Photography Training Day in Balmaha

Posted In: Photography Training

On a warm Saturday in early June I spent a very enjoyable day hosting a Photography Training Day in Balmaha, Loch Lomond. My job was to guide Jamie and Sarah from Fife on a photography experience that they had won on a national competition, organised by London agency Performance Communications.

The aim for the day was to show them Loch Lomond (they had not been before) and to take them to places where they could capture some photographs of this beautiful part of Scotland. Plus as we went through the day I would teach them some photography tips, designed to help them learn how to take control of their cameras to improve their photography skills.

The day started on a short ferry to Inchcailloch Island. The ferry service to the island runs from Balmaha Boatyard using wooden boats. We actually started off on the Royal Mail Post Boat that delivers the post to the islands. Sandy MacFarlane who operates the service is following a long family tradition. 50 years ago this Pathe news clip featured his Grandad running the same service in 1956.

A few years ago I produced a modern day story of Sandy and his operation for The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs in a series entitled Celebrating Park People & Their Stories. Here it is…

The photograph at the top features one of Sandy’s boats – Marion we also travelled in Margaret. Here is the boat arriving on Inchcailloch Island.


Inchcailloch Island is my favourite place in Loch Lomond, you can read more about it and see some of my photographs of it at a blog, just click HERE to read.


The photograph above shows a close up of the ferry boat and the path which takes you the length of the island. As we walked through the woods I explained about how cameras work and the different modes available, ranging from full automatic to full manual mode. Throughout the day we’d use all and look at how to apply appropriate settings to capture different scenes. Also we talked about techniques to get up close to subjects, such as the example above, or to go wide and capture a view.


Walking through the woods with the beautiful bluebells still out we stopped and took control of the focusing of Jamie and Sarah’s DSLR camera. This allowed us to choose the element of the image that we wanted to focus on and then to make creative control of depth of field, choosing how much of the picture that we wanted sharp and in focus and then how much to creatively blur. We also covered the rule of thirds and the benefits of paying attention to the composition of your photographs.


By this stage we had reached Port Bawn, the beach at the end of the island. Lots of opportunities for Jamie and Sarah to capture some photographs of Loch Lomond, with the view across the loch towards Ben Lomond in the distance.




We talked about how to handle different light situations and to capture textures, a great example was a marker point (below)


We took the ferry back to Balmaha and headed to the award winning Oak Tree Inn for a lovely lunch and a chat through the day so far.



After lunch we took the route of The West Highland Way footpath, which runs from Glasgow to Fort William. By now it was getting very warm and the east side of Loch Lomond was full of people enjoying the sunshine and getting into and onto the water. untitled-11

The short climb to Craigie Fort provided Jamie and Sarah with some excellent views across Loch Lomond and its islands. 


We couldn’t leave Balmaha without taking a photograph of The Tom Weir Statue.


It was a nice relaxed walk around the stunning and inspirational landscapes. We did though cover a number of photography and camera skills including digital capture, focusing, ISO, aperture, exposure, manual mode, composition, light, portraits, landscapes and a whole load more.

As you can see it was a good day for photographs in an amazing location. Jamie and Sarah were good fun to spend some time with and it was a pleasure to guide them around Loch Lomond and to teach them some photography skills. My thanks to Performance Communications for booking me to host this experience of course to Jamie and Sarah for joining me on it.

About Me:

I am a Family Portrait & Wedding Photographer, I also create photography and video for business offering on-line content and marketing support. I run regular introduction to photography training courses, ideal if you you want to learn how your camera works and take better photographs. I am based in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and work throughout Scotland including Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh as well as Loch Lomond.

See more at my website – or call me on 01360 661029.

Further Reading

I have written a number of photography blogs about Loch Lomond, see Loch Lomond & The Trossachs for views around the National Park and also ones specifically on Balmaha, Conic Hill and Inchcailloch Island. Plus also check out my blogs showing my work for some Loch Lomond favourites,  The Maid of the Loch Steamship Co, Cruise Loch Lomond, The Tom Weir Statue, The Oak Tree Inn and Love Loch Lomond.

Please get in touch if you would be interested in a Photography Training Day in Balmaha.

Leave a comment

Got something to say? Leave us your thoughts.