Andrew McCarthy Photography

Nature Photography Workshop 2022

The course at Westcott Barton, Barnstaple, runs from Monday May 23rd To Thursday May 26th 2022


This all-inclusive, residential nature photography course is based at the stunning Westcott Barton estate near Barnstaple in North Devon, and is aimed at ‘improver’ photographers who want to get to grips with the challenging genre of nature photography – in particular close-up and macro work. 

The workshop offers excellent value – you will have over two full days of teaching and all accommodation and food is provided. 

Following the workshop, once you have had a chance to reflect on your experience and look through your images, you will have the opportunity for a 1:1 debrief / critique session with Andrew via Zoom.  This is part of the workshop teaching package so there is no additional charge for it.

We will start on the afternoon of Monday the 23rd May 2022 with an exploration and initial photo session in the grounds of Westcott Barton.  After dinner we will have an informal discussion of the key camera settings and compositional techniques that we can use during the workshop to enhance our images. 

During the following two days we will be visiting fascinating sites such as Braunton Burrows on the North Devon coast in search of wildflowers, insects and other wildlife.  The ponds and ‘dune slacks’ of this internationally important reserve are particularly well-known for their wild flowers – in particular orchids – and are very important for conservation of insects, including butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.  The grounds of Westcott Barton also offer many opportunities for nature photography – in particular along the stream, ponds and wet woodland in the valley bottom.

Whilst our schedule will need to be flexible to make the most of the weather, we will if time permits and if there is sufficient interest look at the range of digital techniques available to process our images. 

The course will finish after breakfast on Thursday the 26th May – weather permitting after an early morning session to 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 dioptre as an alternative) for insects and plants, as well as a wide angle and telephoto lenses (or a zoom) and a sturdy tripod – preferably one with a removable centre column. 
  • A laptop / computer loaded with your favoured processing software – optional.
  • Spare memory cards and sufficient batteries to carry you through a full days shooting.

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

Clothing and fitness level:

  • We will be working outdoors, possibly in wet conditions, so a good waterproof jacket and over-trousers will be needed.  Also, May can be very warm so lightweight clothing, a sunhat, sunscreen, a water bottle, midge repellent as well as a tick removal tool will essential.
  • We will need to walk reasonable distances – possibly up to four miles – on potentially wet / muddy and uneven ground so stout boots and / or wellingtons with a good grip will be important.  Nature photography can also involve lying on the ground, however whilst this is optional it often results in a better image!  
  • Please ensure you are fit enough to negotiate uneven and rough terrain unaided.

If you have any queries about your experience level, fitness requirements, equipment suitability or our approach to Covid19 security please contact Andrew to discuss at


Price and venue:

  • Covid-19 secure room in a shared building and with shared amenities with full single occupancy – £450.00 per person all inclusive.
  • A shared twin room where both individuals are participating in the workshop – £400 per person all inclusive.
  • Non-participating partners sharing a participant’s room – £300 per person all inclusive.

For booking and for more information on the venue please contact Westcott Barton directly at Westcott Barton: Photography Retreat