The natural harbour of Leith, formed by the Water of Leith entering the Firth of Forth, had been used for centuries before undergoing rapid expansion during the nineteenth century. This photograph shows one of Leith’s old Wet Docks – an enclosed area of water used for loading, unloading and repairing ships. Among the traditional sailing vessels appear the chimneys of several modern steam boats. Like the masts, the industrial chimneys in the background contrast sharply with the sky and present another clue to the modern times of the scene. The photographer, George Washington Wilson, originally trained as an artist and had a good eye for composition. In this photograph, the way the camera has cropped and framed the image is an important part of the composition itself.