Outdoor Macro Photography Workshops
I will be giving outdoor macro workshops at Reddish Vale Country Park in Stockport, Cheshire, this Summer (2023). To see the sorts of images you will be able to achieve please peruse the gallery below.
There will be a maximum of three attendees at each workshop, in order to ensure I can give each person as much attention as they will need.
In the workshops we will go on a bug safari, finding and photographing a variety of insect and other invertebrate subjects. I will demonstrate a range of vital aspects in creating beautiful macro images, including tripod set up, lighting, background, focus, focus stacking, exposure, camera settings, and composition (including positioning the creature and its perch in the frame for maximum impact).
I will provide lighting and various other equipment. A list of your own recommended gear is provided below.
Before the workshop, there will be a FREE optional Zoom session lasting one hour, during which we will:
- discuss my principles of photographing invertebrates in the field
- discuss important aspects of fieldcraft
- look at examples of my own images to see the styles and techniques you can try on the day
- discuss gear and equipment and how best to use them
POST PROCESSING ZOOM
There will also be a FREE optional 2-hour Zoom after the workshop, in which I will demonstrate how I would process your images (which you will send to me in advance).
This workshop is suitable for beginners to intermediate level photographers. It will cover the basics of getting excellent macro images, as well as some more advanced techniques.
TECHNIQUES & TOPICS COVERED
- fieldcraft, including understanding the subject and its behaviour, finding subjects, manoeuvring them safely, the importance of light and temperature, how to dress, and more
- setting up a subject for photography (positioning, using clamps/tripods/reflectors etc.)
- composition (including experimenting with angles, positioning in frame, size in frame etc.)
- camera settings
- ensuring a good background and bokeh
- lighting (including natural light, LED panels, and reflectors (note - I do not use flash for this sort of photography but you are welcome to bring a flash if you wish). There are many ways to use lighting with different angles etc., and we will try a variety of approaches.
- using water sprays to create droplets and rain effects
- getting the subject sharp/focusing
- ensuring good exposure
- focus stacking (including processing in Photoshop)
- post processing (using Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz Denoise to get the most out of an image)
The day will begin at 6.00am (to ensure the insects are less active and so easier to photograph) and run until 10am. The plan is as follows:
1. Explore the area to locate subjects
2. Set up and photography demonstration
3. Attendees try their own shots with set ups I create, and with my support in getting the shots
4. Attendees either locate and photograph subjects on their own, or I locate and set up more subjects for them to photograph.
5. If the temperature rises to a point where insects are active, we will switch to stalking, and photographing handheld (or using a monopod). I will demonstrate this and then attendees can try themselves.
Friday June 23rd 2023, 6-10am - FULLY BOOKED
Thursday June 29th 2023, 6-10am - FULLY BOOKED
Tuesday July 4th 2023, 6-10am - FULLY BOOKED
Note: in case of poor weather we will reschedule to a backup date, agreed beforehand
Watch this space for information on future macro workshops!
INTRODUCTORY ZOOM DATES
Thursday June 22nd, 3-4pm
Wednesday June 28th, 7.30-8.30pm
POST PROCESSING ZOOM DATES
Tuesday July 4th, 7.30-9.30pm
Monday 17th July 3-5pm
Zoom links will be sent to attendees a week in advance.
£120 per person
If two people wish to book for themselves alone the fee will be £160 per person.
One to one sessions are £40/hour (including any Zooms or in peson editing sessions).
Please note, VAT does not apply; these are the total amounts.
Payment is due on booking. I will hold your place for 48 hours until you have made payment. This can be by Paypal or bank transfer.
If you cancel up to 7 days before the workshop you will get a full refund. If you cancel up to 48 hours before the start of the workshop you will get a 50% refund.
What You Will Need
1. Camera with 2 or 3 charged batteries and memory card
2. Tripod and head (plus plate) - ideally a tripod that allows you to position the camera close to the ground
3. Close-up lens (ideally a macro lens, or some other set up which allows you to do close-up photography)
4. Knowledge of how to use/alter camera settings, e.g. mode, manual/autofocus, ISO, aperture, focal length, live view, white balance, exposure delay, exposure compensation; knowledge of how to adjust tripod
5. Full Covid vaccinations, or a negative test (e.g. lateral flow) no more than 24 hours before the workshop
6. Dull coloured clothing
7. Strong shoes or boots for rough and possibly muddy ground
1. Wide brimmed hat (helps with seeing subjects)
2. Lighting, e.g. flash/LED panel
'Thanks for yesterday's macro workshop which we both really enjoyed. The pre-workshop Zoom was very helpful and set us up so that we could get straight into finding subjects and photographing them on the day. The workshop itself was great fun and we got some excellent shots. More importantly, we learned skills that will help us to go out on our own and continue to produce high-quality macro images. We felt that having just 3 people on the workshop was perfect, as it ensured there wasn't too much crowding and we all benefitted from your excellent tuition. Overall, we both found the workshop to be enjoyable, informative and useful, and would highly recommend it.'
-Gill and Steve Moon
'Having seen the results that Tony achieves I decided to sign up on one of his macro courses. I did the pre shoot, shoot and post shoot processing sections each of which I found most helpful and rewarding.
I am confident that going forward I will be able to apply the skills and techniques learned to have a positive impact on my macro work. Tony is easy to get on with and generous in sharing his knowledge and techniques. I would recommend anyone to give it a go.'
- Steve Hitchen
'Having seen Tony’s work with butterflies etc, I have been waiting to get out for a while but been spoiled by the weather. However, I finally got out and spent some quality time with him explaining the techniques used in finding, isolating and having the set-up ready to take the picture in the best possible position. I now have that understanding that I can also take into the field to try and achieve the same level and quality of the images Tony produces.'
- David Woodhead
Images by Attendees
Ringlet by Kieran Metcalfe
Banded Demoiselle by Sue Anders
Blue-tailed Damselfly by Steve Hitchen
Meadow Brown by David Woodhead
These images of my own should give some idea of subjects and techniques we may cover (although specific invertebrates photographed will depend on what is available at the time of the workshop).