Workshops 2022 update
The safety and wellbeing of all of my clients is of paramount importance to me and I'm acutely aware of the impact Covid-19 has had, and continues to have on all of us. That said I'm confident of the science which indicates we are through the worst of this terrible pandemic. I'm therefore very pleased to announce 1:1 and group workshops will be resuming in 2022 - albeit in a format that complies with the scientific and governmental advice in place at the time of the workshops. I'm double vaccinated, and whilst I'm not going down the route of insisting participants must be vaccinated if attending, I will be asking all workshop attendees to complete a covid-19 questionnaire along with a negative lateral flow test prior to arriving. I will always strive to make the final decision on a participants fitness to undertake a workshop a joint one. Ultimately though I have a duty of care to everyone involved and I reserve the right to make a unilateral decision when I feel it's necessary.
Please note: I now live in Powys, Cymru in a beautiful, secluded location full of wildlife and wild scenery where the core of my workshops will be taking place. The future of Dorset workshops is still unclear but I am fully committed to Cumbria, the Farne islands, Scottish Photography Hides and the Dales.
On a personal note I have to say I've missed the buzz a great workshop can bring to the table, and although I've not been photographically idle during the pandemic I'm really keen to get back to passing on my knowledge and mentoring those of you keen to know more about photography, how it can improve our wellbeing, enhance our creativity, and get us into being immersed in the moment we have in front of us.
Welcome to my 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 life. We all have ' stuff - it's the unwelcome, 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 minute 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 weather conditions are unsafe or 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 any decision not to proceed with a workshop is not made lightly. In the event of a workshop not going ahead you will receive an update at the earliest practicable opportunity and the option of a rescheduled date or a 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.
Spring 2022 Wales wildlife workshops
As many of you who have been with me on my journey following my diagnosis of PTSD in 2010 will know, I've felt unsettled in Dorset for many years. This lovely county has given me much but I'm only truly alive amongst mountains, lakes and wilderness with few people in it, and whilst I have many special memories of the place I never intended staying there for the rest of my days. My roots are proudly celt with welsh and scots ancestors along with a nearly 500 year old family tree also linking me to the border reivers of Westmorland. Wild fells, empty, silent spaces and undisturbed forest are me, and I them so it was only natural to get back to an environment that truly nourishes my soul and connects me to my ancestors. So here I am, back in Cymru living in splendid remoteness amongst the woods, forest and hills that surround our house in Powys. Overhead circle kites and buzzards, a few feet away tawny owls call from an old tree (at midday), and in the early dusk light bats flit about as they hunt insects. There's no road noise, the nearest neighbours are over half a kilometre away and the country house we now call home has a positive, life-affirming energy that welcomes you the minute you step into the hallway.
With over two acres of mixed woodland, two ponds, a separate barn all bordered by an ancient beech forest we were always going to make this into a special place for nature. Our real decision was whether we wanted to share this haven with other people as a workshop venue and so we've sat with it over the four months we've been here. In that time we've trebled the amount of wild birds coming in with over 30 species seen so far including nut hatches, greater spotted woodpeckers, pied flycatchers, wrens, marsh tits and coal tits. There are mice, voles, shrews just outside the house and the occasional fox and deer passing through - although we hope to have more permanent residents as they get used to us and the food we're regularly putting out for them.
Four months later we've almost got on top of the infrastructure: long-lost garden paths reinstated, dead Rayburn dragged away kicking and screaming, new external boiler installed and extra radiators added. Electrics are now fully up to speed, fallen trees chainsawed and stored for winter, new Rangemaster in situ and about an acre of skydeck ripped out and replaced with a redesigned replacement projecting out into the forest that you won't put your foot through... and still we wondered if we are ready to share this.
A friend of ours who works as a functional medicine doctor suggested we viewed some TED talks as they often inspire her and give her another perspective on life. The first one we watched was about the interconnectedness of all things and focused on the relationships and connections between people and nature, and the benefits of being in natural spaces - a reminder, not that I should need one, that Linda and I are in a very privileged position as guardians of this special place, and that it should be shared with other people who will also truly appreciate it. With that in mind we're very pleased to announce photography workshops will begin here in Spring 2022. Content, dates and cost can be found here.
Below are some of the projected workshops with dates to be confirmed:
Scottish Photography Hides Autumn Workshops
Autumn 2022 - dates to be confirmed depending on Covid restrictions
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 December 2022 and January 2023 as possible months 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 - although I will be fully on hand for tuition and advice. You should also be confident in your abilities to wait in silence 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 2022 subject to Covid restrictions. 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.