Tag Archives: scottish

Jungle City

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

August has been a really hectic month both for myself as well as the City of Edinburgh. The city has played host to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 – a month-long spectacle that sees close to 21,000 performers presenting 41,689 performances of a record-breaking 2,542 shows at 258 venues – and I have been kept busy photographing bits and pieces of the Festival.

Edinburgh might well have been the Festival City in August but now with the festival drawing to a close, the city is getting ready to acquaint itself with its wild side and be transformed into a Jungle City. 130 life-size animal sculptures of the planet’s most endangered species – Asian Elephants, Tigers, Orangutans, Crocodiles and Hornbills – have been unleashed in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. From the 6th of September these animals will hit the capital’s streets.

Jungle City, set to be Edinburgh’s biggest outdoor art event on record, has received the backing of a large number of donors and supporters. Many large corporates have also sponsored the event and by doing so they’ve played a part in a major conservation project – one example is the image below that shows a tiger sponsored by the Scottish Football Club, Rangers.

A Fundraising initiative by the charity Elephant Family, the sculptures will be sold via auction (online or live – details can be found on their website) in a bid to raise £1 million for the survival of endangered species.

So if you live in Edinburgh or just happen to be here, head over to the Botanics and see these beautiful creatures for yourselves. They are on display at the Botanics till Sunday 4th September. And after that, look out for them on the streets of Edinburgh where they will be on display till the end of the month.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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The Wiss

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

After a gap of close to eleven months, I finally got an opportunity to go out hill walking over the weekend.

My friend and I headed out to the Scottish Borders and we climbed a hill called The Wiss – one of many hills that overlook St.Mary’s Loch. Though it was a very blustery day, the 589m / 1932ft climb up to the top was enjoyable.

It offered me the opportunity to do two things I really love – being close to nature and taking photographs.

Though I normally shoot with a professional DSLR camera, by way of an experiment I decided to shoot with the 8MP camera on board the Samsung Galaxy S II mobile phone. The results are here for all to see.

Would love to hear what your thoughts are on the quality of images captured with the phone camera. Feel free to leave your comments below.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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A New Identity is Born

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

It’s been nine months since Black Stallion Photography was born in Black Stallion Country and what an eventful nine months it’s been.

On this first day of 2011, we look back at what’s been achieved and we look forward to what’s to come.

The road travelled thus far

The list below should not, by any means, be misconstrued as us boasting of our achievements but it merely is a snapshot of what’s happened over the past nine months in 2010:

1. Black Stallion Photography takes birth in Black Stallion Country and our blog is launched on the 9th of March, 2010

2. Black Stallion Photography’s website (www.blackstallionphotography.co.uk) goes live on the 26th of March 2010.

3. Black Stallion Photography starts gaining online presence via Facebook , Twitter and Flickr.

4. Our images start getting featured in local Scottish papers and get showcased on the BBC Website as well.

5. Our work gets featured in the Amateur Photographer Magazine.

6. Black Stallion Photography’s Online Store is set up giving people the opportunity to purchase our prints in various formats.

7. We launch our very first Coffee Table Photo Book.

The interest, encouragement and motivation that all of you have given us has made all this possible and we would like to thank you for that.

The road yet to be travelled

We realise that we have but taken only a few steps on our journey and we have many more miles to gallop before we can rest. We have many exciting plans in the pipeline which will be unveiled in due course and we wanted to start the New Year with a new beginning.

Today, Black Stallion Photography takes on a new identity by way of a brand new logo:

Logo Designed by Pirate Dog Design

The imagery contained in this logo embodies all the characteristics of Black Stallion Photography: creativity, bursting with ideas, thinking out of the box and galloping wild and free as does a Black Stallion.

In addition to a new identity, Black Stallion Photography will be taking up abode at a new location on the World Wide Web from today:

www.igallopfree.com

We really love having visitors – so please do drop by Black Stallion Country as often as you would like to. We will always be there to welcome you in and show you around.

Hope you can join us on our ride down the yet untrodden road that is 2011.

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Take care and gallop free.

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Water of Leith Walkway Stage 3 – Murrayfield to Dean Village

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

This section of the walk along the Water of Leith passes through the heart of the city and starts in the Murrayfield Rugby Grounds and passes through Roseburn Park, the Bells Mills area and ends in the Dean Village.

Murrayfield Grounds is named after Archibald Murray, who bought the ground from the Nisbets of Dean in 1734. The Scottish Rugby Union acquired the ground from the Edinburgh Polo Club and the international stadium was built after the First World War (the stadium has been altered and enlarged since). While excavating the ground, a coffin containing the skeleton of a soldier and his musket were found – possibly one of Cromwell’s troops who encamped here.

Roseburn Park takes its name from a burn draining into Corstorphine Loch. The loch was originally a glacial lake, giving rise to a large area of marshland, which was finally drained in the 17th Century. The Walkway continues via Roseburn Cliff and passes under the Coltbridge Viaduct.

As one enters the Bells Mills Area, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art is accessible over a footbridge. Originally John Watson’s School, the premises were designed in 1825 by William Burn for the maintenance and education of destitute children. The gallery opened in 1984. Donaldson’s School for the Deaf, designed by W H Playfair in 1841 is out of sight on the right bank. A hotel stands on the site of the ancient Bell’s Mills, the last working mill to draw its power from the river, which blew up in 1971. The granary, mill house and cobble lane survive. Belford Bridge (1887) marks the start of the Dean Bank footpath.

Dean Village: The walkway passes below the Dean Cemetery that occupies the grounds of Dean House, the 17th century home of the Nisbets. Many famous Edinburgh citizens are buried here, including Lord Cockburn, W.H.Playfair and Dr.Elsie Inglis. The village itself is sited in a steep sided gorge and was the original crossing point for travellers proceeding to Queensferry and the North. Once known as the Village of the Water of Leith, mills were present in the 12th Century and the village became the centre for flour milling under the Baxters, who owned mills and granaries and supplied Edinburgh with flour until steam milling came to Leith in the 19th Century. Some interesting features along this part of the walk are:

  • Old Dean Bridge – a carved stone in the wall nearby shows the symbols of the Baxters’ trade – crossed peels (the wooden shovels used to move loaves into and out of the oven) – with the much worn date 1643.
  • Dean Bridge – designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1832, built largely by the initiative of Provost John Learmouth who wished to develop his lands on the west side of the gorge. The bridge towers 32 metres (106 feet) above the river.
  • St.Bernard’s Well was discovered, according to tradition, by three Heriot’s School boys while fishing in the river in 1760. In 1789 the present circular Roman temple structure was added, with Hygeia, the Goddess of Health, at the centre. The well became popular because of the supposed health-giving properties of its water, but recent analysis shows it to be unfit for drinking. A plaque facing the river acknowledges the restoration of the well and its presentation to the City by William Nelson, the publisher, in 1888.

To see all the images* in this set, please click the link below:

http://koshy.smugmug.com/Places/Water-of-Leith-Walk-Stage-3/12476754_JRZph#894137295_TCAdN

http://koshy.smugmug.com/Places/Water-of-Leith-Walk-Stage-3-1/12467448_YdRgQ#P-1-10

Please do join me next time for Stage 4 and the final stage of the journey which will start in Stockbridge and pass through Canonmills, Bonnington and finally end in Leith where the river flows out to sea via the Firth of Forth.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

* – images taken with the Canon 50D.

Ride with the Black Stallion: www.igallopfree.com

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