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Book Review: Isle of Skye – Photographer’s guide

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Photographers Guide – Isle of Skye

Locations, tours and photography tips

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One of Keith’s Photography book reviews

The Northwest of Scotland and the Isle of Skye are not to be missed locations for landscape photography.

Keith has been looking at David Hickey’s comprehensive guide to locations in the area.

Book Details

  • Paperback : 270 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1527204219
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1527204218
  • Publisher : David Michael Hickey (3 Feb. 2020)
  • Language: : English

See for ordering, prints and bonus materials, including extra chapters not in the book.

skye book cover - front

Photographers guide: Isle of Skye

Whilst I’ve visited the North West Highlands of Scotland several times in the past, I’ve often thought that there was so much more to see. Well, Dave Hickey has spent the last 10 years living in Skye and has produced an immensely detailed guide to the area, replete with hundreds of sample photos.

The guide has some 79 chapters with maps and the sorts of tips you only get from someone who knows and loves the area.

This is the area covered in the book. It runs from Roughly Glen Coe to the tip of Skye, with some interesting areas on the mainland near to Skye.

map of area

If you were visiting, this is broadly the direction you’d come from if driving from say Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Browsing through the book just looking for interesting pictures, just note the number in the corner of any photo and go back a few pages where you’ll find a more detailed map with numbered photo locations.


Not just places

Whilst the guide has locations, it has so much more. Even in the preface, the key question of when best to visit is addressed, with three options.

  • Late January – a good chance of clear cold weather.
  • Mid/late October – often clear – the tourist have gone.
  • Late Spring – before the midges wake up.

If you’ve ever been to the Highlands from June to September and encountered the infamous midges, you’ll appreciate the advice about them in the ‘useful guidance’ section at the back of the book. Last time I was there was in March and we had a mix of clear bright blue skies and driving snowstorms – that’s the NW Highlands for you ;-)

Oh. and there’s some driving tips for those of you not familiar with the width of Scottish roads and ‘Passing Places’.

Photography advice

As well as full camera settings/equipment information, there are regular tips about both how the photograph was taken, but also how the conditions influenced choices of viewpoint and composition.

In fact if you just thought of the book as a location guide, you’d be missing the huge wealth of photographic tutorial content spread throughout it. These cover issues with panoramic shots and a good section of using luminosity masks.

There are some useful tips on composition, including that dilemma often facing the landscape photographer;

“I know there’s a great picture here in front of me, but where?”

There’s little I could complain about – my own personal dislike of tripods and love for shooting hand-held, is just me, but I do disagree with some aspects of the brief mention of how to use lens tilt (half a paragraph of P254) – once again I would say that having just written a book on the use of tilt/shift lenses myself ;-)


A very well researched book, backed up by some stunning photos. many deserve to be seen at bigger sizes, but then you’d have a coffee table book rather than one to fit in the glovebox of your car whilst travelling.

It reminded me why I keep meaning to go back there…


More than anything, the book just feels so comprehensive, and practical.

If you get the book just for visiting a particular area, do take time to read the rest of it – not only might you change your itinerary, you may find a few more useful tips

Book Cover

The softback book is a handy size to take with you.

skye book cover - frontskye book cover - back

Author information

David Hickey has spent years living in the area producing all the source material for the book. He also runs the Skye Photo Guide website which has additional material and is a good place to order the book from. You can also buy prints…

A short video review (1m 40s)

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