Editing options with Sleeklens

Question – Do you edit your images ? Answer – Of course I do.

Editing your images in the digital age is almost as big a part of the process as image capture. In a way the  Digital RAW file, just like an “old fashioned” transparency needs to be processed to bring out the nuances of colour and tone.


Just like a traditional  slide where the exposed dyes were chemically  processed to reveal the photographers inner vision, a digital file also needs to be processed and nurtured. The digital darkroom edit is vital to reveal the colours and tonal relationships the photographer witnessed, reacted to and chose to compose.

Both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are powerful tools used to process and edit your images. I have various methods and workflows depending on the type of image and location. This can be a steep learning curve for some. So sometimes we need a little inspiration and help along the way. Customised editing presets and brushes are great way of experimenting, learning and creating new ways of breathing life into your images.

Having options and room to create and experiment are a valuable part of the photography experience. I recently  started experimenting with Through the woods presets and brushes created for landscape photographers by SLEEKLENS as part of my workflow for some of my images. Once downloaded and easily added to the Lightroom platform they form a useful link to creative effects, colour and exposure adjustment. The Glencoe image above was edited in Lightroom CC using a combination of Sleeklens presets and brushes.

The additional customised landscape presets create a global edit to the image with a wide variety of effects. The custom landscape brush presets on the other hand allow you to be more specific and selective to parts of the image with a huge range of useful creative colour and tonal adjustments. Used together with the conventional Lightroom tools they form a wide range of creative options.

The key here is combining the tools, learning and becoming familiar with the effects. Like every skill it takes a little time to master. The Sleeklens Presets I use are specially designed for the landscape photographer so they can form a useful tool in aiding  the pursuit of creating your own individual style and creativity.

You can check the range of Lightroom presets here https://sleeklens.com


Matching my personal vision – Six of the best from 2016

The 6 images featured below, weren’t taken such a long time ago, but I still never cease  to enjoy looking at them.  It’s a fact that sometimes the more we acquaint ourselves with our own creations the more we tend to view them with a critical eye.

Familiarity  breeds contempt ?

Thus removing the initial emotional  response or as Galen Rowell put it “the emotional connection and impact” that caused us to react and capture the  image in the first place.

This may explain why some images remain as favourites while some quickly lose their appeal as we seek out the technical flaws. Maybe the images below are just closer to the “intentionality of the artists [my own  ] experience” or in other words match our inner vision of what we set out to achieve?.

1.Knox Gorge, Karijini – Western Australia  2. South Iceland 3. Pienza dawn – Tuscany

4. Elgol Beach, Skye – Scotland  5. Gondolier – Venice  6. Vestrahorn – Iceland











Moving forward and looking back

After completing my busiest year in 2016 it’s hard to believe that this is my 14th year running photography workshops.

Even after all those years I still see a different challenge in every new location and something new in the ones I revisit. I still have that hunger and desire to explore and photograph both old a new places.

I’ve had my personal life’s up and downs over the last 4 years, and as I look back I see a series of visual markers that capture the times and events that surround those both good and difficult moments.  In that briefest of seconds when the shutter is fired, it captures more than just an image.

It holds the emotional state, moods and events of a period of our lives and freezes them within the visual image. Just like a song that brings back memories and emotions from our youth, a photograph is like a time capsule that contains more than just dyes, inks and pixels.

As time passes it’s always good to take a look back, and see where we have come from and what we have been through, but more importantly is the need to drive forward, discover and create new experiences and memories. This to me is what motivates.

Photography is a vehicle that carries our memories, reflects our emotions, learning, marks our growth and records our own personal journey.

Never underestimate the power of a photograph, good or bad.

Lightstalker Adventures website

Its now 1 year since he new Lightstalker Adventures website was launched, with the aim of providing a new platform to feature and promote workshops and photo adventures out with my native Scotland ( and within it ).

Two new high resolution galleries were added. These included  images from previous workshops plus my own personal photo adventures. There is  also a collection of photos of Lightstalker’s clients in action on location, this hopefully  gives a flavour of some of the inspiring  locations we visit and what you can expect.

Sideways Rain

Location  Glen Brittle ,Skye

Monday saw us experience driving, sideways rain, and low cloud at around 150 -200m, but we still got out there and had a go. Soggy feet, soaking lens tissue, and sodden camera bags all added to the drama of mist and waterfalls pouring from the hidden Cuillins above. All day we managed 2 shots and even they were ordinary. So  late on we retired to the Slig hotel to dry out, compare notes and pray for better conditions the next day. In all truths it has to be the wettest conditions I’ve experienced, omni directional rain, it was like having a fire hose set on spray and shoved in you face all day.

This is all I got, straight out of a soggy but reliable Nikon thru the rain. It took a lot to get this, its average but its an achievement in itself! Note several waterfalls, (there’s usually only one) Tip, use good dry bags (pod sacs) over your gear, plenty lens tissue (kept somewhere dry), 10 mins per shot and someone with good patience and a brolly to assist!!

Waterfalls Glen Brittle, Skye


With the rain easing and clouds lifting things began to improve. However we still encountered frequent showers and buffeting winds along with a hail storm  just moments after this shot of the Old Man of Storr was taken. At least we managed to catch good light on and off (just before the squawls and after) and take in the Quiraing later in the day.

The old man

Skye’s the limit

I seem to have spent a considerable amount of time on the Skye this last month or so> In fact I’m just back from 2 days there with a wonderful Australian writer/Journalist by the name of Lorellie Bow. A few articles and pics relating to Skye and it’s classic locations in the Old man of Storr and The Quiraing will be finding their way into various media in the coming months, with images & notes from myself and lessons learned along the way.

Journailst/writer - Lorellie in action