Friday, 2 February 2018

super moon super mike

The moon marketing department have been overselling their product this week (again) claiming all sorts of never-to-be-repeated astronomical Black Wednesday deals. I would have ignored the hype had it not been for a previously arranged tryst with Super Mike to go along on one of his "Train in Vain" runs round derelict parts of Edinburgh's ex-train cyclepath network looking for bags of dead cats. I mean fascinating architectural remnants from our rich railway history.

Currie Kirk.

I was at something of a loss to see the glamour of old Edinburgh station platforms at night; so bleak the graffiti artists wouldn't even bother. However I admired Mike's unwavering commitment to see a project through and thought maybe he just needed someone along with a decent camera. Sadly my camera fell quite a bit short of the mark. Although I was also having trouble working it. Not helped by forgetting my headtorch. I had been busy all afternoon and raced out the front door with seconds to spare to get to the bus stop in time. I realised too late I had left my headtorch. But I took the good camera and tripod hoping to lift the quality of visuals for Mike's project. Trying to work it in the dark was not great and I totally failed to capture any decent images. At least it was company for Mike. In fact very close company as the first mile down the cyclepath from Balerno (following the WoL Half) was pitch black and I had to ask Mike if I could run with an arm round his waist in order to benefit from his guiding light. Well maybe not but I was concerned I'd do a full superman into the mud and wall to wall gloop we were sploshing through. Thank goodness for the camera warranty.

taking photos through windows at night

and this is where the body was found...

I f*cked this tunnel shoot up entirely. The camera's drop down menu on the back was only saying 2s self timer not 10 (check underneath the 2s, dummy) and so I had just 2 secs to push the button while the camera was on the tripod down low, then jump forward to where Mike was then the camera (sensing it was on a stable platform) was doing long exposure shots and well I just f*cked it up. We visited several old stations and platforms now just barely discernible disappearing back into the undergrowth of the railway cyclepaths and I took some other bad photos. My apologies Mike, what can I say? On the upside, it took us out running (I notched up 10miles) and I wouldn't normally enjoy a cross town 10 miler under the light of a supermoon. I am almost too traumatised by so many years of running on the Prom with PRC through the Winter months, that I have no love left for it. So it's good to do something different even if a bit misguided or crappy. Which it wasn't. But, well, you know. Anyway it wasn't all bad photos and the good camera and it's (1" sensor) ability to take better photos in low light conditions got me fired up about the potential for night photos. Some of them came out ok. Just none of the railway ones!

canal side
(v relieved to cross the aquaduct (headtorchless) without an accidental dip!)

CSI Craiglockhart

meanwhile the supermoon was supermooning

The one at the top of the page was as it came out the camera (with only slight contrast adjustment). Some of the others I have coloured in with felt pens, just to match the marketing hype.

near holy corner I tried to match the weather vane of a church
to the centre of the moon but there was stuff in the way etc

not the horsehead nebula

moon over Meadows

I then got restless and started moving the camera deliberately to get blurs and neon strafes of street and car lights. 

said in a David Blainey voice...
"think of a number, without telling me, keep that number in your head"

I went through the Meadows and down Chamber Street. I took a few pics of both museum buildings but they were wholly unremarkable. More interesting was this artwork at the bottom which involved a cleverly lit structure cladding a building, the lights leaving shadows of the internal perpendiculars vectoring the same angle as the external supporting crossbars. With light sources and shadows adding further intrigue this is an otherwise simple premise yielding a pleasingly complex result, so often missing from much installation art.

Similarly across town this playfully lit work by J & I Scaffolding on Leith Walk is almost certainly more dynamic now than it will be when finished. I haven't seen the plans but I'd bet it will be a million bland students flats rammed into a medium sized site. Currently it speaks of Lloyds Building or the Centre Georges Pompidou. Starter for 10, which architect connects both?

So I felt like it was an interesting and thoughtful meander across town, although I am not much closer to understanding Mike's railway journey. But it's good to have a project and a reason to get out the front door.

And, despite my attempts to make it otherwise, the moon looked absolutely normal.

10.5 muddy miles under the blue blood supermoon
remind me not to start the Suunto then pause it for the bus journey
(that yellow line flying straight across town)

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