Street Scenes, Edinburgh

I know I’ve been busy travelling when I’ve missed posting on-purpose photos from a trip: shots I wanted that required me to get out of bed early, dagnab it, in the hope of finding streets empty of people.

In planning my few days in Edinburgh in June, I looked online to see what photo opportunities it offered. In addition to obvious highlights — the three bridges over the Firth of Forth — I found a site citing West Bow. This short, curved street offers colourful facades and an elevated sidewalk, or a sunken roadway, depending on how you look at it.

3-photo collage of West Bow Market from different elevations

West Bow and the other street scenes I found along the way led to me learning about the keystone effect.

In photography, the term is used to describe the apparent leaning of buildings
towards the vertical centerline of the photo
when shooting upwards,
a common effect in Architectural photography. – Wiki

“When shooting upwards,” as when using a super-short but travel-friendly tripod that I’ve set up literally at street level to allow me to get photos in relatively low light? Well, yes.

Keystone Correction is the term
for digitally trying to correct the effect.
Home Theater Review

With the emphasis on the “trying to,” perhaps, at least in my case. And, as with all adjustments, especially those that require cropping, it’s a good thing to have in mind before taking the picture.

It turns out there’s levels and levels of planning in photography. Next time . . .

Juncture of West Bow Market and Grassmarket

2-photo collage of streets in old Edinburgh


This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Photos of Built Stuff, Through Space and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Street Scenes, Edinburgh

  1. Judith Umbach says:

    You have become an excellent photographer! Thanks for scenes I didn’t “see” when I was in Edinburgh.

  2. Kate says:

    That split sidewalk from the street makes me dizzy just looking at it 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!
    I really liked your photo with the red building in the middle.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Kate – Yeah, collages aren’t always the best choice. 🙂 If I had way more patience, I’d get shots like that lined up exactly. Now that would test your equilibrium.

  3. These photos are remarkable for the variety of esthetics on display. I see what you mean about the keystone effect in the last photo, but you seem to have arranged to negate it in other scenes and I wonder how you did. The picture that self-identifies as “West Bow” is full of the architectural details that delight me and that give a place its distinctive character.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Yes, old Edinburgh has a wealth of architectural styles on display. In some of the shots I was able to mitigate the keystone effect in post-processing. In others, the buildings on both sides were leaning on, requiring opposite adjustments. For those, I needed either a different program or a different operator!

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – Thanks for the explanation with respect to keystone effect. Now I know why all my pictures of the very tall and slender monument to the Texan victory at the Battle of San Jacinto just southeast of present day Houston all appear to be leaning. And here I thought it was just me.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Sometimes it *is* us. Sometimes it’s that pesky physics again, this time in the optics branch.

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