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Mountain and loch view

Photography Retreat Tour

£1,399 (Members price £1,349), Deposit £300
Reflection of trees in water

Duration & Dates

7 days (6 nights)

3rd to 9th March 24

Arrival & Departure

Forsinard Lodge arrival after 4pm, departure before 10am

Highlights

Unique combination of photography and relaxation

5 full days of creative photography

Fully inclusive accommodation

Focus on individual expression

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

Photography has always been regarded as a creative art and holds the potential for being an immensely enriching pastime. However, hectic lives in the modern world, can undermine this and we are often left feeling that we have simply not got the time to immerse ourselves in the process of making pictures. This is where we believe our ‘Photography Retreat Tours’ can help! 

 

These week-long trips are about so much more than just getting out and taking pictures. We really want to facilitate a trip where we can slow down the world and relax into the rhythm of connecting deeply with the landscape around us – all through the wonderful medium of photography. There is something amazing about slowly exploring quiet and wild locations, looking for ‘visual treasures’ and then using our cameras to capture these discoveries. Developing an understanding of how our cameras can translate the ordinary scenes in front of us, into something extraordinary, can really help us ‘see’ more and this process can be hugely fulfilling.

Each day, we hope to create a relaxed, slow-paced itinerary, where we can explore the rich landscape of the northern highlands surrounding our base at Forsinard Lodge. The hosts and guides will encourage a fresh and individual interpretation of what we find to create images that are both personal and expressive. They will suggest techniques and ideas that might help this process, allowing everyone to broaden their photography skills and creative diversity. The principle is, there should not be any rules, so we can produce the work we wish too with no preconceived ideas to constrain us.

At the end of each day, guests will be encouraged to share their pictures and really take time to explore why we create the photos we do and what connection this makes to those that view these images afterwards.

 

Equipment for the week is less important than our creative output, but cameras with less automation and more functions often allow a greater freedom of expression. Of course, the tutors will always be on hand to offer advice on how best to use the cameras to make the pictures we are hoping for. We will also run through a number of more unusual techniques that may broaden our artistic output.

 

Outside of the time spent capturing pictures, we usually encourage guests to slow down sufficiently to appreciate the sights, sounds and feelings present in the places we visit. These opportunities to simply ‘explore’ with no agenda, can often lead to the most rewarding outcomes!

 

What can you expect during your week with us? 

Well, we hope to welcome everyone as a friend, creating a comfortable ‘home from home’ feeling whilst staying with us at Forsinard Lodge. During this trip we will be especially mindful of providing an environment that encourages a peaceful, reflective atmosphere that allows our passion for photography to flourish whilst connecting with the natural world around us. Ultimately, we want you to return home feeling great!

 

Black and white salmon nets
Backlit sheep
Moon and clouds
Broken Ice
Snow capped mountain
 
Key subjects for the week should include:

Key subjects for the week should include:

Landscapes: There are a huge range of landscapes accessible in the area with natural features like dramatic beaches, waterfalls and 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.

Nature: We will be looking out for signs of spring, with new growth in the vegetation, the emergence of reptiles and amphibians, and the early activity of birds. Macro is likely to be a genre of interest, but we will also be on the lookout for bigger wildlife too, with Red Deer and raptors.

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!

 

 
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.

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’!

Forsinard Lodge bed and breakfast
Forsinard lodge tea room

Itinerary

Our Photography Retreat 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.
 
Water droplets on flower
Day 1


(D) Arrival at your base for the week, Forsinard Lodge in the heart of the wild landscape of northern Scotland. On our first evening together, we will introduce the ideas central to the week and let the group share their aspirations and ideas.

 

Day 2

 

(B,L,D) After a relaxed breakfast, we will set out with a packed lunch, for our first day of exploration. We will likely spend our time at locations relatively close to base and begin the process of slowing down and considering the stories we wish to tell through our photographs. For the evening, we will return to the lodge for dinner and a chance to discuss how we feel the day went. (NB: 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!)

Day 3
close up seaweed

 

(B,L,D) After an earlier start, we will head for a day at the coast, using the sea as an inspiration for our images. Again, we will take out a packed lunch and the guides will begin to introduce alternative ideas to broaden our creative opportunities. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and conversation. We will then encourage guests to share a few pictures from the first 2 days of shooting for constructive thoughts and feedback (it can be super interesting to see what everyone else has created!)

Day 4

 

(B,L,D) After a slightly later breakfast, we will once again set out with a packed lunch for very quiet places in the hills. This wild landscape can be both challenging and stimulating for pictures, but we will encourage the widest possible interpretation of what we discover. Again, back to the lodge for dinner and the chance for relaxed conversation and image review. 

Day 5
Black and white landscape

 

(B,L,D) After breakfast, we will set out with a packed lunch again for more time in this beautiful part of the country. We will return to the lodge slightly earlier for dinner, allowing us an opportunity to venture out again afterwards, as the evening light fades for an alternate view of the things around us as day turns into night.

Day 6

 

(B,L,D) The final day of photography. We will set out for a final morning of exploring the landscapes for photographic inspirations returning to the lodge for a late lunch. During the afternoon we might spend a few hours considering the process of editing (in terms of basic numbers and possible use of software) our pictures before preparing a final set of images for presentation after our last dinner as a group. This can be a great way of acknowledging what we have achieved through the week in terms of photographic creativity and enlightenment.

 

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

 

 
Who should attend

Anyone who has a love of photography and wishes to shoot in a more creative and individual way. Photographic experience level is not a requirement with such a small group size, so we are just looking for a willingness to learn and try new ideas. Of course, guests should also be prepared for a slower pace and more spiritual view of the process of capturing images!

 

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 some distance with your camera bag, potentially over rough terrain. If you have any concerns about your fitness suitability – just get in touch.

 

Camera Knowledge: This week is entirely focused on relaxation and expression through photography, so technical knowledge is not necessary. However, a reasonable working knowledge of cameras generally is always useful to maximise the benefit of the week. 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.

Learning outcomes

Our learning outcomes on this tour, may well differ somewhat from our normal expectations. Obviously, we will try to impart some fresh and stimulating ideas around creating photographs as well as useful camera settings and techniques. However, beyond this we hope guests will depart feeling they have relaxed and gained a deeper connection to the world around them through the medium of photography.

We will also especially focus on individual creative expression and its importance as a therapeutic tool. Group discussion and sharing images may also broaden our understanding of alternative ideas and deepen our ability to appreciate the work of other photographers.

 

RSPB tower at sunset
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