Ancient Architecture Among Autumn Colors
October 12–22, 2022
Scotland is a land of ancient forests, fertile valleys cut by raging rivers, thundering waterfalls, and tranquil lakes nestled between impressive mountain peaks. Set amongst this natural splendor and wreathed in mist are a wealth of historic castles, and we’ll be visiting during the best time for fall color too! If you’re not already reaching for your passport, then how about we throw in the Jacobite Steam train (the Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter) crossing the Glenfinnan viaduct and visits to two national parks!
You’ll be accompanied on this journey by veteran local photographers who will make sure you are always in the right place at the right time to capture the stunning landscapes, and to learn about the local history. You’ll also learn to improve your composition skills, and techniques such as long exposure and image stitching for panoramas. Of course, we’ll be sure to make time for our signature image reviews and Lightroom post-processing sessions too.
We are passionate about Scotland, and can’t wait to introduce you to the mystery, history, and charm. Come join us!
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
October 12, 2022: Arrive in Edinburgh anytime on or before this day. It’s about 20 minutes taxi ride to our hotel where you can settle in and begin adjusting to the time change. Our first meeting begins tomorrow morning after breakfast.
October 13, 2022: Today is all about finding your feet in the Scottish capital. After a long journey and the adjustment to the UK time zone, we won’t be marching up any hills for sunrise today, but we will be making the most of our time in Edinburgh. After a leisurely breakfast, we will explore the city on foot, photographing its historical landmarks and capturing our first taste of the Scottish environment. If presented with the right conditions, we’ll shoot dusk from an elevated vantage point overlooking the city. This will give options to shoot long exposures and traffic trails if desired, or you can just record the scene organically as you see it with your eyes. A telephoto lens in the region of 70-400mm will be the most useful here.
October 14, 2022: After checking out of our city center hotel, we will head north towards the Trossachs National Park (2 hrs). On the way, we will stop to photograph one of the most iconic bridges in the world—the Forth Rail Bridge. As we head out of the city, the fall color of the Highlands will start to dominate and it won’t be long before we’re stopping regularly to make the most of the transient light from various roadside views. This area usually peaks in colour around mid October, so it should be perfect for our brief visit.
October 15, 2022: The appeal of the Trossachs is in its many photogenic lochs which look their best in calm conditions when they offer a mirror reflection of the surrounding landscape. We will tour along a couple of our favourite routes which offer many photo opportunities in all conditions. Expect boat houses, lone trees, and the most idyllic church in Scotland!
October 16, 2022: After a dawn shoot to hopefully capture some of the Trossach’s trade mark water reflections, we’ll continue heading north, deeper into the Scottish Highlands. On the agenda today is a waterfall, a castle, and miles and miles of silver birches in peak colour. Our base for the next couple of nights is the charming town of Pitlochry, which will give us easy access to explore the surrounding area which is known for its fall color.
October 17, 2022: After a traditional Scottish breakfast to fuel you for the day, we’ll head out to explore the Hermitage—an ancient forest of Douglas-firs with an iconic waterfall and a series of rapids which offer the perfect chance to get creative with long exposures and shallow depth of field photos of woodland details.
October 18, 2022: Today we head to our most northerly location and one which will be just coming into its peak appearance of the year. The ancient Caledonian forests of Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar are unique landscapes untouched since the last ice age. We’ll break up the 3 hour drive with stops along the way at a particularly attractive lone tree, a castle ruins and a derelict ghost house.
October 19, 2022: Glen Affric and Strathfarrar are very remote areas and are often only visited by photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. However, at this time of year, most visitors here will be carrying a tripod. Low lying fog and calm conditions are what we will be hoping for here, but the area can work well in most conditions. Make sure you have a polariser, as this will really help to bring out the color in your photos. If you find that you’ve forgotten or lost anything, don’t panic, as Scotland’s premier photo store is just down the road!
October 20, 2022: After another chance to capture the color of the Caledonian forest, we head for the west coast of Scotland along the shores of Loch Ness. Our accommodation for the final couple of nights is a castle hotel which occupies a beautiful location on the shores of a picturesque loch. The hotel grounds are at their best in mid October which means you can shoot without having to venture more than a few hundred yards from your bedroom. We aim to have a relaxing afternoon, reviewing images taken so far on the trip and enjoying the traditional atmosphere of the hotel and grounds (which include a castle ruins).
October 21, 2022: Today we will witness one of the visual highlights of the trip—the chance to photograph the Jacobite Express steam train (also known as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter films) as it passes over the Glenfinnan viaduct. There will be a big build up to this event, which will be over in the blink of an eye, but once the adrenalin has subsided, we’ll take a leisurely drive to Scotland’s most iconic castle—Eilean Donan. We’ll shoot this at dusk when the castle floodlights are perfectly balanced with the fading ambient light.
October 22, 2022: After a brief photo session in the hotel grounds, we’ll start the long drive back to Edinburgh, but we have all day, so we’ll take the scenic route which will see us passing through one of Scotland’s most popular scenic areas—Glencoe. If conditions are right, and if time allows, we will also visit the ruins of Kilchurn Castle as our final location before we arrive back in the hustle of the city.
October 23, 2022: Depart Edinburgh.
Easy: Walks of a mile or possibly longer. Long days, and lots of vehicle travel between locations.
Arrive Edinburgh Airport (EDI), Edinburgh, Scotland anytime on October 12, 2022. Flights out can be made anytime on October 23, 2022.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,200 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 3 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $1,200 supplement.
“I can’t express enough how impressed I am with the personal phone calls and the interaction during the adventure. My feeling is that you put the customer first. I wish other businesses had that philosophy. Thank you for an adventure that created life-long memories for us. I will be talking about this trip for years to come. ”