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Caledonian Forest Photography Workshop

April 9, 2022 @ 9:00 am 5:00 pm

£80.00 per person

A day of guided photography with moderate hiking.

Explore the ancient Caledonian Forest of the Cairngorms National Park, while improving your photography skills and knowledge.


  • Learn the craft of landscape photography from an experienced and knowledgeable tutor, with unsurpassed local knowledge.
  • Capture the beauty of ancient trees in one of Scotland’s largest and most beautiful ancient pinewoods.
  • Explore hidden depths of the forest that few photographers have ever seen.


We will meet at the Loch an Eilean carpark in Rothiemurchus forest in the Cairngorms National Park. Parking is free for workshop participants.

After introductions we will set off for the loch where we will be able to photograph the famous castle on the island, and discuss some key learning points. Then we will start our walk which will take in several scenic locations in the forest over the course of the day. Our aim will be to create a beautiful portfolio of woodland images, making the most of whatever conditions we find. Throughout, your guide and instructor David will work with you to improve your understanding and skills in photography; whether that be your technical knowledge of how to use your camera, or artistic principles such as composition, colour and light.

The walk will be at an easy/moderate pace mostly on good trails. At times we will head off trail though, where the ground can be very uneven. Good balance is therefore essential.

Distance Walked: Approx 10km (option to extend at end of day)

Ascent/Descent: +120m/-120m

Terrain: Mostly good trail with some sections off-trail (heathery and rough under foot)

Please note the plan for the day may be subject to change at the discretion of your guide due to considerations such as weather.

About Your Guide:

David Russell
David Russell

I have been photographing the Scottish Highlands all my adult life. I specialise in woodland and mountain photography, and there is nothing I love more than getting outdoors with my camera, getting to know a place in intimate detail. There’s no better feeling to me than discovering some secret nook of the landscape, waiting for the perfect moment, and capturing a scene of surpassing beauty.

I have worked as a guide throughout the Highlands, and have guided photography and hiking adventures for various adventure travel companies incl Wilderness Scotland and National Geographic.

I hold the Mountain Leader (Summer) qualification as well as a Leave No Trace Trainer’s certificate and Outdoor First Aid certificate.

What You Will Learn:

On a typical workshop our discussion and learning points usually include:

Technical Fundamentals

Learn the basic principles of photography such as exposure – how to control your camera via shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Familiarise yourself with your own camera to ensure it is set up correctly for you.


We’ll discuss what makes an effective composition, then relate this to how you position yourself and where you point the camera to make an image. Most importantly, learn how to recognise a good opportunity when you see one.

Understanding Light, Colour and Contrast

You’ve worked out how to control the camera and what to point it at. Now learn how to work with the light to give your image maximum impact. We’ll discuss different types of light and how this affects your decision making with the camera.

I will consistently seek your feedback and input throughout the day to ensure that you are getting the learning you want.

What You Need:

We will be learning in an outdoor environment so it is important you have the right gear to stay warm and comfortable, and to keep your camera dry if needs be.


  • Outdoor clothing (waterproofs, warm layers etc)
  • Walking boots
  • Lunch, snacks and drink
  • Camera


  • Gaiters
  • Hot drink
  • Tripod and filters
  • Drybag/waterproof camera case

What Kind of Camera Do I Need?

Ideally your camera should allow you some manual control over the exposure settings; and create good, quality images. A DSLR or Mirrorless camera will generally deliver best quality, but whether you have one of these or a bridge, compact or even simply a phone camera you can still get a lot out of the day. The most important thing is to discover what YOUR camera can do, and what it can’t. Working within this knowledge is the key to success.


If you have any questions about the day please drop me a line through my website or leave a comment below.

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