1:1 Photography Workshops and Post-production
Why 1:1 workshops? Do you ever spend a day out with your camera and get home to maybe find one or two great shots and plenty of images you weren't so keen on? Have you ever wondered how on earth did I get this shot, and why can't I get it right again? Would you like to be able to shoot great images in all kinds of light and weather conditions? These are all questions I asked myself time and time again when I first started taking images back in the good old analogue age. I know from the workshops I now take these questions - and many more - are still being asked by photographers as they try to make sense of their cameras, lighting conditions, and the often conflicting advice found on many social media platforms. You can read as many photography books as you want, watch every video on the exposure triangle you can find, but there's still no substitute for an experienced photographer spending the day guiding and supporting you, answering questions and physically demonstrating technique and concepts. A 1:1 workshop with me offers you unrivalled access to a patient and committed mentor and tutor with over 30 years of photographic experience. I'm an award winning landscape, nature and wildlife photographer who's been on Countryfile, BBC News, Radio 4 and 5 and The Great British Photography Challenge on BBC 4. I still get excited by photography, and I've never lost sight of what it's like to be at the often frustrating start of ones photographic journey. 1:1 gives you time; time to revisit something that doesn't work out at the first or second attempt. You get my full, undivided attention and the benefit of the many years I've been a photographer who's made those same mistakes and experienced the same frustrations that seem to be some kind of rite of passage to becoming a competent photographer. Individual workshops like mine free you from the constraints group work can bring for some people. It's just you, me and a camera or two working patiently and methodically through whatever it is you want to achieve until you achieve it.
Photographers at every level will benefit from my 1:1 workshops designed to look at making the transition from where you are to the next place you want to be - whether that's learning more about your camera, looking at more complicated techniques or exploring the pros and cons of becoming a semi or full-time professional photographer. There comes a point in most photographers journeys where they feel stuck or become stale. Many put their cameras down and don't return to photography for years. I've met many photographers who, when looking back at their photography, can clearly see a point where image making lost its allure. This was often because they ran out of ideas, or they just couldn't get the breaks they needed to generate the critical mass of interest all photographers need if they want to be successful. I can help with that. In less than three years I've gone from being a competent photographer to one running highly rated workshops around the UK, along with seeing my work in numerous publications, having one of the fifty top weather images in the world, winning the July slot in the RSPB calendar and featuring in numerous tv, radio and social media campaigns and programmes.
I've added some of my images below to give you an idea of my style, quality and work ethos:
I remember working in my own darkroom as if it was yesterday. It was an alchemical, magical thing to see a film you'd developed yourself being used to produce prints before your very eyes. Fast forward a few years, and many rolls of film later, and I became an early adopter of Photoshop teaching myself to use what was to become the most potent darkroom you could ever hope to experience. I'm now into my 15th year using this phenomenal post-production tool, and like to think I know a thing or two about how to get the most out of an image. One thing I need to mention is that Photoshop will make a good image better, but is rarely able to resurrect a poor image and make it great. Clip the shadows or highlights too much, introduce camera blur or use too slow a shutter speed and there's very little you can do to rescue the image. One of the stellar uses of post editing is to reduce noise and introduce a degree of sharpness - particularly with .raw images. Using Camera Raw very early on in your workflow can save a stack of time later in the process. - every photographer should be aiming to reduce their post production time. Working smarter, not harder by getting as much right in-camera prior to post production is taught alongside the many tips, tricks and techniques I use to minimise the time I spend at a desk rather than being out doing what I really love - taking photographs.
Post production can be a standalone day or added as an extra to an existing 1:1 workshop. Either way you and I will go out and shoot images specifically geared up to allow us to take a look at my professional workflow from .raw, through to .tif for prints, and on to .jpg for the web. Using my dedicated colour calibrated colour monitor and full suite of Adobe CC Photoshop we'll explore those areas of post production you feel least confident about using images you've taken on the same day. For those of you using Lightroom this will be your opportunity to compare your workflow using Lightroom against mine on Photoshop - you might be surprised...
1:1 with me starts at a time to suit you, and is a combination of 5 hours of theory, tuition and practical work uniquely tailored to your individual needs and aspirations. The cost for 1:1 is £350 - this will include lunch, refreshments and a signed copy of my book 'Wildlife Photography: Saving my life one frame at a time'. If you wanted to add an hour of post production tuition to your day the price will be £415.
The post production day will be a balanced mix of theory, practical and post production, but with a greater emphasis on editing. The cost for this is £350 and will be 5 hours long.
I pride myself on the support I provide both during and after a workshop. Just because our day has finished doesn't mean you can't contact me with any questions that may crop up after the workshop is completed. This is an entirely free service for anyone who attends a workshop, and gives you a week post workshop to get in touch with me regarding any queries around what we've covered on the day. You will also be provided with links or articles on a variety of topics including the exposure triangle, composition and post production.
What to bring
1:1 workshops will always involve a mix of practical, theory and tuition. We generally head out somewhere scenic with the obvious quid pro quo of the weather turning from sunshine to rain in the blink of an eye. Depending on the season I tend to have a rainproof jacket, walking boots and several layers on as we do end up standing still for periods of time. This is less of a problem when it warms up, but I'd still pack a few options to cover the bases. The workshop is appropriate for all skill levels and camera types including small compacts, bridge cameras and DSLR's. If you have a tripod and shutter release please bring them with you along with as many memory cards and batteries (and the charger plus cables) you have. A physical manual is often useful as it helps me get around some of the more convoluted camera menus out there. 1:1 can be landscape or wildlife based - or even a mix of both if that's your preference. With that in mind you need to get an idea of what you'd like to photograph prior to the workshop and let me know. Bring the most appropriate lenses if your camera lets you swop lenses around, and don't rule out a telephoto for landscape or a wide-angle for wildlife. Seeing as you are loading your boot up with stuff throw in the lens hood, tripod and some kind of plastic bag to cover your camera and lens up should the weather have the temerity to rain. The places we end up in tend to be muddy and uneven so wellies or walking boots is my advice to you. If you have any physical health problems please bring them to my attention prior to the workshop so I can plan a day that is both doable and not too demanding. I particularly welcome people who experience mental health problems. I make no secret I have PTSD from my military and police careers, and strongly believe in the positive power of photography to improve mental and physical wellbeing. I'll do my best to choose a location that has a nearby cafe, but I'd still pack the thermos and food if you still have space in the car.
Start time, directions to all workshop locations or our house for the Powys workshops and 1:1. and any other information pertinent to your day will be sent out on receipt of a BACS transfer of the total cost for the workshop. Please read the workshop terms and conditions on this site as it forms the basis of our contract together and covers issues around refunds and our responsibilities during our time together.
It really doesn't matter where you are on your photographic journey. From complete beginner to advanced photographer 1:1 and/or post production with me will take you to the place you want to be, wherever that is. I guarantee it - after all you will have my undivided attention for the session. It might only be one day, but it will create endless possibilities for years to come in your photography future.