Last July, I visited Edinburgh for the first time. Jake was working on the Fringe build and I went up for the weekend to see him. But, because he was working, I had to make my own fun during the day, which of course meant that I cracked out my camera as soon as possible.
I was fairly new to photography then, and, looking back, I’m amazed to see that I only took around thirty photos total across both days. Now, a single weekend in Cornwall yielded eight hundred photographs. I am a woman of extremes.
When you work at something day in, day out, it’s hard to see improvements. It’s like a frog with a gradually improving understanding of aperture, which is also boiling in a pan (that’s how that saying goes, right?). I think it’s good, then, to take a moment to look back and appreciate how far I’ve come.
Obviously, the pictures don’t match perfectly. Last year, I walked all around the new town, while this time I stayed in the old town. I lay around on the meadows last July and walked up Arthur’s Seat this year. But I took photos of the castle and the famous street of colourful shops both years, along with a few general photos of Edinburgh’s buildings, so close enough.
Last year, I took only a few photos of the colourful street:
This year, I took so many more photos of this extremely photogenic street. I used better, more creative angles and have a much tighter editing routine:
I mean, let’s be real. 2019’s photos are so much better than 2018’s! 2018’s are not great. They’re bland and muted. It’s worth emphasising that I was trying just as hard to take good pictures last year, but my brain was clearly not as good at seeing the good shots and being creative.
I can also work my camera better. I understand most – though not all – of the different settings, which means that I take better photos at the point of shooting and have a much cleaner original to work with when I do a little editing later.
Last year, I took some photos of the castle:
…and this year, I took some more:
Again, this year’s pictures are almost embarrassingly better. Now, I understand how to make the most of different weather and light conditions, and I made more of an effort to go to good vantage points rather than stumbling across pictures I wanted to take. I am more deliberate and more experienced, both of which make all the difference.
Last year, I hung out on the meadows and took pictures of the clouds and the trees:
This year, I climbed Arthur’s Seat:
I actually like last year’s nature photos. Clearly, landscape photography has always come more naturally to me than taking photos in a city. But I do think this year’s are also an improvement. I understand light more, which helps. Also Arthur’s Seat is more photogenic, so I can’t put it all down to my improved camera usage, but still.
Last year, I took a few other photos of Edinburgh’s buildings:
This year, I also took photos of the buildings (but, no surprise, I took more and they are much better):
Yep, same conclusion. I’m so happy! Seriously, 2019’s Edinburgh photos are, in my opinion, worlds better than the pictures I took in 2018.
Yeah, yeah, practise makes perfect – but it does. I have taken around 15,000 photos in the last year (not joking) and I think those hours behind the lens and poring over Lightroom are starting to show. It’s so cool to get to go back to the same place, one year later, and have another crack at taking great images.
So, what do you think?! Have I improved? Which Edinburgh photos are better?