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The era of AI Imagery is here. What now?
this isn't real My social feeds are full of one thing right now – photographers talking about AI generated images. And it surely promises to be the biggest disruption to the field of photography since the advent of digital itself. Firstly, what is it and how does it work? What we're talking about here are systems that create images from text based inputs. You just type what you want into a box, and the AI …
A 2 Day Wild-camping Photography Workshop
Recently Allan joined me for a 2 day landscape photography and wild-camping adventure in the Cairngorms. Initially we had hoped to get up onto the Cairngorm plateau, make a high camp, and perhaps shoot sunset+sunrise from the summits. As luck would have it the weather decided not to play ball. The forecast for our two days was best described as 'deteriorating' – with wind speeds rising to gale force, low cloud, and heavy showers setting …
Mountains, Trees and Sunshine – Perfect Conditions for Glen Nevis
Last week I had the pleasure to deliver another of my popular half day photography workshops to three keen learners. Dave, Sam and Ben joined me in Glen Nevis for an afternoon in one of Scotland's most beautiful glens with our cameras. Glen Nevis is without doubt one of the most spectacular places in the Highlands. Being flanked by some of the highest mountains in Scotland, and indeed the highest mountain in the country i.e …
5 Challenges and 5 Opportunities of Summer Landscape Photography
Summer is generally regarded as being the most difficult time of year to produce good landscape photographs. But, if you understand the reasons behind this then you can choose your opportunities wisely and still make productive use your time. The Challenges 1. The Sun is High High angled sunlight is the bane of a good landscape image. It's extremely bright, has no colour, and it illuminates the entire scene with uniform lighting. As photographers we …
Faraway Tree on A Distant Hill: My Glen Eanaich Obsession
The Beginning New Years Day, 2019. Glen Eanaich was its usual self; brooding and dark. The waters of the river were the colour of hammered steel, flowing through a glen so long and broad that you could comfortably fit Aviemore inside it. At its head stood the grim cliff faces of Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgor Gaoith. Across the glen, making those mountains look small, rose the many slopes and hollows of vast Braeriach. I …
Leave the camera alone. Why 99% of your energy should go into the landscape itself.
One of the biggest mistakes we make as photographers is focusing our energy on learning new photographic techniques, processing skills, or obsessing over equipment. We should be focusing on the land itself. Where We Go Wrong Most photographers who I've taught and guided for are making the same mistake. They are far too concerned with learning technical photography skills, and not enough about learning to read the landscape. Here's an analogy. Landscape photography is a …
Finding Amazing Moments in Scotland’s Most Challenging Conditions
Last week (2nd April) I enjoyed my first proper winter hill day in quite while. It was a fine bluebird day, and I enjoyed a snowy hike up to the summit of Creag an Leth Choin, aka Lurcher's Crag. One my favourite places in the Cairngorms, the summit provides superb views of the Lairig Ghru, Braeriach and Glen Eanaich. In all the many times I've been there I've never once met another soul, even on …
Please, I beg you – don’t burn down my forest.
Spring is finally coming. And I'm absolutely terrified of what it seems certain to bring. Fire. In March we had a spell of warm weather that lasted just over ten days. But that was time enough for our landscape to suffer a terrible spate of destructive wildfires. The Isle of Lewis burned. Ben Lomond burned. Gruinard Island burned. Cumbria burned. The Isle of Skye burned. Glen Etive burned. The Ochils burned. That's not all. You've …
An Equinox Adventure: Golden Hour Photography at Stunning Loch Maree
Moonrise We arrived at Loch Maree in darkness, pulling into our usual spot beside the shore in an inconspicuous layby. The engine gave way to quietness; the headlights to darkness. From that moment a deep contentment rose in me. We were away at last. We were back at last. At home in a wild place. I walked down to the shore in the darkness. Every time I come here I have to touch the water …
Image Theft: How I Successfully Defended My Copyright and Got Paid
Image Theft and Copyright Any serious photographer in this day and age has likely suffered the infuriating experience of image theft. People and businesses using your work without your permission or knowledge; sometimes even claiming it as their own work; or using it for their own profit while you get nothing. Now I'll be the first to acknowledge the fact that it's all too easy to steal images these days. In fact, the way our …
Fifty-Plus Landscapes from Winter Adventures in the Caledonian Forest
Following an unusually snow-less January, 'real' winter has recently returned to the Cairngorms National Park. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been pursuing my passion for exploring the less accessible reaches of the Caledonian Forest. The weather has been relentlessly windy and stormy, but I have found that rather than putting me off, the weather has only made these wild and remote locations all the more enticing. There have been many …
Comparing my image processing skills from 2022 and 2012 (I used to be a lunatic).
Looking back at old photos every once in a while is a great way to see where we've been and what we've done. It's also a great way to see how our photography has improved over time. I decided to take a look way back to 2012 at some of the images I produced then, which at the time I considered to be portfolio quality. Man, let me tell you, I really thought I was …
The photos from this day in 2008 still look great. Glen Etive – one of the best days I ever had.
I've been taking a deep dive into my image archive to a wonderful day in 2008, exploring Glen Etive for photography in the snow. This was one of those days that really stood out in life. Even now, fourteen years later, I think that the images from that day stand up remarkably well. Glen Etive, 2008 I was among a group of students from the St Andrews University Mountaineering Club heading to the fabled Black …
First Photography of 2022: Torridon and Loch Maree with a New Lens
Our first adventure of 2022 was a brief trip up to the Loch Maree/Torridon area in Wester Ross. Besides the Cairngorms this is probably my favourite area in the Highlands, and it is a place I am coming to know quite well. I've enjoyed some memorable times there over the last few years. That said, I feel I've barely scratched the surface photographically, and I am always looking forward to the next return. Liatach looming …
2021 was a bizarre year, but here are my twelve most meaningful images.
This is one of those posts that I've had to start and restart writing several times. There's just too much to tell. It's been a remarkable year in many ways. For better or worse, this has been the first full calendar year where I have put my creative passions squarely front and centre in my life. And I think it's for the better. At times it feels as if I've made little progress. But that's …
The Great Inversion, Part Four: The White Goddess
Day Four: Tuesday 21st December Every great day of photography begins with a plan, a rough prediction of what weather and light might look like, which gives rise to an idea for a photo. Frequently this idea goes out the window as soon as you get outside and compare your prediction to reality, but for me having the idea has always been an important part of the process. At the very least it gets me …
The Great Inversion, Part Three: The Edge of Beauty
Day Three: Monday 20th December Scout and I returned to Whitewell in the early morning, not long after sunrise. Once again we ran from the van to the birch trees at the crest of the hill. The thick mist in Aviemore had fooled me; I had assumed it would be much the same here – similar to the way I had left it the day before. But the air here was clear and bright. Sunrise …
The Great Inversion, Part Two: Shadow of the Mountain
Day Two: Sunday 19th December The second day of the Great Inversion was Saturday 18th, but since I had to drive south to get my booster shot I wasn't able to spend much time outdoors. Besides this, I also wanted to write Friday's account of the mountain. I felt absolutely filled up by that experience, as if I had made direct contact with the mountain in a rare and special way. I badly needed to …
The Great Inversion, Part One: The Scallywag and the Pilgrim
Day One: Friday 17th December I only happened to glance at my phone, on Thursday night, when I saw the synoptic chart that had just been published by the Mountain Weather Information Service. There were those magic words: fog in valleys. A temperature inversion was predicted. As soon as I knew that, not going to the mountain was never an option. I needed the mountain; needed it to flood all of my senses. To feel …
Winter – The Great Change
Autumn already seems like a distant memory. It's cold outside, the winds and snows are raging across the north of Scotland and it's dark at 4pm. Winter is here – the Great Change. It's an extraordinary time to look to the woods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaoPM9Kwzr4 Get More from Highland Wildscapes Join the mailing list for new posts, discounts, and workshops dates: Share this: More Blogs: