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Author Topic: Scotland  (Read 8895 times)
Tim_in_BC
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« on: March 09, 2006, 02:19:25 PM »
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I am off to Scotland in May. I will be working my way up the west coast including the Outer Isles of Barra, Uist and Harris. I then plan to cross over to Inverness and work my way down to Stirling. I have planned 2 weeks for this part of the trip.
The last week I am in the Edinburgh area.


Any landscape spots I should not miss?
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larkvi
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006, 09:18:33 PM »
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I am off to Scotland in May.
Any landscape spots I should not miss?
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I Lived in St. Andrews for a year during undergrad, and I got around a bit of the country, from Dumfries to Orkney; I haven't spent much time in the islands, but in the West I would very much recommend Glencoe and Isle of Skye.

Glencoe has great steep hills which highlight the classic glen, given some mist (which I had). On its own, it may be a little bare, and it may be best suited for serving as a backdrop for individual subjects. You will likely find this is a common problem in much of the area you are planning to go to, as the highlands are hills and heather and precious little else in many places. Finding interest will be the challenge in many places.

The Isle of Skye, due to its healthy amount of rain, is absolutely covered with running water. Unless you are cursed with a dry visit or weather so wet that you cannot actually compose, there should be waterfalls all over the place. The high places of that island are beautiful, and likely hold some great shots.

In Edinburgh, climb Arthur's Seat and look out in all directions for some interesting takes on the landscape and skyline; if you can find it, there is a great little guidebook sold by Royal Scotland in their Holyrood shop. There is a park in a valley alongside the Royal Mile (High Street) which provides some interesting possibilities for incorporating the valley and the castle into the rest of the city (or cutting it out entirely). The necropolitic monuments on the hills facing the royal mile can provide interesting contrast with the classic city of High Street, and wandering some of the smaller paths around the city core can provide some vistas of the Royal Mile itself.

I did not go down to Holy Isle (in the borders), but if you can make it down there, the proffile of Lindisfarne is striking--I particularly like the way Lee Frost has captured it.

If conditions are spring-like, I would recommend New Abbey, a small town outside of Dumfries. Now, this may be out of your way, as it is South of where you are going, but distances are small in Scotland, and the day I was there in late March, it was the textbook definition of pastoral idyll: ruined abbey (Sweetheart Abbey), fields of cows, forested hills, spring flowers, a rushing stream. I very much liked the area around Dumfries; if you are looking for a more barren look, there is Threave Castle nearby, and Caerlaverock Castle is nice, though I am not sure there are any good angles to put it into a landscape.

Outside of Stirling, do consider [a href=\"http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/dollar/castlecampbell/]Castle Gloom[/url] (Castle Campbell), which is situated on a hillside overlooking a steeply-descending stream ("the burn of sorrow"). It probably is best with fall color and I am not sure what angle you can get on the castle itself (my visit was between SLRs and I was a tourist, not a photographer), but I would look into it, even if you eventually decide against it.

I could make a variety more suggestions, but I am not sure what aspects of the Scottish lanscape you are particularly interested in capturing, and therefore will restrain myself (if the above could be called restrained).
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Tim_in_BC
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 10:45:05 PM »
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Awesome suggestions larkvi. Being a Campbell I will visit the old castle. I live on the Pacific coast and was raised on the Atlantic coast of Canada so water is a big factor. I often see treeless landscapes in pictures of Scotland and look forward to this as I live in BC and see lots of trees.

Thanks for your time it has helped alot.



Quote
I Lived in St. Andrews for a year during undergrad, and I got around a bit of the country, from Dumfries to Orkney; I haven't spent much time in the islands, but in the West I would very much recommend Glencoe and Isle of Skye.

Glencoe has great steep hills which highlight the classic glen, given some mist (which I had). On its own, it may be a little bare, and it may be best suited for serving as a backdrop for individual subjects. You will likely find this is a common problem in much of the area you are planning to go to, as the highlands are hills and heather and precious little else in many places. Finding interest will be the challenge in many places.

The Isle of Skye, due to its healthy amount of rain, is absolutely covered with running water. Unless you are cursed with a dry visit or weather so wet that you cannot actually compose, there should be waterfalls all over the place. The high places of that island are beautiful, and likely hold some great shots.

In Edinburgh, climb Arthur's Seat and look out in all directions for some interesting takes on the landscape and skyline; if you can find it, there is a great little guidebook sold by Royal Scotland in their Holyrood shop. There is a park in a valley alongside the Royal Mile (High Street) which provides some interesting possibilities for incorporating the valley and the castle into the rest of the city (or cutting it out entirely). The necropolitic monuments on the hills facing the royal mile can provide interesting contrast with the classic city of High Street, and wandering some of the smaller paths around the city core can provide some vistas of the Royal Mile itself.

I did not go down to Holy Isle (in the borders), but if you can make it down there, the proffile of Lindisfarne is striking--I particularly like the way Lee Frost has captured it.

If conditions are spring-like, I would recommend New Abbey, a small town outside of Dumfries. Now, this may be out of your way, as it is South of where you are going, but distances are small in Scotland, and the day I was there in late March, it was the textbook definition of pastoral idyll: ruined abbey (Sweetheart Abbey), fields of cows, forested hills, spring flowers, a rushing stream. I very much liked the area around Dumfries; if you are looking for a more barren look, there is Threave Castle nearby, and Caerlaverock Castle is nice, though I am not sure there are any good angles to put it into a landscape.

Outside of Stirling, do consider Castle Gloom (Castle Campbell), which is situated on a hillside overlooking a steeply-descending stream ("the burn of sorrow"). It probably is best with fall color and I am not sure what angle you can get on the castle itself (my visit was between SLRs and I was a tourist, not a photographer), but I would look into it, even if you eventually decide against it.

I could make a variety more suggestions, but I am not sure what aspects of the Scottish lanscape you are particularly interested in capturing, and therefore will restrain myself (if the above could be called restrained).
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 01:50:03 AM »
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The Outer Hebrides are wonderfull, as is Skye. Glencoe, Wester Ross, Stirling town - all very beautiful.

Have a look at my site for my favourite places. Last year we visited Lewis, Harris and Skye  


Here is a Skye one - hope you like it!

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larkvi
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 03:52:46 AM »
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It occurred to me to mention a few other things:

<a href="http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index.htm">Historic Scotland</a> manages many of the most interesting heritage sites in Scotland, including Edinbugh Castle, Stirling Castle, Caslt Cambell, and many other sites that you may wish to visit while there. They offered short-term passes (day, week, fortnight) when I was there, and I found that my yearly pass paid for itself not only in terms of avoided fees, but also because I felt no compunction about going into any HS site that I was near, whether or not I thought it would be worth the money. I think it costs about 17 just to go into the Edinburgh and Stirling castles, so if this interests you, consider that avoided cost right there. You will have to determine how many sites you are visiting, and I am sorry to say I do not know the cost.

In the Highlands, there is a place called the Highland Life Centre or CLan life centre or something like that--I cannot seem to find it, but I am shure tourist information could tell you what it is. If you are interested in Scottish history and clan life, the fellows who run this place debunk much of the Victorian/Edwardian clan myth while giving an amusing and informative description of clan life.

<a href="http://www.eileandonancastle.com/">Eilean Donan Castle</a> is famous from the outside, but the inside is furnished in a cluttered Victorian manner and the tour is rather dull. I seem to recall that there are no good views from the inside.

When you are in Edinburgh, St Andrews is easily worth a day of your time. The view along the East sands leading up to the old part of the town is very nice--it is this view that can be seen in Chariots of Fire. The ruined castle is perhaps only moderately interesting, though I do like walking down into the existing siege tunnels (though it is just a tunnel with a coal vein). The view from the top of St Rule's (St Regulus') tower, in the graveyard of the ruined cathedral, over the city and castle, is excellent.
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Tim_in_BC
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2006, 08:59:28 AM »
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More great info. Thanks.



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It occurred to me to mention a few other things:

<a href="http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index.htm">Historic Scotland</a> manages many of the most interesting heritage sites in Scotland, including Edinbugh Castle, Stirling Castle, Caslt Cambell, and many other sites that you may wish to visit while there. They offered short-term passes (day, week, fortnight) when I was there, and I found that my yearly pass paid for itself not only in terms of avoided fees, but also because I felt no compunction about going into any HS site that I was near, whether or not I thought it would be worth the money. I think it costs about 17 just to go into the Edinburgh and Stirling castles, so if this interests you, consider that avoided cost right there. You will have to determine how many sites you are visiting, and I am sorry to say I do not know the cost.

In the Highlands, there is a place called the Highland Life Centre or CLan life centre or something like that--I cannot seem to find it, but I am shure tourist information could tell you what it is. If you are interested in Scottish history and clan life, the fellows who run this place debunk much of the Victorian/Edwardian clan myth while giving an amusing and informative description of clan life.

<a href="http://www.eileandonancastle.com/">Eilean Donan Castle</a> is famous from the outside, but the inside is furnished in a cluttered Victorian manner and the tour is rather dull. I seem to recall that there are no good views from the inside.

When you are in Edinburgh, St Andrews is easily worth a day of your time. The view along the East sands leading up to the old part of the town is very nice--it is this view that can be seen in Chariots of Fire. The ruined castle is perhaps only moderately interesting, though I do like walking down into the existing siege tunnels (though it is just a tunnel with a coal vein). The view from the top of St Rule's (St Regulus') tower, in the graveyard of the ruined cathedral, over the city and castle, is excellent.
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Tim_in_BC
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2006, 09:00:52 AM »
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Just what I needed. I have been questioning my decision to spend 6 days on the outer islands but your web page has reassured me.




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The Outer Hebrides are wonderfull, as is Skye. Glencoe, Wester Ross, Stirling town - all very beautiful.

Have a look at my site for my favourite places. Last year we visited Lewis, Harris and Skye   
Here is a Skye one - hope you like it!


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asoames
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2006, 05:37:47 PM »
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Tim,

If you get a chance, take a look at Colin Prior's books. Colin is a Scot and professional photographer. I think his panoramas of Scotland are breathtakingly beautiful.

One is called "Scotland - The Wild Places", whilst the other is "Highland Wilderness".

Personally, I like the first of these slightly more. Both books have maps showing where each of the images was captured.

I'm going to Scotland in August, so it looks like insect repellant will be the order of the day according to Wim's experience!

Cheers

Dave
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2006, 07:50:41 PM »
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I've never been to Scotland or the outer islands (yet), but Wim's gorgeous photos remind me a lot of Iceland, which has similar lush greens and rugged features.

I've got to plan a trip there soon. Thanks for the great site, Wim!

Eric
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2006, 01:26:37 PM »
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And thank you all for your kind words.

Warning though - Scotland proves to be quite addictive. This year we will go again!
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AGW
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2006, 03:46:38 PM »
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You have had plenty of suggestions that make great sense....and you will not have to look too hard to find things to photograph(at least the place seems to keep me happy enough  ).
One suggestion...as you mention a Campbell connection you should head down the west coast, through Glencoe and south to Inverary. This is the home of the Dukes of Argyll..you clan chieftens! I would always suggest that you give consideration to visiting Arran but your schedule is kinda full already!

Have fun.  

Graeme
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Tim_in_BC
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2006, 03:27:40 PM »
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Thanks. I plan to drive up through that area and visit the Duke of Aryll castle. AT first I thought 3 weeks was excessive but now I feel rushed after planning my trip a big.


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You have had plenty of suggestions that make great sense....and you will not have to look too hard to find things to photograph(at least the place seems to keep me happy enough  ).
One suggestion...as you mention a Campbell connection you should head down the west coast, through Glencoe and south to Inverary. This is the home of the Dukes of Argyll..you clan chieftens! I would always suggest that you give consideration to visiting Arran but your schedule is kinda full already!

Have fun.  

Graeme
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Tim_in_BC
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2006, 03:29:59 PM »
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Thanks I give them a view if I can track them down. August I understand can be busy so it is best to book ahead for the better places to stay. This and the midges is one reason I am trying May. Have fun!

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Tim,

If you get a chance, take a look at Colin Prior's books. Colin is a Scot and professional photographer. I think his panoramas of Scotland are breathtakingly beautiful.

One is called "Scotland - The Wild Places", whilst the other is "Highland Wilderness".

Personally, I like the first of these slightly more. Both books have maps showing where each of the images was captured.

I'm going to Scotland in August, so it looks like insect repellant will be the order of the day according to Wim's experience!

Cheers

Dave
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Ducatisti
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2006, 09:16:15 AM »
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Great pic Wim van Velzen, although I live in Devon I spend a great deal of time in Scotland between December and March.  Not the best time of the year you might say, but on a sunny winters day with snow on the hills and blue skys it's breathtakingly beautiful.
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Ed Jack
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006, 08:41:02 AM »
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Make sure you go to Staffa - your life depends on it!

Its an island just off MULL.

This is where Fingals cave is. It is a dormant volcano, so looks cool

Ed


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Great pic Wim van Velzen, although I live in Devon I spend a great deal of time in Scotland between December and March.  Not the best time of the year you might say, but on a sunny winters day with snow on the hills and blue skys it's breathtakingly beautiful.
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Andrew W
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2006, 08:22:58 PM »
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As you can see Tim in BC.... there are more places than time in Scotland.

Your best bet is in the highlands and the isles. Although, one great photo op is the Necropolis in Glasgow. It is a giant cemetery next to an enormous Cathedral. Churches and cemeteries are so old there... and the vegetation is always so lush that those make for great opportunities.

Also, just keep an eye out for Cairns (ancient burial grounds) as they are sprinkled throughout. Also, keep an eye out for (forget what they are called) where the ancient Druids made there marks on standing stones.

Man... you make me jealous. Have a blast and post a ton when you get back!!

Oh.. almost forgot the locks make for awesome scenics.. i have some shots somewhere from Loch Ness. And the castles.. arrrhhhggggg.. its too much!!

Have fun!!
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2006, 10:07:27 AM »
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Hi Tim

I live in Edinburgh and I can vouch for a lot of what has been said already. Your idea to go up the west coast to Skye and on to the Outer Hebrides is a definate must. Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor can be stunning in the right weather (good or bad depending on your preference), and is sort of on your way. The Outer Hebrides of Barra, the Uists and Harris are blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland, white sands and crystal clear waters, that can look almost tropical at times, until you put your foot in the water and are reminded that you are in the north Atlantic.

If you are coming back down from Inverness to Stirling the central Highlands west of the Perth to Stirling area (Breadalbane) has a lot of Beautiful scenery such as the route from Pitlochry to Aberfeldy to Loch Tay, Loch Earn and Callandar and down to Stirling. This area is more tree lined lochs than open Highland but still beautiful.

A guide to the castles of Scotland would also be useful as there are many, from historic ruins to fully functional working estates. Many are open to the public and often managed by Historic Scotland so the suggestion to approach them for info is a good one.

When in Edinburgh as previously recommended a trip up to the top of Arthur's Seat (biggest hill and also a volcanic plug) will give you the best views of the city and a good idea of its layout, from the Castle to Calton Hill and across the Firth of Forth (Estuary) to Fife. There is a lot to explore in and around Edinburgh from the 'Old Town', 1200 years old, to the 'New Town', 400 years old to the Palace of Holyrood and even the new Scottish Parliament (next to eachother and both by Arthurs Seat). How long did you say you had...........

May is often one of the best months of the year for good weather so you are travelling at the right time and you should get late spring, early summer flowering by then too. The Cherry blossom is just starting to come out now. Just keep in mind the weather can be changeable, often rapidly, so come prepared. Its often said here, if you don't like the weather; wait ten minutes. Experiencing multiple seasons in one day is not uncommon. This is of course what can make for great landscape photography, clearing storms and all that. Or you might get un-interupted sunshine so bring the suncream too.

All in all lots of possibilities and never enough time of course. Have a great time and bring lots of film/memory/batteries/hard drives/energy etc.

For inspiration, Colin Prior at http://www.colinprior.co.uk/colinprior.storefront/EN  is a very good place to start. Also if you can find a copy, Patricia MacDonald's 'Shadow of Heaven' book of aerial photographs of Scotland is beautiful.

I'll stop before I bore everyone. Best of luck and I hope you'll post some pictures when you get back, i'd love to see them too.

Matt
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dhansak79
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2006, 04:57:22 AM »
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I can recommend the Forth Bridges which cross the river Forth connecting Fife with Edinburgh and it's surrounding area.

One of my personal shots of the rail bridge to give you an idea:

« Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 05:00:46 AM by dhansak79 » Logged

Colin Griffiths
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2006, 04:02:31 PM »
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Scotland is my favourite place. Check out Joe Cornish's work. Anywhere in the Highlands, especially the West Coast is fantastic. You just have to be prepared for changeable weather, 4 seasons in the hour! But then it is this that makes the light so spectacular. here is an image that i made the other year. We just drove around the corner and there it was.
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2006, 06:22:12 PM »
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Make sure you go to Staffa - your life depends on it!

Its an island just off MULL.

This is where Fingals cave is. It is a dormant volcano, so looks cool

Ed
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Mull is a great island with varied landscape and wildlife (good place for otters and eagles).  From the island of Ulva you can make a boat trip that takes in Staffa and the Treshnish islands where you can get great shots of puffins.

I love Scotland and go at least once every year. You can find various images on my website.
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