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Panoramic view of the mountains around forsinard

Castle Cameras Photography Tour

£1,399 (Members price £1,349), Deposit £300
black and white image stones on the beach

Duration & Dates

7 days (6 nights)

Spring Tour

21st to 27th April 24

Summer Tour

21st to 27th July 24

Autumn Tour

29th September to 5th October 24

Winter Tour

10th to 16th November 24

Arrival & Departure

Forsinard Lodge arrival after 4pm, departure before 10am

Highlights

5 amazing days of creative photography

Special Castle Cameras 50th Anniversary group

Fully inclusive accommodation

Expert guidance and tuition

Small group for individual attention

Un-discovered wild locations

Price

£1,399

Members price £1,349

Deposit £300

 

 

Group Size

3 people per tour per 1 guide

Not included

Initial transport to lodge

Airport transfer

Alcoholic drinks

Camera equipment

Travel insurance

 

 
Description

To celebrate the wonderful 50th Anniversary year of our good friends at Castle Cameras, we have arranged 4 very special, week long creative photography tours to our amazing base at Forsinard, Northern Scotland.

 

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. Many visitors may well have come across us before, through the past 20 years of Wild Arena, running a huge range of workshops and attending photography events throughout the UK.

During these special 7-day trips, we will be delighted to welcome a small group of Castle Cameras 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. 

 

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!

 

Our goal is always to treat each excursion as a ‘treasure hunt’, with great pictures and stories that need telling as our goal. There is nothing better than returning home with a picture you are excited to have discovered and feel you are able to share this through ‘capturing’ the moment in a crafted picture.

 

The 4 seasonal tours, will of course, all be different as the conditions change in the wild ‘Flow Country’ of the central northern Highlands. We have listed below a brief overview of what you might expect during you stay in spring, summer, autumn and winter and the type of subjects we hope to encounter.

 

Forsinard Flows peat bog pools from the tower
aurora image taken on our spring photography trip
sunset image of the RSPB tower at Forsinard Flows
Black and white mountain view

Spring Tour

 
Spring Tour Highlights:

Spring can be a huge time of change in the landscape of northern Scotland, providing rich and varied subjects for our cameras. It is often said that you can experience ‘4 seasons in a day’ in this part of the world and this is especially true of springtime in the far north. 

 

During the week we will use our days to explore both the surrounding Flow Country of hills, moorland and gentle straths as well as the dramatic and wild coastline. During these excursions we are very likely to flex through a broad spectrum of subjects including landscapes, close-ups, nature, architecture, portraits and pictorial reportage. As we explore the world around us, the tutors will encourage everyone to try out more creative techniques such as monochrome shooting, using filters, multiple exposures, intentional camera movement, long exposures & motion blur and low light image capture. Spring still also provides some opportunities for evening shooting, with dramatic sunsets, night skies and even the potential of aurora!

 

In summary, spring is a great time to visit for an ever changing and diverse range of shooting subjects – we literally never know what awesome things we are going to discover!

 


Itinerary
 
highland cow-spring-1749.jpeg
Day 1


(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.

 

Day 2

 

(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we usually start the first day exploring some more local locations. We might visit wild landscapes with the interest of abandoned croft buildings, waterfalls and rivers. We will take out a packed lunch and refreshments to make the most of our time. We will return to the lodge for a relaxed group dinner, taking a little time to review the day. Each evening we will check the forecast for clear skies or solar activity, so there is always the chance for some night-time shooting too!

Day 3
multiple exposure flower image
red deer silhouette at sunset

 

(B,L,D) An earlier start with early breakfast, we will again set out with packed lunch, but this time concentrating on making the most of early morning light. Locations might be varied, giving us a chance to try out fresh ideas & techniques. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and relaxed conversation.

Day 4

 

(B,L,D) After a slightly later breakfast, we will make a longer trip out, visiting the higher hills and roads of the central north. This is wild country and there are always good opportunities for dramatic landscapes. Today we will also try and a find good location for shooting as the light fades and as evening turns to night. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and relaxed conversation. 

Day 5

 

(B,L,D) After breakfast we will again head out with a packed lunch for a full day of exploration on the wild north coast. With harbours, beaches, rocky coves and ruined houses, this is a dramatic cost to generate some great picture opportunities. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and conversation. 

Day 6

 

(B,L,D) The final day of photography and a chance to cover anything we have missed in the previous 4 days, as there are many options for great subjects and inspiring locations. Back to the lodge for a final evening meal and the chance for the group to review the week of photography and the images we have been able to capture as a group.

 

Day 7

 

(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

 

panoramic image of the beach during our summer photography holiday

Summer Tour

 
Summer Tour Highlights:

Summers can be short lived in the far north, so nature explodes in a frenzy of activity to make the most of the brief warmer months. This means our summer trips have more of an emphasis on nature than perhaps the other seasons. Of course, we will still have a wide and inclusive view of potential subjects, coastal birds and close-up nature will inevitably form a key element of the trip. Summer also means very long days, so the itinerary will include alternate early start and late finishes, to make the most of the seasonal light. 

 

During the week we will explore the dramatic scenery of the central north, looking for landscape, nature, architectural, historical and human stories to tell with our images. The tutors and guides will, as always, encourage a broad range of creative ideas and techniques to maximise our creativity whilst shooting. 

 

We also hope to arrange 2 specific excursions for breeding seabirds. Firstly, an evening visit to hide site for nesting Terns and Gulls and secondly a full-day expedition to a wild island to the west, where upwards of 200,000 birds breed each year on dramatic, towering cliffs. 

 


Itinerary
 
moss detail-summer-8127.jpg
multiple exposure image of bluebells
arctic tern on the west coast of scotland
Day 1


(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.

 

Day 2

 

(B,L,D) After a later breakfast we will head out on our first gentle day of photography. We will stay relatively local, exploring the wild landscapes of the Flow Country of northern Scotland. We will take a packed lunch/supper and might well continue capturing pictures into the evening to make the most of the light and conditions we encounter. 

Day 3

 

(B,L,D) Again, a later start with a chance to review the first day’s photography over breakfast. We will then head out with packed lunch and supper, heading north onto the coast for some mixed shooting at a number of locations, including a dramatic beach and natural flower meadow. We will then spend the evening at a hide location to photograph nesting seabirds. There should be great opportunities with a number of species including Arctic Terms amazingly close to the cameras! Again, late back to the lodge, making the most of the evening light.

Day 4

 

(B,L,D) After another slightly later breakfast with a chance of conversation and review, we will head into the higher hills to find summer landscapes and mixed subjects in this beautiful pat of the world. Back to the lodge for dinner and an opportunity for relaxed conversation and review.

Day 5

 

(B,L,D) An early start, heading out with a packed breakfast/lunch to try and catch some nature subjects in morning light. visiting Dunnet head and then some northern coast locations. Back to the lodge for a relaxed evening meal and conversation.

Day 6

 

(B,L,D) The final day of photography and another early start allowing us time to drive west to visit Handa island. After a short boat trip, we will arrive at this gorgeous location. Not only are there amazing numbers of seabird visible on the massive sea cliff, but also interesting landscape and history opportunities too. Back to the lodge for a later dinner and a chance for a review of the weeks work. 

 

Day 7

 

(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

 

sunset image of the mountains taken in the autumn

Autumn Tour

 
Autumn Tour Highlights:

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 good time for 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. 

 

As Autumn takes hold, the days also grow shorter, and this will provide more chance of shooting sunsets and potentially subjects at night. There is also a higher chance of witnessing the amazing phenomenon of the northern lights!

 


Itinerary
 
landscape-autumn-1875.jpeg
Frozen leaf detail taken on our autumn trip
Flowing river in Forsinard
Day 1


(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.

 

Day 2

 

(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we will head out to local locations for a days’ shooting taking, 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.

Day 3

 

(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 nigh time or aurora photography.

Day 4

 

(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. 

Day 5

 

(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

Day 6

 

(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.

 

Day 7

 

(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

 

Snowy mountains in northern scotland

Winter Tour

 
Winter Tour Highlights:

If you are looking for drama and the harshness of the natural world to add power to your images, then winter is without doubt the season to visit us! It is also, of course, the season for snow and it is not unusual for us to have 2 or 3 months of snow through the winter, especially on the higher ground. 

 

There is just something different about photography in the winter. The weather can be extremely changeable, but this gives a wild and unexpected twist to every day. The light can be crisp and ‘raw’, and skies are often described as ‘arctic’. The shorter days can make both sunrise and sunsets much more achievable and there will also be dark evenings to provide a chance for night sky and even aurora photography!

 

Beyond our usual broad search for images with narrative, our main photographic focus will be on capturing the seasonal conditions which add a whole element of their own. Snow, ice and winter light can be like ‘the icing on the cake’ making every image stand out as different. Winter is also a very good time for photographing Red Deer, again with the added bonus of a wintery setting.

 

Our guides and tutors will, as usual, be on hand to encourage a wide creative interpretation of what we discover and will encourage guests to try out alternative ideas and techniques to maximise their photographic expression. 

 

Whilst winter can sometimes create logistical difficulties, our well-equipped lodge, 4-wheel drive vehicles and a wide range of locations should allow us to keep creating images, even in tough conditions! 

 


Itinerary
 
Sheep in the snow at Kinbrace
Day 1


(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.

 

Day 2

 

(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we will set out with a packed lunch for some general shooting in the local area. Winter is a great time for shooting the buildings, people and history of the highlands and this will likely be a focus for us. We will then return to the lodge for a hearty dinner and a chance to review our first days adventures. Each evening we will monitor the weather and solar activity, with a view to nigh-time or aurora photography.

Day 3
Red Deer in the snow west scotland
Aurora image taken on our winter photography trip

 

(B,L,D) An earlier start with perhaps a packed breakfast. We will head north to the wild coastline. Here we should see dramatic beaches, rocky coves and interesting historical buildings – all in a winter setting. The sea itself can be an amazing subject too, especially in stormy weather! Back to the lodge for evening dinner.

Day 4

 

(B,L,D) After a slightly later breakfast, we will head as high into the hills as the conditions allow us. We will be looking for a variety of subjects including natural details like rock, ice and snow. After a packed lunch we will make a special point of looking for Red Deer, who will look amazing in dramatic winter conditions. Once again, we will then return to the lodge for dinner and relaxed conversation.

Day 5

 

(B,L,D) After breakfast, we will set out again with a packed lunch for some of the remoter locations close by. We will hopefully visit an abandoned croft location rich in history and a waterfall for water motion opportunities. At the end of the day we will return to the lodge for evening dinner.

Day 6

 

(B,L,D) After breakfast we will have our final day of photography and a chance to make sure we have covered the subjects that everyone wanted to see. We are likely to return to the lodge a little earlier before our last evening dinner and the opportunity for everyone to share their work from the week. 

 

Day 7

 

(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

 

 
Venue

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.

Forsinard Lodge Bed and Breakfast Overnight Accommodation and Tea Room
Castle Cameras staff taking pictures
 
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