Frequently asked questions
Where do your photo workshops take place?
Currently I offer photography workshops in the Cotswolds, Cornwall, Lake District and Iceland. New destinations in the pipeline include Devon, West Sussex, Scotland and Namibia.
What will I learn on a photography workshop?
My photography workshops are all about you. They'll help you develop as a photographer, no matter what your ability. Fully tailor-made, they're available all-year in a choice of locations and structured around what you want to learn.
The workshops are suitable for all ability levels. If you're new to photography, you might want to get to grips with essentials like camera settings, focal length and exposure. Perhaps you're keen to venture away from the 'auto' setting, but you're not sure how. Enthusiasts might be focussed on the art of composition or how to get more creative with light, while aspiring professionals may want to focus on shooting subjects with maximum sales potential. The principal aim of my photography workshops and photo tours is to help you with whatever you need in order to take your photography to the next level.
I'm also happy to offer a 'before, during and after' approach. Before we meet for the workshop, you can email me half a dozen images with notes about what you like about them or are struggling with. This will give me an insight into your photographic approach highlighting specific areas we can work on. On the workshop itself, we'll spend time chatting about your expectations and what you hope to gain. Following the workshop, I'll then answer any further questions you may have, provide feedback on your images and offer ongoing encouragement to support your photographic journey.
Are your photography workshops safe?
Please rest assured that your safety will always be a top priority on one of my photography workshops. My Light in the Wild Photography Tours to Cornwall, the Lake District and Iceland are planned to recommence in 2021. Cotswolds Photography Workshops and Photography Walks are available now, but for the remainder of 2020 they will operate under the criteria of my new Safety Charter:
• A maximum of five people from the same household.
• No transportation provided: we will either arrange to meet at a location and then set out on foot, or I will ask you to follow me in your own vehicle if we are visiting more than one location.
• You will be asked to bring your own food and drinks. Please note it may be necessary for you to manage the workshop in the absence of convenience facilities.
• Social distancing measures need to be observed throughout the workshop, with masks worn during camera demonstrations.
• Hand sanitiser will be provided.
• The above measures will be reviewed at the start of 2021 when, hopefully, I will be able to resume 'normal' workshops, offering transport, snacks, drinks, lunch etc.
Flexible Booking conditions guarantee:
• Full refund if I have to cancel your workshop for any reason. I will also refund you if you have to cancel your place because you or a member of your family is diagnosed with Covid-19 or is required to self-isolate.
• You can transfer your workshop, free of charge, to any other date, up to seven days before departure.
What camera gear do I need for a workshop?
Don't stress too much about camera equipment! The main aim of my workshops is to help you improve, individually, as a photographer using the camera gear that you already own. You do not need to have the latest DSLR and a huge arsenal of lenses. As you will see below, my own camera outfit is fairly modest and streamlined – that's simply because I like to travel fairly light and have as little cumbersome gear as possible between myself and what I'm trying to photograph. However clichéd it may sound, it really is all about the light, the location and taking your time to consider viewpoint, composition and exposure.
On some of my workshops, we might spend an hour or so stripping gear right back to a camera plus 50mm lens – a kind of '50mm lens photo detox' – just so that we can concentrate on the fundamentals of photography.
Either a DSLR or mirrorless camera with the ability to shoot RAW format images is ideal. Which is best for you? The camera that takes the pictures you want to take. If you like it and it feels comfortable in your hand, it's not overly-intimidating, yet offers enough features to help you realise your photographic ambitions, then it's probably the right camera for you.
For full-frame, the following lens line-up is ideal: 16-35mm, 50mm and either a 70-200mm and 300mm or a 70-300mm. Specialist 'extras' might include a 100mm macro lens and a longer telephoto for wildlife, particularly bird, photography. If you only have a 'standard' zoom, 24-70mm or equivalent, that is absolutely fine and will serve you very well for anything we cover in the workshops. Essentially, you want to have a lens (or combination of lenses) that allows you to shoot fairly wide and a telephoto. For DX or APS-C users, aim for focal lengths of at least 18mm to 200mm.
If you can, please bring a sturdy outdoor tripod. After a camera and lenses, it's the most essential item of equipment. Manfrotto and Gitzo are excellent brands, but there are many others.
Camera bag choice is largely down to personal preference. I use a backpack-style bag so that I'm not pulled off-balance when walking across boulder-covered beaches or along mountain paths. I often use it in conjunction with a smaller, holster-style bag attached to a waistbelt – allowing me to easily and quickly access a camera without having to always remove my backpack.
A remote cable release (or remote switch) is essential. Although most cameras have self-timers, it's still useful have a cable release to lock the shutter open for very long (bulb) exposures. Don't forget to bring plenty of digital memory, extra batteries and a battery charger. You will also need a lens cleaning cloth or two, particularly on coastal workshops where sea spray may be an issue. A back-up camera, or compact, might be useful, along with a notebook and pencil. For pre-dawn shoots, a small head torch can come in very handy – both for negotiating paths to reach our viewpoint and also to find what you need in your camera bag!
A circular polariser is highly recommended to help reduce reflections on water or shiny surfaces and to accentuate colours. I also use graduated and neutral density filters, including a LEE Big Stopper (a 10-stop neutral density filter which is a must for daytime long exposures). These aren't mandatory, but you may find them useful on workshops. I'll have some filters with me that you'll be able to experiment with, assuming our gear is compatible.
We will be outside, taking photographs, come rain or shine. Please ensure you bring a good rain jacket with you. Waterproof trousers are also a good idea, as is a small travel umbrella. Sturdy footwear with good grip and ankle support is essential. We might need to wade into the sea or streams to set up a shot, so please also bring wellies. Layered clothing is very important. Please pack a pair of gloves and a thermal hat. Other useful items include sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen and lip balm.
If you have one, please bring a laptop with a card reader for transferring your images and ideally with Lightroom installed. I use the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan which costs around £10 per month and includes Photoshop as well. Don't worry if you don't have a laptop. We can load a selection of your images into mine. We will often hold a photo critique at the start of the workshop so, even if you don't have a laptop with you, please bring a memory stick with a small selection (no more than 10) of your favourite images.
What’s included in a workshop?
Please refer to individual photography workshops and photo tours to find out what's included. If anything is unclear, feel free to contact me either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (07511 035563)
How do I book a photography workshop?
Simply complete the form for the workshop or photo tour you're interested in joining. Let me know your preferred dates and what you'd like the workshop to focus on. I'll be in touch to confirm the date and workshop arrangements, and also to give you details of how to make a payment.
What makes these photography workshops different?
First and foremost, I love photography. From the Kodak Instamatic I had as a child, to the Canon A1 and my beloved Canon T90, right up to recent years using Canon's extraordinary EOS 5D series, I have been addicted to photography and fascinated by the art of composition and capturing light in the wild.
By joining one of my workshops, I hope to be able to share my enthusiasm and passion for picture-taking with you.
There are lots of wonderful photographers out there offering workshops and I really appreciate you taking the time to consider one of mine. I'm also aware that catching the photography bug is not without its considerable expense! If you're like me, you will spend a huge amount of time and thought before investing in a new camera or lens. Photography workshops are no different. You can read some client testimonials here, or read on for my Workshop Pledge:
1. I will pour my 30+ years' experience as a professional photographer into each workshop, offering you tuition, advice, technical tips and enthusiasm to help you grow as a photographer, no matter what level you're at.
2. Awards aren't everything – we all know that a 'great photograph' is often in the eye of the beholder – but, for what it's worth, I have won a few awards and had my photographs published in hundreds of books and magazines etc. I can help you refine the art of taking images worthy of prizes or publication.
3. On one of my workshops, you'll enjoy concentrated time on photography, learning new techniques in small groups where you'll receive individual tuition in a calm, kind, encouraging and patient manner.
4. I'll do everything I can to make each workshop informative, inspiring and fun. We won't rush. We'll wait for the right light and only move on when everyone has got the images they need. You'll also be with like-minded people – all with a passion for photography, willing to share their knowledge, offer constructive critique and talk cameras!
5. I firmly believe in a 'Before, During & After' approach to my workshops. Once you've reserved your place, I'll be in touch not just to send you a Booking Form to complete, but also to find out more about you as a photographer and what you hope to gain from the workshop. This individual approach continues throughout the workshop itself (with instant feedback on your images) and then, crucially, afterwards as well. I hope we'll stay in touch, either through sharing and commenting on each other's photographs online, or during future workshops.
I hope you can join me!
What do I need to bring on a photography workshop?
You will be on your feet for much of the day, so please bring good footwear. Layered clothing is best for changeable weather, while wellies and waterproofs are also a good idea.
A DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal, along with a tripod and lens(es) covering wide-angle to mid-telephoto. A polariser, neutral density and graduated filter are useful, while handy accessories include a remote release, spare batteries, memory cards and cleaning cloth.
Here's a checklist of everything you need to consider bringing with you. You can find more details about camera gear on this Q&A page.
• DSLR or Compact System camera with ability to shoot RAW
• Wideangle to mid-telephoto lenses or zoom
• Camera bag
• Remote switch
• Spare batteries & charger
• Extra memory cards
• Lens cleaning cloths
• Head torch
• Notebook and pencil
• Circular polariser (recommended)
• Neutral density and graduated filters (optional)
• 10-stop 'Big Stopper' neutral density filter (desirable)
• Waterproof jacket and trousers
• Good walking boots and wellies
• Layered clothing, gloves and hat
• Small umbrella
• Sunhat, sunscreen and lip balm
• Laptop and card reader
Selection of 10 of your favourite images, either on your laptop, or a memory stick