Duration & Dates
7 days (6 nights)
23rd to 29th September 23
Special Price £1,049
7th to 13th October 23
Cancellation place £700
1st to 7th September 24
Arrival & Departure
Forsinard Lodge arrival after 4pm, departure before 10am
Beautiful autumn colours
5 full days of creative photography
Fully inclusive accommodation
Expert guidance and tuition
Small group for individual attention
Un-discovered wild locations
Members price £1,349
3 people per tour per 1 guide
Initial transport to lodge
We just love autumn in the highlands. As the days get shorter and the temperatures fall, a wonderful colour palette emerges, making for some great photography. Early mornings often come with mist and soft light, allowing a subtle atmosphere to reveal itself in the landscape. It is also a perfect time for seeing Red Deer, and we will make several excursions to photograph perhaps the most iconic resident of the highlands.
During the 5 days of photography, we will carefully explore the beautiful landscapes of the Scottish far north. As, with all of our trips, we will take a broad view of subjects, always searching for opportunities to find intimate photographic stories in the things we encounter. The tutors and guides will encourage a wide range of creative interpretations of the things we find and will demonstrate alternative techniques and ideas to maximise our creativity.
Subjects during the week, might be very diverse, from majestic upland landscapes, to hidden history in abandoned crofts plus, of course, the chance of nature and wildlife. The ‘Flow Country’ of the central far north of Scotland is one of the least densely populated areas in Europe, and this vast, wild location is rich in both natural and human history.
As Autumn takes hold, the days also grow shorter, and this will provide more chance of shooting sunsets and potentially subjects at night. Because of this, we will be flexible with our itinerary, and make sure we find time to shoot images in the best morning and evening light and the darker evenings also provide a higher chance of witnessing the amazing phenomenon of the northern lights!
The small team at Wild Arena are all passionate about photography and sharing our love of the Scottish landscape with our guests. Our creative photography tours are designed to make the most of our wild and unspoilt location to provide the perfect place for digging deeper into the world of making images.
During these special 7-day trips, we will welcome a small group of customers to northern Scotland and spend some quality time, immersed in the process of searching for, finding, creating and carefully editing images that reveal the stories we want to tell. The trips are not genre specific, but instead aim to access whatever subjects we find to provide inspiration for great pictures. The guides and tutors are all extremely experienced and will encourage everyone with locations, ideas, techniques and settings to maximise the opportunity for learning.
A core idea we strongly believe in, is to treat each excursion as a visual ‘treasure hunt’, looking for subjects where stories can be unlocked in a carefully created picture. There is nothing better than returning home feeling that we can share something undiscovered in a photograph we have been able to reveal during our day’s exploration.
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:
Autumn landscapes: There are a huge range of landscapes accessible in the area with natural features like dramatic beaches, waterfalls and golden hills, as possible targets. The region is also rich in characterful man-made structures, including Iron Age Brochs and more recent croft houses and cottages with weathered exteriors, rich in colour and texture. We will also be looking for autumn colour and seasonal content to bring an extra element of interest to our images.
Nature: Autumn can be a great time for Red Deer with the possibility of rutting behaviour. It is also the season when Salmon are moving up the rivers to spawn. Various small birds are also possible at the lodge feeders. Autumn is also a great time for macro details, with Fungi, Mosses and Lichen.
Above all else, we want our welcoming, small group trips to be relaxing and creatively stimulating, providing the perfect combination of rest and enjoyment of the wonderful pastime of photography!
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 regarded 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’!
(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.
(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we will head out to local locations for a days’ shooting, we’ll take a packed lunch to make the most of our time. There should be plenty of mixed opportunities of landscapes, architecture, nature and social documentary pictures. We will then return to the lodge for dinner and a review of our first days photography.
(B,L,D) An earlier start with a chance for pictures in the early morning light. We will head north to the wild coastline taking a packed breakfast/lunch. The sea offers many opportunities including the motion of water, dramatic skyscapes and interesting natural details. For the evening, we will return to the lodge for an informal dinner and relaxed conversation. Each evening we will monitor the weather and solar activity, with a view to night time or aurora photography.
(B,L,D) After a slightly later breakfast, we will head out with a packed lunch to visit the high country to the west. Here we should find mountains, streams and picturesque lochs in a landscape rich in history. If there is a chance, we will look for the local Red Deer and then return to the lodge for dinner.
(B,L,D) After breakfast we will set out for another full day of shooting, this time perhaps with an eye for history and the traces of the human impact on this amazing landscape. With abandoned crofts, ancient ‘Brochs’ and ruins, there is so many stories to tell. Once again, we will take a little time to look for Deer before returning to the lodge for dinner and the opportunity to review our images.
(B,L,D) The final day of photography and a chance to fill in any gaps we might feel we have in our shooting subjects. It is also a time to review the weeks learning and make the most of the support of your tutors and guides. After a full day out with packed lunch, we will return to the lodge for a final evening meal and the opportunity to review everyone’s work for the week.
(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 the outdoors. 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 to be able to walk a few miles with your camera bag, over rough terrain. (Please note we do offer ‘Low Intensity’ tours for guests who feel a slightly less demanding itinerary would suit them better).
Camera Knowledge: It is useful if you have a good working knowledge of your camera, but the Wild Arena guide will be on hand to talk through settings, ideas and techniques to make the best of the opportunities.
During this week of creative photography, we hope to cover useful techniques for various genres of photography, constantly making use of the light and opportunities our subjects present us.
We will cover a range of creative ideas and camera techniques with the aim of broadening our guest’s knowledge and insight.
'A wonderful 5 days of nature and wildlife photography in a beautiful part of Scotland.
An excellent itinerary which provided the opportunity to try out new subjects, techniques and skills.
Thank you to David and Janet for your good company, support and for passing on your vast photographic knowledge including useful hints and tips.
The accommodation is very comfortable and the catering excellent with great care taken to meet dietary requirements.
I will be back!'
Kate Oct 22