The Art of Landscape Photography

SCOTLAND: Cairngorms National Park

The Art of Landscape Photography

SCOTLAND: Cairngorms National Park

  • Explore woodland, lochs, mountains and coastlines at dawn and dusk
  • Learn how to maximize opportunities by understanding light and mastering your camera
  • Learn creative techniques to add variety to your images
  • Enjoy tutorial presentations, which will inform and inspire
  • Relax and soak in the atmosphere of our own country lodge

There are few places in the UK more wild and varied than the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands; a perfect location to learn the art of landscape photography. Ethereal mists cloak mirror-calm lochs and ancient Scots pines stand sentinel, silhouetted against fiery sunsets. Crystal clear rivers cascade through ancient pinewoods, which have stood for 5,000 years and were once the haunt of wolves, boar and beavers.

This workshop will take you to many of our favourite shooting locations but the emphasis here is on learning. Our exact itinerary will be largely dictated by the weather and each day Mark will assess the conditions before planning our activities.

Weather permitting our days will start with a dawn shoot before returning to our lodge for a hearty breakfast. This might be followed by an indoor tutorial and/or presentation covering the following:

-  Setting up your camera for shooting landscapes - metering modes, ISO settings, shutter release options etc.

-  Exposure fundamentals: how to consistently and accurately meter in Manual mode; low light / long exposures.

-  Depth of field considerations and ensuring pin sharp images.

-  Use of filters.

-  Lighting considerations: choosing the right subject to shoot in overcast / bright light.

-  Composition: framing, simplifying the image, rule of thirds, leading lines, juxta-poistioning, colour combinations, adding depth.

-  Learning to ‘see’

-  Creative techniques: camera movement, multiple exposures, long exposures, abstract compositions.

We will be back out in the field for the last light of the day putting into practice the techniques learned.

This workshop is designed for photographers intent on improving and developing their landscape work. Our days will combine both indoor learning and “in the field” practical photography. Mark will be on hand to offer both structured tutorials and individual help in the field.

House Party

With exclusive occupation of carefully selected lodges, each offering a high degree of comfort and set in stunning locations, we are able to tailor our photographic forays according to the best light and time of day. Meals are cooked fresh by our own live-in chef and can be timed to offer maximum flexibility. Our house parties combine serious photography with serious fun.


Dates: 10-14 Sep 2018

Cost: £795

Deposit: £300

Single Supplement: £0

Group Size: 8

Guide: Mark Hamblin

Principal Subjects: Ancient woodland, mountain vistas, rivers, lochs and seascapes.

Cost Includes: Accommodation in single rooms; All meals; Transport during tour; Tuition and presentations; Transfers to/from Kingussie train station

Cost Excludes: Travel to/from the tour; Travel/cancellation insurance; Alcoholic drinks (wine is served with dinner); Personal expenses


Mark Hamblin

Mark Hamblin

Mark has 20 years experience as a freelance nature photographer and has been leading photo tours at home and abroad since 1997. His principal photographic focus is on Scotland’s wildlife and wild places, spending his time on longer terms projects close to home in the Cairngorms National Park. Mark is a founding director of the Wild Media Foundation and is currently working on SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.



Our accommodation is a lovely converted steading at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains. Ballintean Mountain Lodge is comfortable and full of character - specially designed for photographic house parties. We have a range of single, double and twin rooms, all with private facilities *. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home! 

*Two of our single rooms share a bathroom. Rooms will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Cars can be safely parked at our lodge. Directions can be sent, as Satnav is not always reliable. Our postcode is PH21 1NX. 

Train travel is generally reliable and we can offer free transfers to/from Kingussie station (7 miles). 

Our nearest airport is Inverness (45 miles) and we can offer transfers but we charge £40 per transfer, which can be shared if other members of the group are travelling by air. We collect at 4pm on arrival day and drop off at 10am on departure day. 


Meals are informal and will be taken within our accommodation. We offer home-cooked, wholesome food prepared with local ingredients. Breakfast, packed lunch, evening meal and home-baked shortbread provide the fuel to keep you going! We can almost always accommodate specific dietary requirements - just tell us on the booking form and we’ll make sure you get what you want. 


Most sites are easily accessible but you should be able to walk with your equipment up to 2km (1.2 miles) over uneven ground. 


Weather can be changeable at this time of year and although often settled, you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wintry squalls. Temperatures are likely to range from 5c to 20c. 


This workshop is primarily aimed at learning how to best interpret the landscape using a combination of technical and creative techniques. Most of our time will be spent in the field securing images and Mark will offer guidance on composition, lighting and photographic technique. For those guests looking for image critique and/or post-processing assistance, this can be arranged subject to time available. 

Giving Back

Northshots is a strong supporter of nature-based tourism contributing to rural economies to demonstrate the value of wild animals and wild places. We believe also that “taking” from the natural world obliges us to “give back” so we adapt our business practices to that end. We also contribute 2% of the revenue from this workshop to help local rewilding initiatives establish native woodland corridors.