Autumn photography courses finished!

Photos now on the website

All six of my autumn photography courses have finished, and some of the photos are now on the website. Running from mid-September through to mid-November, they covered a range of subjects and techniques. They were also exposed to quite a range of weather conditions!

To see sample photos from all six courses click on the link below:

See all course images

The rocks of Hartland Quay at sunset, taken during the 14th September Atlantic Coasts landscape photography course.

Atlantic Coasts workshop

The season kicked off with the Atlantic Coasts landscape photography course, held on 14th September at Hartland Quay on the north coast of Devon.

Photography covered the beach and magnificent waterfall at nearby Speke’s Mill Mouth, the cliffs around Hartland Quay, and finally the sunset and dusk over the Hartland rocks (see photo above).

We were treated to some wonderful weather, with blue skies and calm conditions, culminating in one a magnificent sunset over the sea. A great finale to the day’s photography!

See images from the Atlantic Coasts workshop

Fishing gear, beside the harbour at Lyme Regis. Photographed during the 5th October Jurassic Coast photography course.

Jurassic Coast workshop

A day spent photographing a range of aspects of the Jurassic Coast, in Dorset, on 5th October. Subjects ranged from the huge fossils embedded into the rocks of Monmouth Beach, to boats and fishing gear around Lyme Regis harbour, to the rocky and sandy beach at Charmouth.

Conditions were not wholly ideal, with grey, misty skies, although there was the occasional glimpse of a touch of sunshine. Such soft lighting lent itself to great details, and many of the photos taken during the day reflected this.

See images from the Jurassic Coast workshop

Coastal cliffs at the Valley of Rocks, near Lynton, Exmoor National Park, Devon. Taken during the Exmoor in Autumn workshop, 19th October.

Exmoor in autumn workshop

A day of landscape photography in a small part of Exmoor, covering the cliffs at the Valley of Rocks, near Lynton, and the stunning woodland and river valley at Watersmeet, close to Lynmouth.

The day’s weather started off rather worryingly with a sharp, heavy shower, but this soon cleared away to leave us with a really quite nice day, as can be seen in the photo above.

We started the day photographing around the rugged rocks and cliffs at the Valley of Rocks, picking out not just the obvious views but also some of the less obvious details, things that a casual observer might miss.

In the afternoon we moved over to Watersmeet, where we concentrated on photography of the river flowing through the beautiful woodland that fills the valley here. Long exposures were used to blur the water, giving the images a sense of dynamism and movement, really creating atmospheric images.

See images from the Exmoor in autumn course

Autumnal bracken in forest in the Teign valley, near Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor National Park, Devon. Taken during the Dartmoor in autumn photography course, on 27th October.

Dartmoor in autumn workshop

A day of landscape photography, initially shooting in woodland along the River Teign, before moving to open moorland near Chagford, both in the heart of Dartmoor National Park.

Originally scheduled for Saturday 26th Oct, the weather forecast for that day was so awful (storms, heavy rain etc) that we took the decision to postpone for 24 hours. And what a difference a day makes! Instead of wind and rain, we had a day of calm, clear blue skies that gave us some wonderful photography opportunities.

The date of this workshop is timed each year to coincide with the peak of autumn colours in Dartmoor’s woodlands. However, this year’s mild weather had delayed the colour changes, so many of the trees remained stubbornly green. Still, we were able to do some great photography of the woodland along the banks of the Teign. A bonus was the areas of dying bracken, which glowed beautifully orange in the sunlight, as shown in the above photo.

The afternoon was spent on open moorland, where we photographed the prehistoric Scorhill stone circle, before finishing off with wind-gnarled hawthorns on an area of marshy moorland.

See photos from the Dartmoor in autumn workshop

A dusk view of the harbour in Exmouth, Devon. Taken during the low light/long exposure photography workshop, 3rd November.

Low light and long exposure workshop

This was a course designed to teach photographic techniques in low light conditions and at night, held on 3rd November in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

The course started late in the afternoon, a couple of hours before sunset. Initially, we were subjected to some very flat grey skies, which didn’t go well with the kind of subject matter I was intending to use; Exmouth’s harbour and the apartments around it.

However, at sunset the skies cleared, allowing us to get some moody shots, initially on the low tide shoreline outside the harbour, and then some excellent dusk views around the harbour itself (see photo above).

This was followed, after dark, by some night sky photography beside the mouth of the River Otter at Budleigh Salterton. As earlier, once again we struggled with cloud cover, but eventually this cleared, giving us a beautiful starry sky, which lasted just long enough to get the shots we needed.

See some photos from the low light course

Red Deer in countryside near Dunster, Exmoor National Park, Somerset. Taken during the wildlife photography course, 16th November.

Wildlife photography workshop

The autumn’s season of photography workshops was rounded off by a day of wildlife photography on Exmoor, held on 16th November. We started off in countryside near Dunster, where there was known to be a herd of Red Deer, and finished at Lynmouth, where the plan was to photograph Dippers on the East Lyn River.

The weather was quite kind, with a mix of sunshine and light clouds throughout the day. This certainly made the deer tracking, through a mix of woods and moorland, quite a pleasant stroll. It did take rather some time to find the herd, but we eventually stumbled upon them high up on a moorland hill.

Although as nervous as Red Deer always are, we were able to follow them at a distance for some time, every now and then able to get close enough (thanks to cover from birch scrub) to grab a number of good shots (see photo above). A satisfying morning!

The afternoon session of photographing Dippers, a bird that lives on Exmoor’s fast-flowing streams, was less successful. We initially started at Watersmeet, near the town of Lynmouth, but without success possibly due to high water levels caused by the recent heavy rains.

So we moved down to nearby Lynmouth, where we found a Dipper on the river, right in the middle of the town. He performed beautifully for us, not at all bothered by our presence. However, we weren’t able to get close enough for truly great photography, and by this time light levels were really starting to drop away as sunset approached. All the same, it was great to watch this bird skipping from rock to rock, regularly diving in to the water to hunt for food. And at least we did manage to grab a few photos of its antics.

See photos from the wildlife photography course

The night sky over the estuary of the River Otter, Budleigh Salterton, Devon. Photographed during the low light photography course, on 30th March 2019.

Photography courses for 2020

The next programme of one-day photography courses kicks off at the end of March 2020, starting with a low light and long exposure course, to be held in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton. Hopefully, everyone coming on this course will be able get night sky photos like the one above.

The programme of courses continues through the spring, takes a break during the height of summer, and then resumes in the autumn, finishing in November.

The full programme is on the website. To see the courses click on the link below.

See details of our 2020 photography workshops

Join up for any of the courses at any time. I am taking bookings now!

New photography courses listed

Well into October already, and my programme of autumn one-day photography courses is steaming along. In fact, there are just two left to go: 20th and 27th October, covering Exmoor and Dartmoor in Autumn, respectively. We still have spaces on both, so if you’d like to come along get in touch.

Sunset over coastal cliffs seen from the Valley of Rocks, Lynton, Exmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Photography courses for 2019

When it comes to next year, I’ve managed to pull together my programme of 2019 one-day photography courses, and it’s all now up on the website, along with details of this year’s two remaining courses.

Building on what I learned in the survey I ran during the summer, I’ve introduced a couple of new courses, one of which will be a low-light photography workshop. This will in fact be the first workshop of the spring, kicking off on 30th March with some late afternoon, dusk and night photography. Another new course will be on South Devon coastal landscapes, to be held on 4th May.

For the second time, I’ll be running the architectural course in Bath, and there will also be the usual Dartmoor, Exmoor and Jurassic Coast workshops. The year will round off in November with a wildlife photography workshop, somewhere in Devon, though I’ve yet to decide exactly where – details will follow in due course.

A rainbow above Scorhill Rocks, standing stones on Scorhill Down, nr Chagford, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Finding out more

Details of most of next year’s courses are on the website.

To find out more about all the courses, both those remaining this year and all those so far listed for next year, click on the link below:

Find out about one-day courses

I hope you like the attached photos, to whet your appetite! Needless to say, please get in touch if you want to join any of the courses.

Meanwhile, a programme of tours for 2019 and 2020 is slowly coming together. I’ll be publishing this soon.

A dusk view of Sutton Harbour, in the Barbican, Plymouth, Devon, Great Britain.

The last of the autumn photography workshps

The last two of this year’s autumn photography workshops were held at the end of October, on 22nd Oct the Exmoor in Autumn course, and on 28th Oct the Dartmoor in Autumn course.

Exmoor in Autumn photography course

Scheduled originally for 21st Oct, the weather forecast for that day had it set to be such a wild and windy day that I thought is wise to postpone the workshop by a day. It was probably the best thing to do, but in fact things were hardly any better on the Sunday – with howling winds and frequent showers making the photography quite a challenge. We did get to see quite a few rainbows, however, which was good.

Porlock Weir, Exmoor National Park, Somerset, Great Britain.

The morning started off with some beach and harbour shots at Porlock Weir, on the Somerset coast. The hill behind the village gave some protection from the worst of the wind, but nevertheless we were battered by frequent showers alternating with some sunny spells. Photography consisted mostly of trying to capture in various ways the waves crashing over the harbour mouth groynes.

Then we moved up onto the hills at County Gate, a place with wonderful views of deep valleys, moors and woodland. Here, we found out just how windy it really was, and with the showers getting ever more frequent, we soon gave up on this site.

Landscape at County Gate, Exmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Much of the afternoon was spent at Watersmeet, a deep and sheltered valley, filled with woodlands and a white water river. Quite apart from photographing the waterfall here, and the river flowing around rocks, we were also treated to canoeists shooting downriver and, near the end of the day, a heron posing nicely by the river bank for us.

So, despite the conditions, in fact it was quite an interesting and varied day.

East Lyn River, Watersmeet, near Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Dartmoor in Autumn photography course

Held the following weekend, this was a much calmer day, the morning spent in the sheltered woodland valley of the Teign River, at Fingle Bridge in the northeast of Dartmoor. Lots of photography of trees in autumn colours hanging over the river, etc, though the very gentle breeze was just enough to ruffle the leaves, making it difficult when shooting with slow shutter speeds.

The River Teign in woodlands near Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

The second part of the day was spent on the open moor, on the hills above the village of Chagford. Here, the elements turned against us again, with heavy, drizzly cloud moving in and a nasty little wind getting up. We managed some handy photography of the Scorhill stone circle, as well as shots of a lone hawthorn tree on some marshy moorland, all aimed at demonstrating how to get worthwhile shots on an otherwise desolate moor.  We didn’t manage to get too far with this, however, as with the weather deteriorating and both temperature and light levels dropping we all eventually decided to call it a day.

Marshland on Gidleigh Common, near Chagford, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

The joys of photography in England in late autumn!

Sets of photos taken by me during the day – along with those from several of the recent courses – can be seen on the website. Just click on the link below.

See Exmoor and Dartmoor in autumn photos

The River Teign in woodlands near Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

 

 

Autumn photo workshops so far!

So, two thirds of the way through my autumn programme of photography workshops. Just two more to go – Exmoor in Autumn, and Dartmoor in Autumn. The first is supposed to be happening tomorrow (21st Oct), but with Storm Brian soon to sweep through the course has been postponed to Sunday. The Dartmoor workshop will follow next weekend, on 28th October. After that, apart from the occasional personalised one-to-ones it’ll be the winter ‘recess’, until the courses kick off again next spring.

A Red Fox at the Westcountry Wildlife Photography Center, near Okehampton, Devon, Great Britain.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos from two of the courses I’ve run in the past few weeks – Jurassic Coast landscapes on 7th Oct, and Wildlife Photography (which I ran for the Royal Photographic Society), on 14th Oct. I hope you like the photos.

The beach at Charmouth, near Lyme Regis, Dorset, Great Britain.

As usual, you can see more photos from these – and other – courses on the the website at http://www.nigelhicks.com/CourseImages.html

A Long-eared Owl at the Westcountry Wildlife Photography Center, near Okehampton, Devon, Great Britain.

The river at Charmouth, near Lyme Regis, Dorset. Great Britain.

 

 

 

Iceland 2017 photography tour

This year’s photography tour has been held!

21-26 Sept 2017

As always, Iceland did not disappoint during this year’s tour, delivering up plenty of spectacular landscapes, coasts and waterfalls, along with some very challenging weather conditions. With weather forecasts changing every five minutes, we found ourselves regularly dodging showers, sheltering our cameras from rain and spray, reluctant to use tripods in the ‘bracing’ winds.

Rainbow in countryside near Rif, Snaefellsnes peninsula, western Iceland.

The upside of the conditions was that we saw more rainbows than you could shake a camera at, generating some wonderfully colourful and dramatic scenes. It all added to the mood of the wild and rugged landscapes for which Iceland is so rightly renowned – absolutely a landscape photographer’s dream, at least for those who like nature in the raw, and indeed still in the making.

This year’s tour concentrated on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, a 100km-long finger of land pointing into the North Atlantic from Iceland’s west coast. A mountainous and volcanic peninsula, much of the photography took in a few of the many waterfalls, rugged mountain scenes, lava fields and surf-pounded coastal lava cliffs.

The aurora forecasts for the week were rather low, and as predicted we got to see Northern Lights on just one night; a modest performance in the sky above the church in the village of Hellnar.

Northern Lights over the church at Hellnar, Snaefellsnes, western Iceland.

The return trip towards Reykjavik took a huge detour inland, passing the lovely Hraunfossar Falls (arguably one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls), and then passing along the wild and desolate Kaldidalur valley, skirting the western edge of the Langjökull Glacier, Iceland’s second largest ice-cap.

Hraunfossar Falls, near Reykholt, west Iceland.

Talking of Reykjavik, we also took in some architectural photography in this attractive city, shooting the magnificent Hallgrimskirkja church and the shoreside Suncraft sculpture.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from the 2017 tour

The Suncraft sculpture, Reykjavik, Iceland.

The 2018 Iceland photography tour

Details of next year’s photography tour – which is planned to cover pretty much the same route as this year’s – are already on this website, so click on the link below to find out more.

We’ve already had the first couple of bookings, so we’re up and running. Book early to get a 5% discount on the full price.

Find out about the Iceland 2018 photography tour

 

Lava cliffs along the seashore at Arnastapi, Snaefellsnes, west Iceland.

 

Autumn photo workshops started!

My programme of autumn photography workshops has started, kicking off on 9th September with my Atlantic Coast Landscapes photography course, held at Hartland Quay, on Devon’s north coast.

Hartland Quay coast, north Devon, Great Britain.

We had some pretty mixed weather, with a rain shower before we started out from the car park, and another shortly after we returned at the end. Inbetween we had a mix of sunshine and cloud, which gave us quite a useful variation in the types of light. It was also pretty windy, so we had plenty of good surf to complement Hartland’s rugged Atlantic coastline.

Photography was a mix of sandy beach, rocks, a wonderful waterfall, and clifftop views, all of which worked quite well, with photography running throughout the afternoon right up until after sunset (though heavy cloud cover alas stopped us actually seeing a sunset!).

Hartland Quay coast, north Devon, Great Britain.

A couple of photos that I took during my demonstrations are shown here. To see more of my photos click on the link below:

See some of my 9 Sept 2017 course photos

The next course in my autumn programme that still has spaces on it will be Exmoor in Autumn, taking place on 21st October around Lynton and Lynmouth. To get more details and to sign up click on the link below:

Find out more about the Exmoor photography course

Hartland Quay coast, north Devon, Great Britain.

 

 

Competition judge!

Judging the 2017 Southwest Coast Path photography competiton!

Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and Great Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) flowers on Berry Head in June, Brixham, Torbay, Devon, Great Britain.

I’m very pleased to be able to announce that I’ve been asked to be the principal judge on this year’s annual Southwest Coast Path photography competition! The competition, run to promote the loveliness and importance of the landscapes along the southwest peninsula’s southwest coast path, will be on during the autumn, starting from now and ending at the beginning of December. I’ll be selecting the winner out of a shortlist of – hopefully – fantastic images. So start submitting really soon – not to me but to the Southwest Coast Path organisation. For more details click on this link:

Find out more about the competition

Along with this article are a few of my own southwest coast path landscape photos here, just to whet your appetite – at least I hope it will!

On the beach at Westward Ho! just before sunset, north Devon, Great Britain.

 

 

 

 

Torquay harbour at dusk, Torbay, Devon, Great Britain.

A dusk view of the harbour at Ilfracombe, Devon, Great Britain.

The first autumn photography workshop

Atlantic coastal landscapes photography; Hartland Quay, north Devon

9th Sept 2017

My autumn photography workshops kick off on 9th Sept with an afternoon and evening spent photographing the spectacular cliffs, rocky shores and coastal waterfalls of north Devon’s coast, around Hartland Quay.

Sunset over rocks near Hartland Quay, nr Bideford, Devon, Great Britain.

This is one of the most rugged stretches of Devon’s coasts, providing a fantastic opportunity for some wild coastal landscape photography.

We’ll be starting at 2pm, just as the sun is moving round towards the west and so shining onto the cliffs, and will continue until it sets over the sea at about 8pm. In that time we’ll photograph the rocks and cliffs south of Hartland Quay, as well as the patterned sands and rock-lined pools at Speke’s Mill Mouth (a mile or so south of Hartland Quay), plus the spectacular waterfall that crashes down the cliffs to the beach here.

We’ll be shooting on a rising tide, starting off with the tide well out and so giving us plenty of beach to work on, coming up to high tide shortly before sunset.

The coast at Hartland Quay, nr Bideford, north Devon, Great Britain.

Price for the workshop is £90 per person. More details and sign-up can be seen by clicking the link below:

Find out more about the Hartland workshop, 9th Sept

I’ll look forward to seeing you! If you have any queries just get in touch.

Photography courses for the autumn

My programme of spring and early summer photography courses has now finished, but my autumn events will be starting up in September.

Apart from the Iceland photo tour in late September, I also have four one-day courses, all taking place in southwest England, mostly Devon, and mostly concentrating on landscape photography.

One of the four courses – Jurassic Coast Landscapes, at Lyme Regis on 7th October – is already full, but I still have spaces on the other three, so here are some details:

Atlantic Coast Landscapes

9th Sept 2017; Hartland Quay, north Devon

We’ll be photographing along the rugged cliffs and beaches at and near Hartland Quay, on Devon’s rugged north coast, near Bideford. Subject matter will include the sand and rocks of the shoreline, plus at least one of the several waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs right onto the beaches.

Find out more about the Atlantic Coast course here

Sunset over rocks near Hartland Quay, nr Bideford, Devon, Great Britain.

Exmoor in Autumn

21st Oct 2017; Lynton and Lynmouth, north Devon

This course takes in the rugged coastal landscapes of the Valley of Rocks as well as the deep valley woodlands and streams of Watersmeet, two beautiful locations around the Exmoor towns of Lynton and Lynmouth.

Find out more about Exmoor in Autumn here

The River Lyn at Watersmeet, near Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Dartmoor in Autumn

28th Oct 2017; Fingle Bridge and Gidleigh Common, Dartmoor, Devon

In this course we’ll be photographing the autumn colours in the woods that line the River Teign close to Fingle Bridge, in the northeast of the moor, followed by some open moorland photography around Scorhill stone circle and the marshes of the upper Teign.

Find out more about Dartmoor in Autumn here

Stones in the Scorhill Stone Circle, Gidleigh Common, near Chagford, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Great Britain.

Iceland photography tour

21-26th Sept 2017, Reykjavik and the Snaefellsnes peninsula (Iceland west coast)

Photography of the rugged volcanic landscapes of this wild peninsula, including the iconic Mt Kirkjufell and its nearby waterfalls, as well as – hopefully – the Northern Lights. We still have a couple of spaces, so if you’re interested in coming click on the link below.

Find out more about the Iceland photography tour here

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss Falls, seen in early morning, near Grundarfjordur, Snaefellsnes peninsula, Iceland.

We hope all this interests you, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in the autumn!