Scotland Through A Lens: Sylvan Buckley, Dynamic Scotland Photography

From capturing the Milky Way on the Isle of Skye to sunrise at Ben A’an, Scotland’s dramatic landscapes provide the perfect inspiration for Sylvan Buckley. 


I sort of fell into photography really, I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and a little bit of hill walking in my spare time. I always liked to take some photos on my phone of anything interesting I saw. My wife has been disabled for a long time so can’t do hill walking or long hikes and this was my way of bringing a little bit of the Scottish scenery back with me to share with her. So for my 40th Birthday my wife bought me a DSLR camera and sent me on my way.

From there I started taking photos of everything and anything I saw to make the most of that gift. The few successful photos mixed in with the many, many unsuccessful photos I took pushed me to try and get better and learn more about photography. It inspired me to go to college in 2017 and learn the basics of photography, two years later I graduated college with Student of the Year for Art Media and Fashion 2019, as well as Overall Student of the Year 2019.

I hope to one day try and make a career out of photography, but for now it has been restricted to a hobby for me.

We live in such a beautiful country, the landscape is full of drama and atmosphere when the weather is just right.

Photography for me is a way to capture a special moment in time, so most of my inspiration comes from being out and seeing how a scene unfolds. I’ve always loved the peace and tranquillity of walking in the hills of Scotland, but getting into photography has opened my eyes to so much more, some things I may have previously taken for granted or just didn’t notice before. We really do live in such a beautiful country, the landscape is full of drama and atmosphere when the weather is just right. But you best be quick because those moments are fleeting, that’s why I love photographing these moments in Scotland, they’re small pieces of Scotland that I have captured and am able to share.

Hill walking though the Scottish Highlands is like a mental reset. You’re focused on the here and now, anything that has been bothering you gets pushed to the back of the mind focusing attention on your surroundings which gives you a chance to just breathe. Photography and hill walking have gone hand in hand for me. Hill walking gives me an excuse to get out and take photos, and photography has given me an excuse to get out and walk hills.

Travelling through Scotland is fantastic, the scenery can be so breathtaking at times.

I’ve been interested in the night sky since I was just a kid. I remember my granny and I would sit on the front doorstep on nice nights and she would point out all the stars. She would tell me the names of the stars and constellations. I suppose it has helped me when taking photographs of the night sky now when it comes to locating certain stars or constellations. But the technical aspect of astro-photography is a challenge that I just love. Figuring out what settings to use and calculations of shutter speeds and/or number of shots needed to capture a specific image has been one of the photography learning curves that I have really enjoyed working on.

One of the greatest things for me in sharing my photography is when someone sees the photo and it sparks a memory for them, or elicits a positive emotion for them. If I can create just one thing that can brighten someone’s day then that’s always worthwhile.