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Photographing The Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye
Post Trip Report 2023

Home to some of Scotland’s most iconic and spectacular scenery, the Isle of Skye holds something of a reputation for landscape photography. From wild expansive moorland to incredible rock formations, deep lochs and dramatic coastline, the scenery here is diverse.

My First workshop to The Isle of skye

Back in March this year I ran my very first workshop to the Isle of Skye. It was a trip I had been looking forward to immensely. Having travelled to Skye myself a few times previously, I knew what treasures awaited my group.

Skye’s iconic scenery draws photographers world wide. Its landscapes; a heady mix of towering mountains, fabulous coastline, iconic rock formations, waterfalls and cascades, with the odd lighthouse and castle thrown in for good measure! 

Our base for our four day workshop was the main town of Portree which was ideally located for us to minimise travel. Although a small island, due to the nature of the roads, Skye’s main locations can take some time to travel between, so careful planning of our itinerary was essential here.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland © Peter Burke

We began our first day with what must be one of the highlights of a visit to Skye; the incredible Quiraing. Located in the north west of the island, the Quiraing forms part of the Trotternish Ridge. Created by ancient landslides, the landscape here is a spectacular combination of cliffs, rocky outcrops, pinnacles and plateaus. 

In the afternoon we set off to the far west of the island for our next location; Neist Point. Neist Point is striking to photograph with a lighthouse perched right on its very end. It was there we headed first as there are some great rock formations to be found south of the lighthouse and several good viewpoints. Here we were able to capture the lighthouse on top of the sheer cliffs with the crashing waves of the sea beneath. 

From the cliffs to the north you can get a great view looking along the point towards the Lighthouse. This is a great spot for sunset so it was here we planned to end our day. Unfortunately the weather decided to take a turn for the worse, with extremely strong winds making photography challenging. Perseverance paid off however as one of the group; Peter Burke, got this great image.

Our second day started damp so we travelled to somewhere I felt would benefit from the moody conditions; Elgol. It takes a while to travel here but it is well worth it. There is something about the atmosphere found at Elgol that makes it very special. 

With commanding views across to the jagged peaks of the Cullin mountain range, this is a magical spot with endless photo opportunities. The coastline is great to explore here with plenty of foreground interest including a pier, a boatyard and various boulders.

Neist point lighthouse, the Isle of Skye
Neist Point lighthouse, Scotland
Elgol and the Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Elgol and the Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Elgol and the Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Elgol and the Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland

After lunch we set off for Talisker Bay, a beautiful small bay, featuring a prominent sea stack at one end.

Talisker is perhaps most famous for its whisky distillery; the oldest on Skye, and it is the rock stack here that features on the label of its bottles. 

We set about exploring the highlight here – a stunning marbled sand beach. The mixture of light and dark sand creates some unusual patterns and there are also some lovely round boulders to use as interesting foreground. 

The following day we woke to rainy conditions which provided us with the perfect opportunity for a critique session. These are always invaluable giving everyone the chance to share their images and receive some helpful feedback.

Then it was off to the Fairy Pools; a series of crystal clear pools and cascades with the dramatic mighty Black Cullin as a backdrop. There are endless compositions to be found in this location and the group spent time experimenting with the capture of moving water and creating some lovely moody images. 

Our final day saw us at Sligachan. Situated at the main crossroads of the island this is somewhere everyone passes by at some point, but it’s well worth stopping by here as there are wealth of viewpoints to explore, overlooked by the soaring peaks of the Cuillin. 

As well as photographing the old stone bridge, we also walked upstream where there are numerous attractive rapids and small falls situated.

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland ©Luciana Rizzi
Sligachan, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Sligachan, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Sligachan cascades, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Sligachan cascades, Isle of Skye, Scotland

And so we came to the end of our trip with not only memory cards full of images but our heads full of memories of the incredible scenery we had all experienced. What a place!

Skye has pretty much everything a landscape photographer can dream of photographing. My next workshop here takes place towards the end of March 2024. Come and join us for an unforgettable photographic experience.

Read more about our Isle of SKye Workshops

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