digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

Get Inspired · Find Creativity · Seek Adventure

Scotland Photo Tour

Next Photo Tour of Scotland dates: May 15 – May 25, 2019

Journey back in time with us to a place of untamed natural beauty, rich with myth, and legend. From the towering medieval castles in the lowlands to the sweeping landscape of the highlands, in Scotland, adventure awaits.

Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lachalsh, Scotland featured in our photo tour of scotland

From the windswept moors that were once battlegrounds to the hidden mysteries of Loch Ness, Scotland has captivated visitors for centuries. You will see the towering mountains of Glencoe, experience the out of this world landscape of Skye and warm yourself on a visit to a world class scotch distillery or two.

Scotland Photo Tour – Castles & Distilleries – 11 Days

  • Where: Scotland
  • When: May 15 – May 25, 2019
  • Length: 11 Days (10 nights)
  • Who: You and 11 other photography enthusiasts.
  • What: An 11-day photo tour of Scotland, catering to photographing in the best locations at the best time of day for light. You will travel and learn in an informal small group setting, with a flexible schedule (including free time to explore) and customized photography tips and tutoring in the field to match the group members. This tour is also perfect to bring non-photographers along as well. Although it is customized for photographers there is still a lot to be enjoyed even without a camera in hand.
  • Why: Total photography immersion, in a safe and relaxed environment, with experienced professional photographers, and expert local guides (where applicable) providing lots of hands-on help.

Skye Scotland

Join us on this scenic photo tour of Scotland as we travel from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye. Passing through lochs, mountains, fairy pools, castles, and whiskey distilleries along the way.

How much is this tour?

This tour is designed to offer you both adventure and comfort. In Scotland, we will stay at 3 and 4-star hotels and all of your meals will be included. We also take care of little incidentals like water daily, entrance fees for all attractions, and snacks on the transport for a smooth easy experience.

***The minimum number of people required to run the tour is eight.***

Group Size Price
10 – 12 People
Nice group size with a maximum of 12 people
$5295 USD
Small Group Supplement
With less than 10 people (8 – 9), a small group fee will apply
+$400 USD

Maximum group size: 12

This is less than many other Scottish photo tours which include 15 – 20 people – please look at that when researching and comparing tours!

NOTE: We have lowered the maximum number of participants on this tour to 12. This is less than many other photography tours which include 15 – 20 people – please look at that when researching and comparing tours. Keeping the group sizes small allows for a smaller, more intimate group in order to give you the best experience.

This means you will have more time with the tour leaders (there are 2 on this tour), and a really nice group size.

Remaining Spots: 9

Single Supplement Price:

  • Prices quoted are for double occupancy. NOTE: You will be paired with someone of the same gender if you do not have a travel partner and request a roommate – if one is not available you will be charged the single supplement.
  • Price for single room is an additional $495 USD

Not all tours are made the same

Let’s take a closer look a few things. If you’re looking at other Scotland photo tours and doing some comparisons, here are some factors to consider:

#1 – we have scheduled this tour in May which is a more popular time of year to go because the weather is usually better.

Many photo tours go to Scotland in October or November when prices are lower, but the chances of inclement weather are MUCH higher. So we’ve decided to go when it will give you the best chance to get your best photos and not have rain, pea soup fog or even snow. So keep in mind the prices will reflect that. You can save a few bucks if you’re willing to take a chance in the late fall OR come with us in May!

#2 – two tour leaders!

Take a close look at how many tour participants there are compared to photography tour leaders. For this tour we have two leaders (myself and Kav who is from the UK and has personally scouted and planned this itinerary for us!) to a maximum of 12 guests. That’s a 6:1 ratio.

#3 – We include almost everything – we go to castles, a distillery, up a mountain on a gondola, on a 4×4 ride and more.

All of the activities and events are included in your tour price as well as all the meals.

That can make a big difference in the price so look closely at what is included. The only things we don’t include are alcoholic beverages (other than a tasting at the distillery), personal souvenirs and purchases, and your international flight.

Do you love to travel? Are you are as obsessed with travel and photography as we are?

Then you need to join us in Scotland for a highland and lowland adventure you will not want to miss. Not only will you learn how to take better photographs, through the support of our expert teachers, but you can rest assured you will travel to some of the best locations Scotland has to offer photographers.

profile-pic
Greg Maloney Australia

Learn more about photography

I liked the opportunity to learn more about photography with professionals in such a diverse and beautiful country.


Sunset through the valley at Glencoe Scotland

Elgol Beach with Cuillin mountain ranges in the background, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Best Light

This photography tour to Scotland has been designed to make sure each day you are always photographing in the best light possible.

Over the 11 days, you will learn the best time of day to photograph and how to overcome any challenging lighting situations (like weather, tourists, etc.) you may face with a focus on capturing the inspirational Scottish landscape.

Expect castles at sunrise, mountains at sunset, and everything in between.

The Best Locations

Where others might go in, we go around. Don’t expect the typical tourist locations. On this tour, we take you beyond the tourist trail.

This is a custom designed travel tour, by a photographer, for photography enthusiasts. What you can expect is a journey through the highlands and the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

From iconic historical sites to world-famous whiskey distilleries Scotland doesn't disappoint.

Less Rushed

Nobody likes to be rushed. So rest assured, on our photography tours, we prefer to take our time.

We always keep our group sizes small to make sure you have the time you need to get the best photographs possible. That means if you feel like taking a break, and skipping a location or exploring on your own, that’s not a problem.

We are here to support your photographic passion, and if that means taking a break that’s fine by us!

Scottish whisky in a glass

Jacobite steam stream going across Glenfinnan viaduct, Glenfinnan, Scotland

Beautiful Castles and Historic Whisky

Photographers love Scotland, and for good reason. In a country brimming with stories of Loch Ness Monsters and Highland warriors, it’s easy to understand why.

Like medieval castles? On this tour, you will photograph sunrise and sunset at the enchanting Eilean Donan Castle and spend an afternoon at the ruins of Urquhart Castle, overlooking Loch Ness.

With picnic lunches at Talisker Bay and hearty dinners in traditional Scottish Inns. On this photo tour, even your meals will have a sense of fun and adventure.

Awaken your senses with whiskey tasting at the Dalwhinnie distillery and learn about the traditional art of malt whisky distilling. Then put your knowledge to the test by sampling sumptuous the single malts with specially selected chocolates.

One-on-One Access to Tour Leaders

Come along and join us on a journey through one of the safest and most awe-inspiring destinations in this part of the world.

Your tour leaders are sure to work in some special surprises. Is light painting or food photography up your alley? We’ll add in fun, offbeat photo outings to play with specific skills and photo tricks.

We specially-design our tour as a small group experience. You’ll have plenty of room to find just the right light and with a 6:1 ratio of guests to photo leaders, you have easy one-on-one access to your experienced tour leaders.

We will only be accepting a maximum of 12 guests on this photography tour.

Improve Your Camera Skills

If you like photo vacations with an emphasis on improving your camera skills at the same time, a smaller group presents a greater chance you’ll learn what you came to – and then some!

Over the course of the tour, you will get help in areas you may be struggling with, in a small group setting, out in the field.

This will help maximize your learning opportunities and give you time to get individual help, ask questions, get your images reviewed (time and schedule permitting) and allow us to customize the tour dynamically based on guest needs and skill level.

Scottish Castles & Whisky – Delve into Scotland's Rich Culture

Overflowing with a rich history, it is impossible not to be inspired by Scotland. From castles to whiskey distilleries. Placid lochs to the tempestuous North Sea. The flora and fauna of the moors to the rugged beauty of the Nevis Range. Scotland is a country of extremes just waiting for you to explore.

With such magnificent scenery, it really is no wonder Scotland has played the backdrop in so many Hollywood movies – some of which you will get to visit on this tour. If landscape photography is your thing, you will struggle to find many other places in the world that match up to Scotland.

Join us as we travel from historic Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye. Passing through volcanic Glencoe to scenic Fort William. We pause in Glenfinnan to photograph the breathtaking Glenfinnan viaduct before continuing on to Kyle of Lochalsh the gateway to the furthest point on our tour, the picturesque Isle of Skye.

Come along on this exciting, one-of-a-kind tour, designed by photographers for photographers of all levels. Scotland provides the scene, all you have to do is take the shot. Will you join us?

profile-pic
Frances Kuelz USA

Great opportunity and safe environment to do so

I believe it was a great opportunity to see this amazing country of Morocco and do it with a safe environment. I also feel photographers love textures, colors and truly loved all the smells from herbs and spices.


This is a tentative schedule, may not be exactly as shown here:

Day 1 – Edinburgh (D)
Upon arrival in Edinburgh, you will be met at the hotel, where you will check in and relax for the afternoon enjoying shortbread and British tea (or coffee). After the welcome meeting and orientation, we will enjoy our first evening meal together at the hotel.

Novotel Edinburgh Center Hotel (4 Star)

Lagangarbh Hut, Glencoe, Scotland

Day 2 – Glencoe (B, L, D)
Our day will begin with a drive through the spectacular Scottish countryside to Loch Lubnaig for our first shoot. After a picnic lunch, we continue on to explore Loch Achtriochtan in Glencoe. Then a quick stop at Lagangarbh Hut before enjoying a cozy dinner at a traditional Scottish Inn.

Ballachulish Hotel (3-star)

A lone scotsman in a kilt at the Three Sisters view point, Glencoe, Scotland

Day 3 – Glencoe (B, L, D)
We start the morning bright and early to catch the sunrise on Etive Mor before continuing to the iconic Black Rock Cottage for an early morning shoot. Upon return to our hotel, we will enjoy breakfast after which you will have some free time before lunch. The afternoon will be spent photographing Loch Leven before hiking (or driving) back to the hotel for dinner.

Ballachulish Hotel (3-star)

loch leven glencoe scotland

Day 4 – Fort William (B, D)
We begin our third day together driving out to the Nevis Range where we will take the UK’s only gondola up Scotland's eighth highest mountain. Once at the top of Aonach Moor, we will enjoy lunch followed by a photo walk.

Once back down the mountain we will take a drive to photograph the iconic Old Boat of Corpach before continuing on to the hotel for evening meal.

Alexandra Hotel (3 Star)

Old Boat of Corpach with Ben Nevis in the background, Fort William, Scotland

Day 5 – Fort William Distillery tour (B, L, D, W)
Did someone say whiskey tasting?

That’s right, today you will spend the morning at the highest whiskey distillery currently in Scotland. You can’t get more Scottish than that! After a tour of the distillery, you will sample the world class Dalwhinnie whiskey for yourself before enjoying a picnic lunch.

We will then take a short drive to explore the magical Ardverikie Estate with its iconic castle. Onboard our 4x4s we will explore the extensive grounds and scenic landscape and look to photograph the many Red Deer that roam the hills in the area. This also a great opportunity to practice art directing our photos using our 4x4s as the models.

We will end the day with a delicious three-course evening meal served at our hotel.

Alexandra Hotel (3 Star)

Scotch whisky being poured into a glass with a bottle behind

Day 6 – Kyle of Lochalsh (B, L, D)
Just in case you indulged a little too much in the whiskey the day before, today the morning is your own to relax at the hotel or explore the local area at your leisure.

We will travel together just before lunch to Glenfinnan Viaduct for lunch before photographing the train bridge best know from its staring roll in the Harry Potter films.

After you have settled into the hotel we will take a short drive to Eilean Donan Castle for a sunset shoot.

Kyle Hotel (3 Star)

the stunning beauty of Eilean Donan castle at night

Day 7 – Kyle of Lochalsh / Isle of Skye (B, L, D)
This morning we give you the option of a few extra hours sleep or to return to Eilean Donan Castle for a sunrise shoot.

After lunch, we will drive to the magical Fairy Pools. Yes, that’s right fairy pools! We will spend the afternoon photographing the beautiful rock pools and waterfalls filled with crystal clear water.

After dinner at our hotel, we will take a drive to Elgol Bay to photograph the sunset.

Kyle Hotel (3 Star)

Elgol Beach with Cuillin mountain ranges in the background, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Day 8 – Kyle of Lochalsh / Isle of Skye (B, L, D)
After a relaxing morning, we will take a drive to Talisker Bay for a picnic lunch and photoshoot.

Late afternoon we will continue on to photograph the enchanted Sligachan Bridge.

Our day isn’t quite over, after dinner we will take a drive to Neist Point Lighthouse for a sunset shoot.

Kyle Hotel (3 star)

neist point lighthouse at Isle of Skye Scotland

Day 9 – Loch Ness (B, L, D)
It’s an early start today so we can arrive in Quarang to photograph the sunrise.

After breakfast we will return once more to Eilean Donan Castle, this time we will enter the castle for a picnic lunch before continuing to the legendary Loch Ness where you will have some free time to relax or go hunting for Nessy.

Loch Ness Lodge (3 star)

Eilean Donan castle, Scotland

Day 10 – Edinburgh (B, L, D)
After a morning cruise on Loch Ness, we will visit Urquhart Castle before returning to Edinburgh together.

On arrival in Edinburgh, we will check into the hotel before enjoying a farewell dinner together.

Doubletree Edinburgh City (4 star)

boats on Loch Leven Glencoe Scotland

Day 11 – Leave for home (B)
After we share our final breakfast at the hotel your journey home begins. Alternatively, you can choose to extend your trip, at your own expense, and stay on a few more days in Edinburgh.

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland

profile-pic
Sharon Zurbrigg Morocco Photo Tour

Beyond pleased with the trip!

Every day was a pleasant surprise and I really didn't want to know the agenda! We explored places that I would never have found on my own.

I have met some absolute wonderful photography friends and I would like to have another gathering of our group!


Your Photo Tour Leaders:

Photo tour leader Kav DadfarKav Dadfar

One of your tour leaders for the Scotland photo tour is Kav Dadfar, a full-time photographer and writer based on the outskirts of London. Kav has been visiting Scotland ever since he was a “wee lad” and has returned numerous times to photograph its stunning landscape.

From exploring historic Edinburgh to hiking the Quiraing loop in wind and fog. From avoiding the midges in the faraway shores of the Orkney Isles to sleeping in the car waiting for the right light in Glencoe, the lure of this mythical land keeps pulling him back.

Kav has a wealth of experience in photographing high-end stock shots as well as shooting assignments and commercial work for various clients over the years.

His images have been used by the likes of Condé Nast, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, American Express, multiple National newspapers and many more. As a regular writer for various photography websites, Kav has written over 150 articles on photography.

photo tour leader Darlene HildebrandtDarlene Hildebrandt

Your second tour leader for this photo tour of Scotland is Darlene. Darlene is the creator of Digital Photo Mentor, a photography teacher, tour leader, traveler, and a cat owner.

She has over 30 years of experience as a professional photographer, has been teaching since 2011 and has led over 8 photo tours and 20 photography workshops.

Darlene is a Fuji user but speaks almost all other photography languages. Whatever your skill level and experience, she can help you unlock the next level and take better photos.

Cost of Photo Tour of Scotland

We have lowered the maximum number of participants on this tour to 12. This is less than many other Scotland tours which include 15 – 20 people – please look at that when researching and comparing tours. Keeping the group sizes small allows for a smaller, more intimate group in order to give you the best experience.

This means you will have more time with the tour leader(s), and a really nice group size.

The minimum number of people required to run the tour is eight.

Group Size Price
10 – 12 People
Nice group size with a maximum of 12 people
$5295 USD
Small Group Supplement
With less than 8 people (8 – 9), a small group fee will apply
+$400 USD

Max group size: 12

This is less than many other photo tours of Scotland, and we've decided to keep the group smaller for a more personalized tour.

Remaining Spots: 9

Single Supplement Price:

  • Prices quoted are for double occupancy. NOTE: You will be paired with someone of the same gender if you do not have a travel partner and request a roommate – if one is not available you will be charged the single supplement.
  • Price for single room is an additional $495 USD.
$750 to hold your spot, with the balance due 90 days prior to the trip. The full cancellation policy is on the next page, prior to making your payment.
NOTE: There must be a minimum of 8 people registered for the tour. Do not book your flights until we inform you that we've reached the minimum number of people.

The price of the tour includes:

  • 10 nights hotel accommodations.
  • Meals – 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 11 dinners (includes non-alcoholic beverages and tips).
  • Air-conditioned transportation – included driver, fuel, and insurance.
  • Excursions (Gondola, cruise).
  • Entrance fees for castles and distilleries.
  • Organized photo shoots.
  • Photography lessons in the field and image reviews one-on-one (as time permits).
  • Photography tutoring and help as needed, you just have to ask.
  • Portage tips for bags.

The price DOES NOT include:

  • Your flight or other travel to Scotland.
  • Tips for your guide, driver, and tour leaders.
  • Lunches on your free days.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Personal spending.
  • Optional activities like being fitted for chain mail, storming a castle, spa treatments, etc.

Flights to Scotland: We travel to Scotland through Edinburgh Airport. Make your way to your lodging in Edinburgh City for the tour start date of May 15, 2019. Public transport, Ubers or taxis are easily accessible from both the airport or the train station.

Note: We actually recommend arriving a day or two early in order to get acclimatized to the time zone.

Flights home from Scotland: The tour ends and you depart from Edinburgh so make your travel arrangements accordingly. The last day of the tour is May 25th, 2019.

profile-pic
Lucia Brazil

I really enjoyed this trip to Morocco

I really needed this opportunity to loose the fear of clicking, to see the camera as a part of my body, a toy I love to play with, a BFF.

What to look for, the details, include people as a point of much interest, how others look at a scene ,bending low, searching other angles, other types of light.

Practicing is much different than simply learning the theory and this photo tour gave me much time to practice.


FAQs

What is the physical fitness level needed for this tour?

While we have made every effort to ensure that we keep walks easy and short distances, for most locations there will be some walking involved. This will be on rough terrain with rocks and sometimes muddy.

If you are in good health and fitness level, you will be fine. But this tour is NOT recommended for people with mobility issues.

Will there be much walking uphill?

Some of our walks will involve some gentle uphill walking. But as long as you are of a decent level of fitness you shouldn’t find them difficult.

What skill level do I have to be in photography?

We encourage all skill levels to join us on this tour. It is not about what you know it's about doing photography together, enjoying the adventure, and learning a few things along the way. Whatever your level you can get some tips from the tour leader. We do however recommend you have a basic level of knowledge and experience using your camera. You don't even have to be a photographer, but can come along and appreciate the relaxed pace of this tour.

What sort of clothing and equipment should I bring?

Ideally, you should bring comfortable outdoor, quick drying clothes in case there is a downpour of rain. A waterproof jacket and some waterproof trousers might also come in handy. Walking poles are also useful but not essential.

We may encounter very muddy and soggy ground and we will cross a couple of small streams when walking along the Fairy Pools. So comfortable well-fitted walking boots and socks are vital to protecting your feet and ankles. Sneakers are not suitable for most of the days on this trip.

I don’t like being on boats, can I sit out of the cruise on Loch Ness?

Of course, if you don’t like to be on the boat we can arrange for you to be driven to Urquhart castle to meet us there. Let us know prior to the trip and we can make alternative arrangements.

Why is the schedule tentative? Will things change?

As with any location photography, we are reliant on the weather.

Weather in Scotland has historically been good in May, however as we will be in highlands, adverse weather may cause us to have to change our plans slightly. For example, high winds or fog may mean the gondolas could be closed that day.

What about midges?

Midges are small flying insects similar to mosquitoes. Although midges begin to emerge during May (usually mid-late May), these are usually non-biting males. The female midge which bites, tend to hatch in early June. There are plenty of options for protection from midges ranging from repellents and wipes to head nets.

What if I don't have a roommate but don't want to pay the extra for a single?

If you request to share a room and we cannot match you with a roommate you will be required to pay the single supplement fee. We do our best to pair everyone up but due to gender mismatches, we may not always have equal numbers of males or females. You can certainly bring a friend along to share.

Group Size Price
10 – 12 People
Nice group size with a maximum of 12 people
$5295 USD
Small Group Supplement
With less than 10 people (8 – 9), a small group fee will apply
+400 USD

Max Group Size: 12

This is less than many other Scotland tours, and we've decided to keep the group smaller for a more personalized tour.

Remaining Spots: 9

Single Supplement Price:

  • Prices quoted are for double occupancy. NOTE: You will be paired with someone of the same gender if you do not have a travel partner and request a roommate – if one is not available you will be charged the single supplement.
  • Price for single room is an additional $495 USD.
$750 to hold your spot, with the balance due 90 days prior to the trip. The full cancellation policy is on the next page, prior to making your payment.
NOTE: There must be a minimum of 8 people registered for the tour. Do not book your flights until we inform you that we've reached the minimum number of people.
 
profile-pic
Nicky Moloney Australia

A truly memorable trip

 

Thank you for a truly memorable trip. It had been my dream to visit Morocco for such a long time and being one of my 60th Birthday experiences I shall treasure it all.

 
profile-pic
Lucia Brazil

One of my best trips ever!

 

Maybe because our husbands and wives were not there, maybe because we all shared the same interest, the group was really ONE, not little groups as we always find in a trip. Same age, same experience, no competition, everybody relaxed, funny talks, etc etc

I had much fun and enjoyed every minute of these days. One of my best trips ever.

 
profile-pic
Greg Maloney Australia

Learn more about photography

 

I liked the opportunity to learn more about photography with professionals in such a diverse and beautiful country.

Our Photo Tours & Workshops

Click here for our complete list of photo tours of Central America, Africa, Asia, and South America, and if you'd like more hands-on, photography education, you'll love one of our workshops, held in Western Canada (new locations coming soon).

Luminar 2018 ON SALE now $59 for a limited time only Save another $10 with this code: DIGITALPHOTOMENTOR