- Capture the drama of less-photographed wild beaches
- Explore mountain, moorland and sea loch at dawn and dusk
- Dramatic winter light and weather
- Learn creative techniques to add variety to your images
- Enjoy top-quality luxury accommodation in our own country lodge
- Evening presentations to inform and inspire
As the last leaves of autumn fall and fade, northern Scotland braces itself for the onset of winter. With the changing season comes changing light, exciting light, light that lifts the ordinary into the extraordinary. It is this light that we shall seek out during this landscape tour covering the wildest, most sparsely-populated region of the UK.
Our base for this unique tour is just about as far north as the Scottish mainland stretches. At the head of the Kyle of Durness, there are magnificent views directly outside our front door. Just a short drive takes us to the idyllic machair beaches of Balnakiel, Sango Bay and Ceannabeinne. Further east we will venture to the Kyle of Tongue and its backdrop of Ben Loyal. An hour’s drive south takes us to the majestic mountains of Assynt, rising straight from the sea and providing a backdrop for cascading rivers and reed-lined lochs.
With exclusive occupation of carefully selected lodges, each offering a high degree of comfort and set in stunning locations, we are able to tailor our photographic forays according to the best light and time of day. Meals are cooked fresh by our own live-in chef and can be timed to offer maximum flexibility. Our house parties combine serious photography with serious fun.
Dates: 11-18 Nov 2017
Single Supplement: £0
Group Size: 10
Guide: Niall Benvie
Host: Charlotte Benvie
Principal Subjects: Dramatic coastal scenery photographed at dawn and dusk; mountains, lochs and panoramic vistas; light!
Cost Includes: Accommodation in well-appointed lodge; all meals; transfers to/from Kingussie or Inverness; transport during tour; tuition; digital presentations
Cost Excludes: Insurance; alcoholic drinks; items of a personal nature
Niall has guided tours and taught workshops during much of his 23-year career as a professional outdoor photographer and writer. Over that time, he's retained the capacity to remember what it's like to learn things for the first time, and finds new ways to explain them. He's known as an innovator in his field and doesn't hold back when it comes to sharing his knowledge, experience and ideas. As a photographer working for a wide range of clients, he's learned to make strong images regardless of the conditions.
Charlotte has extensive experience of looking after and catering for groups, from school children to race-goers. And she's no mean photographer either. She helps to keep things running smoothly in the field, as well as cooking to a very high standard (she was in series 8 of Masterchef) for our house party tours. Charlotte grew up in a family where being out in nature was the norm so she's just as comfortable on a storm-lashed beach as she is in her kitchen where she makes award-winning chocolates.
Five star luxury country lodge in a spectacular setting. We will take over the lodge giving us full flexibility on mealtimes. Equipped with a games room, sauna, cinema room, numerous lounges and top-quality bedrooms, this is a perfect location for a wild retreat! Due to the layout of the bedrooms, we regret that there is only VERY limited space for singles on this tour. Couples and those willing to share twin en-suite rooms will make up the majority of the group. WiFi available.
Meals are informal and will be taken within our accommodation. As this tour is aimed at serious photography, meals will not take priority and will be fitted in around prime photography time. We can almost always accommodate specific dietary requirements - just tell us on the booking form and we’ll make sure you get what you want.
Most of the locations we visit are close to the road but will all involve some walking over uneven, wet or sloping ground. Our (optional) excursions to Sandwood Bay and/or Stac Pollaidh require a good level of fitness and the ability to walk in the dark over uneven ground (bring head torch). Generally, to get the most from this tour you should be of good basic fitness/agility or be willing to opt out of some photographic locations.
Surprisingly perhaps, the weather at this time is generally settled with sunny days quite possible. It might rain and it might even snow but the benefit of changeable weather is changeable, exciting light. You should ensure you are equipped for most eventualities. Likely temperature range: -5c to +10c
Meeting up and saying goodbye
If you are parking at Ballintean (our home base), you should arrive at 1pm for the start of the tour. Collection from Inverness will be approx 2pm and access to our lodge will be available from 4pm for those travelling directly. On return, drop off in Inverness will be roughly 12noon and at Ballintean for 1pm.
Our guides have many years of photographic tour-leading experience. For those who would like assistance, they will take you through both technical and practical aspects of this type of photography and will be on hand to help you get the most from your time spent with us.
We take our responsibility as a tour operator very seriously and are conscious of our impact on the environment. Not only do we strive to minimise this impact in a variety of ways, we donate a proportion of our income to a select number of conservation initiatives.