The Scottish Photography Experience

The Scottish Photography Experience

The Scottish Photography Experience
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Sightseeing ToursPrivate ToursPhotography Tours
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About
I provide quality photography tours around Scotland: Outlander Photography Tour; Clanlands Photography Tour; Whisky Distillery Tour; Custom / Bespoke Photography Tours of Scotland; Edinburgh Photography Tour and my new "Mary Was Here Tour" I have been a professional photographer for 44 years and published in every major newspaper and magazine in the world. I had the honour to work with the late and great David Bowie on many occasions over a 27-year timeframe. My tours are all original and established. I go the extra mile to ensure that your Scottish Photography Experience is the best!
Edinburgh, Scotland

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,030 reviews
Excellent
1,003
Very good
20
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Matt P
Plymouth, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
Spent the week in Edinburgh and have a keen interest in photography so I booked this tour after a quick search on Google with the expectation to come away with a few nicely composed shots of a truly wonderful city.

The tour massively exceeded my expectations, not only did James provide us with some nice compositions, he actively and enthusiastically encouraged us to take back control of our photography from our cameras!, going fully manual on the camera was a truly enlightening experience for me and has forced me to totally rethink how I'm going to go forward with photography - not something I was expecting from a fairly inexpensive tour!

And watching the way this man just calls out aperture settings based on the light changing is worth the money in itself! ...

I was in a group of 6 with cameras from small compacts to serious DSLRs, abilities varied greatly but I felt everyone came away from this superb tour with nicely composed photographs and definitely a greater understanding of their camera.

I cannot recommend this tour highly enough, if you want some great pictures of a beautiful city, learn about its history and gain a greater understanding of your camera then book this tour - no matter what your level of knowledge, you won't be disappointed.
Written May 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Volker
Hamburg, Germany1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
We joined this tour today during our honeymoon in Edinburgh. This was - without a doubt - the best experience we had on our holiday. James was highly professional but you could also feel his passion. He explained every important detail very well and at no point we felt lost. Even as non native speakers we we're able to follow his instructions without problems. The weather was extremely changeable - it went from heavy rain, to sunshine, back again to rain with a lot of wind and so on and so forth. It was still an awesome experience and we had a lot of fun as well because James just made us forgot about the weather. The only point of criticism would be that it was sometimes hard to hear James while walking - mostly due to the wind and rain we had.

Now after I transferred the pictures from the tour to my laptop, I am really impressed. The compositions and settings are just perfect and I am about to follow an advice by James and order some printed versions on canvas or as a poster. Those pictures are definitely to beautiful to just get dusty on the hard drive.

As a beginner I learned a lot about handling my DSLR and I feel confident enough to never leave the manual mode again (I did not expected that at the beginning). We were 6 people on this tour - also with some more experienced participants. I had the feeling that even those more experienced ones learned a lot - especially about compositions. After each shot, James took the time to have a look at every single photo to make sure we got it as good as possible.

At the very end (after 4,5 hours), James took the time to recap everything we've learned and he added a lot of motivational stories. He really motivated me to go out and use what I've learned. Furthermore I now have a good starting point for shooting in manual mode and an idea of how a good photo composition looks like. In addition, James gave us the feeling that we are not just "strangers". He even encouraged us to friend him on Facebook, send him messages with pictures or questions and he offered to help us on any related problem or question - and based on the reviews I read about him, I am sure that he will keep his promises :-).

Over the whole workshop, he added a lot of interesting facts and stories about the sites we visited as well. It is a good feeling if you know the story about the picture :-).

What you should consider if you take the tour:
* There is only one comfort break during the tour.
* Even though time flies, it is a lot of walking involved - wear appropriate shoes.
* Bring a plastic bag to cover your camera and your knees.
* Wear waterproof clothes - weather is random :-).
* For non native speakers: no worries about language barriers - if you know the words aperture, shutter speed and white balance, you will be perfectly fine. And if not, James will took the time to paraphrase terms.
* Use public transport to get to the starting spot - it is quite hard to find a free parking spot where it is allowed to stay for more than 4 hours.

To sum up: the tour is worth every penny. James is an extremely experienced and nice tour guide. My wife did not have any camera for the course, so he just lend her one. He really cares about all participants and due to the fact that there is a maximum of 10 people, it is an very intense experience. We learned everything to get started with manual mode and learned how to compose a good picture. In addition, we got a lot of interesting historical facts and stories during the tour. Of course, we all got some professional, beautiful pictures - and the best thing about them: we took them on our own. As a bonus, we got to know a nice person whom we can ask any photography related questions - or just show him nice pictures to make him proud ;-).

It was nice to meet you James and the penny dropped.

The tour is just great and I got a lot more than expected - don't think about it, just go for it - it will be a highlight of every Edinburgh holiday visit (or even for locals), despite bad weather :-).
Written May 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lilbigmom
Hohenfels, Germany175 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
My husband and I joined James for a five hour tour on Friday and it was the highlight of our trip. The walk was user friendly, no mountains to climb here and James had numerous stops built in for photo shots, history updates and the sharing of current events. Each of his photo stops were designed to teach a specific lesson, and at the end of the tour I walked away with so much more than knowledge of my camera. I had anticipated that we would walk away with a better understanding of the camera. I would recommend this tour to any of my friends. James's knowledge, skill and the personal anecdotes combined to make a fantastic adventure.
Written November 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

642bertha
Edinburgh, UK2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Solo
Very enjoyable photo walk made very interesting by James who knows his history of Edinburgh, he was very Helpful in showing the correct settings on our cameras, but would say it's more geared towards the history of Edinburgh rather than learning how to take good pictures on your camera, would also say a 10-15 min break for lunch would have been welcomed as its a 4 or more hour tour
Written September 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RogerOnTour
Province of Barcelona, Spain1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
I thought long and hard about being the first three star review but i really can't place this any higher than average. For a 5 start photography tour I'd want a comprehensive list of items to bring other than just bring your camera. I happen to have a dslr and on the day of my walk I had a 70-200mm zoom lens. In hindsight that wasn't the best lens to take for photographing buildings that we were fairly close to but a mention or suggestion of an appropriate focal range would have helped. At the end of the day, It was my lens choice but I have done the night time tour (hosted by a rival) and a studio based lesson that regularly appears on Groupon and both of them advised on lens types. For a photography lesson i think that would have helped.

The landmarks for a resident of Edinburgh have been photographed a thousand times. Any of the local Facebook pages will show you these places shot from many a different angle and in the end you make a choice. I was already shooting manual (have been on other lessons) so apart from James telling us his preferred F stop and shutter speed I never really had a whole lot of tuition For me this tour would needed to show me something different from even the most basic of photography courses that are out there to be worthy of a higher rating.

The other thing that lost the tour marks from me was the fact it was mentioned on several occasions throughout the walk that a review on this site was something James was after. As a resident of Edinburgh I would have no real reason to go on Trip advisor to review a local attraction that I hadn't booked via Trip Advisor so I left with the impression that he was fishing for a better review than the day merited.
Written July 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
This review was written by a person who was not on our tour. We clearly advise what camera equipment to bring at the time of booking - in writing. As evidenced by all the other genuine reviews for our tour, clearly this person must have been on someone else's tour and not ours.
Written September 10, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TravellinDaveHead
Toronto, Canada346 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
My wife was bitten by the photography bug some time ago, and after upgrading her equipment, I inherited her old digital SLR camera. Not being comfortable with manual mode, I always just left it on Auto, and so was life... until I took this tour!

First let me say that James made all of us feel very comfortable, regardless of our experience levels. He went over and above to ensure we would get the most from this tour. By intentionally keeping the group small, he is able to provide one-on-one guidance to each participant. This is not a tour for people taking quick snaps on their iPhones, you do need to have a proper camera. He started off by taking us step by step through the basics of manual mode. I soon realized that there was no need to be intimidated by my camera, and that yes, I too could take high quality photographs while beginning to take advantage of all that my camera has to offer. He compared the average "tourist" photo with the photo that people "should" be taking if they just took the time to think about their shots before they take them. The additional effort is minimal, but the impact to the photograph is mind-blowing!

The day was spent walking through Edinburgh with plenty of stops along the way to not only photograph the sites, but also learn some of the history behind them. James would snap a photo, tell us the settings to use on our cameras, then our job was to try and match it. By doing so, we learned how to use our cameras, but just as importantly, we ended up with some really great photos to remind us of our visit to Edinburgh. Additionally, he taught us about framing the shot, which has a significant impact on the quality of the photographs. The tips given seemed very simple, but were things that you likely never really thought about before. It was amazing how the quality of my photos improved over the course of my vacation as I applied what I had learned. And as James correctly predicted, I have not had my camera in Auto mode since the tour!

Whether a beginner or intermediate photography enthusiast, I highly recommend taking this tour, the sooner in your visit to Edinburgh the better. Other tips, come dressed for the weather, and wear comfortable shoes, as it is a full day outside in whatever weather you find yourself in that day.
Written November 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Dave, Many thanks for your review for Edinburgh Photography Tours Limited. We are very happy that you and your wife, Leia, enjoyed the tour so much. As an experienced photographer (professional) it was very rewarding to hear that Leia got so much from the tour too. The historical content to the tour seemed to captivate you, I am lucky to be from a city that is steeped in so much history. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your vacation in Scotland. James
Written November 24, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KiwiGroom
Edinburgh, UK50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Solo
James really engaged with the whole group and ensured we all took perfect pictures, in manual mode, before moving on. It's a great way to learn how to use your camera and gain an understanding of the photography basics. Even for a native of Edinburgh, the tour provided great additional knowledge of the city and it's sights.
Written November 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your great review of Edinburgh Photography Tours. We are pleased to see that you learned a lot of photography skills on the tour and that the historical interest was relevant even to a local, such as yourself. James
Written November 24, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KarenS-159803
Dallas, TX6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Friends
Our tour was the very first thing we did in Edinburgh and it was a wonderful way to start our visit. James was very patient with us and our slow meandering. He was also very knowledgeable; we learned so much about Edinburgh and our cameras. Not only did we finish with better photos but also with spot on recommendations of where to eat.
We had a lot of fun, saw beautiful landmarks, and came away with a love of the city and greater skill that we put to good use on the rest of our trip. If I ever get back to Edinburgh I would love to book another session with James for some additional photographic training.
Written November 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Karen, Many thanks for your wonderful 5 star review of Edinburgh Photography Tours Limited. We are extremely happy that you got so much from the tour - both Photographic and historical. We pride ourselves as being the first photographic tour of its kind anywhere in the world and after 6 years we strive every day to make each tour unique and special for those who attend. James
Written November 13, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alison S
Clinton, MD4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Solo
First, let me admit that I am usually skeptical when I read all good reviews. However, I decided to throw caution to the wind and take a chance. I am so very glad that I did. I thought it would be interesting to see Edinburgh through the eyes of a local. James definitely rose to the occasion nicely.

I am glad that I decided not to use my iPhone and take advantage of James' expertise. While I still consider myself a neophyte when it comes to photography, I learned a lot and still have my camera on James' "ready settings." I do plan to practice so I can remember what I learned. I even believe that I may be ready to upgrade from my point-and-shoot.

About the tour. We had fabulous weather. James was punctual (that always makes me happy). He is definitely enthusiastic about his craft. I really enjoyed his stories regarding the city's history. This is noteworthy because I am not a history buff. I appreciated that he took his time and explained each lesson in layman' terms. He critiqued (not criticized) the photo and worked with me until I got the right composition.

I would make one suggestion regarding the abstract time. Take a few minutes to review the photos and make possible suggestions regarding lighting and composition. While I'm not sure that the penny dropped, I am sure I learned a lot more than I expected. I would definitely recommend this tour earlier in the trip rather than later. Remember to wear comfortable shoes. While we spent 5 hours together, the time few by quickly...definitely a good sign.

Take a chance.
Written September 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter Thom
Durham, UK3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Business
Came up last week specifically for this trip and to spend time with my family. AS a beginner to photography I thought I would give this a go - despite the negative reviews that were on here and now they are gone.

Whilst on the trip James took the time to give his settings to every single person in the tour and make sure they done as he said - I found this to be quite annoying as my photos looked wrong on the back of the camera. I changed the settings from what I was being told and they were actually better.

Along the long four hour tour there was no breaks and no chance to stop for a coffee or even a sandwich. James constantly talked and talked about the history of Edinburgh - some of which is total fabrication by himself and his information is inaccurate. During this time he was also going on about who he has photographed and his previous experience with other photographers and boy does this man like to hear his own voice. He really has a dislike for most Edinburgh photographers and claims that others are out to get him and they are all jealous as he claims to be Edinburghs top photographer!

The tour was ok I guess apart from inaccurate information, the length of time and no breaks for refreshments. His approach to people on the tour also needs to take a step back as he comes across quite aggressive and impatient when beginners (like myself) are not sure what he is saying and how to work a camera.

I wouldn't recommend the tour due to James's behaviour and manner on the tour. He needs to concentrate more on the people on his tour that trying to praise himself. I lost the amount of times he mentioned Trip Advisor and that only a good review would be acceptable. He was practically on his hands and knees asking for a good review as he kept bragging about being number 1. I dont know how this is the case. I suspect he got family and friends to write reviews.

I spoke to others on the tour and they were as the same opinion as myself. Not to go back.

Think twice before you book this tour.

Anon
Written March 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear PeterThom75 Thank you for leaving your review. I am truly sorry that you were unhappy with certain parts of my tour. You stated that you "Came up last week specifically for this trip and to spend time with my family. AS a beginner to photography I thought I would give this a go - despite the negative reviews that were on here and now they are gone." Yet, your review is the only negative review for our tour, so I am very confused about your statement. To compound my confusion I did not do any Edinburgh Walking Tours between March 2, 2019 and March 22, 2019 as I was not in Edinburgh between those dates. Instead, I was actually in the North of Scotland and the Isle of Skye doing private custom tours that we offer as "The Scottish Photography Experience". At the time of responding, I have 952 Five star reviews, gained over a 9 year time frame. None of them mention any of the negative points that you have, so again you have left me extremely confused. I have never received a booking from anybody by the name of "Peter Thom" in the 9 years that my tour of Edinburgh has been operating. Please get in touch with me directly and show me confirmation of both your booking and payment and I will gladly offer you a refund in full or a chance to do the tour again. I wish you all the very best. Sincerely James Christie (Owner)
Written March 26, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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