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Guest Report - Forsinard Summer Photography Tour

After an eight hour drive, at times through torrential rain, I arrived at Forsinard Lodge in bright sunshine and I was delighted to be enthusiastically greeted by a wonderful, but very wet Labrador. It was almost as though he remembered me from my last trip here just five months earlier, maybe he did.

Then onto the tearoom for coffee and delicious home-made cake and a catch up with people I can only describe as good friends. It just felt like I had come home, well to my ‘highland home’.

Let me start by saying what I really love about this place. The people and dogs of course (if you are not a dog person don’t worry they will be kept out of your way), the fact that there is no tv, who needs tv in such a wonderful location, the good food, thank you Adrienne, the banter, the fantastic scenery and wildlife and of course the photography. David and Janet really do go the extra mile, in fact extra miles, to make sure you get as much out of your visit here as possible.

After a tasty welcome dinner, a good sleep and a nice breakfast, I must get the recipe for that porridge as it’s the best I’ve ever tasted, it was time for the first day of Photography, Day 2 of my week here.

Day 2 – Today we covered many aspects of photography including landscapes, seascapes and wildlife. We used flash to highlight objects in daylight, something new I learnt.

We looked for patterns and shapes in everyday objects, things I would previously have just passed by. The day ended photographing deer and also an osprey on it’s nest, the first I had ever seen.

Back to Forsinard Lodge for dinner and some Lightroom advice.

Day 3 – We travelled to a different area today and to start we photographed reflections of the sky in the loch.

We used filters, something else learnt. We photographed water, smoothing the water in a river below an old suspension bridge. We were also blessed with some very angry skies which gave us some very atmospheric images.

Day 4 – We began today with a macro session in the Wild Arena studio. As part of this session we used off camera flash, another thing learnt and focus stacking, yet another thing learnt.

The day ended with an evening visit to a bird hide to watch sea birds feeding their young. They were so close that you didn’t need a long lens.

A late arrival back to base to reflect on a fantastic day.

Day 5 – Today we started in the studio again with a still life session, again new to me. I learnt how to take the time to get the image just right so that it tells the story you want it to tell. Then after lunch more travels around the area to cover landscapes, the landscape is so varied that every day is different.

We also covered more water smoothing.

We finished our outing with another visit to the Osprey to photograph it with an 800mm lens with a 1.4 convertor, another first for me.

Day 6 – A long drive today to the north west coast and a lovely bay where we photographed an old croft and a ship wreck as well as the surrounding scenery.

We also covered patterns in items I wouldn’t previously have looked at twice. We did wide angle with some excellent advice from David on how to make the image stand out and we also did some panorama shots, more knowledge for me.

The day ended with a visit to some wonderful Highland Cattle. David and Janet arranged this for me as I have a soft spot for these animals. See, as I said earlier, nothing is too much trouble.

Back at Forsinard Lodge I enjoyed my final dinner for this trip, great food, good banter and a lovely play with the dogs. What more could one want?

All the days were actioned packed and the summary above doesn’t really do justice to just how good the week was.

I will be forever grateful that the week was planned as a low intensity week due to my health problems. How many photography tour companies would do that? Thank you Wild Arena.

All too soon day 7 arrived and after another bowl of that wonderful porridge it was time to leave.

Did I improve my photography skills – yes of course I did in many respects.

Will I visit Forsinard Lodge again – of course I will without a doubt, as soon as I can.

Thank you to everyone at Wild Arena. You really do have something special there.

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