August 1, 2022 1:53 pm
ASTURIAS AND THE PICOS DE EUROPA PHOTO ADVENTURE Destination Summary The Asturias and the Picos de Europa photo adventure begins and ends in Santander, the main city in Cantabria on Spain’s less visited northern coast. Once together we’ll travel west along some beautiful stretches of coastline checking out a couple of Cantabrian locations as a warm up. We’ll then cross into the ancient kingdom of Asturias, the only part of Spain not conquered by the Moors. Vivid lush greens fill the strip of coastline between the mountains and the sea, this is where it takes its name from, Costa Verde (the green coast). But it all changes where the land meets the sea with an endless chain of vivid blue and turquoise bays dotted with mostly empty beaches that just seem to go on forever. Each hand picked beach is full of character, with features like jagged pinnacles, arches and chasms. Great to explore, wander and of course photograph. Just a few kilometres further inland is the amazing National Park – Picos de Europa, the Peaks of Europe, named by sailors returning from the new world of the Americas as their first sight of their homeland came into view. The Picos are a compact limestone mountain range with accessible roads that delve deep into its valleys and high plateaus. We’ll be exploring some of its higher villages, mountain lakes, vistas and sampling some local culinary offerings including. These include Fabada (bean stew), local wines, variety Seafood and shell fish, Sidre (cider) and the regions famous cheeses including Cabrales (blue) cheese. A Highlight in the mountains is its most iconic peak the Naranjo de Bulnes that lies at its heart. After two nights in the mountains we’ll venture further west and back to the coast to photograph a handful of its most stunning and unique beaches plus explore a couple of laid back fishing villages. Its most photogenic Cudillero will double as our base and our subject matter at dawn and provide some exploration by day. On the 7th day we will make our way back along the coast via Ribadesella to Santander where the trip will conclude in the afternoon. You can read a National Geographic piece on Asturias here “Why Spain’s Asturias is an under the radar destination” Asturias and the Pico De Europa – The Locations Register your interest by contacting Glen by email Accommodation The Asturias and the Pico de Europa photo adventure will have three main bases all with single occupancy rooms. Llanes – 1 night at the Hotel Finca La Mansion, a short distance from the centre of town and our nearby beaches. Cangas de Onis – Hotel Los Lagos Nature – 2 nights in the heart of the town and our base for exploring the Picos de Europa. Cudillero – 3 nights at the wonderful Casona de La Paca, a classic house hotel on the edge of the colourful town harbour town a shirt drive from the most dramatic Asturian beaches. * includes breakfast when included at venue – venues subject to availability Extra Info Meet up will be in the morning at Santander railway station at 10:00am date TBC End point will be at Santander railway station at 13:30hrs on the date TBC. Your invited to check out some testimonials from previous photo adventures here
March 4, 2020 3:17 pm
Volcanic Wild Landscapes workshop – Tenerife & El Hierro Wild Landscapes destination Summary In 2012 I made my first visit to the wild landscapes of the Canary Islands after being shown a book of landscapes by a local photographer, I was instantly blown away. This was not the image of Tenerife that I had in my head. Since then I’ve been back over a dozen times and photographed all 8 Islands. So with a host of dramatic locations, colour, culture and warm sunshine in the winter months, it makes for the ideal photography retreat. This will be the third Lightstalkers visit to the wild landscapes of Tenerife as a winter retreat workshop but this time I’m adding little El Hierro into the mix. El Hierro (the meridian island) is the second smallest and second least populated island and is a wonderful mixture of pine cloud mountains, green / azure pools surrounded by black volcanic rock and vertical steep cliffs. The islands symbol is the “Sabina” or wind swept Juniper tree that resemble the form of dramatic human dancers ( to me anyway ). So shake off those preconceptions and prepare to create your own canvas of colour and drama on this Lightstalkers Volcanic Landscape Photo Workshop featuring the Island of Eternal Spring and the meridian island. El Hierro A UNESCO Biosphere, get lost amongst the twisted Sabina trees and below the soaring Caldera by the azure volcanic pools. Return flight from Tenerife Norte is included. Mount Teide and Roques de Garcia* Villaflor & El Tiede , a soaring volcano and Spain’s highest mountain at over 12000ft with lava landscapes, rocky columns and ravines to explore. Anaga Mountains and Roques de Anaga The lush verdant hillsides of Anaga with twisting mountain roads plunge over mountain passes down to wild coastlines littered with volcanic rock seastacks and remote Canarian villages. Islas Canaries winter retreat workshop You’ll be one of only 4 participants on this Wild Landscapes Photo Workshop. You’ll be a million miles away from the tourist resorts staying in mountain villages and small towns. We’ll be sampling local tapas, mountain staples and authentic Spanish cuisine with a Canarian twist. The Learning Your guide Glen has 20 years experience as a photo educator. You’ll be immersed into the process of camera control, shot selection, composition, light quality, use of filters, long exposures and final execution of image capture at a variety of handpicked destinations. Tenerife / El Hierro photo workshop compositions – Seascapes, culture , mountain scenery , abstract, night sky, architecture. The Accommodation Venues TBC – a mixture of small guest houses and small hotels – single occupancy and breakfast* where available Villaflor – 2 nights – Volcanic landscapes around El Tiede Anaga – 2 nights – Lush forested mountain peaks, colourful pueblos and volcanic seascapes. El Hierro – 3 nights – raw volcanic landscapes, misty mountains and azure pools. **single occupancy dependant on availability. Extra information Start time meet up between 12:00 and 15:00 in El Medano Tenerife on the 2nd March. Pick up / meet up location – In El Medano a pleasant Canarian coastal town 10 mins from Tenerife South Airport. If arriving the night before I recommend staying at the Hotel El Medano a short taxi ride from the airport. End time 9th March 14:00 ( approx ) in El Medano or Tenerife South airport You may wish to extend your trip and stay a further night in this pleasant laid back town which attracts locals and surfers. Getting there Tenerife – by air from major UK and European airports 3.5 – 4.5 hr flight. Essential camera equipment – A lightweight kit is preferable for portability with medium camera backpack SLR or Mirrorless camera systems that can take a filter system are ideal. Lenses – ultra wide angle to telephoto lenses – 16 mm full frame to 200mm ( or DX equivalent) , good quality solid tripod that is easy to use and a waterproof camera bag. Lens clothes and lens issue. Clothing Good quality lightweight and wind proof down jacket for cooler times. Light gloves for dawn shoots around Teide as it can be cold. T shirts / shorts and long pants . Lightweight hiking boots or shoes that are waterproof and maybe Teva type sandals for standing sea water. Non essential but recommended Polariser, neutral density graduated and straight neutral density filters would be useful. I use Lee ND filters both hard and soft. A Laptop with Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software. Good quality lightweight and waterproof camera bag. Weather Average 21 degrees C during the day with cooler evenings and the chance of odd rain shower too. Fitness and mobility A reasonable degree of fitness and agility is required for one or two of the walks. Not all locations will be by the roadside, some locations are easy to reach, some require a little effort, walking sometimes on uneven surfaces . This can involve short walks across rocky and uneven terrain. *Roques de Garcia a circular 2 hour walk (for photography) with descents and slight uphill section All ages above 18 years are welcome but a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required, regardless of age in order to fully participate and appreciate a Lightstalker’s photo adventure or workshop. If you have any doubts of your suitability for a specific trip please contact Glen directly. ** accommodation options will vary depending on availability.
February 27, 2019 3:32 pm
Faroe Islands Photo Adventure Trip summary This will be the second Lightstalker’s Faroe Islands photo adventure and after a couple of years of postponements, I’m delighted to be offering this incredible destination again. Incredible waterfalls, rainbows, high sea cliffs, deep blue fjords jagged peaks and tiny villages are all packed into this little cluster of islands in the North Atlantic. This dramatic group of rocky volcanic islands lie around 200 miles north of Scotland in the North Atlantic Ocean and form part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but are autonomous. This Faroe Islands photo adventure will feature many of the waterfalls, seascapes, landscapes, villages as well as the capital of this wonderful group of islands. On Location The Faroe Islands are made up of 18 Islands of volcanic origin and of these we will explore up to seven. Tall peaks cast their shadows over deep fjords and are a feature on the main islands. The smaller islands like Kunoy are also geographically volcanic mountain chains with peaks that rise above the sea, dotted with tiny remote villages. The populations only meeting double digits in some places so the one thing the Faroes are not, is busy or overcrowd. The total population is around 50,000 and of this just under half live in the world’s smallest capital, colourful Tórshavn. Dramatic vistas from mountain passes, sheep roaming freely over the steep mountain sides and little pockets of colourful houses dot the bays and hillsides all give the Faroe a unique flavour and offer an abundance of subject matter for the landscape and travel photographer. You will spend your days and evenings photographing some of the best locations on the islands that feature atmospheric old villages, churches , high seacliffs, mountain vistas, deep Fjords , lots of dramatic light and weather, waterfalls, wild seas and crashing surf, winding hillside roads and lots of sheep ! The Faroe Islands are a real “get away from it” all location – Book your place online now. Extra Information Pick up Points Start date 10:00am – 7th May 2024 End date 09:30am – 13th May 2024 If you arrive the day before the trip starts and stay overnight in Tórshavn ( the main town) you will be picked up at the Hotel Torshavn @ 10:00 – 10:15* . If you require a hotel in Tórshavn prior to the start date try these options Hotel Tórshavn or 62N Hotel, there are also others. NOTE : I now have secured the accommodation for the extra night of the 6th if you would like stay there the night before we begin an additional £65.00 is payable. To get to the town from the airport on Vagar take the bus 300 ( 1 hour ) or shared Taxi (45mins) Let me know your flight arrival time options and I may be able to pick you up the day the trip commences after 11:00 am – flight info may not be available until closer to the start date. Flights to the Faroe Islands* with SAS or Atlantic Airways ( Faroe carrier) direct from Edinburgh twice a week / or via Copenhagen – daily / Paris, Reykjavik and Oslo. TBC *at time of post. End time the trip will end on the final morning and you will be dropped the Airport at 09:00 – 09:30 Accommodation on the Faroes is limited at best and for this trip we have a large, comfortable self contained 7 bedroom house on the edge of a Fjord on Esturoy Island. The advantages of staying here are many but the main reason being it’s close to many of the best locations and right in the middle of the main group of inhabited islands. Meals will be a mixture of self catering and local establishments wherever we find them . Dining out options are pretty thin on the ground in the Faroe but there is a supermarket nearby where we will stock up on provisions for dinners and snacks and prepare meals together prior to our final dusk sessions for a few of the evenings. This is a shared cost of the group and averages around 70 Euro per person for the week. Currency Danish Krona – ATMs available in Tórshavn and cards accepted in most stores *subject to availability What to Expect Even when spring has well and truly arrived in Europe the Faroe Islands may still be dealing with colder and sometimes wintery conditions – so be prepared for all weathers. May is typically the driest month to visit but can still be windy and chilly but some sunny warmer days in the mix. So gloves, hat and layered waterproof clothing are required as well as hiking boots. The Island locations will be visited by 9 seater van but there will also be plenty walking. At most a 4 to 5 mile round trip hike to Tælanipa is one of the weeks highlights. Although the trail is fairly flat it can be rocky and slippy in places. Some large boulders and loose stones will be encountered so ensure your fit enough to carry you camera bag and don’t overload it. there will also be plenty time to enjoy the walks. The days in the Faroe Islands are long in May so we will be working with day sessions and dusk sessions only. A typical day is – Breakfast 08:30 / Session time 10:30 – 17:00 / Dinner 19:00 / Session time 20:15 – 22:15. This is a very sociable trip with communal spaces for editing and relaxing between sessions and getting to know fellow participants. As stated all accommodation is single occupancy with some shared facilities for our group. If you would like information on anything just drop me an email.
June 15, 2023 3:06 pm
PUGLIA AND MATERA SOUTHERN ITALY PHOTO ADVENTURE Destination Summary Photograph and experience the azure blue of the Adriatic, the rich red earth and olive groves of the Itria valley. You’ll also explore and photograph two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Trulli architecture of Alberobello and one of Europe’s most unique and ancient landscapes, the Sassi di Matera. This immersive seven-day Puglia and Matera photo tour focuses on the captivating region at the heel of southern Italy. It offers a rich historical background with both stunning Adriatic coastline and vibrant rural landscapes that are dotted with charming villages. Both Puglia and Matera in Basilicata offer a visual feast combining culture, food, architecture and natural landscapes for the adventurous travel photographer. This part of Italy retains plenty of its authentic charm and allure and its only in the last couple of decades that it’s being taken seriously as one of Italy’s most important regions. The tour will be bookended by two costal sessions firstly in Monopoli and Polignano di Mare before heading inland to explore the Itria Valley and Matera. Then back to the coast to the Jewel of the Adriatic, Trani where we’ll spend our final night. After our coastal sessions we’ll take to the higher ground and back roads of the Murgia plateau that connect the hill top towns to capture some rural scenes including olive groves rural scenes and Trulli architecture. One of the unique locations of this trip is the UNESCO World Heritage listed village of Alberobello, famous for its Trulli houses. These unique white drystone huts with conical roofs create a fascinating atmosphere. Nestled in the picturesque Itria Valley, we’ll also explore other captivating towns like Locorotondo and experience the allure of Ostuni, known as the “White City,” with its whitewashed hilltop architecture—an ideal subject for exploration and photography. Adjacent to Puglia, the region of Basilicata is home to the awe-inspiring vistas of the ancient town of Matera and its Sassi cave dwellings, providing a captivating visual centre piece to this tour. One of the oldest continually habited places on the planet it’s full of history and interest. We’ll pay a visit to Casa Noha at the start of hour visit to get the full emotive back story to get a better sense of the place before we explore. In addition to the remarkable sights, we’ll immerse ourselves in the local culture and savor the diverse food scene. You’ll have the opportunity to sample Burrata cheeses, seafood stews, Bombetta, Friselle (toasted bread), and specialty local pastas. Moreover, we’ll indulge in the exquisite wines of the Pugliese wine country Negroamaro and Primitive being two of the best. Taking place in early October, the Puglia and Matera photo tour offers a pleasant climate, free from the intense summer heat. The landscape will also display the start of autumn colours, creating a picturesque backdrop for your photography. Daytime temperatures are expected to hover around the low twenties. Getting there Meet up will be at a venue around 5km from Bari airport at 1300 on the 29th September. The meet up venue details will be posted in due course. You made need to arrange accommodations here pre and post tour depending on your flight arrival times. End point will be the same venue or Bari airport on the 5th October at 12:00 – 1300hrs If you have any specific requirements or further questions, please let us know. Accommodation After meeting and some sessions the on the coast we head up towards Locorocondo for a 3 nights stay at an outstanding Agriturismo. 3 nights near Locorocondo. You’ll be staying in well appointed 16th century Trulli houses at the Masseria Aprile ( former fortified working agricultural estates). Comfortable, stylish single occupancy accommodations hosted by an Italian family. 2 nights Matera* – Staying in the heart of the Sassi with less than a minutes walk to one of the best views over the old town. Single occupancy room with breakfast 1 night Trani* – one night in the Jewel of the Adriatic in a single occupancy room. We’ll have breakfast by the harbour on our final day *Venues to be confirmed. Meals We’ll be eating at simple but good restaurants and cafes with the best the region has to offer. Fitness levels Like most medieval towns and villages in Europe, steps and hills will be encountered. There are plenty places to rest up but a lot of the towns are explored on foot. For any other information please get in touch directly.