Andrew McCarthy Photography

Workshops

Residential Nature and Landscape Photography Workshop in North Devon – 26th to 29th July 2021


Join experienced photographers Andrew McCarthy and Ken Pearson on a residential photography course based at the stunning Westcott Barton estate, near Barnstaple in North Devon.  The workshop is aimed at ‘improver’ photgraphers who want to get to grips with nature (in particular macro) and landscape photography, as well as improving their digital processing skills.  The workshop is fantastic value – you will have over two full days of teaching and all accommodation and food will be provided.

The workshop starts on the evening of Monday the 26th July 2021 with a presentation by Andrew McCarthy, a professional ecologist, conservationist and nature photographer, who will give you an overview of the camera settings / techniques you will be using during the workshop.  Over the following two days we will be shooting in the lovely grounds of Westcott Barton, where there are many opportunities for macro wildlife photography of plants and insects, as well as traveling further afield in search of interesting wildlife, landscapes and seascapes along the stunning North Devon Coast. 

Whilst our schedule will be flexible in order to make the most of the weather, we will be demonstrating a range of digital processing techniques during the workshop.  We recommend the popular and widely-used  Adobe Lightroom Classic, and will take you through the basics of file importing, indexing and processing using this software.  If time allows we will slot in a critique session.

Andrew will also give a demonstration each evening of his equipment setup for night-time bat photography, as habitats at Westcott Barton are perfect for these animals, with plenty of insect-rich habitat present, especially along the stream and around the old ponds.  He will set up his camera alongside the stream to hopefully capture bats passing along this feature on their way to feed in nearby pastures.  Please email Andrew for more details if you are interested in this fascinating field of photography during the workshop.

The course finishes after breakfast on Thursday the 29th July, weather permitting after an early morning session in the grounds of Westcott Barton, where we will make the most of our last ‘golden hour’ . 

Equipment requirements:

A DSLR or Mirrorless camera together with a macro lens (or extension tubes/close-up diopter) for insects and plants, as well as a wide angle and telephoto lenses (or a zoom) for landscapes, and a sturdy tripod – preferably one with a removable center column. 

A laptop / computer loaded with your favored processing software would be  very useful. 

Spare memory cards and sufficient batteries to carry you through a full days shooting.


Weather permitting we are hoping to explore long-exposure photography during the workshop, so a polarizer and neutral density filters would be beneficial. 

We have limited kit for hire if you don’t have all of this equipment yourself; Let us know in advance if you have any specific requirements and we will do our best to help.  

Clothing:

We will be working outdoors, possibly in wet conditions, so appropriate clothing including a waterproof jacket and trousers, are highly recommended.

Late May can be very warm so lightweight clothing, a sunhat, sunscreen, a water bottle, midge repellent and a tick removal tool.

We will need to walk reasonable distances on potentially wet / muddy and uneven ground, so we also recommend stout boots and wellingtons, with a good grip.

Other information:

Nature photography can involve lying on the ground, however this is optional and we have found that the fitness level and mobility required for this type of workshop is not at all onerous.

If you have any queries about your experience level, equipment suitability or our approach to Covid19 security, please contact Andrew to discuss at info@andrewmccarthyphotography.co.uk.

Price and venue:

  • Covid-secure room in shared building and amenities – single occupancy – £450.00 per person including meals
  • Shared twin room where both individuals are participating in the workshop – £400 per person including meals
  • Non-participating partners sharing a participants room – £300 per person including meals

For booking and for more information on the venue please contact Westcott Barton directly at http://www.westcottbarton.co.uk/photography_retreat_mccarthy.html

Westcountry Wildlife Center Workshops

Wildlife photography can be extremely frustrating for the beginner. Getting close to even the largest British mammals can be difficult and many of our smaller species can be very hard to find in the wild. Our 1-day wildlife workshop will allow you to get close to your subjects and thus allow you to concentrate on the photography itself.

The workshop will be run by Andrew McCarthy, an experienced and award winning wildlife photographer and professional consultant ecologist from Exeter. We will spend the day at the West Country Wildlife Photography Centre on the Devon/Cornwall border, where a remarkable collection of many iconic British mammals are housed in large and carefully landscaped photographic sets. During the day you can look forward to photographing some of our rarely seen species, including Otter, Fox, Pine marten, Harvest mouse, Water vole, Stoat, Scottish wildcat, and even Beaver, so you will need to be prepared to take home some truly memorable images!

The ability to get really close to the subjects means you can concentrate on honing your camera skills, thinking through your compositions and asking questions.

Andrew will start the workshop by giving a presentation to highlight the key issues associated with taking well composed wildlife images with impact. He will run through many of the common camera settings and will talk you through some of the techniques that you will be putting into practice throughout the day. We will then head out into the grounds to work with an experienced mammal handler to put our ideas into practice.

Ideally you will have, and be reasonably familiar with, a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with a telephoto or zoom lens of up to 300 or 400mm focal length, as well as a shorter focal length lens; say a macro of around 150mm to 180mm for smaller mammals. A tripod and / or monopod may come in handy for fine-tuning your compositions but remember you will have to carry your equipment between the enclosures (a few hundred meters). You will probably take many images during the day, so you will need spare memory cards and sufficient fully-charged batteries!

If you have any queries about your experience level or your equipment, please do contact me and I will do my best to help.

Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be available on site throughout the day.

Clothing: We will be working outdoors, possibly in wet conditions, so appropriate warm clothing including a waterproof jacket and trousers, are highly recommended. We will need to walk short distances between enclosures on potentially wet / muddy and uneven ground, so I also recommend stout boots or wellingtons, with a good grip.
Fitness: Photographing some species can involve lying on the ground, however this is optional and we have found that the fitness level and mobility required for the day is not at all onerous.

If you are a camera club member you can book directly through me and receive a discount. Please email me for details: info@andrewmccarthyphotography.co.uk

Dates: Please contact us for availability and prices.

Macro Workshops

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Macro photography, especially of insects, can be a really challenging subject for beginners to get to grips with and this 1-day workshop is designed to help you get started.

The workshop will be run by Andrew McCarthy ARPS, an experienced macro photographer, an Olympus Mentor, and recent winner of the ‘Hidden Britain’ category in the 2018 British Wildlife Photograph Awards. 

Andrew will start by going over the target subjects, equipment, typical camera settings and techniques associated with macro photography, after which we will head out to some local sites to put our ideas into practice. In particular we will aim to find and photograph butterflies and other larger insects, but we will also photograph plants and other suitable subjects, depending on conditions. During the workshop, Andrew will demonstrate techniques such as photo-stacking, use of flash and reflectors, and will show you how to stabilize your subjects to maximize sharpness.

Ideally you would have and be reasonably familiar with a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with a macro lens or close-focusing zoom of around 300-400mm in focal length, although cheaper options such as extension tubes or screw-on close-up filters can work really well. A reasonably robust tripod will make life much easier (we may be able to lend you one if you request it in advance) although for some subjects (e.g. fast moving butterflies) we will use hand-holding techniques.

We will be working outdoors, possibly in damp conditions, so appropriate clothing including waterproof trousers, are highly recommended (you could be kneeling in wet ground). We will also be walking short distances from the vehicle over potentially uneven and slippery ground, so we recommend stout boots with a good grip. You will need to bring a packed lunch.
Please bring spare memory cards and sufficient fully-charged batteries for a full day in the field.

If you have any queries about your experience level or your equipment, please do contact us and we will do our best to help.
For anyone wishing to try out Olympus OM-D equipment, please let us know in advance and Andrew will arrange to have additional equipment available for use on the day.

Note that these workshops are to some extent weather-dependent and although we will do our best to run them, they may need to be rearranged at reasonably short notice, in order to maximize the learning experience for participants.

Dates: Please contact us for availability and prices.

Maximum 5 participants