PHOTO TOUR to BEAUTIFUL SCOTLAND
May 17 - 28, 2019
Thousands of years of human history in Scotland have marked the land with a vast array of stunning photographic subjects. This is a very exciting photo tour, indeed. Castles from the Dark Ages, skeletal remains of medieval abbeys, baroque-style cathedrals, and a narrow gauge steam railroad are just some of the highlights of this photo tour. We also devote time to exploring two amazing cities, Edinburg and Glasgow. There are quaint seaside villages, rugged coastlines, and dramatic landscapes that offer unparalleled vistas and make you feel like you’re on top of the world. We will travel in a van through the backroads of Scotland, and you will feel immersed in this very unique and ancient culture.
Tour Policies (please read)
Visit the photo gallery
Day 1, Friday, May 17
Depart the U.S. or Canada on May 16 to arrive in Edinburgh on May 17 and transfer on your own by taxi to the hotel. Our group will meet in the lobby at 6 pm for our welcome dinner and a discussion of the upcoming photo tour. If participants are not too tired from their flight, we can do some night photography in this beautiful city. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 2, Saturday, May 18
After breakfast, we visit the spectacular 17th century St. Giles Cathedral. The stunning interior offers amazing photography, and this is a great time to practice the HDR technique to capture the rich and ornate detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. Following lunch, we take a wonderful tour of Edinburg Castle where you'll find scores of medieval details to photograph. After dinner, we will photograph sunset and twilight from Calton Hill. That elevated perspective offers a grand view of Edinburgh Castle with the old city in the foreground. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 3, Sunday, May 19
This morning we drive west for about 45 minutes to photograph a most unusual and beautiful sculpture, The Kelpies. It consists of two huge horses' heads about 100 feet high made of thousands of pieces of aluminum. It's truly captivating and very photogenic. From there, we drive about an hour to St. Andrews and visit the breathtakingly beautiful ruins of the St. Andrews Cathedral. Construction began in 1158 and continued for over a century. It fell into disuse in the 16th century during the Scottish Reformation when Catholic mass was outlawed. The ancient architecture rises majestically out of a field of green grass, and from every angle it is photogenic.
Our next stop is the imposing 17th century Glamis Castle. It is huge, dramatic, and photogenic. We take a tour of the castle and photograph the classically beautiful decor, and then at twilight, we capture the artfully illuminated facade against the cobalt blue sky. It's a stunning shot. Overnight in a hotel near the castle.
Day 4, Monday, May 20
After breakfast, we drive northeast toward Dunnottar, a 15th-century medieval fortress on a rocky headland. The seascape background and the remarkable location of the fortress make for powerful shots. We then head northwest and stop to photograph 17th century, seven-story Craigievar Castle in Alford. The pink facade and unique architectural design in conjunction with the beautiful grounds offer fabulous photography. As we drive further toward the coast, we enter whiskey country. This is the area of Scotland that is the home of Scotch whiskey, and appropriately we take a tour of the Glenfiddich Distillery to find out how whiskey is made. After lunch, we head toward Elgin to photograph one of the great cathedral ruins in Scotland – 13th century Elgin Cathedral. It looks beautiful in low angled, afternoon light as well as the muted lighting of dusk and twilight. Overnight Elgin.
Day 5, Tuesday, May 21
For those who want to get up early, we can view the ruins of Elgin Cathedral in sunrise lighting. Then, after breakfast, we head west today toward the dramatically beautiful and rugged country of northwest Scotland. We stop in Inverness to photograph the beautiful castle on a hill overlooking the river, and then we have lunch. Enroute to Skye we pass the ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness and stop to photograph it. Be on the lookout for the Loch Ness monster -- what a shot that would be! We reach the famous and very photogenic Eilean Donan castle situated in a stunning setting in the late afternoon. From there we drive on to our hotel in the Isle of Skye and get ready for incredible landscape photography. Overnight in Portree.
Day 6, 7, Wednesday, Thursday, May 22, 23
For two days, we explore the dramatic landscapes of the Isle of Skye. The Old Man of Storr is a formation that is impressive from any angle, and from above the spires you can see forever. The trail that offers the best views is easy to walk on but there is an elevation gain that requires you to be in fairly good condition. If you opt to stay below the spires and shoot from there, you can still get very dramatic pictures. There are also waterfalls that cascade into the ocean, ancient cemeteries, a beautifully situated lighthouse, and more. This is a great place to practice HDR, composition, and exposure plus using a wide angle lens with a dominant foreground. Overnight in Portree.
Day 8, Friday, May 24
We head south this morning toward Ft. William through beautiful mountains and lakes on the lookout for the adorable highland cattle. We check into our beautiful castle hotel, have lunch, and then head south to photograph two outstanding castles. First, we visit Inverary Castle, a spectacular structure that you'll love seeing and photographing. In the late afternoon toward sunset and on our way back to our hotel, we capture the beauty of the ruins of Kilchurn Castle. Overnight Ft. William.
Day 9, Saturday, May 25
After breakfast, we drive a half hour to the Glenfinnan Viaduct and photograph one of the most beautiful scenes in Scotland. An antique steam train crosses an elevated curve surrounded by the lush Scottish landscape. It's an all-time classic travel picture. From the parking area, we will walk on an easy trail to get to the best vantage point. The length of the walk depends on from where you want to shoot. After lunch, Jim will hold a critique session for images you've already taken. In addition, he will give a Photoshop lesson on how to replace a sky in different kinds of situations. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy and photograph our castle hotel. Overnight Ft. William.
Day 10, Sunday, May 26.
We head south today toward Glasgow. Enroute we drive along Loch Lomond and photograph the beautiful vistas in this national park. Near Glasgow we photograph two castle ruins before checking into our hotel, having dinner, and exploring Glasgow by night. Overnight Glasgow.
Day 11, Monday, May 27
Today we will explore Glasgow's most beautiful architecture including Glasgow University, founded in 1451, the Templeton Building, Oran Mor, Ashton Lane, and Princes Square. After our farewell dinner, we will position ourselves over the River Clyde for the wonderful twilight of the illuminated Squinty Bridge. It's stunning. Overnight in Glasgow.
Day 12, Tuesday, May 28.
We drive to Edinburgh today to the international airport for our return flight home, knowing that we took some of the best travel pictures ever.
Tour cost: $5100.
Includes 11 nights lodging, all breakfasts, welcome dinner, farewell dinner, all ground transportation, entrance fees for two castle tours, entrance fees to castle ruins, whiskey distillery tour, photo instruction and critiques.
International airfare, meals not included in the itinerary, travel cancellation insurance, alcohol, and items of a personal nature.
Single supplement: $1050.