I have just returned from a three day trip to North Wales where I was running a workshop in the Snowdonia National Park. Our base was the fabulous Tan-Y-Foel guest house where we were cared for perfectly by owners Chris & Maria. (If you are planning a trip to Snowdonia I can highly recommend staying at Tan-Y-Foel, the location is breathtaking from its elevated position set away from the road in above a beech forested valley with views to the mountains. The rooms, food and service could not be better and being just outside of Betws-y-Coed it is in the perfect place to explore magnificent Snowdonia – have a look at their website, which will be updated in early 2015 – http://www.tyfhotel.co.uk ) Chris and Maria kindly reserved the whole property for us so we had it to ourselves and this meant we could choose breakfast time to fit with our sunrise shoots – perfection!
Those who subscribe to my newsletter know that I have been trying to organise an unusual workshop on a farm, of the potato harvest. Well, I am pleased to announce it is now on.
The farmer and his wife have been really helpful and we have been able to put a plan together for a small group to photograph the potato harvest – hopefully with stunning evening light. Apparently gulls follow the tractor as the potatoes are lifted and so the whole scene should be very photogenic. There may also be opportunities for unusual incidental images of things like potato boxes in the barns and farm buildings and so on. It sounds like there will be two tractors working, one is driven by the farmer actually lifting the crop, the other driven by his wife will be transporting the potatoes from the fields to the farm buildings. I have all sorts of images in mind we can try and get.
They are kindly arranging parking as close to the harvest fields as possible to reduce walking but please note the ground will be muddy and uneven so wellies or boots are required and anyone with mobility issues needs to take this into consideration when booking.
It is vital we do not encroach on the harvest, get in the way of farm machinery or impede the work in any way. I imagine we will be working from the field margins most of the time. I will give advice later on lens choice and more information on how things will work to those who book. You are, as with all of my workshops, responsible to organise your own insurance if you feel it is necessary. Our individual health and safety is our own responsibility and booking is an acceptance of this fact.
I have offered to pay a fee to contribute to the farm for each person joining us on this unique workshop and this is included in your fee. No meals or refreshments are included in this workshop but apparently there is a pub just a mile away which does serve food and snacks so it may be feasible to adjourn at some point to go and refresh ourselves -or to enjoy something there before or after the workshop.
The date will be Monday 19th September. We will meet at the farm to start at 2.30pm. Sunset is at 19:09 so I assume we will be finished by 19:30. This should give plenty of time and the best light on the day to get some memorable and unusual images. The farm is located near Lincoln. I can’t guarantee the weather, of course, but September is often lovely for landscapes.
I haven’t visited the farm myself and don’t know how ‘photogenic’ it is so will be approaching this as I do a commercial shoot where I often have to arrive without seeing the location advance and work ‘on the hoof’. It might be useful for you to see how I approach working out the best shooting positions and so on without prior knowledge of the place – a skill all commercial photographers need. There are pylons on the farm (as there is in much of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshires farmland) so some work in PS might be needed, unless you like pylons – I will be showing how to frame images and use lenses to reduce their inclusion in shots.
Please also note I will be using my camera on this workshop to make my own images so I will not be quite as focused as I am on most of my other workshops on giving instruction. I will, of course, be happy to help you with your image making and will give as much time as I can to helping you, especially early on in the session so that yo are ready for later on, but as the light gets to its best or if the photo opportunities are good I will be shooting myself too and I just want you to be aware of this. Those who are closest to me in the fields will have the best chance of getting lots of help. I am reflecting this in the price of the workshop which is lower than my usual fee.
Oh, and one other thing. The farm is just half a mile from where the Red Arrows are based and they do practise over the farm. So, while they probably won’t put in an appearance, there is always a chance the will – so you never know the photographic opportunites might be amazing!
This is a rare chance to shoot a harvest at close range and get some great images of real farm life. I am really looking forward to it. Places are limited to 10 and I was deluged with interest so it may be wise to book early to avoid disappointment. Half the places have now gone. The fee, including a contribution to the farm will be £39 per person. This will be payable in full on booking.
I would like to thank in advance Mr & Mrs Marris for their kindness, cooperation and help in making this workshop possible.
if you would like to book please use the ‘CONTACT ME’ form on the right and I will organise it for you and remember your booking will not be secured until your fee is received.