Scotland Photo Tour- Orkney and Shetland, May, 2013
Orkney and Shetland Photo tour with Lance Keimig and local guide Sam Gardener
Dates: May 21-31, 2013
Price: $3695 plus international airfare
There is a small group surcharge is there are less than 7 travelers.
The single room supplement is $595.
It is said that the difference between Orkney and Shetland is that Shetlanders are fishermen with farms, while Orcadians are farmers with boats. We’ll get the chance to decide for ourselves on this exciting photo tour of Scotland’s northern isles.
Please join me for this exciting trip to the Shetland and Orkney Islands. We’ll visit a couple of different islands this year, so if you’ve been on this trip before, there will be some exciting new locations to photograph and explore. Each day will be at a relaxed pace, allowing enough time to photograph the diverse landscape as well as taking in the local history, people, and culture. Days will be long with extended opportunities night photography. We’ve timed this trip to coincide with the blooming of the bluebells on Orkney, and the greatest concentration of puffins on Shetland.
On Orkney we will explore amazing megalithic sites, including Maes Howe, a 5000-year-old chambered tomb, the finest in Western Europe. It was built before 2,700 BC to align with the winter solstice. Vikings plundered the tomb around 1150, and their graffiti is itself a treasure of ancient linguistic inscriptions. Even better known, is the astonishing prehistoric village, Skara Brae, inhabited from about 3,100 BC, until buried by shifting sands. A storm uncovered the remains in 1850.
It never gets fully dark on Orkney in high summer, which means we will have hours of amazing twilight to photograph the amazing Ring of Brodgar, a massive stone circle that was built over 5000 years ago. We will also visit the Viking Cathedral in the village of Kirkwall, and the picturesque town of Stromness, which is wonderful for photographing at night. One day on Orkney will be dedicated to a visit to Hoy, another of the Orkney Islands, where we will hike across the northern end of the island to see the Old Man of Hoy, a 450 foot high sea stack.
The Shetland Islands are a group of over a hundred cliff-edged islands forming the most northerly domain of Scotland. Shetlanders are a friendly people with a distinctive dialect derived from their long connection with Norway. Nowhere in Shetland is further than 3 miles from the sea; hence, fishing and salmon farming play an important role in the economy. Fine beaches and pretty inlets provide the visitor with lengths of striking coastline. Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement, in the extreme south, is an archaeological site spanning 3,000 years from Neolithic to Viking times. Lerwick, Shetland’s chief town, is attractive, with flag-stoned wynds (narrow lanes), grey stone buildings and old ‘lodberries’ (houses with a private pier). We are sure to visit the Clickimin Broch (prehistoric fort), and possibly the austere Mousa Broch on Mousa Island.
The trip is suited for people of all photographic levels, and there will be plenty of time to work individually with participants to address specific photographic concerns. Both film and digital photographers are welcome. My own specialty is night photography, and the endless summer twilight at these northern latitudes provide fantastic light for night shooting. This is primarily a photo tour rather than a workshop, concentrating on shooting rather than critique, but there will be opportunities to review images for those who travel with laptops or iPads, and instruction in night photography and light painting is offered for those who are interested.
The trip features four full days and nights on each island group plus travel time.
May 21: Flights to Edinburgh or Glasgow, and then on to Kirkwall on Orkney.
5 days and 4 nights on Orkney
May 26:We take an overnight ferry to Shetland in a private cabin. Upon arrival in Shetland, we’ll drive to the north end of the mainland, spend three nights there at Saxa Vord before driving back to the south end of the island to Sumburgh Head where we spend our last night close to the airport for our early morning flights home.
May 31: Return flights home
Lodging will be a mixture of guest houses, self catering houses, and the last night in a fine hotel. There are limited en-suite rooms. (single rooms and rooms with private bath may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis). All locations were chosen for your comfort, friendly service, as well as being in beautiful surroundings where you will be able to indulge your photography at any time you choose, including throughout the ‘simmer dim’, the Shetland term for the light nights of summer. We will be traveling around the 3 or 4 main islands in a comfortable minibus, and for the short crossings between various islands we will use a number of ferries, all of which are excellent well-equipped modern vessels.
Food and Drink:
Breakfasts will be taken at the lodges, while lunches will usually be picnics in the field or pub lunches, with dinners at local restaurants. The food is both delicious and wholesome, and far exceeds expectations of British cuisine. Seafood lovers will be in food heaven, as it is abundant, local, and fresh. That said, meals are planned around the photography- not the other way around as it is on some tours. We’ll be out photographing when the light is best!
The trip can be strenuous, and will involve several long walks with some climbing over rough terrain. Be prepared to walk up to three miles over uneven ground with your gear. Anyone who is reasonably fit and in good physical condition should be able to participate, but if you have knee or hip replacements, you may miss out on some of the locations. Rest stops and photo stops are planned throughout each day.
Registration information can be found in the sidebar at the upper right hand corner of this page. I hope you’ll join me on this exciting adventure.