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ASSYNT, COIGACH AND TORRIDON

May 2, 2018 - May 6, 2018

£1395
  • TRIP AT A GLANCE

    • Dates: 2nd – 6th May 2018
    • Duration: 4 nights / 5 days
    • Location: Ullapool
    • Start/Finishes: Inverness
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1395

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend five days developing your photography skills with Colin Prior
  • Private en-suite accommodation at a four-star guest house in Ullapool
  • Enjoy fresh local cuisine at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool
  • Circumambulation of Stac Pollaidh with views to Suilven and CulMor
  • Tutorials and critique sessions with individual feedback on each participant’s work
  • Workshop restricted to nine clients plus Colin and assistant

GRADING: EASY

Easy straightforward hiking generally over good trails with no major ascents. The days are fairly leisurely and we spend about 6-8 hours outdoors. Terrain is mainly on paths or hill trails which may be muddy underfoot in places. Daily walks are mainly glens or coastal hikes with some ascents up to 450m (1500ft).

ACCOMMODATION & FOOD

Ardvreck Guest House is modern, spacious property with a large lounge area and which commands great views across Loch Broom to An Teallach. Bedrooms are located on the upper level and each guest will have private accommodation with en-suite facilities. Dinner is at The Ceilidh Place where the best seasonal produce from the Highlands is served. The restaurant has a ‘Fairtrade’ status and a policy of buying the best of local produce too. The restaurant offers an excellent choice of wines, beers and whiskies.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:

  • Four nights accommodation in a four-star guest house.
  • Each client will have private accommodation with en-suite facilities.
  • Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are included throughout.
  • Personal tuition, critique sessions and tutorials.
  • All transport during the trip, starting and finishing in Inverness.

TRIP DETAILS

Our base at Arvrek Guest House on the outskirts of Ullapool is perfectly situated for easy access to the Coigach and Assynt landscape. During the workshop, there will be opportunities to shoot at dusk and dawn if conditions are suitable. Otherwise, we set off after breakfast for our chosen location – a journey that normally takes around one hour where we photograph throughout the morning, breaking for packed lunches.

In the afternoon we drive to another location where we can re-position for sunset, arriving back at our guest house around 1730. If time permits there may be opportunities to critique some of the day’s images before heading out for dinner. During the course of the workshop, there will be tutorials and a group critique session.

TRIP ITINERARY

Below is a typical itinerary, which inevitably will change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions on the day. The decision about the following days location is usually made the evening before when the most up-to-date weather forecasts have been studied.

Day 1 – Pickup and Torridon

Colin will meet you underneath the main display board in the arrival hall at Inverness Railway Station at 0830 on Wednesday morning. Inverness is a small station so it will be easy to identify Colin. On the final day of the workshop, we will return you to Inverness Railway Station at 1500, allowing clients to connect with the rail services south.

After the group has met and subject to weather, we will head for Torridon where we will spend our first day, stopping to photograph Liathach and Loch Clair in Glen Torridon. After lunch, we will drive to Loch Maree where we will have the opportunity to photograph Slioch from a variety of locations. We will depart around 1530 for Ullapool following the coast road via Gairloch and Poolewe arriving at our guest house around 1730.

Day 2 – Clachtoll and Point of Stoer

Today we will drive north to Clachtoll where the white sandy bay gives way to a rocky foreshore. Beautifully rounded boulders composed of Torridonian sandstone are punctuated with those of Lewisian gneiss – the building block of the north-west Highlands. After lunch, we will head for Stoer Head lighthouse and take a short walk across the moorland, which gives superb aspects back towards the lighthouse and the cliffs. On our return we will stop at a high-point which overlooks the mountains of Assynt and Coigach – Canisp, Suilven, CulMor, Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Ben Mor Coigach can all be seen linearly on the horizon.

Day 3- Stac Pollaidh

Following breakfast, we will circumambulate Stac Pollaidh. A well-maintained footpath winds its way up the eastern side and taking around one hour to reach our first location. Views from the eastern top over Loch Sionascaig to Suilven and Cul Mor are spectacular and it is, without a doubt, one of the best locations from which to view the Assynt landscape. We will continue around to the northern face where large Torridonian boulders create a dramatic backdrop for the afternoon light.

Day 4 – Achnahaird Bay

After breakfast, we depart for Achnahaird Bay where we will follow a path along the cliff-tops overlooking Enard Bay. Here the views across the sea towards the Assynt mountains create a spectacular backdrop – Suilven, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh and Ben Mor Coigach punctuate the horizon with their enigmatic shapes. After lunch, we will head to Achiltibuie where we can shoot the late evening sun over the Summer Isles before retiring to the Summer Isles Hotel for refreshments.

Day 5 – Dundonnell

On our final morning, we will ascend a high point, which gives unbroken views towards An Teallach. The well-wooded area has stands of mature trees, which eventually give way, and the An Teallach Massif is revealed in its entirety. A 1300 departure will facilitate an arrival at Inverness Station around 1500 where the workshop will conclude.

GETTING THERE

This trip starts and finishes in Inverness. For train time-tables, costs and reservations follow these links:

MEETING INSTRUCTIONS

Colin will meet you underneath the main display board in the arrivals hall at Inverness Railway Station at 0830 on Wednesday.

At the end of the workshop on Sunday, we will return you to Inverness Railway Station at 1500.

TRIP PRICING

The trip price is £1395 per person

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Transport to and from the workshop start/end points
  • Travel insurance and personal equipment
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcohol and soft drinks, laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Any other items not mentioned as included
RECOMMENDED PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

The ability to respond to Scotland’s changeable weather with appropriate clothing will enhance your enjoyment. The key is to bring comfortable clothing, which will maintain your body temperature under a variety of weather conditions.

If you are at all susceptible to the cold, a down jacket or windproof fleece is the most effective way to keep warm and can quickly change your mental outlook.

  • Lightweight boots
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat for sun protection or warmth
  • Casual clothes for evening wear
  • Personal wash kit
  • Head torch
  • Optional: sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip salve
PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

Cameras – Camera equipment is very much a personal choice and is dependent on individual preference, budget, and experience. Whether you shoot with a 35mm DSLR or a mirror-less system is unimportant. What is important however is that you are familiar with your camera’s layout and menu structure and understand the differences between the shooting modes.

Camera bag – bring a camera bag that allows you to comfortably carry your equipment over rugged terrain. Backpacks distribute the weight between your shoulders and hips making walking much easier than a bag with a shoulder strap and are normally protected from wind and rain.

Tripod – the ideal tripod needs to be light enough to carry comfortably but sufficiently robust to be used in winds. A tripod engenders a more contemplative approach to the photography and allows the use of slower shutters speeds. A wide range of models are available from Manfrotto and Gitzo and for more advanced photographers, carbon fibre tripods offer a lighter weight solution but essentially do the same job as those made from aluminum.

Lenses – like cameras, these come down to personal choice and will be determined by the type of subject matter normally pursued. Many photographers choose two zoom lenses; a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, which will account for 90-95% of the images taken with only two lenses. Another popular combination is 24-105mm and 100-400mm. Some photographers prefer to work with prime lenses which offer improved performance at their designated focal lengths which means carrying more lenses and accordingly more weight. If the intimate landscape interests you, a 100mm Macro lens can be ideal.

Filters – many photographs find it difficult to shoot an image without some sort of filter. A filter needs to add value and if it isn’t then you are potentially degrading the image by placing a sheet of resin in front of your lens. The most commonly used filters in digital photography are graduated neutral density filters. These differ from neutral density filters in that they allow you to control contrast locally. They come in a variety of densities and gradations but in my experience, the most useful are a 0.6 soft and 0.6 medium gradation. Several brands of ‘grads’ are available but by far the best are manufactured by Lee Filters. They also offer a professional filter holder which allows the gradation to be moved within the holder, relative to the scene.

You may find a polarising filter desirable, although personally, I dislike the artefacts that it creates within an image and most what it achieves can be replicated in Lightroom more naturally. Some photographers favour Lee’s ‘Big Stopper’ which increases the exposure by 10 stops and transforms water and clouds into amorphous forms.

Backup and storage – Ensure that you have adequate memory cards and a means of backing up your work, either on a laptop, iPad or supplementary hard drive. Bringing your own laptop will allow you to see what you have shot each day and will facilitate critique sessions.

Remote release – essential to eradicate camera shake when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Spare batteries – bring extra batteries for backup.

Lens cloth – a lens cloth is useful for removing rain.

HOW TO BOOK

We accept bookings online, by phone and post. Booking online is straight forward and enables us to confirm your reservation immediately. Before booking, it is important that you read the relevant Trip Dossier and our Booking Terms and Conditions. If you have any doubts regarding your suitability for a trip, please contact us.

To book online, simply click the relevant link from the trip page on our website. You will then be asked to complete the online booking form and proceed to payment. All payments made are directly through Worldpay in a totally secure environment.

For online bookings we accept payment by Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa Debit and Solo debit cards or Visa/Mastercard/American Express credit cards. Please note that there is no charge for payment by debit card but a 2% surcharge for payment by credit card. A deposit of 25% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 56 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the trip price is required.

Should you prefer, you can call us with your reservation and card payment. This will enable us to confirm your place although, in all cases, we require a completed booking form (either online or by post) with details of all persons travelling. If booking by post, we accept all of the above payment methods plus cheque or bank transfer. If booking online we will confirm your booking immediately, including a copy of the Trip Dossier and an invoice for payment of the balance. If booking by any other method, we will confirm your booking within seven days of receipt.

INSURANCE

It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also strongly recommend you take out cover for cancellation and curtailment and baggage cover. We work with and recommend Campbell Irvine Insurance whose policies are specially designed for adventure holidays and are underwritten by AXA Insurance.

Insurance can be arranged directly at Campbell Irvine.

Details

Start:
May 2, 2018
End:
May 6, 2018
Cost:
£1395

Tickets

5 available
Assynt and Coigach 02-05-2018£1,395.00A deposit of 25% is required to secure payment

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