David Noton Photography Workshops and Tuition
If you love photography why not join us in an enticing location for a long weekend of field work, tuition, inspiration and shared enthusiasm? All of our Photographic Courses and Adventures are packed full of location shoots, tutorials, demonstrations and diverse photographic opportunities. We run just a few courses a year in a variety of evocative destinations that consistently both challenge and inspire our guests. We aim to send our guests away full of passion for our art and thinking about their photography in a whole new way. Practical advice is mixed with the sound of photographic camaraderie and banter in the field at dusk, on hilltops at dawn, and over wine at dinner; it’s rewarding, and fun.
We have three options on offer; our Photography Workshops, Photo-Explorer Adventures or Bespoke One-to-One Tuition. On all our Courses partners are positively encouraged to attend. All the courses are run in beautiful areas where partners can choose to either relax or embark on jaunts and excursions organised to suit by Wendy Noton. For those who want to improve their photography on a structured course comprising location shoots mixed with tutorials, demonstrations, tuition and briefings both in the field and in the lecture room these are the courses for you.
Our workshop courses are full on experiences from dawn to dusk. When the light is at its best we’ll be out on a hillside, working the location, putting you in situations with strong photographic potential. Whilst waiting for the light we’ll have in the field tutorials on a wide range of subjects; exposure, filters, focusing, camera craft, etc.
Back at base we’ll take the opportunity to recap in the lecture room with examples and themes discussed in the field. There'll be demonstrations of techniques and plenty of opportunity for one to one tuition, both beside the tripod and over a coffee. Every shoot will be preceded by a briefing and followed by a recap. We’ll be showing you our pictures, both projected and in print, and asking to see yours. And the black arts of post-production are included with tutorials on RAW processing and Photoshop techniques.
Ultimately the content of each course is entirely flexible and adaptive to the needs of our guests. The maximum size of the group never exceeds 10 photographers guided by two professionals; myself and a local photographer.
David Noton Photo Explorer Adventures
Our new Photo Explorer Adventures are designed for those who want to join David Noton whilst exploring the full photographic potential of an enticing region. The framework of these courses mirrors how David works when on his own photography trips. Dawn and dusk patrols, photo-shoots and location searching will fill the day, interspersed with the inevitable banter and informal interaction. Our guests will receive just as much input and guidance from David as on the Workshops, but in a small group in-the field environment.
These Photo Explorer Adventures are orientated more to the needs of guests confident in their basic skills and techniques who would like to experience an adventure and indulge their photographic passion. You will be guided and tutored by David (often supported by a local photographer/guide/fixer on our foreign trips) while chasing and waiting for the light in a region of great photographic potential. We’ve big plans to span the globe with our Photo-Explorer Adventures.
A Few Things Common to All Courses
Landscape photography is the staple of all our courses, but that’s not to say other subjects aren’t tackled. We’ll talk about travel portraiture, reportage, and macro work too. On our longer courses in France and Italy we have in the past staged shoots on location with bakers, bishops, butchers, shepherds and artists. Every year and every course is different, but we can promise a full and varied menu of photographic opportunities.
The art of photography is all about being in the right place at the right time, and then making the right decisions both aesthetically and practically to make the best of the situation. That in essence is the core skill we work to develop on all our courses; skills which are relevant to all levels from beginner to semi-professional. Developing a feel for light, composition and previsualisation comes with experience, but we can certainly plant the seeds which will enable our guests to evolve their own photography with practise. And along the way we’ll have a lot of fun and produce some great pictures. If you’re just starting on the road to photographic obsession all we ask is that you are familiar with your own camera, the rest we can help you with. If you are a veteran of many dawn patrols you’ll appreciate the locations, opportunities and collective enthusiasm. We know without a shadow of a doubt that you never stop learning in this game, so we’re confident we can help you to continue improving and give you a healthy boost of creative adrenalin.
David has been running courses since 2007 Says David: “For 28 years I have been travelling the world in search of photographic fulfilment and it’s my aim to cram as much of my experience and accumulated knowledge into our courses as is humanly possible. I have discovered that running these courses and explaining what I do has made me a better photographer. We love running these courses and thrive on our guests enthusiasm, creativity and humour. Underlying all is a deep seated passion for photography, and we know that’s infectious. Over the years I’ve found the support of Wendy and often a local photographer/guide/fixer to be invaluable to ensure that both relevant photographic tuition and advice is permanently on tap while we all still have an exciting adventurous travel experience. We run just a handful of courses a year to ensure we are fresh and keen for each workshop. We’re with you from dawn to dusk, and all meals are communal. In fact you’ll have a job getting rid of us!
Our UK workshops in Dorset, Yorkshire and Exmoor are now well established. They provide an opportunity over a long weekend to give our guests a photographic shot in the arm with an intense hit of creativity and practical input. Our longer courses enable us to do more; cover more ground, make more great pictures, get to know our guests better and delve more deeply into the challenges us photographers are constantly presented with. Our locations have been chosen and researched painstakingly to find unique opportunities and vistas to present our guests with. All are enticing destinations you will be planning a return to.
Some things are beyond our control. We know our guests are happiest when taking pictures, so every session we’ll be out there, making the most of what Mother Nature offers. But sometimes the elements are against us, and when that happens we may take the option of heading back to warm showers and the lecture room to make better use of your time. You can rest assured we’ll do our utmost to be in the right place at the right time when that fleeting shaft of light paints the landscape.
Bring whatever you use. We don’t mind what make or vintage your camera is; our courses are all about making the most of the tools available, most importantly our eyes. We would however recommend a DSLR with tripod and a couple of lenses ranging from wide angle to telephoto as a minimum requirement to get the most from the course. And if you’ve got the kit, bring it. We’ll help you to get the most from it. There are all sorts of shoots planned from landscape to portraiture and macro work.
We positively encourage non-photographic partners to come along. All the venues are in beautiful spots with all sorts of options for partners to enjoy, such as walking, markets, wine tasting, or simply lounging with a good book in an attractive setting. My wife Wendy is on hand to provide ideas, options and excursions for partners. And mealtimes are all communal with partners very much a welcome part of the buzz around the table. See the individual workshop pages for more information.
What We Need From You
We’ll make no bones about it, our workshops can be physically challenging. The days are long and full, starting in the dark before dawn and finishing around the dinner table. In between we’ll have marched you up hills and have you running after shepherds. But of course it’s all optional and great fun. Above all we need your input, because we know the more you put into a course the more you get out”.
Fitness & Mobility
There’s no getting away from it, landscape photography means hills. We’ll get you as close as possible in our 4WD vehicles, but sooner or later a photographer has to shrug on the backpack, shoulder the tripod and trudge up a hill in the light before dawn. We don’t require commando fitness levels but we do ask our guests to be aware that we will need at times to walk over rough hilly terrain with all our gear for anything up to 30 minutes. Unfortunately we cannot sacrifice the experience of the group because of one individual.
All bookings are done through our on-line shop, payable in £ sterling. Please be aware that all our courses are very popular and fill up quickly, so to ensure a place early booking is essential. Our courses are all inclusive with no hidden extras; all you have to do is get there. For a comprehensive list of what is and isn’t included please see the individual course details.
Our Workshops are always followed by a Course Competition. The best picture taken by a guest during the course wins the prize, and by this means we encourage the subsequent sharing of photos and experiences between the guests and ourselves. We very much would like to keep in touch with you afterwards via Facebook, the newsletter and good old e-mail. We are humbled and pleased by the number of guests who come back for more on subsequent courses.
Here’s what a few of our guests have said about our workshops:
"David and Wendy were approachable, passionate and friendly throughout, and gave the right balance of checking and leaving us alone when needed. They put a lot of work into the weekend, and it was much appreciated. Lovely to spend time with people who are so talented, but still giving of their time and generous with their feedback." - Janet and Ian Marshall
"I loved the locations, the people, the food and wine." - Mrs C Down
"Just like to say many thanks for a great weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot into the bargain. It was really good being steeped in photography for a whole weekend without distractions." - David Mckellar
"I learnt a lot about site selection, light, composition, post production and had a fabulous time." - Karel Jakobsen
"I really felt David was putting everything into it and you really felt you were working hard and learning all the time, it was so worth it. Thank you David for your wonderful tuition - and thank you to Wendy for your wonderful company - very good fun and lots of laughter which is how it should be._ - Katie Garrod
"Without doubt this is the best photography course I have ever attended and would like to thank you not just for the excellent tuition but also for the great company and overall experience of the course. I have already recommended it to friends of mine and I am sure they will be booking soon too." - Hugh Holmes
"Everything was perfect - excellent tuition, fabulous food, beautiful surroundings and great company. So much information was passed on during these 3 days that it’s hard to remember everything. There’s only one thing for it – I’m going to have to start saving for next year (if you’ll have me)!" - Jennie Purnell
_I feel so much more confident that I can now make my camera do what I want it to do. I enjoyed learning how to use my own filters and enjoyed ALL the tutorials. On the first evening I said I travelled a lot and wanted to be able to take better photos….after 3 days tuition I know I will be able to do that…..so that’s perfect, my needs were met. I learned absolutely loads. On the last evening when we had to do our solo project I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew how to make my camera do it – I’d never have been able to do that before." - Sarah Williams
"Many thanks to you all for making my 50th birthday present the best it could have ever been. I’m still on a high every time I think about the trip. I can’t wait to do another workshop, and I know that I will do another one soon. In the meantime, Lorraine has told me that I must put into practice all the techniques I’ve learned. Then I would have earned the right to attend another workshop!! I suppose she is right, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to book another one NOW." - Paul Wayman
"The slide shows in the evening of David's photos were incredible. I have seen most of the images before but the little anecdote, the technique, the critical description of the image was incredibly helpful and entertaining." - Simon Greig
"Would I recommend this course? Definitely. For me, the greatest benefit was a combination of the location, the dedicated time and having the experienced photographers around to guide, educate and motivate me. Has it improved my landscape photography? Unquestionably. Have I come away with images I really love and am proud of? Yes, YES! Would I do it again next week? If only I could!" - Jamie Lawrence
"I think it was all perfect, there was nothing I could not positively comment on. Food, location and as I think, a very nice group. I have to say I was quite impressed by some of their work I saw on the last day. It was such a pleasure staying with all these friendly people." - Johannes Zander
"I liked the locations that were picked, I liked the fact that I spent 3 days concentrating on my photography with a really good group of like minded people, I liked the tuition." - Joanna Riley
"We enjoyed the company and relaxed atmosphere the range of activities for the partners was just about right." - Jeff & Gill Nolan
"Superbly organised and very friendly, my partner had a fabulous time so I had a good time too." - Philip Pound