In the middle of March 2018 I attended Melvin Nicholson's Isle of Harris and Lewis Workshop. I was searching the internet and found Melvin's website and his workshop in the Outer Hebrides and the idea of spending a week in Scotland photographing the Outer Hebrides was very appealing and Mel did not disappoint.
As you can see from my rating, I thought the workshop was outstanding. There were four other enthusiast photographers on the workshop and we were also joined by Tony Higginson, a professional wedding and landscape photographer who is also based in England. I don't think that we could have had a better group for the week. Everyone got along well and as my English friends would say, our time together was cracking!
Mel showed himself to be enthusiastic and knowledgable about photography and was willing to take whatever time was necessary to help you with compositions and settings and was always offering to provide you with his suggestions. Mel was adaptable to any skill level and made everyone feel comfortable and at ease with his demeanor and sense of humor.
Each day we would have breakfast and then head out to our morning location. Once on location, we were pretty much free to explore the area and find our own interesting compositions. With the exception of a couple of locations (salt marshes and small beach where the size of the area is limited) we were all able to obtain unique perspectives and compositions. There were times where the locations dictated that the compositions would be similar, but there was plenty of opportunity to explore your own creative vision. I found this aspect of the workshop very appealing. We would have lunch on the road (a simple bag lunch supplied by the hotel) and would then usually go to one or two locations in the afternoon/evening.
It was also clear that Mel had spent time scouting the island and was familiar with the various locations. He intentionally makes the itinerary flexible, with the final decision on a particular destination primarily based on the weather and tide conditions. This workshop focused primarily on shooting with a couple of image review/post processing sessions. While in a perfect world I would have liked to have had a little more time on image review and post processing to see how everyone approached the different locations, it would have come at the expense of shooting.
The workshop included all of our accommodations and food. We stayed at the Isle of Harris Hotel in Tarbert and can say it was outstanding. The hotel itself is what I would term a classic. The rooms have tartan rugs with wooden dressers and furniture. The rooms themselves were clean and spacious. The food, particularly for dinner, exceeded my expectations. The menu was varied and all of the meals were delicious and were a perfect way to end a day of photography.
The week with Mel and the rest of the group was top notch. The workshop allowed us to explore the Isle of Harris and Lewis and to get our creative juices flowing. Being able to enjoy my photography in the company of a great group made the experience all the better. As photographers we strive for the end result, the image, but I enjoy the process of taking the pictures almost as much as the final image. Being at a location and experiencing the conditions, the atmosphere and the scenery and being able to do it with people who enjoy photography as much as I do makes for a great time. Mel provided me with an excellent experience and I hope to join him again on another workshop.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.