Edinburgh based landscape photographer Tom Foster

A Calton Hill sunrise…

Calton Hill (Edinburgh) is full of great photo opportunities and looks great any time of day. I’ve taken quite a few photos there in the evening and got some nice sunsets but it occurred to me that I had never been there at sunrise before.

I set out at 7:15am today to remedy this and got to Calton Hill just before 8:00am (a few minutes before sunrise). It was actually a while later though before I actually saw much light as the Salisbury Crags do a good job of shielding Calton Hill from the early light.

There is of course the classic shot from Calton Hill looking towards Edinburgh castle but I was focusing in the other direction this time. I started out looking at the National Monument. In my opinion it makes a nice photo at any time of day. It was just starting to get light when I took this one:


I quite liked this silhouette but I felt that the Monument still had more to offer as the light developed. However, my fingers were rapidly losing all sensation in the biting cold and so I felt I would come back later, after seeing what else I could find.

I went round the back of the monument and the light was just beginning to stream through the trees. I didn’t want to miss this one!


The sun was this point nearly appearing above the top of the Crags and so I headed to the Eastern side of the Crags to look out at Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Palace and the Parliament. This one turned out better than I was expecting actually because the sun was dazzling and I found it difficult to be entirely sure the photo was composed properly! I think the Autumn leaves compliment the colours of the sunrise quite nicely.


I decided to head back to the monument as things were rapidly brightening up now. I unfortunately got there just as a coach full of tourists arrived and they prevented me getting a clean photo for a while. I feel it was worth the wait though, I really like the colours and the shadows of the columns on the grass.


Deciding that I had pretty much reached the limit of my ability to endure the cold, I decided to head home. I couldn’t resist getting a picture of the Duke of Wellington statue at the end of North Bridge however. A quick hop over a gate rewarded me with a picture from a slightly different angle, looking up the Bridges from behind the statue.


What do you think? I was originally planning on heading down towards Leith for a few more photos but decided to leave that for another day. Hopefully the clear skies will hold out, or maybe some dramatic clouds/fog would be nice!


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