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April 23, 2019 - April 28, 2019


    • Dates: 23-28 April 2019
    • Duration: 5 nights / 6 days
    • Location: Islay
    • Start/Finishes: Glasgow
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1975


  • Spend 6 days developing your photography skills with Colin Prior
  • Private en-suite accommodation at the comfortable Port Charlotte Hotel
  • Dusk and dawn photography in some of the most iconic locations in the Hebrides
  • Tutorials and critique sessions with individual feedback on each participant’s work
  • Workshop restricted to nine clients plus Colin and assistant


Easy straightforward hiking generally over good trails with no major ascents. The days are fairly leisurely and we spend about 5-6 hours outdoors. The 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).


Based at the Port Charlotte Hotel, all clients will have a private room with en-suite facilities. Dinner will either be in the hotel, in Yan’s Kitchen or Peatzeria in Bowmore and these will be pre-booked before our arrival in Islay. This will allow us to adopt a more flexible approach for sunset after dinner. Clients are responsible for their own meals aboard the Calmac ferry.


  • Fours nights accommodation in the comfortable Port Charlotte Hotel.
  • 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 (including ferries) during the trip, starting and finishing in Glasgow.


There’s a charm about Islay that captivates – perhaps it’s about the diversity of the interface between land and sea which changes dramatically around the island. Perhaps it’s the richness and abundance of its wildlife, which makes me recall my childhood, every time I’m there, or perhaps it’s just ‘Ileach time’ – a pace that is more in keeping with the natural rhythms of the Hebridean island. All I can say is, that the more I visit Islay, the more I appreciate its hidden depths.

We are based at the Port Charlotte Hotel located in the conservation village of Port Charlotte on a beach-side location with stunning sea views to Loch Indaal. The hotel is recommended in Michelin and Good Food Guides and is highly rated in the Best of Scotland Guide and holds a ‘Taste our Best’ Certificate awarded by Visit Scotland.


Below is a typical itinerary, which inevitably will change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions each day. An up to date forecast will be studied and the most suitable location chosen for that day. 

Day 1 – Glasgow, Kennacraig, Islay

Colin will meet you at 0900 within Glasgow Central Station in front of Burger King. After the group has assembled we will drive to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Islay which departs at 1300, arriving at 1505. We will continue our journey to the Port Charlotte Hotel where we will check in and head out to our first location.

Day 2 – Saligo Bay, and The Oa

An early morning rise to capture the sunrise at Saligo Bay where marram grass dunes overlook the Atlantic. Return for breakfast at the hotel, after which we will drive to the Oa peninsula, situated in the south of the island. The cliffs afford great views in all direction – north to Eileanan Mora and Loch Indaal and east to Beinn Mhor and Port an Eas.

Day 3 – Loch Gruinart and Sanaigmore Bay

Today we drive north, towards Loch Gruinart where expansive white sand beaches are rivalled only by those on Harris. When the tide is low, myriad shades of turquoise and blue can be seen in the water. At the end of the peninsula, Ardnave Point, lies beyond marram grass dunes and overlooks Nave Island. The area is an RSPB Reserve and is rich in all kinds of bird life, particularly wildfowl and waders. After an early dinner, we will reposition for sunset at Sanaigmore Bay.

Day 4 – Machir Bay and Jura

An early rise to shoot over the white sands of Machir Bay, followed by breakfast. We will then drive north to Port Askaig and cross the Sound of Islay by ferry to Jura. During the day we will explore Jura’s coastline, shooting at several locations, including Craighouse’s coastline and Lowlandman’s Bay, before returning to Islay for dinner.

Day 5 – Lower Killeyan and Beinn Mhor

Dominated by cliffs and sea stacks, the bay at Lower Killeyan forms an amphitheatre overlooking Loch Indaal and Port Charlotte on the far side of the loch. The south-west coast of The Oa is home to a wide variety of birds, which includes golden eagle, peregrine falcon and hen harrier. We explore Beinn Mhor’s quartzite summit which stands 202m above Port nan Gallan.

Day 6 – Port Askaig, Kennacraig and Glasgow

After checking out, we will drive to Port Askaig and board the ferry which departs for Kennacraig at 0945 and arrives at 1150, which should put us comfortably back in Glasgow for 1500 where the workshop will conclude.


This trip starts and finishes in Glasgow. For train timetables, costs and reservations follow these links:


Colin will meet you at 0900 within Glasgow Central Station in front of Burger King.

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


The trip price is £1975 per person.

Group size 9 clients


  • 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

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

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 the difference between shooting modes. An understanding of the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO is essential.

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 weather-proofed.

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 respective focal lengths however, it usually means carrying more weight. If exploring the intimate landscape interests you, then a 90/100mm Macro lens can be ideal.

Filters – 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 luminosity locally. They come in a variety of densities and gradations but in my experience, the most useful is a 0.6 soft and 0.6 hard. Several brands of ‘grads’ are available but by far the best is 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. A polarising filter is useful for removing reflections from water and increasing contrast. Many photographers favour Lee’s ‘Big Stopper’ which transforms water and clouds into amorphous forms by increasing the exposure by 10 stops.

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 – cold will adversely affect battery life so make sure you have extras.

Lens cloth – useful for removing rain or sea spray.


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.


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.


April 23, 2019
April 28, 2019


The Port Charlotte Hotel
Main Street
Port Charlotte, PA48 7TU United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01496 850360


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