Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Camera Obscura

Castlehill, Top of the Royal Mile

The Camera Obscura at the top of the Royal Mile

 

Edinburgh's Camerae Obscurae

Portobello, Calton Hill and Castlehill

A camera obscura is essentially a dark room with a small aperture (or lens) through which light passes from the outside to create an image inside the room.

Edinburgh has had at least three camerae obscurae to entertain its visitors over the years.  They have been at:

Portobello Pier:  giving a panorama of the Firth of Forth and the coast of Fife.  The pier opened in 1871 and closed in 1917.  I don't know for what period the camera obscura operated.

Calton Hill:  giving a panoramic view around Edinburgh and Leith.  This was replaced by the Camera Obscura at Castlehill.  It opened in 1835 and closed in 1850.

Castlehill:  Tenements, built in 1622 were converted in 1850 by Maria Short who previously operated a camera obscura on Calton Hill, to become 'Maria Short's Observatory of Science and Art'.  It opened in 1853.

The building was taken over in 1892 by Patrick Geddes and named the  'Outlook Tower'.  It has been under its present ownership since 1977 and is now known as the 'Camera Obscura'.

It is situated, in a prominent position, at the top of the Royal Mile, close to the Castle Esplanade.  The building is  and is floodlit in light of changing colours in the evenings.

 

Castlehill Camera Obscura

History

The Camera Obscura at Castlehill is housed in a 17th century building.  The building was enlarged in 1853 to house Maria Short's Camera Obscura that was situated on Calton Hill until it closed in 1850.

The building is now open to the public:

-  9.30am to 6.00pm:  April, May, June, September, October

-  9.30am to 7.30pm:  July and August

- 10.00am to 5.00pm:   other months.

 

Castlehill Camera Obscura

Views

The main attraction is to see the views through the camera obscura, shown in the tower at the top of the building. 

These views can be spectacular, especially on a bright day, extending to the horizon in all directions, and zooming in to the Royal Mile (and the Castle Esplanade when it is not covered in scaffolding and seating for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, each summer).

Around the outside of the viewing room for the camera obscura is a terrace, with telescopes and notices giving more details of what can be seen.

Panoramic View of Edinburgh from the Camera Obscura  -  May 2004

 

Castlehill Camera Obscura

Exhibitions

The Camera Obscura building includes several permanent  exhibits, well worth a visit.  These are to be found in rooms off the staircase leading to the main attraction.  There are:

-  Magic Gallery:  Illusions

-  Light Fantastic:  Holograms

-  Edinburgh Vision: including

- old stereo views showing the building with its name 'Short's Observatory' on the outside.

- stereo views of Edinburgh, including some by Yerbury and Begbie

-  old Edinburgh views by GW Wilson and others.

- a montage of a biplane flying over Edinburgh by Captain Alfred Buckham and other views of Edinburgh.

- pinhole photographs of Edinburgh by Derek Drage, taken using biscuit tins, sweet tins, Coca Cola cans, etc.

Update  -  2007

Extension

The 'Camera Obscura' has now acquired the building next door, 'Dr Guthrie's Ragged School' - a school that was used for the education of poor children from the 1850s until 1920 and has since become derelict.

The school is on three floors.  The 'Camera Obscura' intends to develop the building to include an illusions theme, including a topsy-turvy room and a mirror maze.

Work is expected to begin in late 2007 and take 9 to 18 months.

Edinburgh Evening News:  May 1, 2007,  p.28.

 

Camera Obscura  -  Photos and Map

 

 

EDINBURGH:   Street Views + Buildings + Around Edinburgh

BUILDINGS:   Canongate Church     Canongate Tolbooth      Castle      Free Church     GPO     Holyrood      John Knox      Maule's      Monuments    Galleries     Old Town       Royal High School      St Giles     St Mary's     Scott Monument    Schools + Hospitals     Looking down

 

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks