Saturday, August 9, 2008

And so it (officially) begins...

That's it - I'm on holiday now for 2 weeks...54 shows...late snatched from vans whenever I can...drinking in the open air (weather permitting)...

...I may not survive.

Last day at work yesterday, and managed to do everything I needed done in the morning. So headed up the High Street again, to take advantage of the dry weather. Treated to performances by Drum Cat and Mudslide who were both very impressive. Then headed to the hotel where the Unreal Edinburgh photo exhibition was launching and had a few wines and a mingle with fellow Flickrites.

Then passed through the High Street once more (witnessing a quite amazing African contortionist en route) then home again via the Grassmarket (which lived up to its usual reputation - i.e. there was a big fight in the street between pissed-up stag-do members - sad).

Today, it's raining again...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another damp day at the Festival

Despite it having rained solid for 48 hours now, I still made a rather wet trip up to the High Street at lunchtime to snap off a few shots of bedraggled performers. Not quite sure how was most dedicated / daft - me or them.

And this evening, did another photoshoot for Kayla Kavanagh, a young Irish singer and multi-instrumentalist who blends traditional folk with electronic music in a pretty effective way. Her looped effects and vocoded vocals were pretty impressive and I enjoyed taking the shots and watching her perform.

Only one day left at work now...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Magical & Gorgeous

One of my festival photos was published in today's Metro, which was nice.

Week Zero, Day Two

Another day at the Festival (with boring work bits in between)...

Wandered up the High Street after work, but it was all rather quiet - it looks like its busiest time is lunchtime / early afternoon, so will take that into account for future trips. Sadly, it's pishing down today, so it will have to go unvisited...

Popped into the hotel where one of my photos is being shown as part of an exhibition and chatted to Max, the organiser - great to see it printed professionally and looking forward to the launch night on Friday.

Then I went and took performance shots of The 'American', the Coloured and Me, a play taking place as part of the free festival. Enjoyed this a lot, both the experience of taking performance shots and the show itself. It's a funny and moving well-acted piece about stereotypes and racial issues, and is well worth an hour of your time.

Sadly, the weather has scuppered any festival-related plans I had today. At least I'll get a chance to remind myself what my house looks like, I suppose...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Well and truly started

Even though I was at work yesterday, it really felt like the first day of my full-on festival period.

Went up to the Royal Mile at lunchtime and took over 300 shots of the performers and artists there - including the ever-photogenic Two Sopranos (one of whom is pictured to the right).

Then, after work, I went to the Tracey Emin - 20 Years exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. I didn't really know a huge amount about Ms Emin prior to seeing this, but it was a truly fascinating retrospective of her work to date. Using media ranging from video to tapestry (and with the infamous 'My Bed' installation an undisputed highlight), the exhibition was moving, harrowing, narcissistic, revealing, disturbing, confessional and compelling all at once.

Learning of her troubled childhood and traumatic life experiences (via a self-narrated video piece entitled 'My C.V. 1963-1997') put her provocative and arresting work into context and made me view her in a completely different light than previous. Emin deserves to be called an artist in the truest sense of the word, and as my friend observed, it will be fascinating to watch how her work evolves - and I'll definitely be making a point of seeking it out in future.

After the exhibition, I collected the final two tickets for the shows I have booked...then the call of the Spiegel Garden was too strong to resist. It's slightly smaller than last year, but the atmosphere is the same - whilst sitting outside drinking beer and watching people enjoying themselves, it didn't take a huge leap of faith to imagine you were in 1920s Berlin or similar.

Then, after a couple of drinks there, we moved on to Bristo Square, beside the Udderbelly tent where the likes of the Caesar Twins, Gerry Sadowitz and the Jim Rose Circus are all appearing. A couple more drinks and we spent the rest of the evening pretending to be invisible...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Don't rain on my parade

Fortunately, it didn't, and this year's Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade enjoyed dry weather.

It pished down immediately before and after it though.