Friday, April 2, 2010

Week #13 Dawyck Botanical Garden

Dawyck Botanical Garden is near Peebles in the Scottish Borders- a garden of trees, rather than flowers. It has trees from all over the world, including enormous Douglas Firs. At this time of the year the buds are froming on the trees and shoots of herbaceous plants are coming through. It was a week or two early for the daffodils-I shall try to get back in the next couple of weeks. I hadn't realized that seasonally it's a couple of weeks behind Edinburgh. The drive down was lovely with the springs lambs and calves in the fields.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week #12 Wallace Monument

My walk this week was at the William Wallace monument near Stirling:
Completed in 1869 after eight years' construction, the 220 feet high Wallace Monument sits prominently on the Abbey Craig two miles north of the city of Stirling itself. It was from this prominent hilltop in 1297 that William Wallace watched the English army approach across Stirling Bridge before leading the Scots into the battle of the same name: and victory (see our Historical Timeline). A fitting, and striking, location for the national monument to a national hero.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week #11 Bangour Village Hospital

The hospital was modelled on the Alt Scherbitz asylum of the 1870s, near Leipzig in Germany, and represents one of the first "colony" plan psychiatric hospitals in Scotland. The Bangour institution comprised individual villas which would house approximately 30 patients each. The village also incorporated its own railway station, a farm, bakery, workshops, recreation hall, school, shop, library, and latterly, a multi-denominational church.
The hospital was requisitioned by the government War Office during both wars when it became "Edinburgh War Hospital" and "The Scottish Emergency Medical Hospital", reverting back to a psychiatric hospital between and after the wars.
The number of patients rose to over 3000 in 1918 so, as well as temporary marquees, prefabricated huts were erected to cope with the demand for bed space, for both patients and staff. This led to the creation of Bangour General Hospital in the surrounding grounds, which was to become a world leader in many medical fields, in particular its esteemed burns and plastic surgery unit which was established in 1940. It also had a 1st class Maternity Unit serving the whole of the county.
In 1989, St John's Hospital opened in nearby Livingston, and services were transferred from Bangour General Hospital, which closed in the early 1990s. The Village Hospital also started to wind down after the opening of St Johns, with the last remaining ward closing in 2004.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Week #10 Kinghorn and South Queensferry

Click on image for large views.
This week I joined the Edinburgh Uni Photo Society on a photography day with Alonso Dias, a photographer from Spain. Alonso specialises in long exposure landscapes, and the point of the day was to learn some of those techniques. One thing I learned was that I need a ND grad filter-I do have a screw on ND filter, and I was able to increase my exposures a little using it. However for some of the day I did my own thing, like these photos of Kinghorn village.

I did try long exposures for the next group, which is why the water has that smooth flat silkiness.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week #9 Edinburgh

So this week I walked around Edinburgh-the top of Leith Walk, Princes St, and St Andrew's Square
It was a twilight walk and the real object was to have a play with long exposures. One task was to capture movement in passers by, and the other was to create some light trails. Actually-there were very few people out and about, so the people shots were a little problematic!

And if you look at the photo above you can see I amnaged to get people blur-and light trails-in the same photo!!
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