The west of Ireland provides many fabulous photo locations, but the wild landscapes of Sligo and Mayo stand out in terms of raw beauty. The region's Atlantic coastline is dramatic and varied, while the sparsely-populated interior is dominated by the Nephin Beg mountains and one the largest expanses of blanket bog in Ireland.
Gareth has intimate knowledge of this wild and scenic region, and holds several places so dear they rank amongst his favourite photo locations in Ireland. During this landscape photography workshop you will explore many of Gareth's top photo spots, while all the time developing your understanding of photography and improving your camera skills.
The workshop is based in the village of Enniscrone, on the Atlantic coast of County Sligo. We will stay in the Waterfront House, a friendly, four-star hotel with fabulous views along the length of Enniscrone beach. Twin rooms can be booked on a shared basis; unless you specify otherwise we will match you up with another workshop participant of the same gender. Alternatively you can opt for single occupancy, though a single supplement does apply. If you live locally you can also book the workshop without accommodation, and join us for the workshop sessions only. 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 indoor welcome session, in Waterfront House at 8pm on Friday 9th September. Here we will discuss the weekend itinerary, and note the main photographic points we'll be addressing during the workshop. The Saturday and Sunday will be split between outdoor field trips and indoor theory sessions. The workshop will end at 3pm on Sunday, allowing participants enough time to travel home on Sunday evening.
The exact locations of our outdoor sessions will be dictated by weather conditions on the day. September can often bring clear, calm conditions, but the area also offers a variety of interesting locations that provide photo opportunities even in poor weather. Dawn and dusk trips will be included wherever conditions permit, and there also will be an option of joining a nocturnal session to learn more about night-time photography.
Within walking distance of Waterfront House, we can explore the beach and sand dunes of Enniscrone. A few minutes' drive to the east, shelves of coastal limestone are pockmarked with rock pools that reflect the colours of the sunset. To the west the ruins of 15th-century Rosserk Abbey often provide a perfect morning reflection. Further west into Mayo, numerous vantage points take advantage of the dramatic Atlantic coastline. Downpatrick Head is perhaps the cream of these, and if we're lucky we might be able to shoot from the cave beneath the headland. The bog and mountain vistas of Ballycroy National Park are another option, offering countless more scenic panoramas.
Though all these 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 outdoor field trips will be undertaken by car pool, and some 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 in the Diamond Coast hotel. 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 Photoshop tutorial, 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 places available on this workshop, so we recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that any cancellations will be refunded prior to 8th August 2017, minus a 3.5% fee to cover our credit card charges. After 8th August 2017 cancellations will only be refunded if we can find a replacement.