Hidden Door

Spent saturday night at this year’s Hidden Door event on Kings Stables Road.  The basic premise is that a bunch of artists take over some abandoned building in Edinburgh, install some art, open a bar, get some bands on and generally have a thing.

The scale this year is bigger than last, which was held in Market Street Vaults.  This year it is tucked away in a courtyard and in what were at one time Council works buildings.  The art is interesting, and impressive to differing degrees. You can go for free during the day, or pay in the evening where there are also bands and a bit more of a buzz. Check out the programme for the week here.  You have until the 30th to check it out, i would say it was worth a look.

Added bonus, the band headlining Saturday called Numbers are Futile were pretty great.

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(All photographs copyright Lewis Brown)

Back on the horse

Looking at my last entry it’s been six months since I posted, and I’m pretty sure it has been at least four since I properly picked up a camera.  I don’t know why this has (hasn’t?) happened. I’ve been busy, but that hasn’t stopped me before. I’ve not been anywhere on holiday recently, but there is plenty to photograph every day in the street. I’ve been training pretty hard for the half marathon and few other races, but not every day. It’s not like I’m an athlete! I guess I just drifted away from photography until I got to a point where it wasn’t immediately second nature to pick up a camera as I walked out of the door. Well tonight, now that I’m a little injured and need a rest from miles and miles of running every day, I did pick up a camera and went for a little walk around the Old Town.  You don’t forget it but I do feel a little rusty.  Need to get back in the groove, got stag weekends, holidays and a week long wedding celebration for two of my best friends in France over the next few months.

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Perhaps disc pain and lower back muscle spasms aren’t such a totally bad thing.

(All photographs copyright Lewis Brown)

Lost and Found

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Yesterday morning around 5am I lost my country. Or perhaps it lost me, I’m not sure. All I know is that it feels like it isn’t there anymore. It’s going to take some time for me to find it again but I am pretty certain in time I will, but in the last 24 hours I have come to a realisation that I think will make that search easier and it is this: nothing has actually changed.

I looked around me and saw that my friends and family, the people I work with, the community in which I live and the people I was fighting to help are still there. The things that defined what I believed in, had faith in, was willing to take a leap into the dark for, haven’t gone away.

I am certain that over the last two years and more everyone who made that decision to mark the box next to “Yes” on their ballot in Thursday’s referendum for Scottish independence underwent a certain amount of introspection. We all know a little bit more about ourselves than we did at the beginning of the process.

Personally I had to question much of what I would have previously used to define myself. My heart has left the football club that I grew up with, finding the behavior and beliefs of too many of its support incompatible with the future I wanted to live in. My head has abandoned the party I have voted for since I was able, its values and actions moved too far from the principals which formed the basis of my support for it. An institution which I grew up trusting and believing, using it as a yardstick for truth, and seeing it as a beacon of democracy in the world has so fundamentally disappointed me that I may forever assume the worst of it despite wishing I didn’t have to. I have learned things about family and friends which has caused me to see some in new lights, both positively and negatively. Much of the core of what I thought was ‘me’ had to change and I know that this happened to so many of those who yearned to use that new knowledge to build a better place for themselves, their children and those around them.

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I as stood by Holyrood on the evening of the vote, taking pictures and taking in the warm feeling of anticipation of the birth of a new challenge, a new nation, I truly believed that enough of us had gone through this journey too and that we were all ready to move away from our assumptions and unquestioned beliefs but it was not to be. The majority of us had either gone through this journey too and come to a different conclusion, or decided that the road was not worth traveling.

Its tough when all this work feels like it has come to nothing. Its hard to know how to react, what to do next, whether it is worth going on. Personally I am going to have to take some time to figure out what to do with my newfound self. I need to pick apart the knowledge of this setback, separate the true reasons for hope from the platitudes and wishful thinking. What I will say is this. Where you live, the people you live with and the problems you saw and wanted to solve are still there, they haven’t changed. The reasons for embarking on the journey are still there so don’t turn back.

Take a new road, try a new path, keep striving. Don’t take heart from the nature of the defeat, forget the defeat altogether and remember why you played the game in the first place.

I can’t promise you its a solution, but its a start.

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(All photographs copyright Lewis Brown)

Spring Clean

So its been more than a month since I blogged or posted any serious photography anywhere.  Haven’t stopped taking photographs, but as happens to us all work, other hobbies and general life have taken over recently.  A lot of the time that in the past I would have devoted to photography has been given over to training for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in three weeks time.

Aiming for a 1 hr 45 minute time so having to take it seriously.  Am running to raise money for two local Edinburgh charities, so if you have a minute please take a look here and think about making a donation.

What little I have taken have been primarily 35mm film in recent weeks, rolls of which are away at the lab as we speak.  Should get them back later in the week so will post them when I do, in the meantime here’s some digital work from April.

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Shandwick Sky

Grangemouth from Culross

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Culross Lane

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(All photographs copyright Lewis Brown)