Autumn on Shetland ‐ Nature, Light & Land

Photo-tour overview:

  • Small group of just four photographers
  • Expertise of two tour leaders
  • Combination of nature & landscape photography
  • Unique opportunity to track and photograph otters
  • Visits to world renowned gannet colony
  • All meals, transport and fees included
  • Unrivalled local knowledge
  • Learn the importance of field craft and species knowledge
  • Our renowned ‘we guide, you shoot’ and ‘guests first’ guidance

2020 Dates:

  • Saturday 29th August to Saturday 5th September, 2020

To nature and landscape photographers the Shetland Islands needs little in the way of introduction; a remote archipelago alive with unspoilt and equally untamed natural beauty with a tantalising array of evocative wildlife, dramatic skies and wild landscapes. Shetland is one of those talked and dreamt about places that is a must for nature and landscape photographers…

This exciting autumn workshop showcases the enchanting northern isles in the magical and ever changing autumn light. Led by Richard Shucksmith and Brydon Thomason, joint authors of the highly acclaimed Otters in Shetland – the tale of the draatsi, the workshop targets a unique combination of the islands wild and beautiful untamed landscapes and the wildlife that thrive in it. This will include the spectacular and world renowned gannet colonies on Hermaness, arguably the most spectacular seabird cliffs in Europe whilst the itinerary also features the exclusive opportunity to track, learn about and photograph Shetland’s wild otters.

Recent client image gallery

Below is an image gallery from recent clients on this itinerary including ‘Habitat Category’ winner in the prestigious British Wildlife Photography Awards, titled ‘Gannet Rock’, by Ruth Asher.

With two leaders featuring in the workshop and a rotation of up to two photographers each day, much of the workshop will essentially be on quite a bespoke basis. Through our unrivalled local knowledge of Shetland and it’s wildlife we know the best shooting locations in the ever changing elements and where to work and when.

We make sure we make best use of these to create dramatic images all the while with an overriding focus on the importance of field craft, local knowledge and an understanding and appreciation of wildlife. True to form of all our tours we offer a very hands on approach to our guests learning of equipment and settings through our renowned ‘guests first’ approach to our photo tours- ‘we guide, you shoot’!

Far too many tours now are run by leaders who put their own imagery of equal importance to their guests.


Autumn is renowned as a season to offer some fabulous and often dramatic conditions for landscape photography; from clear and warm Indian-summer sunshine to sunbursts through moody stormy skies and even autumn gales powering waves against wild and windswept cliffs. In Shetland we can often expect suggestions of all four seasons in one day. ‘With this in mind the itinerary remains fairly flexible so as we can ensure we maximise our chances for the best light in the best locations for landscape opportunities’.

Landscapes and locations

In order to get the very best out of our week in terms of both spectacles and species throughout the week we base ourselves in three different locations. In Shetland’s southernmost tip of Mainland we are based in Sumburgh Hotel to begin and end our week. From Sumburgh we then will spend three nights in the St Magnus Bay Hotel in the wild and beautiful North Mainland of the main island, and on the very northern most island in the British Isles we are based at Saxa Vord on Unst for two nights. Spreading our time, assignments and travel in this way allows us to visit the very best locations and also spread our travel time so we have more time to work on our images.

We will shoot a variety of locations such as; wild and dramatic sea-scapes, beautiful sand beaches, inland fresh water lochens and of course will spend time at world renowned Gannet colonies.


The three species that we will target most will be Gannets, Great Skuas and otters each of which we will work on when the elements best suit, using the light and weather as well as our unique knowledge of the sites to get the best photographic opportunities for you. Many other species will feature from migrant birds passing through to local; breeding species that are still on territory. When tracking otters we will rotate the group in two’s and will work in accordance of tide times in order to maximise our chances of photo opportunities with these charismatic creatures.

What do I need to bring?

Warm clothes (layers), hat, gloves waterproof coat and trousers (avoid bright colours), sturdy walking boots/footwear. If you have your own DSLR camera equipment if possible could you bring for landscape, camera body, wide angle/zoom lens, tripod, memory, filters, ND graduated filters, ND filter, filter holder, cable release. For wildlife a camera body, longer the lenses the better, a minimum lens of 200mm with teleconverters (1.4, 1.7 or 2x converters). For people shooting Nikon, lenses can be rented for the day or entire camera gear can be rented for the week, contact Shetland Nature for details.

View a review of the 2013 Nature, Light & Land Holiday

Booking – Holiday Dates

Principal Tour Guides
Fitness Level Required
Moderate to Challenging
Walks of up to three or four miles (maximum in a day) and at times over uneven terrain
Price: £1,540
2020 Dates
Saturday 29th August to Saturday 5th September, 2020 Available

Contact Us to Book

Private Tour Options: This holiday can also be arranged exclusively for private booing for couples, families or small groups.

Contact us for information and cost proposal for your own exclusive/tailor-made holiday. Email:

Additional holiday information:

  • Read about the hotels we use – view our hotel providers.
  • All meals, accommodation, guiding fee’s and excursions as well as ferry fares and transport are included in package cost.
  • All boat trips are subject to weather availability.
  • Not included in cost are items of a personal nature or hotel bar tabs nor is travel to and from Shetland included.
  • No single supplement charged.
  • On booking please advise of any special requirements medical or dietary.
  • Throughout the holiday some of the activities will potentially involve walks of up to three or four miles (maximum in a day) and at times over uneven terrain. A reasonable level of fitness is advised however this is run at a leisurely pace. We can also provide holidays at an even more leisurely pace; please contact us for details.

View Terms & Conditions for booking