I rarely seem to have time these days to read all the magazines that drop through my door; I’m sure it never used to be the case. One headline however, recently caught my eye: “Make the weather in Photoshop”. Apparently, for those who know what’s what, ice, sun, mist and rain can all be plucked from the digital heavens and inserted into an image with no one being any the wiser. Is that what it’s come to? Is that what nature photography is now about?
My own photography stems from a love of being in wild places. Yes you get wet, yes you get cold but you also come away with something that no software package can manufacture: The Experience. When we started running photo tours back in 1998, it was all about that experience. It was about smelling, tasting, feeling as well as photographing wild places and wild creatures. It still is.
Our 2016 tours continue our (my) obsession with the north and with a desire to expose our guests to some challenges – physically, mentally and photographically. It’s not about making you uncomfortable but about pushing your boundaries just a wee bit.
Our Canadian Rockies Fall on Fire tour for example, has helpings of high luxury but that’s combined with a bit of “off road” photography, to places where few others get to visit. For this trip we’re teaming up with local lensman Adam Gibbs. Our two tours to Iceland both involve extremes – extreme weather and extreme geology. We’ve tried to avoid the honeypots where possible but that won’t compromise our endeavours to put guests in the right location at the right time. And then there’s Scotland.
Caledonia Colour is a themed landscape tour. It focuses on one single habitat – the magnificent Caledonian Pine Forest – allowing us to craft a portfolio of images that tell a story : much more meaningful than a random set of visual trophies from iconic locations. For this tour we focus on the Cairngorms and Torridon.
Highland Odyssey ventures further north than most tours dare – just about as far north as the British mainland goes. In November the weather can be…let’s say…dynamic but equally, it can be sublime. We’re running this tour as a house-party from a 5-star luxury lodge. And then there are our staples – Winter Wildlife and bootcamps for two of Scotland’s most exciting photographic subjects: ospreys and puffins.
If you decide to join us – and I hope you will – we can’t always promise great weather, stunning light or wildlife showing up at a time to suit us, but we can guarantee our best endeavours and an experience that can’t be replicated in any computer.