19th – 26th October
"Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him."
W. Shakespeare, Macbeth
Macbeth may have met his gruesome end but Birnam wood is still alongside the River Tay. Nowadays, the busy A9 trunk road winds past, with thousands of juggernauts and cars per hour beetling northwards toward the Cairngorms, Inverness or even the very northern tip of Scotland at John O’Groats. Few stop to look at the magnificent trees at The Hermitage, just to the west of the road. It’s their loss.
The forests of Perthshire exhibit some of the best autumn colour to be found anywhere in the British Isles. The landscape is awash with orange, yellow and ochre hues; from the towering oaks and sycamores in Birnam to the golden blanket of silver birch that clothe the hills to the north and south of Lochs Tummel and Rannoch. There may even be an icing of snow on the higher mountain tops.
The landscape transitions seamlessly from the intimate to the grand; from the enveloping beech woods alongside the River Garry, at the Pass of Killiekrankie, to the magnificent panorama of Queens View above Loch Tummel. We are stepping back in time when we enter Perthshire's ancient woods; these are remnants of the forests that once covered all of the Highlands but have elsewhere been felled to provide grazing land.
For anywhere that sees as much rain as the Highlands, water is bound to play a huge role in the sculpting of the landscape. Near to our base, the Birks of Aberfeldy contains one of the finest series of falls and tumbling cascades in Scotland. Cloaked in autumnal shades, the surrounding woodland adds immeasurably to the photographic possibilities. Further east, the Rivers Garry and Braan, carving their way through deep gorges, present calmer counterpoints to the trees that line their banks.
The workshop is timed to coincide with peak autumn colour. We will be exploring this in a number of different ways, moving beyond the wider view into a more intimate and abstract perspective. Friendly critique sessions are the cornerstone of my workshop approach. Relatively short daylight hours at this time of year give us plenty of time for these sessions. Impartial criticism can help participants to gain useful insights, not only into technical matters but more importantly into how to advance their thinking about making images.
Hotel kitchens care little for the timetable of landscape photography. For this reason we will have with us a wonderful cook, Saskia. She will look after our culinary needs at a time that best suits our photographic forays. All accommodation is in en-suite rooms in two beautifully renovated historic properties.
The workshop is aimed at all levels of photographic experience.
All transport during workshop
Full board accommodation
Photo tuition from David Ward
Transport to venue
(Free transfer from Pitlochry)
£2,250 for single occupancy
£500 fee payable at time of booking