Monday 24th October – Friday 28th October 2016
Last year it struck me that most of us (me included) enjoyed both wildlife and landscape photography. It is with this in mind that I though why not combine both and run an autumn landscape and wildlife photo tour.
The week will consist of a mix of landscape and wildlife photography days, depending on the weather we may even combine the two together.
For those of you that are looking to hone your landscape photography skills I've brought a couple of guest photographers on board to help with this.
I've chosen these two photographers for very much the same reason. Their photography really captures the beauty of the Highlands in a very natural and pure way; neither of their imagery is over-processed or artificial. The second reason is that they are both thoroughly decent guys, both are passionate in equal measure about the great outdoors and photography and are really keen to share that with others.
I’ve known Chris for almost twenty years. He is a bit of a mountain goat, fit as a flea and is a longstanding member of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. He is also an award winning landscape photographer. Chris’s passion for photography stems from long days spent roaming the Scottish mountains and wild places. It was the stunning Highland scenery in particular which persuaded Chris to invest in his first SLR camera and start taking his photography seriously.
Chris has a skill of capturing images in a natural way and then processing them in a way that does not look artificial. I am sure if you speak to him nicely he will share his secrets with you!
Chris won first place in the 2014 Scottish Nature Photography Awards Landscape – Land category with this image.
I first came across Colin in him role as an Environment Officer with the Forestry Commission. Don't let Colin’s cool and laid back demeanour deceive you, Colin is deeply passionate about all things to do with nature and has a deep understanding of the Highlands and its varied and diverse ecosystems.
Colin is one of the most hard working landscape photographers I know, he constantly churns out top-quality images.
You can follow Colin on Facebook by clicking - HERE
Image: Colin Leslie
Day 1 - Monday: Autumn Ptarmigan
Will be spent photographing Ptarmigan, this day does involve a walk in the mountains. It takes approximately an hour or so to get up to the ptarmigans domain, I’m pleased to report this is done so via a gentle traverse up the mountain! Nothing should is rushed in the Highlands, we will walk at a nice steady pace, if it takes us two hours to get there, so be it. We are there to enjoy and savour our time spent in the mountains. At this time of the year it's likely there will be a small amount of scrambling across boulders to enable us to attain the best images of the Ptarmigan with the best backgrounds.
By October the birds will be about half way into their pre-winter moult. I love them at this time of the year (saying that I love them at any time of the year!) the breeding season has well and truly ended and the birds are beginning to settle down and are waiting to see what the winter has in store for them.
It takes time, skill and patience to capture the very best images of Autumn Ptarmigan, but when you capture them in lovely soft light or in Autumnal grasses they look fantastic. I will be with you at all times offering guidance and advice on settings if required.
Day 2 - Tuesday: Autumn Mountain Hares
Today will be spent with my all-time favourites The Mountain Hares, I photograph hares in all weathers and at all times of the year, for those of you that have photographed hares in the winter this offers you an opportunity to capture this endearing species in a different light (pun is intended!) By the time October comes around I will have established the best locations and the most compliant and approachable hares. What we will aim to do is capture the best possible images we can in the conditions available to us. Whether this is during a spell of gloriously soft afternoon light or in a heavy downpour we will do whatever it takes! Everyone loves rain streaks on their images don’t they?!
Day 3 Wednesday: Isle of Skye
With the Isle of Skye only two hours away it would be mad not to pay a visit to this most stunning of the Hebridean islands. I’ve been visiting the island since I was five years old and over the years have enjoyed the sheer beauty of the island and its wildlife. After an early breakfast we will take full advantage of the day and stay on the island until the last glimpse of light has faded. The weather conditions will dictate to which locations we will visit, if we are lucky we may even get a spectacular West Coast sunset.
Day 4 - Thursday: Forest Photography
Today is Colin's day and we will be heading for the ancient Caledonian Pinewoods of Glen Affric. The autumn colours along with the mix of forest, loch and mountains make this a photographers paradise but with Colin's intimate knowledge of the forest we will be able to get to some rarely visited locations to experience the full beauty of Glen Affric.
Day 5 - Friday: Chris’s Day
Today will be spent with Chris. He likes to take a flexible approach so will leave a decision as to where to go until we know what the weather is doing. With potential locations as dramatic and diverse as Torridon, the Cairngorms and the Moray coast, to name a few, we will be spoiled for choice. During the day Chris will share with you the techniques he uses for location planning and for capturing digital images in the field, with tips for processing afterwards.
Six action packed Photography Days plus five nights accommodation on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Due to the nature of the irregular hours we will be keeping, there's no point in racing back to our digs to eat dinner!
A packed lunch will be provided. Snacks and light refreshments will also be available at any time during the day.
Evening meals (Not Included) will be taken most often in the late afternoon depending on the weather/sunsets/activity. The type of eatery will be decided upon by the group.
Breakfast – Prepared with locally sourced produce, free range eggs, fresh local bread, and award winning butchery meats.
Travel: All Travel from your arrival in Inverness in a comfortable 4X4 fitted.
Guiding/Tuition: The full attention of the guide, patient and courteous help and advice when and where it’s required.
Giving back to nature: Five Caledonian pine trees will be planted in our ‘Trees for Life’ corporate grove on your behalf; this is as part of our ‘Giving back to nature’ policy.
Fun & Humour: Photographing wildlife should be an enjoyable experience. Although we’re serious about helping to obtain the best possible images, this will be done in a fun and relaxed way.
I have carefully selected your accommodation. I’ve known Eileen for many years and she is a fabulous hostess, one of the best you’ll find in the Highlands.
Bed & Breakfast - Packed Lunch - All day snacks & Light Refreshments
Maximum number of clients: 3
A £250 deposit will be required at the time of booking. The balance will be due six weeks before the first day.
Please note: The final itinerary will be determined by climatic conditions, this can (and probably will) change at short notice. This is to maximise both your enjoyment and take full advantage of photographic opportunities available to us.