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The Crown Spire of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh. © Copyright David Wheater 2018

The Crown Spire of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh. © Copyright David Wheater 2018

I absolutely love urban photography. I think it’s possibly my favourite genre of photography and, living in Edinburgh, I’m in the perfect city to indulge it. This shot of the Crown spire of St Giles’ Cathedral, in the Royal Mile, was taken from Calton Hill with a long lens, and posed a few challenges. I had noticed the composition on a previous visit and stored it away in the back of my mind for the right day. On this particular day, the weather forecast looked good for a great sunset and, luckily, I was rewarded with this wonderful golden light which I’m a big fan of. Using a long lens, which isn’t particularly fast, always presents problems when shooting in low light. I didn’t have a tripod with me either, so technique and perseverance were critical to coming away with something useable. The other thing I wanted to avoid was completely silhouetting the spire and foreground buildings, which requires careful metering and experimenting with your exposure to balance the shadows and highlights. The windows on the tenement in the foreground had just a little more light falling on them and this helped me to give a little hint of them in the final photograph. In this particular photo it was also important to me to get some detail in the background Pentland Hills which I’ve just about managed to do. The final photo required very little editing. I often get asked how long it takes me to get a photography like this and it’s difficult to quantify. Most of the urban photos I take nowadays develop over time. I see something and simply store it away in my mind until it pops back into my head when the conditions are right. Weather and light are absolutely critical and I still have shots to take that I’ve been thinking about for years. For me, photography is all about what goes on in your head and not so much about technical ability and prowess. Yes, it really pays to understand the theory and how to get the very best out of your camera - but it’s really about what you look for and see. Great photographers are powerful observers. If you really want to improve your photography and enjoy the process start looking like you’ve never looked before. Observe people, colours, textures and absorb all the details. Fixate your gaze on just one thing and carefully deconstruct it in your mind. It could be the shape of a flower, the curve in a street or the texture of the stone. Stand, look around and note what you find beautiful and interesting and - only then - pick up your camera to record it in the best way you can. Photography is a mindful pursuit - not a technical one. For me it’s an ongoing quest to capture the heart, mind and soul of the scene in front of me. I fail a lot, but that doesn’t matter because it’s the adventure and challenge I enjoy the most. You can see a few more of my urban pictures in my portfolio.


EDINBURGH PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS

The Edinburgh Photography Tour. Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens, Scotland.jpg

PHOTOGRAPHY TUITION & CLASSES

The Edinburgh Photography Tour. Calton Hill, Dugald Stewart Monument, City Observatory, the National Monument and The Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland.jpg

ABOUT ME

Hello and welcome to my website. I’m a photographer, teacher and tour guide living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was born in the city in 1973 and it’s now been my home for over 46 years. Even after all these years, I’m still discovering amazing things about this beautiful city and I love nothing better than to share my knowledge and discoveries with guests and help them appreciate the city on a much deeper level through photography. My combined photography & history tours are small and personal and 100% from a local’s perspective. I will show you my Edinburgh, get you away from all the mass commercialisation that’s taking over the city and give you a very personal and intimate tour of one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

It’s probably fair to say that I’m obsessed with photography. Someone once described their love of photography as an ‘itch they couldn’t stop scratching’ and that most certainly applies to me! My vintage camera collection is now in the hundreds (don’t tell my wife!) and I also collect antique photos of Edinburgh which equally run into the hundreds. Photography is my greatest joy in life. It sustains me through the tough times and enhances my life through the good. It can be a therapy, a meditation and always utterly absorbing and joyful. If you’re looking for a new hobby I can wholeheartedly recommend giving photography a try. Perhaps you’ve tried and just haven’t got the results you wanted. It’s my mission to get as many people as possible to fall in love with the art of photography and to get out of it as much as I do. My photography classes are therefore very different. I only teach private classes, one-to-one, so that I can tailor the whole class to a person’s individual needs. Most large classes can teach the technicalities of photography, but very rarely do they teach the art of photography, which is much harder to do. It’s the art of photography that people really fall in love with - not the camera, lenses and other paraphenalia that camera companies try to sell you and this is what I focus on in all my private classes.

As a working photographer, I’m fascinated by most genres, from street to architecture and landscapes, and accept commissions of all kinds. I have an extensive collection of photographs from all around Scotland and the city of London, some of which can be seen in my portfolio. If you see a photograph you’d like to use, or would like to commission me please call me on 07400 705 357 or send me an email.


FREE BEGINNER’S PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE

(840) Whiten Head (An Ceann Geal), Loch Eriboll, Durness, Cape Wrath, Sutherland, Scotland. Copyright David Wheater copy.jpg

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The Edinburgh Photography Tour. Edinburgh City Skyline from Platt Hill in Ratho, Edinburgh, Scotland copy.jpg

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Exploring Stockbridge in Edinburgh

Stockbridge, Edinburgh. © David Wheater 2019


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