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Guardian Of The Forest

Cat Burton - Guardian Of The Forest

Working on Guardian Of The Forest has been a love-hate relationship for me. It’s both one of my favourite ever images and also my nemesis. Allow me to explain…

A few years ago now, I was dabbling with some photos I’d taken and decided that a landscape I’d photographed would be better with something added to it. I chose a deer. Some (very amateur) Photoshop later and I had my first composite. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a huge stepping stone in my photographic journey. My “A-Ha!” moment if you will.

It was at this point I fell in love with compositing; with making fantasy images full of magic and mystery. I realised I don’t just want to show a landscape as-is. I like to show them how I imagine them – as if they’re a location in a fairytale.

Skip forward a few years and my Photoshop and image planning has improved massively. Through sheer grunt work and determination I’ve taught myself enough that when I look back at some of those older images, I feel like I could do so much better if I were to remake them.

For the majority of images, I like to let that feeling linger. I look back on them, see my growth and feel good about where I’ve come. I leave them as they are and they become part of my photographic diary.

That first deer composite is different though. It’s so special to me. It’s become part of my photographic identity. Hell, even my brand logo is a (symmetrical) version of the same deer’s head. I couldn’t let it go. I had to try it again.

The remake of Guardian Of The Forest has taken many, many months to get right. I’ve had to try and let go of the old edit – the colours, the style, and bring it up to my current standards as best I can. I’ve wanted to give up SO MANY TIMES, but I persisted. Perhaps foolishly. However I felt I owed it to myself, and to the deer, and even to the original image, to see it through, no matter how difficult the process might be.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last few months as I ramp up to my exhibition, particularly as I was determined to have a remake of this image done in time. It’s not been easy. There have been tears and sleepless nights. There have been times I’ve wanted to quit. But I haven’t. We made it.

My muse, the magnificent stag I photographed so many years ago, has been brought to current standards and is ready to print. I shall hang his updated image in the pride of place during my exhibition. There’s something rather poetic about it being my first ever composite, but the last image completed for this gallery show.

I hope you like the remake as much as I do. If you trawl through my Facebook page you can likely find the original should you wish to compare.

For more of the images you can expect to see in my Edinburgh Exhibition and at Perthshire Open Studios, please check out my Gallery.

Cat Burton - Guardian Of The Forest
Cat Burton – Guardian Of The Forest
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RSA Open Exhibition Of Art 2017

RSA Open Exhibition 2017

Event Details

Name: The RSA Open Exhibition of Art 2017

Date: 22 July 2017 – 1 October 2017

Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10 – 5pm, Sun 12 – 5pm

Venue: Lower Galleries, The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

Cost: Free


Event Description

I’m thrilled to announce that two of my artworks have been selected to be displayed at the Royal Scottish Academy‘s Open Exhibition of Art for 2017.

The two works on display will be “A Winter’s Flight” and “Lost in the Fog”, two of my personal favourites from my collection.

The event runs from July through to October and shows 400 works by artists from Scotland and beyond. Artworks on display are available for purchase, including my two. My pieces will be available at £280 (framed) for a limited edition signed print on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper. The limited editions are of a very limited run of 30. Once those are sold, no more of that size/edition will be available. There is an open run of A4 prints (retailing at £55 unframed) which runs alongside the limited editions for anyone who misses out on a limited edition.

The exhibition runs from 22 July through to 1st October and as such will overlap my solo gallery exhibition in Ocean Terminal. That event runs from 1st-30th September at the Image Collective gallery and will display a larger selection of my work.


Interviews and Press

To book an interview with Cat regarding this exhibition, please contact her using the contact form or by emailing


Artworks Available During Event

Framed A2 Limited Edition prints of “A Winter’s Flight” and “Lost In The Fog” will be on display in the gallery. Both are available for purchase at the exhibition for £280 or through my web store.

"A Winter's Flight" by Cat Burton
“A Winter’s Flight” by Cat Burton -Limited Edition of 30 A2 signed prints (£280 framed) available at the RSA Open Exhibition of Art 2017
"Lost In The Fog" by Cat Burton -
“Lost In The Fog” by Cat Burton – Limited Edition of 30 A2 signed prints (£280 framed) available at the RSA Open Exhibition of Art 2017


RSA Open Exhibition 2017 Flyer

For more information, please refer to the Royal Scottish Academy’s website.

RSA Open Exhibition 2017
RSA Open Exhibition 2017
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Perthshire Open Studios: 2-10 September 2017

Perthshire Open Studios

Event Details

Name: Perthshire Open Studios 2017

Date: 2 – 10 September 2017

Venue: Venue 79 (Blue Route). Scone, Perthshire. See POS Website for full directions.

Cost: Free


Event Description

From 2nd to 10th September 2017 I will be participating in Perthshire Open Studios. The event, which runs for just over a week, gives artists the opportunity to open up their workspaces to the general public.

During the event, members of the public will be welcome to visit my home studio here in Scone near Perth. I’ll be working on images throughout the week, and possibly doing some printing for my exhibition, so you’ll be able to get a great behind-the-scenes view into the life of a fantasy fine art photographer.

I’ll be more than happy to show you demos, Photoshop tips, how my images were made or anything else that may be of interest. I’ll also be able to discuss my custom 1-1 photography tuition to build the perfect workshop for anyone looking to improve their photography.

For more details on the event, including my opening times and a list of other wonderful artists nearby, please check out the Perthshire Open Studios website.

If you have any questions about the event or would like to let me know you’ll be visiting, please feel free to contact me via the Contact Form on this website and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of you!


Artist In Residence Dates

Cat will be in residence at her studio for the duration of Perthshire Open Studios. Full dates and opening times are below:

  • Saturday 2nd September: 10am – 7pm
  • Sunday 3rd September: 10am – 7pm
  • Monday 4th September: 10am – 7pm
  • Tuesday 5th September: 10am – 7pm
  • Wednesday 6th September: 10am – 7pm
  • Thursday 7th September: 10am – 7pm
  • Friday 8th September: 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday 9th September: 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 10th September: 10am – 5pm


Artworks Available During Event

A2 Limited Editions (Framed and Unframed) will be in stock for the duration of the event. A4 Open Edition prints will also be available. Please see the web store for a list of all available artworks.


Interviews and Press

To book an interview with Cat during an Artist In Residence date or at another time, please contact her using the contact form or by emailing


Images On Display

The following images will be on display as framed A2 Limited Edition Prints. All prints are available for purchase through my store should you be unable to attend the exhibition.


Perthshire Open Studios Event Flyer

Perthshire Open Studios
Perthshire Open Studios
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Edinburgh Exhibition: 1-30 September 2017

"A Winter's Flight" by Cat Burton

Event Details

Date: 1 – 30 September 2017

Venue: The Image Collective Gallery, 2nd Floor, Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ

Cost: Free


Event Description

From 1-30 September 2017, Cat will be having a solo exhibition of her photographic artworks hosted by the Image Collective Gallery in Edinburgh. Based in the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, this is a great venue and she can’t wait to display her work there.

The exhibition will showcase 12 of Cat’s fine art photographic works. Each a signed and numbered limited edition, the prints will be available for purchase during the duration of the event.

All artworks on display are printed by Cat in her Perthshire studio. They are then meticulously framed by a local independent framing gallery.


Artist In Residence Dates

Cat will be in residence at the Exhibition on various dates throughout September. Please refer back to this page for an updated list of dates during the month.


  • Friday 1st September: 10am – 6pm


Interviews and Press

To book an interview with Cat during an Artist In Residence date or at another time, please contact her using the contact form or by emailing


Images On Display

The following images will be on display as framed A2 Limited Edition Prints. All prints are available for purchase through my store should you be unable to attend the exhibition.


Event Flyer

Cat Burton - Edinburgh Exhibition 2017 Flyer
Cat Burton – Edinburgh Exhibition 2017 Flyer
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My New Workflow: Lightroom + Raid 1 NAS + Cloud Backups


I recently purchased a new NAS system in order to expand storage capacity for my images while also being able to access them from anywhere.

After a week or so of file transfers and uploads, I now have a workflow where I can edit images using a Lightroom catalog on my Mac, referencing images stored on the NAS, and both the Mac and NAS files backed up to the cloud. That’s a lot of backups and if feels good to finally be so organised.

A few people have since asked for my setup and how it works, so here’s a quick write up…

What I Bought

After much recommendation about both Synology and QNAP NAS systems, I opted for the following NAS with two Western Digital WD Red 3TB drives. I currently have around 600GB of images and an additional 500GB of storage left on my laptop, so that’s enough future proofing for a couple of years.


QNAP TS-251+-2G 2 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure with 2GB RAM



At the time of writing this NAS is around £260 on Amazon.


2x WD Red 3TB NAS Desktop Hard Disk Drive – Intellipower SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch


I purchased two of these WD Red 3TB HDDs. At the time of writing these are around £100 on Amazon.

The total cost for this came to around £460 for 3TB of networked storage with a spare drive to allow for a raid-1 backup. Both of these arrived within a couple of days using Amazon Prime.



Step 1 – HDD Install

This is super easy – just pop out the trays and attach the HDDs with the screws provided.


Step 2 – QNAP Software & Setup

This one’s quite specific to the QNAP system, but simply put: once the drive is in, you simply need to plug it in to your router with an ethernet cable, turn it on, and follow the simple instructions in the box. This will guide you through updating the firmware of the system, initialising the HDDs in the setup you want (you don’t have to pick raid-1 if you’d rather use both directly).


Step 3 – Image copying

Copying files over to the NAS took a while. It first had to get over to the NAS, then mirror to the second drive. During this process I kept all my images on my Mac until I was happily sure they’d copied over ok. Once copied, I also made a second backup onto a portable 1TB drive. You can never be too safe with backups!

Edit: After discussion with Mark Zaffin there are some further notes to add here which affect people who work a different way to me. Mark suggested that folks could connect their computer directly to the NAS rather than transferring over WIFI. Our network is good here so that didn’t need to worry about this, but if you have a poor network, it’s worth considering for the initial copy.


Step 4 – Cloud Backups

Having got everything copied over to the NAS, I needed to find a way to hook this up to my cloud backup. For years I have used Crashplan to backup my local files and it’s saved me on more than one occasion.

In order to back up the NAS, I simply needed to add the mounted volume to the checked directories for backup in Crashplan.

Important note 1: You need to make sure the volume mounts at a consistent path. Mine seemed to occasionally mess up and change from Volumes->home to Volumes->home-1 etc. If the mount location moves, Crashplan will fail to find it and your sync will fail. If ever Crashplan says it can’t find your NAS, check the volume is mounted correctly.

Important note 2: This relates specifically to Crashplan though I’m sure there are options for other backup providers. There’s a setting in the preferences to make sure that files are not removed from your cloud backup when they can’t be found on the original location. This is important to turn on to prevent issues with temperamental volume mounting or if your NAS is offline.


Step 5 – Lightroom

With everything backed up, I tried to open my Lightroom Catalog which I’d moved over to the NAS with my images. That’s just a big pile of nope. It doesn’t work. It won’t work. I spent hours googling for work arounds and it just seems like it can’t be done.

Time for a backup plan:

Since I was changing how everything was stored (I kept certain folders on my laptop), I decided to make a new Lightroom catalog on my Mac using images from both the NAS and my local machine. I then simply followed the usual Import steps to import (without copying or moving) the images from the NAS. I also made sure that Smart Previews were enabled so that I can quickly work on my images. I would say it’s as simple as that but I found that Lightroom crashed multiple times during the import. I only have ~25k files so if you have a large number of images, you’ll need to keep an eye on it and keep re-synchronize the folders until you have everything imported. It’s rather tedious, but it will work in the end.

Edit: I had a great discussion about this with Kuba Cupisz over on my Facebook page. Kuba asked me about whether the new Lightroom catalog had maintained my edits after reimporting everything. Turns out it hadn’t, so watch out for this! I hadn’t checked it because I do all my editing in Photoshop. He suggests that if people want to keep their edits, they could try keeping their original catalogs and simply point them to the new file locations once the copy to the NAS has completed. This is a great idea and much more sensible than my process. If anyone tries it this way, let us know if your Develop settings persist ok!


Step 6 – Final Tests

At this point, everything should be working ok! I ran a few extra tests just to make sure everything was working ok:

  • Import new images from your camera in Lightroom directly to the correct place on the NAS
  • Ensure that the raid-1 mirroring works if you set up your NAS that way.
  • Ensure that your cloud backup system correctly detects the new files on the NAS and backs them up.
  • Try disabling or turning off your NAS to ensure that things don’t break. If you have smart previews you should be able to still browse your catalog. Upon re-enabling your NAS everything should still be working and ideally your cloud backups should resume without needing to re-upload anything.
  • As per Kuba’s feedback above: if you use Lightroom for your edits rather than Photoshop, check the edits persisted during the move!


Step 7 – All done!

At this point, if all your tests pass, you should be safe to use your new workflow!


If you have any questions about my setup or want to know any more detailed information, do feel free to get in touch!