Top Spots for Photography in Scotland with Kim Grant
With every area of Scotland offering something different, from the wilds of Glen Coe to the dramatic and spectacular coastline of the West; the bustling cities to the remote and romantic moorland of Rannoch, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Scotland has been voted the most beautiful country in the world by the readers of the popular and influential travel guides ‘Rough Guides‘.
With wild, white sand beaches, dramatic and cragged mountain ranges, and castles steeped in history and intrigue, what really sets Scotland apart is the unspoiled coastline and isolated natural beauty of many areas, some only accessible by walking in on foot. Scotland is truly breathtaking, boasting some of the most spectacular views, and who doesn’t want to capture those views?
The earliest known surviving photograph was taken in 1826, and since then photography has played a vital role in our personal lives, and in the wider context of the world around us. They tell stories, accurately record information and can provide insight into a time long past. With a picture painting a thousand words, they are vital to enhancing our understanding of people, places, cultures, and environments that might now no longer exist, or have been altered beyond recognition. The smartphone, removing the need of film and developing costs, has changed the way we take photos allowing us to snap, and delete in equal measure, as many shots as we want. Photography tells us what is important to us: it provides insight into our character, what we find beautiful, intriguing, humorous, delicious, important, inspiring. It has the power to move us and to grab our attention; it is a visual language that can convey emotion from joy to desperation that sometimes the written word can’t; and it allows us to share and communicate, and with the aid of social media, in a way that has never existed before.
Scotland deserves to be shared, in all its spellbinding beauty. We have joined forces with Kim Grant, YouTube Vlogger, photographer and workshop tutor, who champions Scotland by sharing her experiences, travels and photographs celebrating the natural wonders of her beloved homeland. Here she shares with us and comments on some of her favourite Scottish spots to photograph…
“Findhorn is such an amazing place and you are never short of things to photograph. From the pebbled beach to the river estuary, the photo opportunities here are endless. At low tide, pools of water flow through the beach allowing for great reflection images. At high tide on a still summers evening, boats float on the river mouth adding great interest to images. It’s the perfect spot to sit and watch the sun go down and there are even beach huts and an array of wildlife to photograph too. What’s not to like?”
Property feature: Monessie | Findhorn | Sleeps 7 | From £1000/week
QUAIRAING, Isle of Skye
“This is by far one of the best places in Scotland to watch the sunrise. This Jurassic landscape is visited by thousands every year and it’s not hard to understand why. The landscape here is very unusual and unique with many photo opportunities to be had. You can watch a workshop video I made whilst on Skye earlier this year which shows ways in which you can photograph different landscapes.”
Property feature: Taobh an Uillt | Uig, Skye | Sleeps 9 | From £750/week
LOCH MORLICH, Cairngorms
“No matter what time of year you visit here with your camera, there is something to photograph. In the winter you could be mistaken for thinking you are in the arctic, with snow covering the ground and the loch frozen over. It feels like you are in a film set! Then in the summer the reverse happens and this loch begins to sparkle and show off many stunning reflections. The surrounding trees allow for great foreground focus and it even has a beach.”
Property feature: Lynwilg House | Aviemore | Sleeps 11 | From £1650/week
LOCH ASSYNT, Sutherland
“Home to the stunning ruins of Ardvreck Castle, this loch is a really special place to explore and photograph. It is surrounded by stunning Highland mountains, lone trees, sheep, deer and a few beautiful waterfalls. The perfect place to wild camp and watch the sunset and rise again. You can find so much peace and serenity in this wild location.”
Property feature: Benmore Lodge | Sutherland | Sleeps 9 | From £1050/week
RATTRAY HEAD, Aberdeenshire
“Who doesn’t love photographing a lighthouse? Rattray is home to a very unique lighthouse situated on a rocky patch in the sea. This is a great place to shoot long exposures on a calm day or create stunning crashing wave shots on a stormy one. The beach here is also well worth exploring, with miles of stunning sand dunes and paths to be enjoyed. Every time I go to Rattray the light and conditions are different – a photographers paradise!”
Property feature: Newton House | Methlick | Sleeps 14 | From £2050/week
Kims Recommendation – A quirky cottage on Skye
This year Kim stayed in one of our self-catering cottages on the Isle of Skye and made a video about the cottage itself as well as photography based videos around the island. She loved her stay at Shealladh Beinn Edra. Why not watch the video here? The cottage sleeps 4 and is based in the North of Skye near the coast offering many opportunities for coastal drives and exploration. Check it out here.
The multitude of photo sharing sites allows us to share our personal, passionate and sometimes unique take on the world around us. Our photos allow us to include strangers in our life, start a conversation, or share insight into existences and experiences that are new to us. Photographs evoke nostalgia, thus the impulse to record our memories is powerful. Our photographs chronicle our lives, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, who we’ve met and the topic of travel takes up such a huge proportion of online photo sharing. If you are a keen photographer and have a group of friends who share the same passion, why not plan a photography trip away to one of these fantastic locations? There is nothing like time and distance to work on a skill.