For the past week or so, I have been staying in a city which does not offer a lot of opportunities in terms of landscape photography. One can only take so many similar looking sunrise and sunset photos before getting bored with it. I tried this simple hack to make my photos more interesting and these are the results.
Being an early riser, I always have the option to wait and watch the sun rising every morning. This is the kind of photo I have been taking during my stay here.
Despite being a decent photo, it is also pretty standard Sunrise photo that one can take almost everyday from this vantage point. To make things more interesting, I borrowed a small bowl from the kitchen, placed it on the ledge and then filled it to the brim with water.
Then I took my camera and started experimenting with various shots to try and get an optimal angle where the reflection is just right and the landscape appears to blend in with the water. After trying different angles, I managed to take some pretty interesting photos of the rising sun.
I have not tried this with other types of landscape photos yet, but I will definitely keep this trick tucked away in my toolbox when I have the urge to make things a bit more interesting.
Around midnight, I was awoken by a sound, like a gentle knock on my door. After a long day, I had barely managed to fall asleep. It was a humid, uncomfortable, full-moon night and I was sleeping with my windows open. I opened my eyes and looked around, my room draped in moonlight. I could see the moon right outside the window. The curtains swayed gently in the cool breeze which provided some respite from the sweltering heat.
I heard another sound, and I glanced towards my window. I saw a shadow take shape from the base of the window sill. It started to move up, as if slowly rising up from the depths of hell. For a moment, I was taken aback and I froze as I had never experienced such a sight before. It kept moving up until it formed a perfect silhouette against the moon. A shadow of darkness took over my room and I remained frozen, staring at the silhouette that was slowly taking shape.
The shape was now fully formed, with its ears upright and tail held high. It menacingly turned its head, eyes glowing like ember. That was when I realised that the “monster” was a cat! Like a burglar breaking in to my room, it jumped in and let out a muffled meow as it landed. I waited patiently to see what it would do, though it was barely visible.
It must’ve suddenly realised that the room was already occupied by another creature. It bounded back up, less elegantly this time and squeezed out through the wibdow, letting out a silent meow again. As for who was more startled, me or the cat, that is anyone’s guess.
We got there at sunset.
After a long drive through some breathtaking landscapes, Skye had welcomed us with some beautiful skies.
We stayed at Kyleakin, a beautiful village situated very close to the bridge.
I had been to Skye before and was familiar with some of the places but this was the first time I would be spending some days there.
The plan for this trip had been a bit spontaneous and the next few days were going to be really interesting.
The hike up to the Old Man of Storr was quite possibly the windiest one I’ve ever done.
Beautiful Staffin Beach.
At the start of the amazing Quiraing walk.
The Fairy Pools, considered one of the most “magical” places in Scotland.
And did we mention the roads?
A few weeks ago, we went on a walk from Aberlady to North Berwick. We chose the coastal path which was about 10 miles in total and despite the overcast conditions, it was an amazing experience and we saw quite a few interesting things on the way.
Starting from Aberlady, the walk to the beach begins with a barren expanse of land dotted with a few trees.
Once we got to the beach, we found what is quite possibly the smallest “Loch” in Scotland (or maybe it was just a puddle).
The uninhabited island of Fidra looms quietly along the way, home to numerous sea birds and a lighthouse.
The walk is quite nice for other activities.
Finally, at North Berwick we got some amazing views of Bass Rock (the Scottish Alcatraz) at sunset.
One can walk beyond North Berwick along the coast towards Tantallon Castle. By then, we were all tired and hungry so we all headed towards the nearest restaurant.
In our lives immersed in technology, we rarely shut everything off.
We turn on when we wake up, and are on our devices until we go to sleep. And every hour in between.
I’m not immune to this. Very few people these days are.
And yet, there’s value in shutting everything down, so that we can reconnect with life.
With the moment.
There’s a time to work hard, and there should be a time to shut down. Otherwise, it all blends together and nothing has any space.
What time will you shut down today?
The text originally appeared on Leo Babauta’s zenhabits blog.
Edinburgh can seem quite dreich at times.
It may also feel busy and boxed in.
Some call it a big city.
Others find it small.
Either way, there’s always a place to rest and relax.
You may meet interesting new people.
Or maybe run into someone you know.
If sometimes, things seem broken and hopeless,
and you feel lonely and tired.
You can always expect to find something that puts a smile on your face,
and brings some colour back into your life.
Have a nice day!
The Pentland Hills, located at the South-West of Edinburgh, provide excellent hill walking and hiking opportunities easily accessible from the city. Spread over an area of 90 km² (35 sq mi), it has over 100 km of waymarked routes. These go through a multitude of terrain types, covering everything from a leisurely stroll to demanding hikes across the Hills.
On a cold day in January, we decided to take a quick trip (an eight hour walk) along one of these routes and these are some of the sights we enjoyed along the way.
When you’re in the park, it is quite easy to forget that there is a city nearby.
As you can see, there was quite a decent amount of snow on the Hills that day. We went back a week later and most of it was gone.
These Hills, due to their proximity to Edinburgh, provide a wonderful escape for city-dwelling nature lovers.
For more information about what The Pentland Hills Regional Park offers, see here and here.
It was a cold Sunday morning in February, well before sunrise and the four of us were at Holyrood Park, looking up towards our destination. Instead of staying home within the warmth of our beds, we had decided to hike up Arthur’s Seat to try and catch the sunrise over Edinburgh.
I had been thinking of doing this for a while and when I floated the idea to my friends, I found three other souls who were willing to accompany me on this “adventure”.
As it was still quite dark, we were concerned about the visibility and walking up the path in frosty conditions. The weather is always a bit of a gamble and despite the fact that there was a hint of rain in the air, the sky looked to be clearing up. As we set off, I did think whether all this effort would be worth it. Needless to say, this being Scotland, we got more than we bargained for, including a beautiful rainbow over the city.
Totally worth it, don’t you think?