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Scotland June 6th June 13th    2017

Join International Award Winning Photographer/Educator Jim Welninski and Photography Educator/World Traveler/Grammy Nominee Danny Howard on a unique photographic adventure. We've put together a spectacular 7 day tour of Scotland beginning June 6 through June 13, 2017. We'll be headquartered in a guesthouse in The Lower Highlands. From there we will set out on multiple excursions to photograph ancient castles, magical glens, and timeless lochs. We'll even venture out to The Hebridean Islands to photograph the pink sand and granite outcroppings of a deserted beach. We've secured a local guide to help us make sure we get to the right spots at the right time. Travel through time with us to this ancient land where the 13th century is as though it was yesterday. There is very substantial interest in this trip already so grab a spot while you still can!

Each day is packed with an excursion that presents a ton of photographic opportunities. Scottish Highland beauty is everywhere you look, so your memory cards will be full! This time of year, sunrise is early and sunset is late, so we'll have plenty of time to shoot. The schedule is somewhat flexible and open to changes as necessary but here are some of the highlights:

Day One, Tuesday, June 6: We will gather at Ford Guest House on beautiful Loch Awe, which will serve as headquarters for the week. The day will be spent preparing for the rest of the week and shooting at leisure locally. Jim will give an open workshop where we will have discussions and demonstrations based on group suggestions. This will set the tone for workshops for the rest of the week.

Day Two, Wednesday, June 7: Awaken early for sunrise shoot. Breakfast and then and travel 4 miles to Carnasserie Castle, a 16th century tower house which sits among the prehistoric landscape of Kilmartin Glen. This area contains some of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze age remains in all of Scotland. Then we return to Loch Awe to photograph Ardchonnel Castle on the small island of Innis Chonnell in the Loch. Ardchonnel was probably built in the first half of the 13th century and was held by Clan MacDougall against Robert the Bruce in 1308. We'll spend what's left of the day shooting on Loch Awe, including a sunset shoot. We'll break for dinner and then return to Ford for class in the evening.

Day Three, Thursday, June 8: Awaken early for breakfast and then depart to the northern end of Loch Awe to photograph Kilchurn Castle. Kilchurn sits on a small peninsula in the Loch and is only accessible in the summer. It was built about 1450 and used primarily as a garrison. The rolling hills and landscape in the area will allow us to create epic photographs. The castle was badly damaged by lightning in a vicious storm in 1760 and was abandoned. The ruins of the turret of a tower still sit in the courtyard today. Then we drive further north into the Highlands and spend the better part of the day at Glen Etive. The jaw dropping landscape of Glen Etive appeared in the James Bond film "Skyfall" and in Mel Gibson's classic film "Braveheart". I can't wait to get it in my viewfinder! Our guide will earn his keep on this day! If we're lucky we'll get a sunset shoot in. We'll have dinner and, if time allows and anyone has the energy, we'll have critique and class. We'll be up for it!

Day Four, Friday, June 9: We'll have an early breakfast and drive north to Oban, photographing the landscape along the way. Our ferry to the Isle of Mull leaves at 9:50am. The Isle of Mull , the second largest island in the Hebrides, was first inhabited around 6000 BCE and is populated with cairns and standing stones. We'll photograph the famous Duart Castle, another location featured in "Skyfall. The site of several battles, the castle was built in the 13th century and is the seat of Clan MacLean. Mull is also home to many unpopulated beaches. We'll photograph Fidden Beach with it's beautiful white sands and pink granite outcrops. We'll then go to the nearby Island of Kerrera to photograph Gylen Castle which sits on a promontory overlooking the Firth of Lorne. It was built in 1582 by Clan MacDougall and burned in 1647 during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The castle has a spectacular view of the sea and the inner Hebridean Islands and is a short ferry hop from Oban. We might be lucky and get a sunset shot here. We'll have dinner in Oban and then return to the guesthouse for photo critique and instruction.

Day Five, Saturday, June 10: This is our long driving day. After breakfast, we'll head to Castle Stalker which was featured as "The Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh" in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". The castle was built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall and was actually lost to Clan Campbell in a drunken bet around 1620. It is bewitchingly set on a tidal islet on Loch Linnhe against a dramatic backdrop of mountains and is a classic Scottish Highland image. We then make quite a leap, going from Monty Python to Harry Potter! The famous Glenfinnan Viaduct which carried the Harry Potter train, was completed in 1898 and is a spectacular sight. We'll photograph the viaduct when the Jacobite Steam Train is running over it. Never mind that the surrounding Glenfinnan landscape is spectacular as well and is sure to produce a portfolio-worthy photo or two! After that we will drive north to Loch Duich to shoot the utterly stunning and iconic Eilean Donan Castle, the most photographed castle in Scotland. Construction of the castle began in the early 13th century although there may have been an early Christian monastic cell on the island as early as the 6th century. Situated on a small tidal island where three lochs meet, Eilean Donan was a major fortification against Nordic raiders. The castle is accessible by a stone footbridge, surrounded by majestic scenery, and has been featured in many films including "Highlander" (in one of my favorite scenes from the film) and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". We're sure to fall under the magical, timeless spell of the Highlands as we shoot before, during, and after sunset. (the castle is lit at night) This promises to be a highlight of the trip. We then break for dinner and drive back to the guesthouse.

Day Six, Sunday, June 11: After breakfast, we'll have an extended class time and do some shooting in the local town. Later, we'll leave Ford House and step into Shakespeare and Tolkien's Middle Earth when we arrive at the magical Puck's Glen. The 1-3/4 mile trail takes about 2 hours to complete at a normal pace. But for photographers, who knows? The paths were begun in the 1870s and were built with the idea of creating a fairy tale-like environment. Filled with mossy trails, waterfalls, streams, and a few other surprises, this spot will be sure to produce its share of keepers. On our way back, it's make-up time! We'll be passing a ton of worthy locations all week and this is when we get to stop. We'll do a bit of freelance landscape shooting with recommendations from our guide and our own list of things we've seen. Then, it's back to Ford for critique.

Day Seven, Monday, June 12: We'll have an early breakfast to fuel up and then we'll drive north to probably the most spectacular and beautiful place in Scotland, Glen Coe. The Glen, named after the River Coe which runs through it, is surrounded by wild and precipitous mountains. There are waterfalls at the Pass of Glen Coe where it enters Loch Achtriochtan before flowing into the sea at Loch Leven. This is absolutely gorgeous Highland landscape at its best. We'll spend the entire day here shooting locations featured in "Braveheart", "Harry Potter", "Highlander", "Centurion", "Outlander", and "Rob Roy". This could be the crowning jewel of the entire trip. After returning to the guesthouse we'll end the day with photo critique and class before retiring on our final night in Scotland.

Day Eight, Tuesday, June 13: I'm sure we'll all be a little different after our experiences with this timeless land. We'll pack up and return home with hundreds of photographs and many stories to tell.

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