Achill is Ireland's largest island, and exudes a unique, other-worldly atmosphere. It's also home to a treasure trove of natural features. The cliffs of Croaghaun are amongst the highest in Europe, and the juxtaposition of mountain and sea sets the tone for the whole area. Towering clifflines offer fantastic views, sandy coves shelter beneath green slopes, and the island's deserted village provides a poignant historical context.
Gareth has been a regular visitor to Achill for over 30 years, and has developed an intimate knowledge of many of the island's secret spots. Favourite photo locations range from remote harbours to panoramic viewpoints, all lit by the fresh, changeable air that can be expected from such an Atlantic outpost.
The photography workshop is based in the village of Keel on Achill Island. We will stay in a spacious, self-catering house with an ensuite bathroom for every guest. The house is just a short walk from the pubs, restaurants and beautiful beach in Keel. Breakfast is incorporated as part of the accommodation package, but no other meals are included. During the weekend we will stop to buy sandwiches or eat together in local restaurants and cafés, as dictated by the schedule of events.
The photography course will begin with an informal welcome session on the Friday eveing. Here we'll discuss the weekend itinerary, and some of the main photographic points we'll be addressing during the workshop. The Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be split between outdoor field trips and indoor theory sessions. The workshop will end at 3pm on Monday, allowing participants enough time to travel home on Monday evening.
The exact locations of our outdoor sessions will be dictated by weather conditions on the day. The focus will be on the superb coastal and mountain locations on Achill Island, but if necessary we may also explore further afield into the hinterland of Mayo.
Dawn and dusk trips will be included if conditions are favourable, and there also will be an option of joining a nocturnal session to learn more about astro photography.
Though all of Achill's best locations are strikingly beautiful, each spot provides its own challenges and opportunities in terms of photography. As we explore each location we will discuss the merits of different shooting techniques and approaches to composition, and experiment with various vantage points across the scene.
All field trips will be undertaken by car-pool, and short stretches of off-road walking may be required to reach different locations. We recommend that you pack your camera equipment in a small rucksack to facilitate moving around, and bring good footwear and warm, waterproof clothing to protect yourself in all weather conditions.
The indoor sessions will take place within the house. Here we will critique the images we have taken in the field, and discuss ways to improve them. We will examine the theory behind great landscape photography, including issues such as researching the location and the importance of individual expression.
We will also look at different equipment and how to use it, and examine technical matters such as controlling depth of field and using histograms to control exposure. There will also be a tutorials on Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom and Photoshop, where Gareth will pass on tips for processing and optimising your images.
In addition to these indoor sessions, the whole workshop is aimed at facilitating one big, group discussion about the art of photography. The aim throughout is to allow Gareth to share the experience he has gained over twenty years as a professional landscape photographer, to help you take more striking photos.
If you have any further queries about the weekend, please contact us. There are only five spaces available on this photography course, so we recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note: if you book a place on the workshop and have to cancel for any reason, we are happy to refund the full amount prior to 28th March 2017, minus a 3.5% cancellation fee (this covers our credit card charges). Cancellations made after 28th March 2017 will only be refunded if we can find a replacement.