In 2020 I will be giving workshops on macro photography in the Manchester area. Not only will you get good (or even great) macro shots on these outings, you will learn a lot about the techniques, skills and knowledge required to do high quality macro work in the field.
To ensure the best learning experience numbers will be limited, with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 attendees. This way I can give you lots of one-to-one coaching and support, as well as small group work.
I am also available for one-to-one workshops. These are flexible to suit your needs and will be charged at £25/hour. Please contact me to arrange a bespoke session.
What Can I Expect at a Workshop?
A full workshop will take place over a weekend. Of course it is not possible to guarantee suitable weather and so there will be two morning outings, on a Saturday and Sunday, to maximise the chance of at least one good session.
Having said that, unless it is raining or windy it is always possible to get photos, so we will go ahead unless weather conditions are poor. In that case we will reschedule to the following weekend. It is therefore a good idea to keep both weekends free.
There will be 4 sessions at each workshop. It is possible to book only two of these for a reduced fee, but I recommend taking part in all the sessions to get the most from the workshop.
1. Theory/discussion/practical (2 hours, Friday, 7-9pm): we will meet at my house in Fallowfield, Manchester, to look at the principles and techniques of macro photography. We will view photos and critique them - this may include some of your own. Drinks and biscuits will be provided!
As part of this session I will discuss focus stacking, and how to get the shots needed for a stack.
There will then be a practical session in the garden (or indoors if the weather or light is poor), using real subjects and/or models. This will give you a chance to develop your skills in a controlled and relaxed setting. It will provide a foundation for much greater success when we go into the field the next day.
2. Practical in the field 1 (3 hours, Saturday, 6-9am): we will meet at the location early, when the insects are less active and easier to photograph. We will locate them, catch them, and pose them using my method to ensure an excellent pose, perch and background. You may be assured that this approach causes the insect no harm whatsoever.
This will be your chance to get high quality images. After this, for the remaining hour or so, we will hunt for subjects and take images on an individual basis. I will provide coaching and advice, as well as demonstrating techniques as and when necessary.
3. Practical in the field 2 (3 hours, Sunday, 6-9am): the following morning we will meet again for a similar session to the previous one, potentially with different subjects.
4. Post processing (2 hours, Sunday, 10am-12pm): after the Sunday morning outing we will meet at my home in Fallowfield for a session on post processing (again tea/coffee/biscuits will be provided). I will demonstrate how to get the best out of your images using Lightroom and Photoshop on my 27" iMac. If desired, this will include a full explanation of focus stacking.
For the second hour you can try processing your own images. One person will be able to use my iMac, but for this session you will need to bring a laptop or other suitable device with your own subscription to LR/PS. If you don't have these (or something similar), you can watch others, or take turns on the iMac.
£145 for all 4 sessions (10 hours tuition in total)
£85 for 2 sessions (you can pick any 2)
(please note, VAT does not apply; these are the total costs)
What Kind of Photos Will I Take?
Our aim is to photograph native British species, so you can learn how to do this on your own. The invertebrates and plants we will see will vary, depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Typical species are listed for each workshop.
Usually I focus on butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies. To me these are the most beautiful of minibeasts. However we are likely to see other creatures such as bees, hoverflies, beetles, snails, and spiders, as well as fungi, flowers and other plants.
Of course you will be free to photograph any subject you like. However for the first part of the practical I will catch insects and set things up for you to get excellent images, and these are most likely to be butterflies or damselflies.
Please note, all workshop activities fully comply with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and no harm will be done to any animals.
Workshop Dates 2020
For each workshop, if the weather is poor we will reschedule for the following weekend - see 'backup' dates below.
Please contact me for further details or to make a booking.
Photos Taken on Previous Workshops
To give you some idea of what is possible on a workshop, here you can see four photos taken by people who came on outings with me in 2019. Each of these images were set up by me to allow the photographer to capture a sharp subject, and a nicely blurred background or 'bokeh'.
The first of these below, by Sue Anders, was accepted into the Beyond National Salon of Photography in 2019. The one below it, by Kieran Metcalfe, was accepted into the Dingwall Salon in 2019.
Banded Demoiselle on Clover
by Sue Anders
by Kieran Metcalfe
by Kieran Metcalfe
by Roger Geldard
Get in touch
Let me know which workshop(s) you are interested in or whether you would like one-to-one coaching.
44 Whitebrook Road
Manchester M14 6EF
Tel: 0161 224 6445/07754 406422