Pictures of Scotland: Showcasing Scotland’s Natural Beauty
It’s time to put the spotlight on the next of our Punch Makers & Breakers – Ron Sharp, the talent behind online photography collection Pictures of Scotland.
Ron lives in Edinburgh and since retiring devotes his time to exploring his beloved Scotland by foot, capturing it on camera along the way.
We first spoke to Ron when he came looking for a photography PC from Punch so he could spend less time processing his images and more time on his fishing trips with a bag of apples to lure Shetland ponies towards the perfect shot (see below), and we loved chatting to him recently to learn more about his beautiful images of Scotland.
The Story Behind Pictures of Scotland
Ron originally worked as an electronics engineer but became fascinated by the internet in its early days, eventually becoming a lecturer in web design at a local college, developing its first e-commerce course.
As this was a totally new area, Ron learnt as he taught, setting up his own e-commerce business selling artificial flies for fishing as an example. It was a huge success, with Ron running his company for 15 years before selling up in 2017 to enjoy a retirement full of hill walking and photography.
Ron wanted a place to share his images online, so created Pictures of Scotland, combining his interests in web design and photography. The site features images of everything from the imposing Edinburgh Castle to the stunning Falls of Braan – if you’d like a go at capturing a shot like Ron’s, you can find his guide to exploring The Hermitage, Dunkeld and the River Braan here.
Time is Priceless
Ron can end up with hundreds of images from a day out with his camera (he’s recently upgraded to a Nikon D850 from a Canon EOS 7D), and he was finding himself getting more and more frustrated having to spend hours uploading image files – so much so that more than once he ended up shouting at his computer.
On top of this, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop released upgrades and Ron’s old PC simply didn’t have the processing power to cope.
This was a huge learning curve for Ron – he realised that after years of running his business from a budget PC, he needed to spend more on a specialist computer for his hobby. After a lifetime of hard work, time is incredibly precious to Ron in retirement, so knowing he would have more free time if he upgraded to a better PC was the final push he needed.
This means Ron can spend less time shouting at his computer, and more time on his photography adventures to Scotland’s most beautiful spots. Check out his guide to Buchanty Spout, where he shot this amazing leaping salmon, here.
How Ron Uses His Photography PC
Now that Ron has the processing power he needs from his photography PC, he is able to begin his image editing in Lightroom to adjust exposure and light balance, before switching to Topaz Studio, which he uses for noise reduction and to sharpen his pictures.
The finished results speak for themselves, like this stunning landscape captured at Sron a’Chlachain in the Highlands – read Ron’s fantastic guide to the area here.
Ron says one of his biggest challenges in photography is being able to give the same impression of a landscape in a still image that he gets in real life – we think he’s already conquered it.
Meanwhile, Ron says his greatest photography joy is when that little square image captured on his camera screen looks just as good when it’s uploaded to his computer.
What’s Next for Pictures of Scotland?
Ron has no plans to stop chronicling Scotland via his camera any time soon – in fact, he’s planning to climb more Munros as soon as he has chance, as horrendous weather stopped him from snapping any of the scenery on his previous climbs.
He’s also looking forward to getting to grips with his new Nikon D850 – although given that he managed to capture this beady-eyed crow on his first trip out with the camera, with no zoom lens and while simply holding the camera by hand, something tells us that isn’t going to take too long at all.
If you’re like Ron and have found yourself feeling frustrated with a slow, outdated PC, it could be time to invest in a custom photography PC – Ron uses a Performance Photography Computer.
Explore our full range of specialist PCs for photography here.
- Be Quiet! Pure Base 600 Black ATX Case
- Intel Core i5-9600K 3.7Ghz 6 Core CPU, 6 Thread, 4.6GHz Turbo
- MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC ATX Motherboard with USB Type-C
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 4GB (10-bit colour)
- 32GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory (2x16GB)
- 256GB ADATA SX8200 PRO M.2 NVMe (3500MB/R, 1200MB/W)
- 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVMe SSD (3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
- 6TB Seagate BarraCuda 3.5″ Hard Drive
- Be Quiet Pure Rock low noise CPU air cooler
- Contour 500W High Efficiency ATX PSU
- Built in CNVi Wireless 802.11AC Dual Band Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 5
- 24x SATA Internal DVDRW with M-Disk Support
- Integrated Sound Card On The Motherboard
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit