After a great deal of reflection on the year ahead of me I've made the reluctant decision to reduce the amount of workshops I initially set out to create for 2020. The very real prospect of ankle surgery necessitates I try to plan ahead as best I can, and I'd much rather have a limited workshop schedule at the start of the year than start to cancel workshops people have paid for and are looking forward to as we get into 2020.
Brownsea and Scottish Photography Hides are most definitely going ahead, and I'm still available for 1:1 or small groups of people who want a workshop together subject to operation dates and subsequent rehab.
1:1/small group workshops along the Jurassic Coast, Isle of Portland and in the Lake District can also be arranged. If there's a specific place or species you'd really like to photograph it's always worth getting in touch with me so we can have a discussion.
Welcome to my 2020 Workshops page where you can see the most up to date availability of my planned workshops for the year. If you want to make a firm booking I strongly advise you to look at my terms and conditions as they form the basis of our contract together. Click here to see them. For more information about each workshop there are individual pages on the site which go into greater detail. Please contact me using the button below if you need any further information beyond that provided on my site pages. If you want to talk about 1:1, wildlife guiding and post-production workshops which are available all year at a time and date to suit you it's the same button. Alternatively you can always call me on +447810862599, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than anything I want your time with me to be a break away from whatever you have going on in your day to day life. We all have ' stuff - it's the unwelcome but inevitable fallout from the hectic pace that is modern living. But trust me, most of it can and will wait for a few hours as you take time out for yourself and breathe in the fresh air and immerse yourself in everything being outdoors has to offer. My workshops are a mix of mindfulness, exploring your creativity and photography tuition. If that sounds a bit 'ethereal' to you as all you really want to do is take photographs I hear you, but I promise you your photography will improve the moment you start to concentrate on being in the moment and feeling at one with whatever it is you like to photograph.
*Please note - and this is important - I reserve the right not to progress a workshop if I feel the number of participants is too low to create a meaningful and interesting dynamic for all concerned. Each workshop will have a critical mass unique to the location and topic and I won't ever make a decision not to proceed with a workshop lightly. In the event of a workshop not going ahead for lack of numbers you will receive an update at the earliest practicable opportunity and a full refund. I will not however be responsible for any other costs you may have incurred at that point including, but not exclusively, booking accommodation, renting a car or purchasing a train ticket for example*
If I'm away on location I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity.
Short-eared Owl 1:1
This workshop is available from early January until late Spring - or when the owls finally leave - and will be a 1:1 or possibly a group (maximum of three participants) session. There are no set dates as the workshop has been designed to be flexible. If you are interested in watching and photographing these amazing birds please contact me so we can discuss the best dates for you.
If owls are your thing then this is the workshop for you. In recent years a number of short-eared owls roost in the west of Dorset. For the last four years this has been on the Isle of Portland in a very specific area. After a successful series of workshops here in 2019 I'm once again offering guiding/tuition workshops to watch and photograph these iconic visitors as they fly in the daytime hunting for prey. You will need to be confident with your camera - although tuition is included -and have a 400mm+ lens to get the most out of this day. We will start at 1230 and work until dusk concentrating on capturing birds in flight and how to get the best images photographing in sometimes low light situations. Please note the terrain is rough underfoot and you will have a ten minute walk from the nearest car park carrying your camera gear. It can also get very cold on this exposed bit of the island so please dress accordingly.
Kingfisher and daytime otter 1:1
Running throughout the year this workshop aims to help you photograph the kingfishers and daytime otters found on a section of the River Stour in Dorset. During our time together we'll explore wildlife fieldcraft, recognising the signs otters may be present in the area, and how best to maximise our camera settings to capture one of our most enigmatic mammals. The River Stour is a highly biodiverse environment supporting a wide variety of wildlife including healthy populations of kingfishers. Previous workshops have not only seen otters and kingfishers but we've also photographed redwing, goldcrest, firecrest, heron, little egrets, water-rail and buzzards.
There are no set dates as I want to keep this a flexible workshop. If you are interested in joining me on either a 1:1 basis or in a small group please contact me.
Brownsea Island Spring Workshops - in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd April 2020 - maximum 8 participants
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 2020 - maximum 8 participants
Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th April 2020 - maximum 8 participants
This is a unique opportunity to spend a very tranquil two days on this iconic jewel of an island. You'll stay overnight in the Dorset Wildlife Trust villa, and have almost exclusive access to the island after the last boat has taken day visitors back with a chance to photograph dawn over the lagoon that very few people get to see. The island is not only famous for its nationally important red squirrel population but also for the rich variety of bird life often found on the shallow lagoon that attracts large numbers of wading birds including avocet, spoonbill, redshank and godwit to name but a few. Please click here for a link to the Brownsea island workshop page on this site.
Kingcombe Centre Workshop - in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Tuesday 5th through to Thursday 7th May - maximum 10 participants
I'm very excited to announce another Dorset Wildlife Trust workshop venue. One of the most pristine unimproved meadow sites in the UK, Kingcombe and Powerstock are nationally recognised for their environmental importance. Escape from the hustle and bustle of 21st century Britain and stay for three idyllic days at the centre where we'll have a relaxed look at macro, long exposure, wildlife and landscape photography. Suitable for beginners through to participants more thoroughly acquainted with their camera this is a wonderful opportunity to ringfence some you time and really connect with all things natural here in the rural heart of Dorset. Here's a bit more about Kingcombe:
Photographing the natural world at Kingcombe
Booking is via the Kingcombe centre who will also be able to help you further. I suspect places on this workshop to go quickly given the fact you're getting fed, accommodated and tutored at this price so don't leave it too late. I've also added a PDF and Word doc of the course content and itinerary below:
Kingcombe Centre Workshop - in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Friday 3rd through to Sunday 5th July - maximum of 10 participants
Please contact the Kingcombe Centre if you require further information and wish to book well in advance (I would). The word document and the PDF below give you a full itinerary, costings and information on the centre itself:
Find your connection to nature
Book online at www.kingcombe.org or call our Booking Office on 01300 320684
Brownsea Island Summer Workshop - in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July 2020 - maximum 8 participants
Continuing the amazing workshops over on Brownsea island we'll now visit the island in early July where we hope to see red squirrel kits and plenty of young terns getting fed by their busy parents. The whole island will be teeming with new life giving us so many photography opportunities it will be hard to fit them all into our two remarkable days on this relaxing, laid back workshop that people return to year after year.
This is a rare opportunity to stay overnight and have two days on this jewel of an island in the middle of the second largest natural harbour in the world. With two high quality hides overlooking a renowned lagoon full of breeding terns and other seabirds, along with one of the largest colonies of red squirrels in the UK, this two day workshop is excellent value for money as it includes full tuition, the boat trip across to the island and a one night stay in the Dorset Wildlife Trust villa. Booking is via myself with payment directly to Dorset Wildlife Trust on receipt of your booking. If you'd like to know more please click here to visit my page on the Brownsea workshop
Brownsea Island Autumn Workshop - in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th October 2020 - maximum of 8 participants
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October 2020 - maximum of 8 participants
Tuesday 2oth and Wednesday 21st October 2020 - maximum of 8 participants
We've now added an extra two day workshop as 2019 saw unprecedented demand for this colourful and busy workshop. This ever popular two day Autumn workshop is spent on the idyllic island of Brownsea with an overnight stay at the Victorian villa with the price including full tuition, accommodation and the cost of the boat trip to and from the island. This series of workshops is nearly always oversubscribed so please book early if you want to experience the peace and tranquillity the island has to offer at this magical time of year. These workshops are suitable for people with a wide range of photographic skills including beginner, intermediate and advanced. Concentrating mainly on the red squirrels and lagoon birds the two days will cover the exposure triangle, using manual (I know, it sounds worse than it really is), birds in flight, dawn and dusk light and how to photograph fungi. Please contact me for any further details and I will send you the Dorset Wildlife Trust booking form should you want to book - and who wouldn't!
You can now download the booking form directly below. Simply fill in your details and send it back to me via email@example.com. I then forward the completed form to DWT who will be in touch with you to confirm dates and take your booking fee. If for some reason you can't download the form or fill it in (some Macs have problems with word docs) please contact me and I'll send you a form out. You can also find joining instructions which, together with my Brownsea workshop page on this site, should answer many of the questions you may have. Again, please get in touch if you can't find an answer to a question about these 2020 workshops on Brownsea island.
See you on the island :)
Booking form 2020 Brownsea workshops
Joining instructions 2020 Brownsea workshops
Scottish Photography Hides Autumn Workshops
Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November - maximum of 9 participants
Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th November - maximum of 9 participants
New for 2020 - I'm now running an extra Autumn workshop which will follow on from the weekend session. I've deliberately timed these two workshops to coincide with the extra morning light as the clocks go back. This enables us to start bang on 0700 and get great light along with much earlier nighttime work leaving you with some of the evening to look at the amazing images we'll get during our time together. Alan McFadyen is constantly innovating with his hides and it's entirely possible new species will be available by the time we all get together in the Fall.
Two full days at the internationally renowned wildlife hides up in Dumfries and Galloway. This very popular workshop includes full tuition and almost non-stop wildlife action from four very different hides all designed to maximise the glorious autumn colours as the backdrop to hawks, owls, kingfishers, red squirrels and water rail to name but a few. Numbers are very limited, and spaces tend to fill fast so if is this is a workshop you've looked at before and wondered about a) the distance, b) the cost, and c) the chances of not seeing much then I can reassure you this is a very well priced workshop well worth the travel with a high chance of seeing everything we hope to see. If you are still uncertain take a look at the participants images page here to get some idea of what's achievable in just two days.
Northern Sweden - Golden Eagles
Date to be confirmed with three full days in the hides - maximum four participants
I'm very excited to announce the first potential workshop in Sweden at the acclaimed wildlife hides of Conny Lundstrom. Conny has very kindly agreed to three participants accompanying me across to Sweden to photograph a variety of wildlife including of course golden and white-tailed eagles. The cost will include pick up and drop off from and to the domestic airport of Skelleftea, accommodation, any tuition/guiding from me and full use of the hides. For this to work I need firm expressions of interest from at least two people. I'm proposing January 2021 as a possible month as there should be good amounts of snow and the wildlife is generally more inclined to come in closer to the hides the colder it gets.
To get the most out of this amazing opportunity you will need to be relatively proficient with your camera and confident in your abilities to wait for long hours whilst maintaining good awareness at all times. Things can happen very quickly outside the hides and although visits can be lengthy you can also go a day or two without seeing eagles. I recommend a minimum lens of 100-400mm for the front of the hide and a 500-600mm to the right hand aspect. I've taken great images front and side with the Sony RX10iv using the 24-600mm so don't feel you need an all singing, all dancing top of the range DSLR to come on this trip.
This is a trip of a lifetime as far as I'm concerned. To be so close to wild golden eagles is both a great privilege and very humbling. If you are genuinely interested please get in touch with me. If I get enough interest the trip will definitely go ahead in 2021. Prices are yet to be determined until I know the numbers. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me using the button at the bottom of the page or ring me on+447810862599.