Rain on Harris Hills, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Outer Hebrides 3-9 April 2023

Outer Hebrides Photography workshop 

3-9 April 2023

£1895 pp (deposit £300)

At a glance

Dates: 3-9 April 2023

Location: Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Accomodation: 6 nights at the Harris hotel, Harris

Included: 6 nights accomodation, breakfasts at the hotel, transportation during the workshop, tuition from Mark McColl

Excluded: meals/drinks not specified, insurance, travel to and from the Outer Hebrides

Cost: £1895 pp (deposit £300)

Reserve a place 

The Outer Hebrides stretch around 80 miles from the north of Lewis to the south of Harris, and with more than half of the population living in the capital of Stornoway, the islands have a definite remote feel. Despite being so close geographically, Harris is quite different to Lewis, with the West coast in particular home to perhaps the UK’s finest and most remote beaches. As a consequence you can find yourself alone on an expanse of beach stretching for miles, with crystal clear waters resembling those of the Caribbean. To the North, Lewis is much larger and more rugged, yet retains a feeling of remoteness and of life lived at a slower pace.

This tour will include plenty of time to take in the beaches and salt marshes at Luskentyre, Scarista and Traigh Mor on Western Harris, with their gorgeous white sands, marram grasses and views across to Taransay and the Harris hills. We will spend time making images on these beaches at dawn, dusk and throughout the day, photographing rolling waves against the backdrop of the Harris hills. Crofting was once a traditional way of life in the Outer Hebrides, and many of the crofts are still standing. Though many are sadly abandoned, they can be very photogenic, often located in idyllic settings. We will spend time photographing these old crofts, again making images of them against the constantly changing light.

To the North on Lewis we will visit the famous standing stones at Callanais, which have stood for over 5000 years. We will photograph them against the Hebridean dawn and the changing light that follows, and will also visit some of the beaches on Lewis, as well as small local villages and the rugged coastline.

Our hotel is well placed to visit both Harris and Lewis, and during our tour we will react to the ever-changing atlantic weather for which this area is renowned, taking our time to seek out original compositions and make memorable images. The hotel is also within easy walking distance of the famous Harris Gin distillery, which apart from selling a much sought-after tipple, has a rather fine little restaurant. Sunrise and sunset times are reasonable in early April, and in between sunrise and sunset the rapidly changing weather makes for dramatic photography right throughout the day. Think storm clouds, rain, sun, and rainbows all in about 10 minutes! Photography is the priority of this trip and meals will fit in around this. This tour is suitable for photographers of all abilities. The dates and length of the tour have been chosen to maximise the opportunities for incredible, changeable light in an outstandingly beautiful part of the UK.

Passing storm, Outer hebrides, Scotland

Minimum group size - 3     

Difficulty grading Easy / moderate: Most of the locations are easily accessible, and  an average level of fitness will be required for walking on beaches / gentle inclines. The beaches are expansive but can be explored at a leisurely pace.

Included • 6  nights accommodation staying at the Harris Hotel in Tarbert, Harris, on a double / twin room for single occupancy basis • Breakfasts at the hotel • All transportation during the workshop • Tuition from Mark McColl

Excluded • Meals / drinks not specified • Insurance • Travel to and from Harris

Advised to bring… • Camera body, lenses (wide angle, telephoto), cable release • Tripod • batteries / memory cards / laptop / cleaning equipment • Filters • Warm waterproof clothing (layering advised – base, fleece, outer waterproof layer, waterproof trousers and thermals, gloves, hat) • Waterproof walking boots / wellingtons (wellingtons in particular would be useful for photography on the beaches).

Getting to Harris / Lewis There are two relatively easy ways to get to Harris / Lewis – either by flying to Stornoway (there are direct flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow airport) or by taking the ferry from Uig on the Isle of Skye to Tarbert. The former is by far the quickest route, the latter for someone perhaps wishing to also take in Skye as part of a more extended tour of the Scottish islands.

Rolling waves, Luskentyre, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
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