying the local topography, elevated features and vantage points, or positions that may have promising outlooks or create interesting compositions. Once I get that far, I hope to be able to visit these places to research whether my groundwork has paid off. I’ll try and get rough test images of the vistas and subjects from the best spots and find the easiest access routes and suss out the practicalities involved. Once this has been done, it’s then down to planning the style of image that will suit the subject and composition. At this point the options get quiet extensive, for example considering what type of lighting will suit the scene, sunset/sunrise or something else? What are the ideal weather conditions, or are seasonal variations, such as autumn colours, desirable? What type of image do I want to produce, panoramic or zoomed tight in, or are there any movement effects to consider? What kind of technical considerations need accounted for, such as the use of filters. And all this is just planning and may very well get tossed out the window when it comes to trying to capture the scene for the real thing!
So on the back of all this preparatory work, based upon any timing constraints (such as the ideal date for the sun to rise over the best point on the horizon), I should be able to plan in a series of return visits to the places prepped to try my very best to come home with the catch of the day. But a bit like fishing actually achieving this can be very much down the luck as despite the best planning in the world, not everything is under my control (or the weather forecaster’s).
The Bottom Line
So it’s a pretty monumental mountain I set myself to climb but definitely one I’m going to have a crack at. Sure there’s more places than I could possibly ever try and take photographs or prints of on my own, and Edinburgh was an easy place, but perhaps once the ball gets rolling I wont just be on my own……….