Lightroom hidden secrets.

I have heard from a lot of people that they are struggling with Lightroom of late. Admittedly I was an avid fan of Apple's Aperture when it was available and it did take me some time to get used to Adobe's Lightroom.

I came across this video today which I thought was worth posting as it has some nice tips that aren't usually covered in most Lightroom tips videos :-)

Cramond, Edinburgh

Cramond is a village that lies north west of Edinburgh between the Forth River and the Almond River. The line of concrete pylons was built from Cramond Island to the shore to complete the anti-boat barrier (which is often misidentified as an anti-submarine barrier - the water is far too shallow). It was constructed during World War 2 to protect the Forth Rail Bridge and Rosyth dockyard.

This is another place that I have been meaning to go to for a long time having seen a lot of great photographs in other instagram accounts. As always, click on the thumbnails for the large version if your on a desktop / tablet



I attended a course on "QGIS Conversion Training" on Friday, run by EDINA at The University of Edinburgh. For those that don't know QGIS (Quantum Geographical Information System) is an open source alternative to ESRI's ArcGIS.

Over the last few years QGIS has become more popular, partly as it is now as powerful as ArcGIS and partly due to it being open source (therefore free). Many companies are now switching to it as it doesn't require long term costly contracts with ESRI, and it runs on all the major Operating Systems (Windows, Mac OS X and Linus).

The course was excellent and although I have had previous experience of QGIS this course really filled in a lot of gaps, it covered:

  • Setting up QGIS
  • Working with Data
  • Creating Data
  • Geoprocessing
  • Advanced Visualisation.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the course was, how well run and how well presented it was. It was quite possibly the best course I have been on. EDINA will be running this course again in the future, if you are interested get in touch with Tom Armitage, who will be able to give you more information about the next date that the QGIS course will take place and costs associated with it.

I would like to say thanks to Bruce Gittings and Tom Armitage for their hard work on the day!

Cambuskenneth Abbey

I have become acutely aware that the darker my mood is the darker my photo edits become. I guess that is why they are called moodscapes.

A few shots from Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stilring. It is a ruined Augustinian monastery. The abbey is mostly reduced to it's foundations although the campanile (bell tower) still stands. The abbey fell into disuse during the Scottish reformation when the abbey was looted and burned. The campanile was restored in 1859 and the crown acquired the land in 1908, Historic Scotland now mange the area. 

The first image is in the campanile looking up to the celling of the first floor. The second floor ceiling can be seen through the round area in the middle of the first floor ceiling. The second floor is not accessible, although is sometimes open to the public, best to check when at Historic Scotland. Click for the larger images if you are browsing on a desktop / tablet.


Never has the rain been so hard when I got to Carrbridge on Wednesday. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. While the rest of the UK baked in 30 degrees Scotland froze it's ass off in a balmy 16 degrees, with thunderstorms and rain (and hail in some locations). Still, you can't do anything about the weather without an industrial revolution and a hundred years of polluting so I had to suck it up! I will return to this location later in the year.

On the bright side, I discovered the magic of Haggis Lasagne at the Cairn Hotel while waiting on the rain to go off, it's a cosy place with the worst wifi in Scotland but the Haggis Lasagne was unbelievably good. I've put a link to their website, be warned, the website matches their wifi...

Carrbridge's most famous landmark is the packhorse bridge, from which the village is named. The bridge, built in 1717, is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. It was severely damaged in the "muckle spate" of 1829 (a great flood in August 1829), which left it in the condition seen today. It is now unstable and walking over it is not recommended. The packhorse bridge celebrated it's 300th anniversary in May this year. There is discussion as to whether it is the oldest stone bridge in Scotland or the oldest in the Highlands.

These are shots that I managed to get when the rain abated a little, click the thumbnail if you are on a desktop for the larger image.