Tag Archives: Royal Mile

Light Painting a Dancer: Kenna

In Edinburgh, the Royal Mile is the street connecting Edinburgh castle to the Palace of Holyrood, the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Photographically speaking, the Royal Mile and the areas surrounding it offer great opportunities.

light painting of model with brick columns, with blue background

Lines, shapes and texture. Some of the elements of design I look for. Adding colour with creative use of white balance (tungsten) to add colour contrast with Kenna’s purple top.

Kenna and I walked about quite a bit to scout the areas around the Royal Mile. Then I spotted a set of columns near St Giles Cathedral. Lines, shapes and textures aplenty, so I knew there was a photograph there. Because of Kenna’s purple top, I decided to use the tungsten white balance to give the stones a definite blue cast, to provide good colour contrast.

Light painting of model in front of St Giles cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

The entrance of St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile is another location replete with photo opportunities.

We didn’t have to move far for the next set up. The stairs to the entrance of St Giles Cathedral is a location I spotted way back then as I was taking an online photography course.

Light painting of model in front of St Giles cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

The vertical composition better showcases (in my opinion) the lines and shapes of the background.

As Bryan Peterson, a photographer I really admire, is fond of saying: “What is the best time to take a vertical photograph? Right after you take the horizontal”.

Light painting of model in a close by  the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

I really like the urban feel of this building, with the pipes and textured walls.

One of the great lessons I learned from top class photographer is to “work your subject”. Usually, I have some limited time at a given location with my subject, and I therefore like to revisit locations I have used before. That give me the opportunity to work my subject some more. Since I learn new things in between visits, that gives me the opportunity to improve upon the photographs previously taken at that location.

Light painting of model in a close by  the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

I prefer this shot over the previous because of i) the pose and ii) the sign over the door is better “light painted”

I had used the building in the above photograph in a shoot with another dancer, Jennifer. I wanted to try a different composition and new poses with Kenna. The picture above is my second favourite photo from the shoot. My favourite picture from the day is the first picture in this post.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Street Performers

If you spend some time on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, you are likely to witness some very interesting shows. One afternoon, I noticed a big crowd was gathered not too far from the Tron Kirk, and judging by the noises that crowd was making, there obviously was a good show in progress.

I had missed the beginning of Able Mable’s Royal Mile show, and when I got there, she was about to make a child disappear.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Able Mable Royal Mile show

Able Mable is introducing to the crowd the girl (bottom right of the photo) she is about to make disappear.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Able Mable show girl disappearance

The child is now inside the bag, and by casting a spell, Able Mable is going to make the girl disappear

Since the girl was just taken from the audience, she’s not quite up to speed as to what to do, and some hilarity ensues. It is hard to describe, you’re just going to have to go to one of Able Mable’s show to understand what I mean.

In the next part of her act, Able Mable showcased her balance and juggling skills. When I climb a latter, I insist it leans against something immovable. But Able Mable doesn’t need that. I’m not going to even try.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Able Mable Royal Mile show, balancing on a ladder

Up on a ladder, she’s all smiles.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Able Mable Royal Mile show, balancing at the top of a ladder

She’s about to ask someone from the crowd to throw her some juggling pins

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Able Mable Royal Mile show juggling on a ladder without any support

Juggling on top of a ladder that doesn’t have any support. Bravo!

Able Mable demonstrated some rather impressive skills. One aspect of her show that is difficult to convey in a blog post such as this is that she is extremely witty and funny. If you ever have an opportunity to see her perform, don’t miss it. You’ll have a great time.