The Torridonian Experience
24 Oct 2022 - 29 Oct 2022 | £1800
What to Expect
Torridon is a remarkable and varied landscape. Whilst it is best known for its iconic mountains, the area also hosts remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest alongside some of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland. In this 6-day workshop co-lead by Alex Nail and local photographer Mark Littlejohn we hope to give you the full experience of what this landscape has to offer. We will be based for five nights at the Kinlochewe Hotel which is ideally placed next to Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree. The workshop is timed for the peak of autumn colour when the grasses and trees turn rich shades of orange and yellow. The unsettled weather that sweeps through at this time of year gives the potential for dramatic shooting conditions that evoke the true spirit of the Scottish Highlands.
During the trip we well head into the mountains and woodlands of the area taken you to both well known and little known spots. Mark lives just 40 minutes from Torridon and his local insight, particularly of woodland and more intimate locations, is second to none. It's complimented by Alex's knowledge of the mountains and high routes in the area. Whilst the two of us take very different approaches to our photography we share one key thing in common, a love of this incredible landscape. It's safe to say that we'd be out and about whether or not we had our cameras with us. Whilst we hope that by the end of the trip you will have a small collection of images that capture the spirit of Torridon in autumn, we'd hope even more that you come away with a love of this wild area.
Below is a sample itinerary to give you an idea of the general approach of the workshop based on a hypothetical weather scenario. We will adapt plans to the weather and try to find diverse subjects appropriate to the conditions - the itinerary is guaranteed to change significantly!
Mon 24th - Lifts from Inverness Airport/Train Station in the morning. 12 noon meet at Kinlochewe. Quick meet and greet. Head out to a high view over the Loch Maree Islands
Tue 25th - Changeable weather, rain in the afternoon. A day exploring lochs and low level locations photographing Scots Pine and autumnal birch trees.
Wed 26th - Good weather day. Full day out in the mountains south of Torridon village (mid level) staying out until sunset.
Thu 27th - Overcast and windy. Drive to the River Gruinard - walk out to lochans and birch forest staying until sunset. Late dinner
Fri 28th - Rain and strong winds most of the day - a mixture of roadside locations in the morning, then post processing sessions in the afternoon before heading out again for sunset.
Sat 29th - Sunrise shoot at Loch Marree, workshop concludes at lunch. Transport back to Inverness by 3pm.
Mark and Alex will be on hand throughout to assist with your photography. This workshop gives the unusual opportunity to benefit from the contrasting ideas and approaches of two very different photographers. This should help to develop your own creative ideas and vision. There are two leaders and only six clients so you will have plenty of time to ask questions, practice your technique or just have a natter!
Mark takes and evocative, atmospheric approach to his post-processing whilst Alex takes a more technical approach prioritising realism. During down time Alex and Mark will explain their different editing methods and help you edit your own images.
Fitness And Experience
You do not need to be amazingly fit for this workshop but, if the weather allows, we will do some longer walks of up to 10km in a day. Walks might include steeper paths or shorter sections off path. Most people who have stayed moderately fit and are able to walk in the countryside and national parks should find this workshop within their ability. Alex is a qualified Mountain Leader and will ensure that the routes chosen are within the groups ability and totally safe.
Autumn weather is extremely variable. It can (rarely!) be warm, up to 18 degrees or so, or exceptionally cold, down to freezing. It can be calm or extremely windy; dry or bucketting it down! Normally the weather is unsettled, with strong winds and heavy showers, but also excellent conditions for landscape photography. It is important that you are appropriately dressed to stand in exposed locations or wait for a heavy shower to pass. We recommend baselayers, hiking trousers, insulative clothing, a down jacket, hat and gloves, and full waterproofs. You will also need walking boots and potentially wellies, although these are optional.
From a camera gear perspective its useful to have a full range of focal lengths available from at least 24mm to 200mm though wider and longer focal lengths can be very useful - many of Mark's images are shot at 300mm. Polarisers are particularly useful in reducing haze in the mountains as well as photographing water and foliage. Tripods are increasingly becoming a personal choice with modern image stabilisation and high ISO performance allowing for relatively high quality images handheld. Mark often shoots handheld, Alex almost always uses a tripod. If you are not familiar with the tradeoffs and limitations of shooting handheld we still recommend a sturdy tripod. All the other camera gear choices are up to you! You may also want to bring a laptop for post-processing.
Breakfast and a packed lunch are included. Dinner and drinks are not included. You should provide your own insurance and make your own transport arrangements to/from Inverness.
We will be staying at the Kinlochewe Hotel for the duration of the workshop. The hotel is in Kinlochewe village and has its own restaurant. It's perfectly situated to access Torridon, Loch Maree and Fisherfield. There are many locations within a 20 minute drive. All rooms are single occupancy ranging from king rooms with ensuite and bath, to singles with ensuites.
Cancellations due to Coronavirus
This trip has been planned at the end of January 2022 with the Omicron variant receeding in the UK. We are very optimistic that this workshop will go ahead without restrictions. However, if we need to cancel the trip you will be refunded in full excepting any unrecoverable costs from our accomodation. You should seek your own insurance to protect you in the event that you test positive prior to the workshop and are unable to attend.
Price And Booking
This workshop is priced at £1700-1850 depending on room (allocated on a first come first served basis). A £600 deposit is required to secure your place. The remainder is due on the 24th of August.
£1700: Room 1 Single room, Ensuite | Room 2, Single room, Ensuite
£1760: Room 3, Twin room, Ensuite
£1800: Room 4, Double room, Ensuite
£1850: Room 5, King, Ensuite with Bath, Mountain View | Room 6, King, Ensuite with Bath, Mountain View
Terms & Conditions
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