So it’s the 4th of July…an important day in the States, but nothing notable for me in Scotland. I open my Facebook page, and see there is a message. I hit the button and there’s a message from Marcus Gregar-Rive saying he was back in the UK and was thinking he would come to visit me in Edinburgh…next week! Marcus and I met in October 2009 in Kenya when we were both starting out on a volunteering journey that would change both our lives in ways we never imagined…but that’s another story altogether (though I may pepper some of it through this post :) Back in October 2009, we were both starting out on a volunteering programme with International Volunteers HQ, a New Zealand based organisation that run a vast range of volunteering programmes around the world. Marcus was assigned to a programme in Niavasha, about 1 hour North of Niarobi, I on the other hand had chosen to go to the coast on the Indian Ocean, to Ukunda…very close to Diani Beach. The start of an incredible adventure…but one that will wait for another post!
Whilst I returned to Scotland after 12 months on the road, Marcus stayed…and in fact now lives in Niavasha, Kenya where he is Project Manager for the KCC Slum Project which he, and a small group of dedicated volunteers and local people, set up back in September 2009. This is one AMAZING, organic, personal and powerful programme that I would urge you to take a look at….but maybe after you check out this post :) They are now a fully registered International NGO (Non Government Organisation) and you can also read their story, get a grasp of their work and hook up with them on Facebook at KCC Slum Project too.
So I reply to Marcus with a warm welcome and a bit of a warning! Sure you are more than welcome to come and visit….and my diary is pretty much free….well with the exception of the Friday, where I have to visit my parents, carry out a prom photoshoot on location and then I have my good friend Claire’s 40th birthday party in the evening! If you can handle that, then you are in :) And so it was, Marcus arrived on the Thursday evening and we were set to go!
As another little aside…in May this year my old mobile phone finally gave up the ghost and I decided it was time to get with new technology!!!! I had recently upgraded to an imac for my photography and decided that the iphone was a good business tool to add to the suite :) (and as the girls in the office will tell you – this is from a girl who was not interested in apple in anyway up until this point!!!)
So in the weeks before Marcus arriving I had began to explore working with the iphone camera as it’s sometimes more practical than carrying the DSLR and lenses. Quite without any planning, I found myself taking more time to consider the composition of my photographs. Next I discovered the whole array of post production apps that you can download to finish off your shots just the way you like. I started out with the well-known Instagram and even found myself buying a book specialising in iphoneography! This introduced me to some new techniques – for example shooting on the standard camera and then post editing in apps later, which was a great help! So I now have a whole page of apps to play with and I will maybe mention them in a bit more detail in later iphoneography posts!
So in addition to the photoshoot and party, our tour took in a quick hike in the 3 sisters in Glen Coe, burritos and real ale in the Clachaig Inn, a foot tour of Edinburgh, a visit to the World Press Photo Exhibition in the Scottish Parliament, coffee in the famous Elephant Tea House (where JK Rowling begun creating Harry Potter!) an amazing tour of our local distillery Glenkinchie (a wee gem of a find!) and finished off with the Angel’s Share movie at the amazing Dominion Cinema – a firm favourite of mine! So without further ado, here’s a little photographic memoir of what Marcus and I got up to during his whirlwind tour of Scotland….all the images shot and post processed on the iphone!Thanks for coming by buddy! Safe trip back to Kenya, Jacqui x