Duration & Dates
7 days (6 nights)
7th to 13th April 24 Full
9th to 15th March 25
1st to 7th June 25
Arrival & Departure
Forsinard Lodge arrival after 4pm, departure before 10am
Immersive traditional use of analogue cameras
5 full days of creative photography
Fully inclusive accommodation
Expert guidance and tuition
Small group for individual attention
Un-discovered wild locations
Post tour online image share & critique
3 people per tour per 1 guide
Full Board Accommodation
Single occupancy rooms as standard
Vehicle and guide
Initial transport to lodge
Analogue photography (the use of traditional, non-digital, film cameras), may seem an odd idea in a modern ‘digital world, but at Wild Arena, we love it!
So why shoot with film? Well, there may be many answers to this, but we have the view that film still offers a timeless, rewarding and challenging creative format for photographers.
Of course, modern digital SLR’s are amazing in their quality and functionality, but the relatively slow and manual process involved in older film cameras, can really focus the photographers’ creative thoughts. When every picture has a material cost, the photographer starts to become more discerning about how these images are initially captured. This often then leads to the epiphany of ‘re-discovering’ a joy in the basic act of creating an image.
In short, the film process can connect the photographer, through a traditional and considered process, to an entirely different and rewarding shooting process.
Our week-long ‘Analogue Photography Tour’ really gives guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in this fascinating medium and process. It doesn’t matter if you have shot film before or if this is entirely new to you, but reverting to this slower paced and more traditional process can be amazingly rewarding!
During the 5 full days of photography our super experienced guides will lead excursions out to a wide variety of great locations. The trip will not be ‘genre’ specific but instead we will focus our energy on finding, refining and then creating film camera images that capture a moment or tell a story. For us, this is the essence of creative photography in its simplest and purest form. We also genuinely believe this process should be stimulating and fun!
Subjects are likely to include landscapes, architecture, historical & human interest, nature, portraits and general pictorial content – all with a unique Scottish Highland feel. We will also encourage everyone to ‘push the boundaries’, by using slightly more unusual techniques such as slow shutter speed/intentional motion blur, filter use, colour manipulation, multiple exposures and artificial flash lighting.
In terms of equipment, guests are welcome to bring any of their own analogue cameras along, or we can lend out simple 35mm film SLR cameras to get everyone started. We are also happy to advise on buying analogue cameras and can liaise with our many retail friends and partners to make purchasing suggestions.
During the week, we will also be able to process and digitally scan films for our guests, in order to review the pictures we have taken (the number of rolls will be limited per guest to ensure we have time for everyone’s work). This will also hopefully illustrate how easy it can be to make use of your analogue pictures in the modern ‘digital age’.
For more experience analogue shooters, this tour offers some amazing locations for capturing original images and immersing yourself in the process you doubtless have come to love. There is also something really fun in meeting and working with other film cameras enthusiasts!
Additionally for new film users, the tours are perfect as a comprehensive introduction to the medium of film, with the experienced tutors being able to guide you through the entire process, potentially opening up a whole new area of photography!
Analogue photography is the perfect medium to treat each excursion as a ‘treasure hunt’, with great pictures and stories that need telling as your goal. There is nothing better than returning home knowing you have captured on a piece of film, an image you are excited to share with others!
Obviously, analogue photography is not instant so, after the tour has concluded, we will encourage guests to share images after they have received them back from processing and scanning. We will then arrange a special ‘Zoom’ conference call where we can view and discuss everyone’s work in the weeks following the tour. This can be a super useful way of bringing the group together, encouraging camaraderie and sharing our collective learning – we love the feeling of becoming part of a wider community!
What can you expect during your week with us? Well, we hope to welcome everyone as a friend and help develop their personal photography on a very individual level. Very small groups and all-inclusive accommodation should allow all our guests to relax into the week and really feel they have provided their hobby with the time it needs to grow and develop!
Key subjects for the week should include:
Key subjects for the week should include:
This area is very rich in a huge variety of landscapes with hills, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, woodland and many historical ‘man made’ structures.
Skies with early and late light can be hugely dramatic at various times of year and often make subjects in their own right.
Natural subjects always form an element of our trips and we can encounter bigger birds and animals like Red Deer as well as a whole variety of smaller subjects too, with moss, fungi and lichens.
We always have a broad interpretation of potential subjects and there can be many scenes that can generate pictorial or documentary style images, often containing compelling stores.
Portraits: There may also be the opportunity to practice some informal portraits of people we might meet during our travels.
Our base for this trip is the beautifully situated location of Forsinard Lodge in northern Scotland. The building was originally built in 1870 by the Duke of Sutherland as a hunting & fishing lodge at the head of Strath Halladale. The river here was highly regarding for Salmon fishing and the surrounding area boasted Red Deer Stags of unusual size. The lodge has spent most of its life as part of a much wider estate, but now provides Wild Arena a perfect base for photography in this beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of the highlands.
We also boast some amazing neighbours including our good friends at the RSPB reserve at Forsinard, who manage a vast area of diverse upland surrounding the lodge.
Our guests are accommodated in recently refurbished bedrooms within the Forsinard Lodge building. Each room has its own new, en-suite bathroom and are comfortably furnished for our visitors stay. Guests will also have use of a conservatory lounge where meals can be served, and the group can come together in the evenings.
We pride ourselves on looking after everyone to the best of our ability and Adrienne will ensure guests are kept happy with delicious home cooked food from our kitchen. We also hope that the lodge is the perfect place for relaxed conversation, providing an environment that encourages learning and self-expression – a true ‘home from home’!
Our Analogue Photography tours may run at various times of year, and no doubt the subjects we encounter will vary as the seasons change. Therefore, this itinerary should act as an approximate guide only.
(D) Arrival at your base for the week, Forsinard Lodge in the heart of the wild landscape of northern Scotland. We will bring the group together for a welcome dinner and introduction to the coming week. We will also run though the basics of analogue shooting for those that are new to the medium and introduce any loan or new equipment.
(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we will set out on our first day of shooting. Whilst we obviously want to take quality time finding and shooting images, we will try and visit a number of different locations relatively close to the lodge to give everyone a good photographic start to the trip. For the evening, we will return to the lodge for dinner and to review the first day’s shooting. Each evening we will check the weather forecast and conditions so, depending on the season, there is always the chance for some sunsets or even night-time shooting too!
(B,L,D) After an earlier start, we will head out with a packed lunch (and possibly a packed breakfast), to visit the wild north coast. This should provide another rich day of opportunities with sweeping beaches, dramatic rocky coves and historical harbours. Again, back to the lodge and the chance for guests to share their thoughts from the day. Again, back to the lodge and a chance to hand in some films from the first 3 days shooting for processing and scanning.
(B,L,D) After a slightly later breakfast, we will head to the mountains and hills of the central north, looking for inspirational landscapes, ruined buildings, and interesting stories in the history of this wild country. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and the chance for relaxed conversation.
(B,L,D) After breakfast, we will set out again with a packed lunch, visiting other places of local interest. The emphasis today might be more on human stories and there might even be an opportunity for informal portraits. We will return to the lodge, allowing an opportunity for guests to discuss and share ideas of the photography so far. Processed films and scans will be distributed after processing.
(B,L,D) The final day of photography and the chance to review our progress and fill in any gaps we feel we may have from the previous days’ excursions. This is the perfect time to push ourselves a little and really stretch the boundaries of our creativity! We also hope to organise a tutorial session around shooting film images using flash. Back to the lodge for a final evening meal and the chance for the group to review the week of photography and discuss the images we have been able to capture as a group.
(B) After a final breakfast, we will round up the week before guests depart for 10am.
Please note: – The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions. Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year & some activities mentioned may not always be available.
Meals included are as shown – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Who should attend
Anyone who has a love of photography and wishes to shoot in a more traditional way with film. Photographic experience level is not an issue with such a small group size, so we are just looking for a willingness to learn and try new ideas!
Wild Arena Tours are not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.
Fitness level: You will need reasonable fitness and the ability to be able to walk a few miles with your camera bag, over rough terrain. If you have any concerns about your fitness suitability – just get in touch.
Camera Knowledge: This week is entirely focused on analogue (film) photography and includes full support in this medium. However, a reasonable working knowledge of cameras generally would be useful. If you feel ensure about your own level of knowledge, just get in touch and we can chat through how this week might work for you.
During this week of creative analogue photography, we hope to cover useful techniques for various genres, constantly making use of the light and opportunities our subjects present us.
Topics will range from both introductory ideas on shooting with film to creative concepts plus settings and techniques to execute these ideas with our cameras. We will also flex the learning to the individual preferences of our guests.
We will also cover processing, digitally scanning and printing analogue photographs both through commercial companies and also personally, with ‘darkroom’ equipment at home.