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THE FAR NORTH

September 15, 2018 - September 20, 2018

£1825
  • TRIP AT A GLANCE

    • Dates: 15-20 September 2018
    • Duration: 5 nights / 6 days
    • Location: Assynt and Sutherland
    • Start/Finishes: Inverness
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1825

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend six days developing your photography skills in the company of Colin Prior
  • Private en-suite accommodation at the comfortable Edrachillies Hotel
  • Access to some of the most remote and secluded locations in Scotland
  • 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 6-8 hours outdoors. Terrain underfoot is mainly on paths or hill trails which may be muddy in places. Daily walks are mainly glens or coastal hikes with some ascents up to 450m (1500ft).

With superb views overlooking Eddrachillies Bay to Drumbeg and the mountains of Assynt, the workshop will be based at the Eddrachillies Hotel. Purchased in March 2016 by Richard and Fiona Trevor, the hotel has been upgraded and the food has a distinctive Scandinavian influence. All guests will have private accommodation with en-suite facilities. Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are included throughout and packed lunches will be provided on the first and final days.

Also included are all standard coffees and teas taken throughout your stay at the hotel and there is a popular non-chargeable Tunnock’s munchies plate. Yum!

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

  • Five nights’ accommodation in the comfortable Eddrachillies 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 Inverness.

TRIP DETAILS

There are mountains, but you first see them across spacious moors in one of a thousand different kinds of light.

Great heather slopes; grassy gulleys opening on glimmering lochs like tiny oceans, with rocky headlands and bays and solitary trees; near crests against the sky and far away elegant outlines of Foinaven and Arkle; life starting away from the feet, mosses, a strange flower, a bird that disappears before one quite sees it, a peace until this very moment was unimaginable; a remoteness, a wildness, a curious watching quality inspiring something akin to tranquillity.

The particular feature about the mountains in this north-western world is their individuality. The most famous lie south, such as the jagged Quinag and the ancient mass of Conival and Ben More Assynt, with Canisp and Suilven beyond Inchnadamph. Suilven is a remarkable mountain, and anyone with a taste for geology could spend a few days here in a dream of Lewiswian gneiss, Cambrian quartzite and Torridonian sandstone.

To the north, the white sandy bays of Oldshoremore, Sandwood and Balnakeil lie in stark contrast to Cranstackie’s quartzite ramparts where golden eagle, red deer and mountain hare have their lair.

 

 

 

TRIP ITINERARY

Below is a typical itinerary, which will inevitably change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions on the day. The forecast will be studied and the most suitable location chosen. We will plan to shoot at dusk and dawn as dictated by the weather.

Day 1

Dundonnell and Coigach

After the group has assembled at Inverness Station, we’ll will head north for Dundonnell where we’ll spend the morning. A path leads to a high point which overlooks the An Teallach massif and creates one of the most dramatic viewpoints of the mountain. We’ll then head to Ullapool for lunch and continue north, stopping at a variety of locations in the Coigach and Assynt landscape, arriving at the Eddrachillies Hotel around 1700.

Day 2

Oldshoremore and Cape Wrath (ferry crossing and minibus included)

Lying between moorland and sea, Oldshoremore has one of the largest and least disturbed areas of machair on the mainland. Rich in lime, the shell-sand grassland supports a wide variety of wildflowers, which include heath harebells, bluebells and spotted orchids whilst providing ideal habitat of birds such as the skylark, twite and oystercatcher. Following Oldshoremore, we will head north to visit Cape Wrath, where the Lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson in 1828, stands on the most north-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland. We cross the Kyle of Durness by ferry boat and then travel twelve miles by minibus along a track to the lighthouse.

Day 3

Sandwood Bay and Am Bauchaille

Lying at the foot of an amphitheatre backed by Torridonian sandstone cliffs, the colour and clarity of the sea is reflected by the pristine sand beaches. In the south-west stands the eroded sea stack of Am Buachaille, which rises fifty metres and becomes a citadel for nesting fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots from May through to July. A four-mile walk over flat moorland will take us from the car park at Blairmore to the beach.

Day 4

Loch Arkle, Loch Loyal and Kyle of Tongue

Today we drive south-east from Laxford Bridge where Foinaven and Arkle dominate the Reay Forest. We’ll explore around the lochs on their lower slopes then continue along Loch Shin to Lairg where we will head north to Loch Loyal and Ben loyal – considered by many to be the perfect Scottish mountain. From the village of Tongue, we will return following the coastal road back to our hotel.

Day 5

Handa Island and Assynt (ferry included)

A short boat trip from Scourie will take us to the Handa Island where during the summer months over 100,000 seabirds breed on the Torridonian sandstone sea cliffs. We’ll explore the island during the morning and in the afternoon head south to Lochinver and take the coastal route through the Assynt landscape stopping to photograph Suilven, Cul Mor and Stac Pollaidh before arriving at Achnahaird Bay where we’ll follow the coastal path along the cliffs tops where we can enjoy the superb views across Enard Bay back to the mountains.

Day 6

Point of Stoer

Having checked out from our Hotel, we will drive to the Stoer Head Lighthouse which is another of Stevenson’s constructions. Built in 1870, it stands high on a promontory overlooking the Minch. We’ll follow the high ground which affords some superb views back across the sea to isolate the lighthouse on the cliff top. We’ll then head out across the moorland path to photograph Am Buachaille which stands at the south-east of Sandwood Bay. We’ll depart at 1230 to arrive at Inverness around 1445 where the workshop will conclude.

Stac Pollaidh, Coigach, Scotland.
GETTING THERE

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

www.firstscotrail.co.uk

www.thetrainline.com

www.seat61.com

MEETING INSTRUCTIONS

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

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

TRIP PRICING

The trip price is £1825 per person. Group size is limited to 9 clients and this ensures that Colin can give a one-to-one tuition and critique sessions.

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 a similarly insulated jacket 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 from www.campbellirvine.com

 

 

 

Details

Start:
September 15, 2018
End:
September 20, 2018
Cost:
£1825

Venue

Eddrachillies Hotel
Badcall Bay
Scourie, Sutherland IV27 4TH United Kingdom
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Tickets

4 available
The Far North 15-09-2018£1,825.00A deposit of 25% is required to secure payment

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