As an Edinburgh lad, The Edinburgh Festival and all it beholds morphs the city into 4 weeks of jamboree and culture. From high end to low brow, professionals and amateurs alike ply their trade on the streets, the theatres, clubs and any vacant space to accommodate one man and his dog.
The locals might love it or hate it, but it's boom time for business and the highlight of the year (though these days the city, like others, is an all-year place to visit). Swarms of tourists from every corner of the planet converge to swell the popultation to nearly double it's normal size with not an empty room to be found as they are rented out for eye watering prices to ensure every last penny is squeezed out of the culture vulture visitors.
But who can't love it? It's a win-win for everyone. Up-and-coming performers have a chance to break into the mainstream, established professionals get their bumper paydays and Edinburgh, for a few weeks, seems like the centre of the universe.
For me, it's a time to get the camera out and people watch. There is no shortage of subject matter to photograph with everyone keen to have their photograph taken.
A street performer shows of his skills as the audience watch
The Royal Mile and surrounding streets are orchestrated into an endless show of live acts for street performers to earn a wage as they travel from city to city, caps, buckets and and assortment of containers for the audiences to drop in their donations. The streets are literally awash with dosh!
Performers from around the world converge to entertain on streets and in venues.
The public vie for the best spot to catch a glimpse of the next performance about to begin, circles of curious visitors anticipating what whacky, quirky act might be about to unfold. Fire eaters, knife jugglers, painted body popping, acts enticing the crowd to come closer. Seeing is believing.
Street performers take time out for a chat
Here, you'll find something for everyone. All ages are accomodated. And if the sun comes out then all the better as parks fill and refreshments are consumed from the open air cafes and bars that mushroom in all corners of the city.
Brazillian lady with her face covered in piercings at the Edinburgh Festival
A word of warning though. If you don't like crowds. If you don't like having to wade and dodge bodies the length of full streets, then this isn't the place for you. Endless waves of tourists (in addition to the local population) meandering around the pedestrianised streets can stretch the patience (especially on hot days). Log jams surface at the most inappropriate times as someone up ahead decides to stop, causing tails backs to ensue.
Violinists perform in the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival
If the endless queues of bodies inching along get on your nerves, the queues at every stall served by a couple of exhausted staff members who've been on their feet for hours will test your will to live. So remember that patience is a virtue.
Edinburgh Festival actor dressed in black with a wig
Street performers at the Mound Square during the Edinburgh Festival
For a photographer, the Edinburgh Festival offers great opportunities to capture the excitement and colour that lifts the city from one like many others into a circus of events. Even if your budget is restricted, you can enjoy what the streets have to offer and I'd encourage everyone to sample what it offers, even once.
Edinburgh Castle glows in a warm tinge as the sun sets over the city
You'll find many of these photos available to order which are ideal for the home or office.