Grant Ritchie is a photography fanatic. He is also Edinburgh born and bred so we thought he’d be the perfect candidate to tell us how to capture the beauty of this great city – life through a lens. You can view more of Grants work www.realedinburgh.co.uk
How long have you been passionate about photography?
I’ve been serious about it now for about 5 years although I’ve had an interest for at least the last 15 years. I started out doing motorsport photography, in particular rallying. After a few years the interest in the sport faded and the camera was put away for a good few years until I got the urge to try landscape photography and I’ve never looked back since.
Would you like to turn your passion into a career?
I’ve spent the last 15 years building up a career in web development and management and that’s not something I’m about to give up on at the moment. The photography has morphed into a 2nd job which is nice but I’m not convinced it could ever a full time job. Maybe if I was willing to branch out into portraiture or weddings it might be but I’ve no interest at all in doing that kind of photography.
You have an impressive list of publications in which your work has been used. Please tell us a little bit more about this and of them all which you are most proud of.
I’ve been published a few times but there’s a really exciting one coming up next year which I can’t say anything about at the moment but one of my images is going to be all over the place next year. I’ve also got an image featured on this week’s Sky at Night TV show which is personal high point for me!
You say your favourite type of photographic work is of the city itself. Why do you prefer this to other types of photography?
I love being out and about, usually with the dog in tow. There’s nothing quite like being sat up a hillside watching a sunset or fog rolling in and being able to capture that. Studio work and posing people are something I have no interest at all in. Asides from the city stuff I also enjoy macro photography and astrophotography.
Aside from Edinburgh which is your next on your list of favourite cities to photograph and why?
Honestly, I’ve no interest in branching out. I can cover Edinburgh in the way I do thanks to a good knowledge of the city and the fact that I live here helps quite a lot. Occasional trips to other cities wouldn’t result in the same sort of images. I’d be making the best of what I get when I’m there rather than being able to dash out at a minutes notice as the sunset looks like it’s going to be a good one. I’d rather turn my eyes skywards and explore the universe with the camera. There’s so much up there and it’s mind blowing stuff.
Tell us your favourite three vantage points to capture the city? Why are these spots so good?
Calton Hill is a no brainer, iconic views and a killer sunset location from October to April. The Radical Road on the crags is another great vantage point, you can see so much from up there and it’s easy enough to access as well. My favourite though is Blackford Hill. I love the views from here, I go there a lot with the dog.
How do you find a good vantage point?
Sometimes it’s all about planning. You can use apps to show you sun/moon locations, rise/set times etc and from that you can usually pick out where might be a good place to head to. Photography is as much about the planning as it is the actual taking and processing of the image.
At VieAmhor we try to help our guests ‘live like a local’. Other than checking out your favourite vantage points what should every visitor to the city do before they leave?
Get to the Forth Bridges for one, they are a stunning sight. I love photographing them, I’ve probably done every angle you can think off but it never gets old. It’s worth seeking out some of the less obvious locations too like Newhaven Harbour, Cramond and along the Union Canal.
You are Edinburgh born and bred so this should be easy for you…use three words to describe the true character of Edinburgh.
Vibrant, historic, unbeatable!