Workshop: Inverpolly & Assynt, Scotland, 11 – 17 February 2013
If remoteness, tranquillity, total isolation and awe inspiring scenery is what you are after, then this place comes on top of any other in my list of places in Scotland.
The Inverpolly National Nature Reserve is a vast area of heather and grass moorland dotted with lochs and rocky peaks in the north-west of Scotland. As well as the moorland there are many bogs and patches of birch woodland on the valley slopes.
With no roads and few tracks the area is very much a wilderness and receives relatively few visitors for a British nature reserve. Inverpolly just north of Ullapool is classic, with it’s iconic mountains like Stac Pollaidh and Suilven will provide a stunning backdrop to your pictures.
This area is particularly rich for opportunities, with it’s mountains, lochs, beaches and seascapes, there is something for everyone. Assynt is situated amongst some of the wildest and most remote scenery in the United Kingdom. Located in the far north west highlands the area is dominated by spectacular mountain scenery. Isolated sandstone mountains rise up from an undulating landscape that is itself formed of Lewisian Gneiss, one of the oldest rock types found on our planet.
We’ll visit some of the most scenic areas there, including Loch Assynt with its own castle that occupies a promontory on the north shore. Ardvreck castle has been the home of the MacLeod and MacKenzie families and has seen many battles. The final battle was lost in 1795 when the castle was struck by lightning and largely destroyed. Loch Assynt is situated in a spectacular setting between the heights of Canisp and Quinag and it drains lochs like Awe and Maol a’ Choire, before it drains itself into the sea at LochInver.
We’ll also visit the west coast of Assynt and some of its beautiful beaches with sparkling blue waters. There is a good mixture of sand and rock formations in some of them and depending on the tide, the photographic potential will be high. A visit to loch Borralan at this time of year is well worth the early rise. The sun rises at the lowest point in the horizon as seen from the loch and the shallow waters, together with the tall reeds, will provide us with “painting on canvas” material. This is when photographic dreams come true.
And all this will start with a sunrise by Loch Droma. The alien shapes of the remnants of old tree stumps can create a spooky environment and yet inspire and challenge your imagination. This is one of the best spots to view the An Teallach mountain range with early light on its tops.
A short walk uphill will take us by the feet of Quinag, where the combination of a fine sunrise and beautifully warm light over spilling on the mountain tops, will reward us with scenery that takes the breath away. If this isn’t landscape photography heaven, then I have no idea what is.
All beginners entering landscape photography who need help; more experienced photographers looking to improve their skills; advanced level photographers looking for some inspiration or new and exciting places to visit. This workshop is for everyone.
What should you bring?
The weather is usually cold this time of year, we recommend weatherproof winter clothes. Sturdy boots is a must, also warm neoprene wellies (if you can) as there might be some splashing in the shallow Lochs. All your photography gear (see faq) and a few prints or digital files of your previous work for constructive feedback. Also, as there will be coffee & tea at the hotel, bring a little flask with you for those early morning shootings.
What is included in the price?
Seven days (six nights) accommodation on a non sharing basis and with no single supplement • Breakfast • Packed lunch • 3 course meal • One to one and group tuition and all transport during the course • Lightroom tutorial on image processing, for those with not much knowledge on the subject. This will give you an idea on how to best present the beautiful images taken during the course • Screen presentations of Dimitri’s own work and of your own images made during the course • Extensive technical notes to take with you and, also, after course advice via phone/email.
What is excluded?
Cancellation insurance, drinks and transfers to and from venue.
However, to save you money and time, we can provide pick-up and drop-off at Glasgow airport / railway stations at no extra cost.
The course starts on Mon 11 February at 5 pm and ends on Sun 17 February at 10 am.
We’ll be based at the Caledonian hotel in Ullapool. Free WI-FI available.
All beginners should feel comfortable booking this workshop. As we will have enough days to our disposal, there will be plenty of time for one to one tuition. Besides, the relaxed tuition method Dimitri is using, will have you making superb images in no time.
All our workshops are designed with tuition and inspiration in mind and our repeat bookings are testament to this. Please allow five minutes to take a look at the feedback page, our clients usually say more about us than we do.
This course is rated as easy and most of the walks are on almost flat ground and easily accessible, just a reasonable level of fitness will be required. Our aim is for you to leave the course with a much better knowledge and understanding of the subject and also, with a great experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. And most importantly, with a few very good images that you will be proud of.
Tutor’s pictures from Inverpolly & Assynt.