• Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Normal
  • symmetry
  • Stormy
  • standing apart
  • Sony A7III
  • soft
  • Single Focus Point
  • Sigma 85mm f1.8
  • Scotland
  • Rule of thirds
  • Rainy
  • Personal Preset
  • Overcast
  • outdoors
  • Nisi Pro Mist 1/8
  • afternoon
  • negative space
  • Natural Light
  • Natural
  • Movement
  • lower thirds
  • holding hands
  • Directional
  • Continuous
  • coastal
  • Cloudy
  • cliffs
  • Center Framed
  • Autofocus
  • Wide

The story behind the image

I shot this on the Isle of Skye, where I live and where most of my work is. The entire island is full of epic spots, but there are some hidden gems that are less touristy, but no less incredible. This is one of those places. I’d wanted to shoot at this spot for a while, because it’s right on the coastline and has views out to mainland Scotland. The weather was moody and we got soaked with rain pretty much all day and I knew I wanted a wide epic shot with dark clouds at some point – I just didn’t know when that would be. On Skye, where the weather is changeable, you just need to roll with what you’re given and allow for spontaneity sometimes.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I told Andrew to hold Susie-Hannah’s right hand with his left and for them to keep a good distance between themselves, with Susie-Hannah behind. That way, their bodies are pointed in my direction and it looks natural.

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What did you say?

“Okay guys, if you head over there and take a slow walk along that ridge to the end. Andrew, hold Susie-Hannah’s right hand with your left and make sure you’re either looking to each other or looking up and around, rather than down”

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Tone of Directions



The composition was pretty straight-forward because the scene was already there in front of me. I knew I wanted to place them and the ridge on the lower-third and have the upper two-thirds full of the dark clouds and negative space. I went for a few compositions, where they were placed off to the left and right, but I preferred this centre-composed shot.

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Compositional Rules

Rule of ThirdsSymmetry


Center FramedLower ThirdsWideNegative Space


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focussed on the ridge using back-button autofocus. At this distance, I knew they’d be in focus at f1.8.

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Focus Mode


Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

Single Point Autofocus

Equipment &

Sony A7III
Sigma 85mm f1.8
Nisi Pro Mist 1/8
1/4000 @ f/1.8 ISO200 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

The entire sky was cloudy, so there wasn’t any direct light from the sun. However, the less dense bank of cloud below the dark ones was a lot brighter and meant that the couple were able to stand out in the image.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I applied my preset, which was 90% of the work and that’s usually all I’ll do. But, I wanted to emphasise the dark clouds, so created a linear gradient and darkened it by reducing the exposure, highlights, and blacks. Then, I created another linear gradient for the lighter bank of cloud and increased the highlights, whites, and exposure slightly to make it brighter.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC
Preset Used
Personal Preset


The biggest challenge I had was in post-processing. I wanted to emphasise the drama of the clouds without making the edit unnatural and over processed.

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I used the reference mode in Lightroom to compare the original edit with the changes I was making, to make sure I wasn’t straying too far from the original shot.

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Location Name

Isle of Skye

Location aDDRESS

Brother's Point, Isle of Skye

Loation Type

"Coastal", "Cliffs", "Outdoors"



The biggest advice I can give when shooting an image like this is to keep your head up and explore your surroundings. It’s so easy to get caught out by looking at what the couple are doing and not being mindful of what’s happening around you. Taker time to walk with your couple, cameras away, and explore where you are. You’ll often find some amazing wide compositions. Lastly, the 85mm lens is your best friend for this type of shot where you want to create drama.

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