Landscape photography 1-2-1 training session on the Orkney Isles

Retreats, Scottish Islands


Zoe contacted me a while ago to organise some 1-2-1 photography training. After much discussion we decided upon Orkney as an ideal destination to meet up. I am very flexible when it comes to locations for training and, as I travel around so much anyway, it seemed ideal to meet on such a wonderful island whilst she and her husband were travelling for a couple of weeks in Scotland. Zoe planned her trip around the dates we decided upon and they booked into the Old Granary in Orkney. We ended up splitting the day’s tuition into two sections - sometimes I find it better to take it slower, learn, absorb and rest and then learn again. If you are learning and shooting for a full 8 hours, it can become a bit of an overload and I am a big believer in pacing things and not rushing around! We met up early morning on two days which was planned this way because often the light is better in the mornings whilst the afternoon can be a bit flat. It is always hit and miss, but in this case it did work.

Starting off on the first morning, we stumbled upon a lovely bird hide and set up for some theory first to help Zoe get to grips with her camera functions before shooting. We did this whilst watching the skies changing and light shafts through clouds appearing, the sunrise slowly moving into daylight over the water and reeds with birds flying overhead. What a classroom!

It was onto Marwick Head and Birsay then, for some wild waves and cliffs. The next day started with a forecast for gale force winds and cancelled ferries. We started early with a beautiful stormy sunrise, dramatic clouds and rainbows and a fair helping of wind at the Stones of Stennes. Then back indoors for some shelter from the wind for some editing advice. I am no expert in editing but I have been doing it for 14 years now and my biggest belief is to keep is simple, fast and effective. Sitting behind a computer is not my idea of fun. But it is necessary and it is actually rewarding if it's done well. I use lightroom for speed and have everything flowing very nicely to allow me to edit my weddings, my landscapes, upload to blogs, social media etc quickly and effectively.  Zoe requested that we briefly went through this on our last session.

I had the most wonderful time with Zoe, who listened, clearly has dedication and an eye for photography. It was an absolute pleasure meeting you and Duncan on the island and I hope we can meet again.


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