Updated: Feb 14, 2020
This photography portfolio project has been a very enriching experience, both in terms of the skills I have learned along the way but also in helping me to get to know Edinburgh better and having a better appreciation of urban issues.
When I began this project, my intention was very clear: to identify and capture contrasts within the City that highlight on the tension between development and urbanisation in Edinburgh. I had in mind already a few scenes, such as the development of the St. James centre and its impact on neighbouring area and the contrast in architecture between old and new buildings. I discovered very quickly however that, as important as these were, they were not necessarily the central piece of the project. Pieces of the puzzle, certainly, but not enough to paint a clear picture.
50 pictures later, I have realised that actually, the tension between urbanisation and conservation was better expressed in chance shots than planned ones. Photography is of course about capturing a moment at a given time and a given place so no two photographs will be the same. Nevertheless, it was fascinating to notice that most of scenes that I was drawn to were the fleeting ones, i.e not just the contrast between the old and new buildings but instead instants that would vanish a few seconds later.
I think that there are two reasons for this:
· Fleeting moments that, in some ways, are great at telling the story. It is a snapshot of a moment that will not be repeated.
· Fleeting moments are more vivid, and therefore I think capture the questions of identity and tensions within a city even more powerfully.
Another benefit of those fleeting moments is that it has brought a lot of diversity into the photography portfolio, and brings to the fore a range of issues that I had not considered at the start of the project. For example:
· The impact architecture and buildings, old and new, have on the identity of the City.
· Mobility within the city, including for citizens with reduced mobility
· Developments encroaching on green spaces and vice-versa.
· Events in the city and tourism
· Community activism towards developments