Planning a trip to Scotland
We're planning a trip to Glencoe in Scotland later this year, as it's a place I've often seen in films, books and magazines in the past and have wanted to visit for a long time.
Living in the south of England, it's what we would call a fairly long drive up to the north west of Scotland and so we've planned to stop off for a three night stay in the Lake District of Cumbria. This is another extremely photogenic area and it's a win win situation because stopping for the three days, means we won't be worn out by a straight 500 mile drive to Scotland. There's nothing worse than being in a beautiful location and feeling too tired to go out and see it, so the break means we get to spend three days in another fabulous location. We've picked an area of the Lake District which is quite central, so can branch out in any direction to maximise the places to visit, without rushing around. Then a much shorter drive to Glencoe and we'll still be fresh enough to go out and take photos that day. (I've already found a location to visit that isn't far from where we're staying)
So, with the journey taken care of, the internet was next, to try and find potential locations, by looking at photographs and seeing where they were taken and if possible, taken at around the same time of year we are visiting. Blogs were another source of information on locations, which really helped shape the trip. I began to list potential places into either one of two groups, which were "must see" and "like to see", so the trip will be geared up to getting to the must see locations first and then we can look at the nice to see if time permits. Having said that, there's one day which will be a sort of exploring day, when we'll just head out and see what's down that road, over that hill kind of thing. It's a good exercise to carry out now and then because you don't know what you might find and so it stretches you into finding something to try and photograph in a completely unknown area.
It's not all down to just looking at photos and blogs though. I've found a couple of sites that give sunrise/sunset times for the dates we'll be there and another site with tide times, so I can work out an idea of where to be for the sun going up or down and for low tides for coastal shots. It may look like over thinking it but if you're travelling a fair distance to get photographs, you might as well give yourself the best chance of seeing those places at their best. That brings me onto online maps, where you can get an idea of where the sun will rise/set on your planned location and you can decide exactly where you'll want to be, again to get the best shots you possibly can.
My main aim of the trip is to take landscape and seascape photos, so I'll be making sure the tripod is packed, along with pretty much everything else I can cram into a backpack. Even though the landscapes will be shot with a wide angle lens, I'm planning on using a zoom lens to try and isolate features that may stand out. It's a new concept to me but one I'm really looking forward to trying out.
One more thing to look at just before going on the trip is the weather forecast but that is a total lottery. The Lake District is infamous for weather changes, so, it's really going to be a case of go with the flow, as the weather is something you just cannot plan but you can have an idea of where to go in certain conditions. Flexibilty is important if you're on a fairly limited timescale, so,we'll have a back up plan, which might include having another coffee before making a new plan for the day.
One non photograhic item in the gear will be plenty of mosquito/midge repellent. Between us, in the past we've provided plenty of sustenance to the little so and so's. Not this time.
This was a very brief look at how the planning for a landscape photography trip has gone, although you may have different ideas but hopefully, something will have helped in any future trips you have in mind.
Finally, another great location to take photographs is..........
Wherever you happen to find yourself with a camera handy.
Photo credits: Bogdan Zoladkowski.