Landscape photography workshop, The Outer Hebrides

I have just finished running a landscape photography workshop on The Outer Hebrides. We were based on the Isle of Lewis, at Lews Castle . A wonderful group of photographers joined myself and Paul Sanders for a 6 night photography workshop in one of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in Scotland.

Lews Castle & Dalmor Beach, Outer Hebrides

Lews Castle provided us with an incredible base for our landscape photography workshop on the Outer Hebrides. We stayed in self catering apartments with the added bonus of having the Castle and its grounds for us to use. We were greeted on the first day by perfect wave conditions at Dalmor. Having seen the forecast the day before I just knew it was going to be a great place to photograph on the Friday morning. With big waves, sea stacks and untouched sands first thing, we also enjoyed tea and biscuits on the beach after a few hours photographing. After a lovely lunch at Gearrannan Black House village we headed on over to Bosta beach where there was a stillness and quietness in contrast to the roaring waves earlier in the day.

Cliff Beach, The Outer Hebrides

The next day we headed out to another favourite beach of my mine, Cliff beach. Also known for great waves! I have spent many years photographing on the Isle of Lewis and am very familiar with how each beach works and how the varying forecasts can affect the area. So Cliff looked like a good option. And it didn’t disappoint as we arrived to low clouds clinging to the distant hills and a soft gentle light that gave the whole beach an eerie and soft atmosphere. 

photography workshop on the isle of lewis

Reef Beach, Isle of Lewis

After collecting lunch from a food truck we enjoyed homemade burgers and paninis on the beach as we watched the weather change before our eyes. Rain cleared to rainbows and the sun began to break through. Next up we headed out to Reef beach as I knew that if we were to have a sunny afternoon, there is no better than this Hebridean beach. The turquoise water that the Hebrides is known for stands out when the sun shines, the colour of the sand is white / golden and the swaying dunes just adds to the beauty. With lots of photographic subject matters, we spent an enjoyable afternoon and it was followed by a few of us ending on a wild swim in the beautiful water. Landscape photography workshop, The Outer Hebrides

Milky way workshop, Outer Hebrides

The day wasn’t over though as the forecast showed clear skies and I suggested that those who were interested in photographing the night skies came back out later that night. After a hearty meal at the Cabarfedih Hotel, we dressed warmly and packed up to go to the Callanish Stones.

We found ourselves alone under the starry sky with the stones being gently lit up by surrounding houses, the Milky Way showing itself behind the stones. Photographing the night skies like this takes skill and experience and is one of the things i have dedicated time to learn to do. So helping everyone capture what can be a very tricky subject matter is something I am very passionate about. It was a truly unique and memorable experience for everyone on the outer Hebrides photography workshop.

Milky way photography worksshop on he hebrides

Isle of Harris photography workshop

I ensured that each day was varied in terms of subject matter so we headed out to photograph some local sheilings on Sunday and had a gentle day after the late night the day before.

Monday saw a trip down to the Isle of Harris where we visited a few of the beaches I know so well. The weather was grey and challenging but the Isle of Harris is always beautiful. Photo credit: Chris ward photography.

photography workshop on an outer hebrides beach

The Butt of Lewis

Our final day of the landscape photography workshop on The Outer Hebrides saw a trip to the Butt of Lewis and the lighthouse where we experienced beautiful morning skies, churning seas and even a pod of dolphins. After a lunch at the Callanish Stones restaurant, we headed to another beach on the west coast which offered a variety of subject matter. From ruined houses and sheep on the hillside to lochs with reeds, a river running downhill offering great foregrounds to waves crashing onto the beach. We gathered on our last night together to review all the work and were delighted to see how everyone captured their own unique view of the week. All in all the most wonderful first workshop since Covid disrupted the past year. I will be heading on now to run Loch Ness and Glen Affric, Harris and Orkney before the year ends.