August 1, 2022 1:53 pm
Published by Glen
ASTURIAS AND THE PICOS DE EUROPA PHOTO ADVENTURE Destination Summary This new 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, Fabada (bean stew), amazing Goat stew, Seafood, Sidre (cider) and the famous Cabrales (blue) cheese while also focusing on capturing 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 a few more locations 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 More information will be available for this photo adventure soon – 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. Extra Info Meet up will be in the morning at Santander railway station at 10:00am on the 18th End point will be at Santander railway station at 13:30hrs on the 24th Your invited to check out some testimonials from previous photo adventures here
October 1, 2022 6:15 pm
Published by Glen
MONTENEGRO PHOTO ADVENTURE – THE ADRIATIC COAST AND DURMITOR NATIONAL PARK Destination Summary A few years ago I did a week long photo recce around this beautiful and dramatic part of the Adriatic coast and it’s mountainous interior. I’d always hoped to return and run a photo adventure there. Yes it’s been a while and “things have got it the way” but now I’m excited to return with a small group and capture this beautiful little country and the pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik. This Montenegro photo adventure will begin when we meet up in the city of Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. From Dubrovnik it’s only a very short drive to the Montenegrin border where shortly after, the beautiful Bay of Kotor cuts like a Norwegian fjord into the steep sided mountains. The Montenegrin coast isn’t long but its dotted with old villages, castle ruins, churches and tiny islands all along a stunningly beautiful coastline. After a few days photographing the highlights of the Adriatic coastal villages including Perast, Budva and Pertovac , we’ll drive up into the interior of the country. Lake Skadar is the biggest lake in southern Europe and straddles the border over into Albania to the south. The Montenegrin part is surround by National park and you’ll be able create some images at some major viewpoints and we’ll maybe even negotiate a boat trip onto the lake itself. Now on our Montenegro photo adventure it’s time to swap our flip flops for hiking boots as the weather turns cooler and less predicable. From Skadar we travel up to Biogradska Gora National Park with its beautiful lake and unique Rainforest setting, the virgin woodland here is one of only three remaining primeval forests in Europe. We’ll base ourselves for one night near the mountain resort town of Kolaśin. The following day we travel west onto Durmitor National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site). We’ll explore the Tara River Canyon, the largest and deepest in Europe, photograph its famous bridge and get down into the river canyon itself for some wider angle and more intimate compositions. The town of Zabljak will be our base for a couple of nights, while we capture the glacial Black Lake, the surrounding forests and some of the amazing viewpoints over the Durmitor Massif. After the mountain highs around Zabljak we’ll make our way back to the Adriatic and Dubrovnik where the trip will come to an end. Perhaps you can spend one last night enjoying the walled city of Dubrovnik before flying home. Extra Information Meet up – this will be in the city of Dubrovnik on the evening of the 22nd at 19:00hrs The trip will then depart the following morning at 10:00hrs on the 23rd* for Montenegro and the coast. End point – city of Dubrovnik 15:30-16:30hrs on the 28th October Accommodation Single occupancy rooms with breakfast * Dubrovnik – 1 night at Boutique Hotel Porto a short walk or bus ride into the old town. Kotor – 2 nights on the bay of Kotor in the old town – Boutique Hotel Astoria Biogradska Gora NP – Kolaśin 1 night – Sky High Guest house / lodge Durmitor NP – Zabljak 2 nights – the fantastic Green Forest Villa. *some venues are self catering in which case we may use cafes if more practical. For this Montenegro photo adventure, please make sure you have the necessary visa and passport requirements ( 3 months remaining as a minimum) as required for entry into Croatia (EU) and Montenegro which is not a member of the EU as yet. Most visitors are allowed up to 30 days without a visa. Further details will be available this page soon.
March 4, 2020 3:17 pm
Published by Glen
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
Published by Glen
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 *The dates are based on current flight schedules of Atlantic Airways for 2023. I don’t anticipate that these will change but should they for 2024 you’ll be notified. 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. 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. *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.
August 22, 2018 1:07 pm
Published by Glen
Lofoten Islands, Photo Adventure Lofoten Islands Trip summary The stunning Lofoten islands lie inside the Arctic circle just off the coast of Norway. That being said, in September the weather can still be mild and settled and makes for a very different experience from the winter scenes and storms of February and March plus the northern lights are now visible again and skies generally clearer. The Lofoten Islands archipelago consists of many islands and you’ll be visiting and exploring 4 of these Norwegian gems. Deep fjords, jagged peaks, wide pristine beaches and hopefully the Northern Lights will make this an incredible photography experience. I’ve ran this photo adventure in both winter and autumn and both times are a great experience. However autumn offers more access to more locations, northern lights visible with clear skies and no winter storms which can affect travel and time at locations. It’s also a quieter period with less visitors which is a huge bonus . The Lofoten Islands are a truly spectacular destination for photographers in what is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. Your first base will be near your arrival point in the small town of Leknes on Vestvagøy, from here you’ll photograph the beaches of Unstad, Uttakleiv, Haukland and Vik at dusk and dawn. They’re also ideal spots for catching the Northern Lights if they make an appearance in the darker autumn skies. The Island of Moskensøy and village of Reine will provide our second base. Most of the locations are only a few miles apart and around every corner there seems to be antother great photo opportunity. Lofoten has to be one of the most memorable and photogenic places you’ll ever photograph. Around Reine, the pointed peak of Olstinden rises steeply from Reinefjord and the surrounding islands with small hamlets are dotted with picture perfect cabins ( Rorbuer and Sjohus ), raised above the dark depths of the fjord on stilts. The nearby fishing villages of Tind, Å, Sakrisoy and Sorvagen can be explored on foot with every aspect bursting with photo opportunities. This a photographic opportunity not to be missed and one that will make a lasting impression. Places are limited to small, intimate groups of just 6 so book online now . On Location Impressive sandy (and rocky ) beaches, bridges, fjords, mountainsides, high jagged peaks and dark skies looking out for the Northern lights all will feature on this photo tour. The unique architecture of the stilted brightly painted Rorbuers ( fishing huts ) also punctuate the landscape and give a unique look to the photographs. Extra information Start time 12:00hrs pick up in Leknes ( Lofoten Islands ) in late September dates TBC . You may need an additional night in Leknes or Bodo depending upon connection times. End time 10:30hrs drop off in Leknes ( Lofoten islands) late September Getting there: Flights into Oslo from major European hubs (SAS and Norwegian airlines) then connect to Leknes ( SAS and Wideroe airlines) or Oslo – Bødo – Leknes ( Wideroe are a regional carrier and offer up to 8 flights per day from Bodo to Leknes with a 23kg baggage allowance) or you may fly direct to Leknes from Oslo depending on your timing and preference. You may need to allow a day either side to make connections or allow for bad weather or delayed flights home. Accommodation and meals There are two bases for this trip: 3 nights on the Island of Vestavagøy near Leknes and 4 nights on the Island of Moskenesøy near Reine. Venues may vary but once finalised the exact details will be posted. They consist of classic Rorbuer and Sjohus style houses that are well set up for groups, warm and comfortable, close to the drama and action. Everyone gets their own room (unless stated) with shared facilities. Most offer the option for self catering, which we will do for breakfast and this is included ( tea / coffee / juice / muesli / toast /eggs etc ). Evening meals will be taken in small restaurants or we’ll buy in some groceries and self-cater as group if the mood takes us. All meals ( apart from breakfast are at participants own expense ). There are several small supermarket / grocery shops nearby that are well stocked and also sell beer and wine etc. What to expect This photo adventure includes an initial practical tutorial on the first day highlighting basic shooting skills if needed to get the best out of each location. This includes camera workflow, shooting in manual mode and reading histograms. A photo adventure’s main objective is guiding you to the best locations at the right time with suggestions on types of shot, general settings and composition advice. Participants should be familiar in the use of their cameras to get the best out of the locations, however help is always on hand and advice freely given. Participants will be invited to share 6 of their final images with Glen and their fellow participants for comment after the trip via a secure online link. Weather Reliably fickle weather can be a feature of this part of northern Europe but I’ve experienced some mild T-shirt weather in September as well as chilly and damp conditions. So it can be glorious at times but it’s not unusual to turn cool so you need to pack accordingly, layers, gloves, plus adequate and good quality outdoor clothing ( jackets and over trousers) including waterproof hiking boots that are waterproof. The mixed weather can and often does add to the dramatic nature of light and land. Locations and fitness. Not all locations will be by the roadside, some locations are easy to reach, some require a little effort, walking sometimes on muddy and boggy surfaces. This can involve short hill walks, walks across rocky, uneven terrain and slippy surfaces. Walking times can be up to half an hour – one way, however participation is optional at every location. 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.