Light & Land
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Top locations in the UK to photograph
13th May 2019
Here in Great Britain we are lucky enough to have some of the most diverse and spectacular landscapes to photograph on our doorstep. We recently asked our tour and workshop photography tutors where their favourite locations to photograph in the UK were...
My favourite place to photograph in the UK is around Glencoe, and in particular Glen Etive in the Scottish highlands. I can be in this area just a couple of hours after leaving home, and have spent countless hours exploring this area and climbing some of the Munro’s there. Driving down the Glen expect to see highland deer, imposing mountains and small lochans, as well as dramatically changing light. As a result the same composition can look completely different from one moment to the next. The area feels wild and remote, and it's appearance unchanged for centuries.
My favourite place really is where I happen to be photographing! But if I need to choose a location, I'd pick London.
I love photographing in London. It never disappoints, because the sheer size of it and the variety of its everyday life create so many photographic opportunities. I see different things every time I go and, right now, cannot imagine ever tiring of it. My image is called "Direction #5" and is a reflection of a woman walking purposefully down some road south of the river.
The Stiperstones in Shropshire is a favourite because it is on my doorstep and is a place where I can go and have fun, play games with cameras and experiment with creative ideas. It is also a beautiful place to walk and is a National Nature Reserve so it is a good place for watching wildlife as well. Although it isn't a major hill by Scottish or Welsh standards, it has its own sense of wildness and it is a significant location within the Shropshire Hills AONB.
My favourite place to photograph in the UK would be Traigh Seilebost on the Isle of Harris. There is a feeling of vast empty space when you are there and you will usually find that you won’t have anyone else for company. At low-tide there is an endless expanse of perfect sand and if this happens to coincide with dawn the mountains to the north will be lit by the first rays of light of the new day. Behind the beach is an extensive dune system that is great to explore and you will find that every visit is different due to the dynamic nature of such coastal environments. On stormy days the waves crash in from the Sound of Taransay and the perfect turquoise waters contrast beautifully with the pale yellow sand. A perfect blend of peace and tranquillity with some awesome scenery to enjoy photographing.
If I was asked to chose a favourite place to photograph in the UK it would have to be Derwentwater in the Lake District. I have been fortunate to visit on many occasions and each time have left feeling exhilarated and privileged to witness first-hand some of the finest scenery imaginable. There are many areas to explore from beautiful Borrowdale and Manesty woods to the extensive views of the lake from many lofty crags - Castle, Friar’s, Walla and Shepherd’s to name but a few. There is a delightful easy 10-mile walk around the shores of the lake during which can be found an almost infinite number of subjects to be photographed; jetties, the splendid Lodore Falls, tree roots straddling beaches, and from spring to autumn Victorian rowing boats will be moored at the waterfront to excite the creative juices. And I haven’t even started on describing the stunningly beautiful mountains that surround Derwentwater which, in their many different moods and weather conditions, are simply awe-inspiring.
Although I’m very fond of some nearby locations to me in Dorset, I think if I had a spare week just for photography in the UK I would probably head to the Scottish Highlands. I once spent a very productive and enjoyable week here with just an old Rolleiflex and a few rolls of film. I felt the images I made during that trip were the closest I’d ever come to combining the elusive pairing of a strong connection I experienced, with a personal interpretation of the so called ‘spirit’ of a location.
I have a love of mountains and in the UK this area features some beautiful mountain scenery with lots of atmosphere and lots of space. I am also quite fond of ‘bad’ weather and as such this is a great place to be! Visiting in Autumn or early Winter often ensures low lying cloud, mist and rain. It’s also very quiet generally in these periods and you can go hours without seeing any other people if you get off the road. Like many wilder places in the UK it needs to be taken care of accordingly. Visiting photographers should be respectful to the locals and take great care not to leave any trace of their visit.
To see where in the UK we are currently leading tours and workshops please click here.