You want photography to be easy but you have a new camera and it has lots of buttons, dials and knobs and you haven’t got a clue what they all do and the manual is ½ inch thick. Not exactly bedtime reading for sure – and that is just the English bit! Or, you have never moved away from the auto settings because you worry that you might get it wrong. Or, you want to explore the capabilities of your camera. You know something else is possible but don’t know how.

Great! That’s where we can help with our  Digital Photography Courses.

A dial showing camera settings

The One Day Photography Course:

On arrival, you can sit down with a cuppa, show us your camera and we can discuss its features. You will have Course Notes to refer to and we’ll talk a little bit about the theory of getting that special shot, pointing out the relevant settings on your particular camera (or one we may have lent you). We will cover ISO, shutter speed, depth of field and focal length – all will be explained! The use and value of a tripod will come into this session, but don’t worry if you don’t have one of your own yet.

Now it is time for an expedition and we go off to one of several places we know in the Lake District that are close to the studio for a few hours of landscape photography (weather permitting). The location we choose will enable practice with camera settings, tripod, and choosing the viewpoint.  We will show you how to set up your camera (or the camera/lens we have lent you for the day) for landscape shots. We will talk you through composition, white balance, ISO, f stops and shutter speeds.

What, when and how, in easy to understand language. We give you notes to take home at the end so don’t worry if it all seems a bit much! You can stop us at any time to ask questions. We will show you how to use a tripod and demonstrate the advantages of having one. Then we will also have a go at some nice flowing water shots and show you how to freeze the action or let it flow and get one of those lovely silky water photos.

This will be followed by help in editing these shots.

Back at base, you will be eager to download the morning shots to your laptop (or ours if you can’t bring one). We’ll help you choose your best shot and give you advice on how to make the most of it through computer editing. We can do this with your own software or using ours,  Adobe Lightroom,  so you can see what can easily be achieved to help the finished image stand out in the crowd. It will now be time for lunch!

The next session of the day is spent taking some still-life shots using very simple lighting equipment that you will have around the house or can be purchased very cheaply. These are the sort of shots you may want to take of things that you would like to sell on the net, your jewellery or your valuable antiques for insurance purposes or simply to have some wonderful photos of flowers. This enables you to learn about different camera settings to the ones which were important this morning.

Back to the editing, and we show you how to make the most of this set of images. All your shots for the day can then be put onto the flash drive that you will have bought with you so you can take them home as reminders of your first day with us. By now it will be sometime near 5pm so time for you to head off home. Don’t forget your notes that we gave you and your flash drive. You are now ready to take some great photographs.

The cost for our One Day Course is £120.00 per head. We only take 4 at a time on these courses but there is a discount for a group booking of 4 so get together with friends or bring the family (sorry no children under 12) for a day in the Lake District. We are only 30 seconds west of M6 Junction 40, just off the A66, with our own parking and stunning views right outside the studio door. Please provide your own lunch but tea and coffee will be available at the studio all day.

Now is that enough for you for one day or could you manage a bit more? If so, have a look at the Two Day Course we also have on offer.

The Two Day Photography Course:

You have had a look at our One Day Course prospectus. How about a weekend Two Day Course? What else can we offer? Well, with an extra day to play with, all sorts of things are possible!

The only proviso is that for the 2nd day you will be working with a DSLR camera. Whilst on Day 1 we can show you how to get more from even the most modest point-and-shoot camera, this more advanced work requires a DSLR camera. Not to worry if you don’t have one, we will lend you one for the day along with suitable lenses and tripod. So if you are thinking of upgrading from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR this is your chance to have a go and see how you like it.

A different location in the Lake District for the start of Day 2.  We build on the first day’s experience with more about composition and different effects that are achievable, and a chance to ask all the questions you thought of since. Today you have the opportunity to try some HDR shots and some panoramas.

It may be Haweswater on Day One and Ullswater for Day 2 (weather permitting) and, as we are both locals, we are going to take you to the best locations that we have found in our years of taking photos in this area. None of the proposed places will be difficult to get to, you don’t need to be super fit, we will be just a few hundred yards from the car.

Back to the studio for lunch, and then more editing practice on the morning’s landscapes. In the afternoon session we would like to give you the opportunity to try out some equipment you may not own, but fancy having a go with, so how about:-

Macro Photography?

We can explore the miniature world and you can try out some of the different types of gear that are available –  extension tubes and dedicated macro lenses, and then, for the super close-ups, see what you can do with bellows and slide rails. Don’t worry if this all sounds complicated, we will have fun showing you how it all works and you will leave us with lots of new knowledge and some lovely, interesting photos to review when you get home.

Studio Work?

You may like to spend the afternoon learning more about studio work. We have a great 500 sq ft studio with lots of gear to experiment with and see what works for you. We will talk to you about posing your subject, different lighting effects, using different backgrounds, soft boxes, brollies, gels and grids  that you can try out there and then. We will be there to explain what they all do and why you would chose to use them and all this in the comfort of our studio.

Mounting?

It would be possible to print one of your photographs from your first day and show you how to mount it professionally. You will be thrilled to see your work presented well!

Arty Editing

You can remove your subject from its background.

We can spend a lot of time taking you through a few more of the things you can do with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. From basic editing, cropping, adjusting white balance, levelling, removing blemishes, adjusting exposure (yes! we will encourage you to shoot in RAW and if this is all new to you don’t worry we will explain) to merging images together to make composites and, what about adding borders?

As you can see from the above, we will try and be flexible and give you a second day that is tailored to you, and the things you are interested in. Obviously, we cannot cover all of subjects listed here with an extra day, you would need to come for 5 days to do that, (Talk to us if a 5 day course would be of interest) but you will get to pick what is interesting for you to do on Day 2

We will be running this course, usually of 2 consecutive days, from 9 in the morning till 5 on the first day, and 9-4 on the second day. The cost for our Two Day Digital Photography Course is £240.00 per head. We only take 4 at a time on these courses but there is a discount for a group booking of 4 so get together with friends or bring the family (sorry no children under 14) for a day in the Lake District.

 Tea and coffee will be available at the studio, all you need to bring is, suitable clothing, a flash drive to take your images home on, a packed lunch for each day and the equipment you have or want to discuss. We are 30 seconds west of M6 Junction 40, just off the A66, with our own parking spaces and stunning views of the fells right outside our studio door so what are you waiting for? Come to the Lake District for a fun, interesting and most of all, informative 2 days with Sue and Richard.

The Modular Week Course:  A choice of 8 modules

Holiday Photo Inspiration…. take the shots to keep the memory! We’ve designed this course particularly for those visiting Cumbria in self-catering accommodation as a family or group. Come with your party and see the Lake District through a lens! Learn to use your camera on our modular photography course. We are very flexible in what we do on this course. It’s your holiday and we want to add to your enjoyment of it by helping you understand your camera and getting wonderful shots of Cumbria and The Lake District. If this sounds like a great way to spend your time, check with us on our availability before you choose your holiday week.

Nina at Haweswater

So why is it modular? Well, we need to work with the weather, your preferences and your group circumstances. In discussion with you we will come to an arrangement as to whether we work mornings followed by afternoons or evenings. We want to give you time to explore on your own as well accompanying us to some lovely locations. Each of the 8 modules is expected to last between 2 and 3 hours depending on the module.

So how do we choose? So that we can give you a good basis for digital photography, we’d like you to do the first 4 modules, after that it’s your choice.

Camera showing settings

Module 3: Macro (close-up)/table-top photography. We’ll show you how to set up your camera to get as close as you can to subjects. You’ll learn how to have a flower beautifully posed against a blurred background. On a wet day we can do this in the studio but it would be lovely to work outdoors.

Module 4: We’ll look at the macro shots you have taken and you’ll get the opportunity to see the effects of the camera’s settings being changed.

Module 1: Getting to know your camera. What do the different settings do? What do the fancy terms mean? Letting your camera know what you want it to do! We’ll begin this session at our studio near Penrith and go somewhere nice to put this knowledge into practice. Module 2: You’ve got the images so what can you do to maximize their potential? We will sit down with you and go through photo editing using the images you have taken in Module 1. This can be in our studio or at your holiday accomodation.

bluebells

By this stage you will have a better understanding of composition, ISO, exposure factors, aperture, shooting in RAW and shutter speed. You will also have lovely shots to show off these skills! We will have given you a set of notes to refer to. Now what would you like to do? It’s time for you to choose! You have 4 more sessions!

Modules 5 – 8:  If you’ve loved being out with your camera in The Lake District any of your remaining 4 sessions could be with us at other stunning locations doing more landscape practical work rather than indoor topics (weather permitting). You can practice the things you’ve learnt earlier in the previous modules. If you’ve come to see the Lake District, these could be good modules for you.

Module 9: If you own a DSLR or would like to know how to use one, this might interest you. We’ll go out to another location and try some different techniques, ie: creating panoramas, achieving high dynamic range (HDR) in your image to achieve better detail. We may introduce you to neutral density (ND) and polarising filters on this outing. Module 10: If you chose Module 9 it will now be time to take those images into the computer and learn how to process them.

Module 11: Studio portraiture. Come to our studio and have a play with our studio lighting! You can pose and take lovely portraits of each other with our guidance on how to get the lighting right. You’ll learn how cameras sync with flash units. We’ll make sure we take a group shot of you, as well.

Young couple laughing

Module 12: We have some interesting gadgets at the studio that help to achieve the macro shots we talked about in Module 3. These are inexpensive and give great results. You’ll get some amazingly magnified images.

Module 13: Looking further into editing. Would you like to have a revision of the editing techniques use in previous Modules? We can recap or delve further into the use of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

mounting an image Module 14: Advice about achieving good prints. Monitor calibration and colour profiles will be explained. We will talk about printing, printers and how to set them up. If you give us a high resolution image you took earlier in the week, we will print and dry it ready for you to mount it yourself at the studio. You will be thrilled to see a shot you have taken displayed in a mount, ready to take home and frame as a memento of your holiday in the Lake District!

Module 15: What have we missed that you would like to achieve with your camera?

Preparation For The Modular Course: This is the extended version of our 2-Day Courses, personalised to suit you. On booking this series you will get a questionnaire so that you can tell us what equipment you have, how far/steeply you can walk, and what preparations to make. Don’t worry we will take things as gently as you need to!

OK! So what does this cost and what do I need to bring? We’ll give you more information when you book and if there are things you don’t have we can lend you equipment during the sessions if it will help develop your skills. As we said, we have designed this course for a family or group of friends, ideally of up to 4.

The price scale is as follows: 1 person = £360.00 each,  2 people = £340.00 each, 3 people = £320.00 each, 4 people = £300.00 each.

We’re sorry that these photography courses aren’t really suitable for young children to accompany you. Over 9s must be well supervised at all times. Young people in the party, 12 – 18 years will be half price. A biddable dog would be OK! Finally, if the above arrangements aren’t just what you would like, talk to us or use the Contact form.

Course Dates:

2017 Courses: The early part of the year is good for those of you who have been given our tuition for Christmas! There can be some wonderful opportunities for outdoor photography, but we can teach you the same techniques in the studio if the weather is just too bad to go out with the cameras. Just ask when you would like to come and we will see what we can do. Here are some dates for summer.

1 Day and 2 Day available dates: 

October:        23rd – 31st inc.

November:   1st.

December:   4th – 20th inc.

If you’d like to plan further ahead than this, just email us, or use the Contact form.

The Modular Week Course: Holiday Photo Inspiration weeks:- Please email us or use the Contact form to discuss possible dates.

Does someone special wish they understood their camera better? Contact us for a Course Voucher for you to give.

a photograph of poinsettia with the words courses for Christmasr overlaid

It will be in the form of a greetings card with envelope, showing either Ullswater, Haweswater or Flowers sent to you ready for that special day.

How about a pre-holiday course?

(Just to have skills honed in readiness)

A gift on the day: skills for a lifetime!