Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Grant Ritchie

Grant is a semi-professional photographer from Edinburgh and the man behind Real Edinburgh. Real Edinburgh started life as a sister page to the Real Edinburgh blog, a street photography project started in late 2011 around the city from the schemes to the centre. As that ran its course the page slightly morphed into what can be seen today, it’s gone from the gritty mean streets to showcasing Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Grant is also interested in Astro-photography so shots will occasionally feature as well as the odd photography tip from Grant as his aim is to get Edinburgh residents and visitors out photographing the city in all its glory.

When I hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is…
It has the be Edinburgh Castle doesn't it? It's such an iconic sight and you can literally see it from anywhere in the city. We're exceptionally lucky to have something like that on our doorstep. I've tried to photograph it from dozens of vantage points but I'm always up for finding more.

What makes me particularly proud to live in the city is…
The diversity of the city. You can be walking down Princes Street, a main shopping area and minutes later explore the historic closes of the Royal Mile and again, within minutes be walking up Arthur's Seat getting above the city. It's so compact and has so much packed in there it's like no other city I've visited and it's easy to see why Edinburgh is such a popular travel destination.

If I need some inspiration, the place I always visit is….
Blackford Hill. I love the place. I take the dog up there regularly and the view that greets you as you walk up and over to the top from the path is amazing. I remember the first time I saw it and it still makes me smile every time I see it.

The location I never get tired of shooting in Edinburgh is (explain why)….
Calton Hill without a doubt. Who could get tired of that view? I've shot the Castle and Balmoral up there so many times the challenge now is getting something new but that makes it all the more appealing. The view to the north over Leith shouldn't be forgotten either. A special place and bang in the middle of the city.

The one thing I would recommend to any aspiring photographer when shooting in Edinburgh would be…
Be prepared for the weather, 4 seasons in a day really isn't that unusual. Rather than look at it as a problem, look at it as an opportunity. I got a shot I was particularly pleased with in torrential rain the other night. As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.

Edinburgh looks especially beautiful when…
We get a rare still night, sun setting behind the Castle, street lights coming on, buildings being lit. The city is unique especially as twilight sets in. I've concentrated more on shooting twilight views of the city this winter rather than chasing non existent sunsets and I've not been disappointed with the results!

As a local, my hidden gem that most visitors to Edinburgh may miss is…
There would be 2 of these really. One has to be the Union Canal, particularly the Edinburgh Quay to Harrison Park stretch. It's tucked away and I've met locals who even didn't know much about it. Well worth a visit. The other is Blackford Hill, often forgotten about in favour of Calton Hill but if you want to get away from the crowds on a summer night in the city you can't beat Blackford.