Edinburgh Christmas Lights

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Here are some more shots of Edinburgh lit up for the festive season. It was pouring with rain on Saturday when I took these, which made the whole process of night shots even harder, but it did add some wonderful reflections on the pavements. Despite the rain the centre of town was full of smiling faces, rushing between dry spots, and bars like this one were doing a roaring trade.

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Called The Dome, this majestic building now serves food and delicious cocktails, where once cheques were signed and cash stored away in vaults. The old Edinburgh banks make great venues for a far livelier crowd nowadays than they were first designed for. The city fathers might not have approved, but I love to see life breathed into these old buildings.

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I loved the swirling spirals of these garlands, curling heavenwards. Alas pointing my camera upwards resulted in a rain splattered lens, this was another challenge to be overcome. Night photography is definitely a challenging affair, especially in the rain.

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As if all this wasn’t enough, the wind was gusting up to 70 miles per hour, so holding the camera steady was very difficult. You can see that the big wheel isn’t turning in the photo, that’s because it was shut due to the high winds, but it did give me a nice clear shot. All told I think this was one of the most challenging photography sessions I’ve ever done!

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I decided to try and get a less blurry shot of the Norwegian Christmas tree I showed you last week on the Mound, and despite the rain, and no tripod I think it came out quite well.

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From the side the tree even looks straight, and behind to the right is Edinburgh Castle. It was starting to get cold by this time so just a few more photos before heading home to the warmth and a big mug of hot chocolate.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I live by the banks of the River Esk near Edinburgh, Scotland. I currently share my home with my husband, my son, my nephew and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! I guess I'm a mixed up kind of girl. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 10 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and I'm employed 3 days a week as a Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Cancer Centre.
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45 Responses to Edinburgh Christmas Lights

  1. Tahira says:

    Oh, Edinburgh. Beyond lovely! :)

  2. Leya says:

    Eye candy to a country girl, Seonaid! Every single one of them. Happy Holidays and may the wind blow in the right direction.

  3. poppytump says:

    Love the *corkscrew lights around the columns of The Dome bar ;-)
    You were up against it with the elements Seonaid for sure … but driving rain and those street reflections with the light make for some great effects in your photos . Hope you managed to sample a hot toddy or a mug steaming hot chocolate at the finish :-)

    • Oh yes Poppy, it was hot chocolate all round to warm up!
      I’m still not totally sold on taking photos in the rain, but it does add to the elemental feel of the shots, and I do love the reflections on the wet streets…..I think I might be a little obsessed with reflections at the moment :-)

  4. vastlycurious.com says:

    These are just so rich, especially the reflection on the street and they gave me spirit! Thanks : )

  5. Julie K. says:

    The weather must have been really intense – the lit up tree in picture No 5 is literally bending over in the wind! I´ve already enjoyed several European capitals during Christmas time (Vienna is my favorite), but Edinburgh seems like a whole other level of magic..:)

    • This Christmas in Scotland seems to be all about wild winds….there’s another storm forecast for Christmas Eve!
      Vienna at Christmas sounds like a dream Julie……the old cities look so beautiful when they are lit up. Our days are now so short, only around 7 hours of light, that the bright lights help to keep the spirits up. That and a wee dram :-)

  6. Hanna says:

    What can I do against such beautiful pictures, Seonaid other than to sit back and enjoy them :-)
    Hanna

  7. ladyfi says:

    Those are some splendid lights!

  8. LB says:

    Such a festive post! I particularly love the sidewalk scene.

    • Thank you, that festive spirit is creeping in slowly :-)
      That sidewalk shot was my second attempt….it’s hard to catch detail with the contrast between the bright lights and the dark unlit shadows!

  9. My home for the past year and a half! It was so lovely living there last year around the holidays. Plus, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time heading into The Dome for drinks… did you check out the inside? It’s even more stunning than the outside, especially at this time of year. Regardless, your photos look incredible and are making me miss my former home. X

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed living in Edinburgh, it’s such a fun and pretty city. You’ll remember the short dark days of a Scottish winter, but the warm pubs and the bright lights help :-) I love to drink or eat in the Dome, it’s such a stunning setting it makes you feel glamorous no matter what you’re wearing!
      Sorry to have evoked a longing to be back here :-)Where are you based now?

      • It’s always glam in the Dome! And the winter is definitely excellent as you can pop into the pub especially early since it’s so dark. I like that on the reverse side of this, summers are so bright that you stay out later… a city most certainly centralized around these changing patterns. Now I’m down a bit south of London, which is equally lovely. But your photos still made me a bit nostalgic. X

  10. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Beautiful, I love the scrolled look on the first shots!

  11. colonialist says:

    I really like what they’ve done – and what you’ve done with what they’ve done, braving extreme elements in the process. No wonder the Scots are a hardy lot.

  12. You got the perfect shots of the splendid Dome. How DID you manage not to get a bus in the across-the-road shot? The Scottish Tourist Board should be knocking down your door to buy these lovely images :D Very jolly, and framing Edinburgh in the most festive way possible. The Dome and the Mound are the quintessential images of this time of year.

    • Thank you Kellie, I think I’m blushing! Patience was the key to the Dome shot, and I took shelter in the doorway of the church across the street to stay dry and warmish! I took a few shots till I was happy with exposure and then waited, and waited….and waited a little more :-)

  13. restlessjo says:

    Nice memories for me, Seonaid :) Funnily enough I was out to lunch yesterday with a friend who was talking about the Dome. It was one of her recommends that I forgot about (or didn’t have time for :) ) when I was there.

  14. Mike Howe says:

    Beautiful photographs Seonaid, Edinburgh is looking so Christmassy :)

  15. Suzanne says:

    How lovely. What a great photographic effect – blue sky and city lights. :)

  16. momasteblog says:

    It just looks so magical where you live!

  17. It feels cold but I cannot perceive the wind, that’s funny, how did you do that!?

    • Mmm, perhaps the fact that most of the shots are of stone buildings, and I took them between big gusts….but I’m not sure. You get an idea of wind in the shot of the lamp in the bare branches with the rain pouring down! You’ve inspired me to think about how to capture the feeling if the wind in photos Rosa….thank you :-)

  18. Thanks for braving the storm to take such beautiful photos!

  19. Colline says:

    You may have had difficulty taking these shots but they are stunning.

  20. You managed to do a terrific job despite the awful condition. Thanks for showing us the Edinburgh nightlife. Perhaps you need a neutral density filter for Christmas this year! D

    • I have one David, but I’m afraid that I wasn’t going to be fiddling around with gear on a day like this. It was a see, snap, move sort of photography day :-) I find the ND filter a bit if a fiddle, which is fine on a warm clear day….but perhaps I just haven’t practised enough.

  21. Oooh, dramatic shots. Nice work.

  22. Jono Cusack says:

    It’s a stunning city!

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