Thursday, July 14, 2005

Photographer's Dream Shoot . . . Is That a Castle?!

If Scotland is on your list of places to visit and photograph you certainly won't be disappointed at the results of the trip. Set your sights on Edinburgh and prepare your camera equipment for a photo shoot full of kilts, castles, and magical moments.

Most visitors to the city will first head in the direction of the Edinburgh Castle. This was the home to kings and was an ancient fortress. You will be able to see the room in which Mary, Queen of Scots was said to have given birth to King James VI of Scotland.

While you are visiting the castle, be sure to remember to snap some shots of the city itself. Some of the best shots you will get will be taken from here on the grounds of the castle.

You may have heard about the "One O'clock Gun." It is shot at that time from the castle every single day with the exception of Sundays. Keep in mind that this is just one of the numerous castles that are reachable very easily from the Edinburgh vicinity and your photographs of them will turn out magnificently!

If you enjoy taking animal pictures, the zoo at Edinburgh has been in operation for nearly a century. You will see some endangered species here as well as more "normal" zoo residents. On the other hand, if you would rather see artifacts and some of the national treasures of Scotland, try the Museum of Scotland or one of the many other museums that are found in Edinburgh.

When the queen is staying in Scotland, her official residence is Holyroodhouse Palace. It was built as a monastery in the early 12th century and is located at the end of the "Royal Mile." The Royal Mile begins at Edinburgh Castle and ends at Holyroodhouse Palace.

There will be some additional photo ops along the Royal Mile as well. One great place to stop will be the St. Giles' Cathedral with its totally magnificent stained glass windows. This church has been in existence since the early 1100s and the present building since around 1390.

You may think you stepped through a time portal to Athens if you visit Calton Hill in the middle of the city. There is a monument here that was built to look like the Parthenon. It was never finished and it provides some great photography opportunities. There is also an excellent view of the castle from this spot.

For still another impressive view of the city, stop by Holyrood Park and look for the section that is called Arthur's Seat. Be sure to see and photograph some of the crags and lochs that are found here. The area is an ancient and now extinct volcano.

A few additional ideas for things to do in the city include:

Take a ghost walk (called a Witchery Tour) in the evening to see if anything mysterious develops on your pictures. You should know, however, that unlike the ghost walks we have in the states, those in Edinburgh may include some "props" like scary characters jumping out at visitors.

Take some shots of the plant life found at the Royal Botanic Garden. The garden is vast and will provide many beautiful photographs.

Try a cruise with the Edinburgh Canal Center for some shots from the water.

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