Macro Workshops

In 2021 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 social distancing and the best learning experience, numbers will be limited, with a maximum of 2 attendees. This way I can give you lots of one-to-one coaching and support.

Dates, hours and locations are flexible according to the wishes of the attendee(s). Locations may include Reddish Vale Country Park and Dane Bank (north of Stockport). Please contact me to make a booking or if you have any questions.


One attendee: £30 per hour

Two attendees: £20 per hour

Three or four attendees: £12 per hour

Fees will be calculated based on the total number of hours.

Please note, VAT does not apply; these are the total amounts.

What Can I Expect at a Workshop?

Workshops begin with an optional 1-2 hour tuition session over Zoom. After this there will be one or two sessions in the field, usually lasting 3 hours, although this is negotiable. 

Finally if attendees wish we will hold a post-processing training session by Zoom. 



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 locate 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.




1. Theory/discussion (1-2 hours, time negotiable)

We will meet via Zoom to look at the principles and techniques of macro photography. We will view photos and critique them - this may include some of your own


As part of this session I will discuss focus stacking, and how to get the shots needed for a stack.


This session will give you the foundations you need to make the most of the practical session in the field. Good macro photography requires applying a variety of skills and knowledge all at the same time, which is difficult. Discussing and thinking about the various techniques in advance will help you master them in practice.

2. Practical in the field 1 (3 hours, 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 (probably 90 minutes to 2 hours), if it has warmed up and the insects are active, we will hunt for subjects and take images on an individual basis. I will provide coaching and advice, as well as demonstrating techniques.

3. Practical in the field 2 (3 hours, 6-9am)

If desired we can hold another session in the field on a mutually agreed date. This can take place at the same or a different location, and with different subjects, according to the preferrences fo the attendee(s).

4. Post processing (1-2 hours)

After the outdoors sessions we will hold another meeting by Zoom for post processing. I will demonstrate how to get the best out of your images using Lightroom and Photoshop by screen sharing. You can send me your images so I can demonstrate processing methods and you can try it your self with my coaching. If desired, this will include a full explanation of focus stacking. 

'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 on 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


Locations and Typical Species

Species seen will depend on the time of year - please inquire for details.

Reddish Vale Country Park    

Target Species: Ringlet, Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Butterfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Cinnabar Moth, Burnet Moths

 Dane Bank                                            

Target Species: Painted Lady, Common Blue Butterfly, Emerald Damselfly, Small and Large Skipper, Burnet Moth

Photos Taken on Previous Workshops

To give you some idea of what is possible on a workshop, here you can see photos taken by people who came on workshop with me in 2019 and 2020. 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'.

Meadow Brown 
by David Woodhead
Banded Demoiselle 
by Roger Geldard
Blue-tailed Damselfly
by Steve Hitchen
Banded Demoiselle on Clover
by Sue Anders - accepted into Beyond Salon 2019
by Kieran Metcalfe - accepted into Dingwall Salon 2019

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


Reddish Vale Coutry Park - a haven for wildlife 

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