Black And White Sunday Composition


I just saw a post with a single black-and-white image from Cardinal Guzman. He named it B&W Sunday: Lysebotn, and it’s a very striking image that I recommend you go take a look at.

He linked to another site where Paula is coordinating images under themes, and today, Sunday, the theme is black-and-white compositions, and this is my contribution.

Through the cleverness of WordPress I have also set this image as the featured image for this post. If you want to see the photo in this post at larger size, click the image in the post and it will open in a new window or tab.

If you go to the main page of this site, you will see that the header image is quite different. It is a panorama taken with my iPhone a few weeks ago and it is a sweeping image across the garden of the cafe in front of the Queen’s Palace at Holyrood here in Edinburgh.

I must go on a tour of the palace and photograph inside the Palace gardens.

About This Photo

The small, stone building in the foreground is an outhouse in the grounds of a hospital on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and in the background are the Pentland Hills.

Here is the colour of the stone before converting to black and white:


Take A Look At The Buildings Of Edinburgh

If you are here in Edinburgh (and there are a million visitors here at the moment) then you cannot fail to see it is full of lovely buildings that were built with love and care.

And they have repaid that by surviving and settling into place. Some of them are a bit wonky, and that adds to the appeal.

And with so many visitors to the city for the festivals that are on in August, I thought I would put up a couple of photos of Edinburgh buildings for you to enjoy wherever you are.

Greyfriars Art Shop in Edinburgh

The Photography Gallery at 23a Dundas Street Edinburgh

The Old Town Bookshop Victoria Street Edinburgh

Edinburgh – August 2016

traveling along princes street on the bus in edinburgh

A week ago the rain was pelting down. Take a look at the passengers on this bus in the middle of Edinburgh on Princes Street. See they are wearing hoodies, waterproofs, and everything you need for a summer in Edinburgh.😉

The news reported that a couple of weeks ago Scotland generated all its domestic electricity needs from wind on one particular day. A gale-force wind sped those wind turbines into the record books.

I don’t know what the distribution of environmentally power sources is in Scotland. Perhaps hydro-electricity makes a contribution. I should find out. (Blogger exits stage left to look up the facts…)

Energy In Scotland – The Facts

It turns out that the facts are not hard to come by, and here they are.

Renewable electricity generation in Scotland made up approximately 26% of total UK renewable generation in 2015

Renewables are the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland—higher than both nuclear generation (33%) and fossil fuel generation (28%).

The Scottish Government has a target for renewable energy in Scotland to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity consumption and 11 per cent of heat consumption by 2020.

[ Where will the other 89 per cent come from? ]

Wave and tidal energy is still in the testing stage but the Scottish Governement says there is a huge potential and they have the world’s only accredited marine energy laboratory.

Meanwhile, in 2014 wind generated 62% of Scotland’s needs and hydro generated 29%.

And, and this is an amazing fact, Scotland has 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resources. Note, that is 25% of Europe’s resources, not just of the UK’s resources.

Then there’s North Sea oil and gas and Scotland is estimated to have the largest oil reserves in the European Union, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of total EU reserves.

Of course, there is a growing divestment movement that argues that oil and gas should not be extracted and should remain in the ground, and I support that.

Actually, more than that I think there is a huge amount that could be done right now by an outright ban on the use of oil to make plastics that have a short life cycle.

American Gothic Revisited

Do you know the painting American Gothic painted by Grant Wood?

Wood painted the picture in 1930 and it has that flat hyper-realistic look that means it could have been painted at anytime right up to today. It is mysterious, threatening, ambiguous – so much so that there was even a version of it in an episode of the Simpsons.

In case you can’t bring the painting to mind, it’s a middle-aged couple standing side by side, probably on a farm. He is wearing a collarless shirt and an overall with a jacket over it, and he is looking out at the viewer with a direct stare.

She is wearing a dress with a sailor collar done up to the top button and a little brooch at her neck. She is looking a little off to the side and her chin is down. She is kind of appealing, like he is.

They look like they have seen adversity and been through a lot. They are both self-sufficient and don’t mean harm to anyone. Except there’s that great big pitchfork that he’s holding front and center.

And if you want a link to the painting, here it is: American Gothic (The link will open in a fresh page of tab.)

What Is It About?

What does that signify? Is it a don’t-mess-with-us pitchfork?

It could be just a tool of the trade – like an anvil over a blacksmith’s shop, but it seems more than that.

The ‘gothic’ part comes from the arched window of the farmhouse behind them. If it were a church, the window wouldn’t be out of place.

So what is the painting about? Is it a comment on the midwestern character?

The Photo At The Top Of This Article

So, with all that in mind, I absolutely did not think of American Gothic when I took this photo of Riley and Summer from Black Nettle playing on the street in Edinburgh during the Festival two years ago.

But looking at the photo afterwards with the way she is holding the guitar neck upright, the comparison jumps out.

And it is kind of apt, because they are American. But the way this couple is dressed and the way they are looking at me taking their photo represents for me the very opposite of that buttoned-down couple in American Gothic.