About Stephen

Stephen Ball, LRPS is a highly accomplished and multi award-winning Scottish landscape photographer, widely recognised for his exceptional talent and artistic vision. With a career spanning over 12 years, Stephen has established himself as one of Scotland’s most respectful and influential photographers, with a body of work that captures the stunning natural beauty Scotland has to offer.


What sets Stephen’s work apart is his ability to capture the essence of Scotland’s landscapes in a way that is both timeless and contemporary, blending traditional techniques with modern technology to create images that are both breathtaking and thought provoking. His photographs are characterised by their rich, moody colours, dramatic lighting, and powerful compositions, which combine to create a sense of depth and emotion.

Where it all started


Stephen was born and raised in south east London. As a youth, he developed an interest in theatre lighting design and after studying at Croydon College, graduated to work in the British theatre industry. He worked for many years as both a designer and technician in London’s West End, working on many of the musical productions. In the late 90’s, Stephen moved to Edinburgh and although he has since changed careers, this experience of design and creativity has assisted him to develop his skills as a photographer.


He often reflects back on his time working in the theatre industry when he photographs the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo each year!


Stephen can always remember having an interest in photography and as a teenager visited iconic locations like Yosemite National Park in the US. However, this was before the introduction of digital photography. Now it is much more affordable to take and process 100’s of photographs!


Photography also runs in the family too, with his wife who used to manage a photographic shop in Edinburgh and his late father-in-law who was a Cannon sales rep and lecturer.

Military Tattoo

His approach to photography


Stephen’s approach to photography is simple, get it right in camera first and don’t rely on computer software to make improvements!. Gone are the days when he used to take 100’s of photographs in the hope of producing some good images. Now it is about him having the patience, waiting for the light, creating that vital composition and trying to create an inspirational image.


He always shoots in manual to ensure he maximises the features of his camera to capture what he sees.


The vast majority of his work is edited in Adobe Lightroom where images are lightly edited; cropping, adding a touch of saturation and sharpening. He sometimes uses Adobe Photoshop to make any final adjustments and tweaks to produce the final image.



Digital cameras have a different tonal range than that of film emulsion. The curves adjustment will put more depth into the image in the form of blacks or, occasionally, some highlight information. Used correctly, the curves adjustment can help balance the colours and remove colour casts.

Stephen Ball

Equipment used

Nikon Z7

High resolution photography


When it comes to capturing the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland, Stephen’s trusty companion is the Nikon Z7 camera. Its high resolution sensor and dynamic range ensure that every detail of the rugged Highland terrain is beautifully preserved.


Paired with his collection of Lee filters, he can effortlessly control the light and balance the exposure, bringing out the rich hues of the moors and the dramatic skies.


And when it's time to fine-tune my shots, Adobe Lightroom is indispensable. Its powerful editing tools allow Stephen to enhance the natural splendour of the landscapes, ensuring that each image conveys the true essence of Scotland's unparalleled beauty.

Monitor
Nikon D7100
Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

45.7 Megapixels. FS format

Nikon D7100

24 Megapixels. DX format

Nikon Z lens
Nikon Lens

Nikon Z Lens

24-70mm f/4

Nikon Lens

18-105mm, VR

Lee Big Stopper
Lee graduated filters

Lee 10 Stop Filter

The Big Stopper

Lee Graduated Filters

Set of 3

Lee Hard filers
Polariser filter

Lee Hard Filters

Set of 3

Poloriser Filter

Set of 2

Tripod
Flash gun

Gloxy Flash Gun


Manfrotto Tripod


Bag
Imac mini

Lowerpro Bag


Imac Mini


Ipad
Monitor

HP U32 (31.5") 4k HDR Monitor



Ipad Pro


Nikon Z Lens

24-70mm f/4

Nikon Lens

18-105mm, VR

RPS

The Royal Photographic Society

In 2013, Stephen received his Licencieship with the Royal Photographic Society


Loch Ard
Landscape photographer of the year

The UK landscape photographer of the year competition

In 2022, Stephen received his commended award for this image of Loch Ard.


Rannoch Moor
Landscape photographer of the year

The UK landscape photographer of the year competition

In 2021, he received his commended award for this image of Rannoch Moor.


Poppy field
Landscape photographer of the year

The UK landscape photographer of the year competition

In 2021, Stephen received his commended award for this image of this local poppy field.


Rannoch Moor
Scottish landscape photographer of the year

The Scottish landscape photographer of the year competition

In 2019, he received his commended award for this image of Rannoch Moor.


Dean Village
Scottish landscape photographer of the year

The Scottish landscape photographer of the year competition

In 2018, Stephen received his commended award for this image of Dean Village, Edinburgh.


Outdoor Photography logo
Stephen Ball article
Stephen Ball article
Stephen Ball article
Stephen Ball article

Shortly before Christmas 2023, Stephen was interviewed by editor Nick Smith for the section ‘In conversation’ for Outdoor photography magazine.


His work was featured in January’s edition with an eight page spread. Stephen talks about his transferrable skills from being a theatre lighting designer to award winning photographer.


You can download the full article from Outdoor Photography’s website.


Scottish Field logo
Scottish Field Calendar
Scottish Field Calendar
Loch Ard

Stephen’s award winning image of Loch Ard was also recognised by Scottish Field Magazine. He was approached and asked if his photograph could be featured in their annual calendar.

The A3 calendar is available to buy in all good book shops and newsagents.


Other publications

 

Landscape photographer of the year book
  • 2022 - UK landscape photographer of the year book
  • 2021 - Scotland Behind the Lens photo book
  • 2021 - UK landscape photographer of the year book
  • 2019 - Scottish landscape photographer of the book
  • 2018 - Scottish landscape photographer of the year book