Ultimate Autumn Gold Photo Tour 2012

My feet are wet (still), my back is killing me but my heart is full. Now don’t worry, I’m not about to embark on some sort of deep-rooted emotional outpouring (as if) but having just wrapped up our Ultimate Autumn Gold tour – our last of the year – I’m feeling quite…well…if not happy, at least content (I’m told by one of our guests that men are only ever ‘happy’ in short bursts – she may be right).

The 2012 Cairngorms colours were – still are – splendid and although the light could have been kinder, we were given moments of pure magic alongside the inevitable landscape photographer’s curse of self pity when things are “just not quite right.” They rarely are and we’re rarely happy; it’s just the way it is.

Skye was predictably wet (does anyone have an answer to keeping filters dry in driving rain?) but as ever, with hard work and a little imagination, the island delivered. One of my favourite photography locations in Scotland is a remote(ish) beach on Skye’s west coast and if it wasn’t for the rain, I’d probably still be there. Another favourite, Elgol, was full of mood and as each year passes, increasingly full of photographers, which is no bad thing in my book.

We dropped in on Glen Affric along with a seemingly obligatory stop at Ffordes camera shop for coffee and in the case of one guest, an ornamental ceramic cockerel (a vital photographic tool).

So back to happiness…or rather contentedness. There’s something special in sharing photographic experiences with like-minded people. I always say this so forgive the repetition, but we are truly fortunate in the chemistry, dynamics, profile, mix – call it what you will – of our groups. Ultimate Autumn Gold 2012 was no exception. We’re deadly serious about our photography – I hope that goes without saying – but outwith time in the field, there’s nothing wrong with having great fun. And we did lots of that on this tour. It’s important.

These images are not prize-winners but I hope you enjoy them nevertheless. Amidst the wind, the rain and the cold I enjoyed taking them because there’s only one thing better than being in wild places and that’s being in wild places with people who share a sense of the privilege of…well, life really. A sense of humour helps too.

Another year of photo tours draws to a close and with many happy – yes happy – memories in the bank, my thanks on this particular trip go to co-guide Mark Hamblin and (in no particular order) to Margaret (and the pot cockerel), Robyn, Jasmine (check out her cool fashion sense below), Marie, Steve, Kevin, Roger, Mike, Bob, Don, (that) Duncan and Jan for your excellent company. And do remember, men CAN whisk eggs.

If you’d like to join us next year for more photography and frolics in the autumnal Scottish Highlands, our expanded 2013 tour can be booked here

Despite appearances I can testify to the sanity of this strange creature.

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2 Comments

  • Don Hooper says:

    I don’t know where you’ve found the time to sort out these pictures as I haven’t even started on mine yet. However, regardless of what I have managed to obtain this was a great trip, thoroughly enjoyable from all aspects – the people, the places, the food, the accommodation etc. Highly recommended for anybody wishing to book any forthcoming tours!

  • Peter and Mark ,
    Thanks for a nicely preparred expedition and for all the excellent presentation of Scottish nature. Like Don said: thoroughly enjoyable from all aspects ….
    For sure I will follow your future expeditions very attentivelly , considerring my participation again.
    Jan

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