Photographic Journal

Tours Recommended

In the 1890s the fortnightly photographic journal, Photography, had a section entitled The Tourist in which readers were invited to recommend locations for photography.  The editor wrote:

"Preference will be given to those which deal in the clearest manner with the following points:

-  The objects of photographic interest, and the best times and points of view for taking them. 

To whom to reply for permission and when such is required.

Means of easy transit available. 

Some idea of hotels and such-like accommodation. 

Dealers and dark rooms available to the tourist.

 ... ." 

In the edition of 22 June 1893, two contributors, recommended a visit to Edinburgh.  Here are a few extracts from his notes.  Most of the the sites he recommends are virtually the same today, almost 120 years later.  Primrose wrote:

"Edinburgh is by far the finest city in the world for photographers.  The first thing to which the photographer naturally turns is the Palace of Holyrood, that ancient and royal abode of so many stirring memories.  The Palace makes a good picture, with the ruined Abbey Church at its side, and the fountain in front, Arthur's Seat appearing beyond."

"One may photograph in Queen's Park now without permission; it is full of romantic scenery; Duddingston Loch and two other lakes."

"The Prince Consort Memorial, Dean Cemetery, Dean Bridge, Botanic Gardens, St Mary's Cathedral, and Fettes College are all interesting and must not be forgotten by 'Half Plate'"

"If querist is fond of snap-shooting, he must go to the fish auction, at Newhaven, between seven and eight in the morning.  It makes a good picture with the "fish-wives" in their picturesque costumes.

"There are a number of dark rooms in Edinburgh.  Among them, there is one at AH Baird, 15 Lothian Street; another at James Buncle, 7 Hope Street; and another at Sydney Keith, 69 South Clerk Street.  All the above have stocks also stock plates, chemicals, paper &c."

A second contributor, Le Diademe, wrote:

"Near [Princes Street] are several fine statues worth taking, notably the Scott monument.  From here, a splendid view of the Edinburgh Castle and the rock may be had.  Permission had better be obtained from some of the officers in charge before commencing operations.

In front of Register House, a fine looking building, is the monument of the Duke of Wellington, one of the noblest equestrian statues in the world.

Duddingston Loch is at all times picturesque.  The church is an old Norman one.  Craigmillar Castle stands on a hill 1 1/2 miles south of Duddingston and is well worth a plate.

Just where the High Street widens is John Knox House, a very picturesque looking building.

Instantaneous shots of the soldiers on drill on the Esplanade may be obtained."

Excursions from Edinburgh may be made to Leith, visiting the docks, and take a boat to Forth Bridge [The Forth Bridge was completed 3 years  before this recommendation was made.], get off at Queensferry and spend a few hours until the next boat arrives, whence return to Leith.

Portobello, a fine watering place, three miles from Edinburgh, and Newhaven (two miles), a quaint looking fishing village, might be done in a day.

Plates and dark room at McClyne, 69 Nicolson Street, Mr McBean, 25 Albert Place or Mr Hume, 1, Lothian Street.  Lodgings can be obtained at cheap rates."




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