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I have the chance to take my 8x10 to either the Scottish Highlands or to Ireland in late March/early April for a little over a week. Am mainly interested in landscapes and ruins. I have been to Ireland during that time but have never made it to Scotland. Was wondering what some locations would be and what the driving conditions would be that time of the year. Thanks for any advice.
I went to highland this September, so I might be able to make any comments on the weather in late March/early April. Highland is definately the heaven of large format. I missed a lots of great shots as I travelled with a tour group. It'll be wonderful if you can drive your car so you can stop by anywhere anytime.
Here are some great places you should not miss:
1. Loch Ness ( and the Monster); 2. Lochs Lomond; 3. Glencoe; 4. Isle of Skye (the toll bridge is really expensive!); 5. Blair Castle; 6. Eilean Donan Castle (super!!!).
And take some pictures for the Highland Cow!
You couldn't come to Scotland at a better time! Very often we get good weather at this time of year - not to say that it won't rain or even snow! Driving conditions might be poor if there is snow but we are very good a clearing the stuff and as long as you listen to the traffic news and take their advice you will be fine. Be worth remembering that daylight is in short supply in March, light by 8am and dark at 5pm but the low light is fantastic for landscapes and there is plenty of darkness to load up more film holders.
I would go with some of Ling’s suggestions but Loch Ness is a very tacky, very touristy. The west coast is the best part for varied scenery, especially north of Oban. Not to say that where I am in the East isn't worth a visit! Places to see might include Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, north to the road to the isles from Fort William, especially the five sisters of Kintail which is best seen from the road to the ferry to Skye at Glenelg – don’t take the bridge. This might be running when you are there, starts up at the end of March.
Then there are the Outer Hebrides and especially Harris, Lewis and Uist. Worth a visit for the standing stones at Callanish alone. Take a look at the images Paul Strand did in his book "Tir A'mhurain". There are lots of web sites to help you.
Large format film is available, but probably not off the shelf. I get mine from Calumet in Aberdeen, usually a couple of days to deliver – if you contact them in advance they will provide most things. They have branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Aberdeen.
Any other questions or advice on locations e-mail me, be glad to help.
martin is right in all respects, stay on the west coast, the further north the more rugged. stay away from the loch ness tourist route. i take my film with me (from spain) and i bring home to process (that is not to say that you can't get in done there, but it'll take up time and you'll need to go to glasgow or edinburgh). the outer hebredies or orkneys are a photographers delight however you'll wish for more than a week for that trip and you'll need a good stomach for the boat or light aircraft!.
Martin is right! I second the motion on Glencoe and Rannoch Moor - fantastic. Also climb Stac Pollaidh. Please see http://sandysorlien.com/scotland.html for my account of my visit in June 2000 to the Outer Hebrides and the revealing of the Most Beautiful Spot on Earth and Best Place to Stay. Please do not tell anyone on less discriminating web forums.
"Martin is right! I second the motion on Glencoe and Rannoch Moor - fantastic. Also climb Stac Pollaidh. Please see"
A couple of things - first, be careful of climbing anywhere like Stac Pollaidh at that time of year! You can still easily face winter conditions (Cairngorm above Avimore is classed as an Arctic Plateau...) It may look pretty but the weather can change in an instant - especially, but not only on the high hills. You can easily be facing Alpine conditions. Just be prepared - buy the excellent and reasonably priced 1:50,000 Ordnace Survey maps you can find everywhere - they show almost every fence and stile and will help you find good stuff to photograph. I spent many years winter climbing and mountain walking in the region - at one time in the military I also assisted one of the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams and saw too often how easy it was to be caught out. Just be prepared if you head into the hills. (you will quickly find wonderful scenes and vistas as soon as you do).
Also check out the B&W work of Fay Godwin - some wonderful images of Scotland. As well as the colour work of Macduff Everton (sic)
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