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Welcome to my workshops

Northumberland is a wonderful county, with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Golden sands, rocky coastlines, wild moorlands and skies that seem to go on forever.
Why not join me on a one-day photography or geology workshop and learn more about what lies beneath your feet or how to capture the beauty of the county.

Why should you book a course with me?
I've spent my entire working career as an instructor, educator and trainer and have the ability to explain the complicated in simple terms. So come along and learn more about photography or geology in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Photography has been my hobby and passion for over 40 years, from the days of film to the modern era of digital. Over the years I've had experience of using a variety of 35mm film cameras, from the cheap and cheerful to some of the best makes such as Olympus, Nikon and Canon. More recently, I've used a variety of digital cameras, including Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Canon and I currently use a Canon 7D mk II. My preferred subject matter are landscapes, but I also enjoy macro and wildlife photography.
As well as my photography I'm also a highly experienced geologist. I've worked as a geologist in academia and industry for around 15 years, but I still get a buzz every time I'm out in the field looking at the rocks that create our wonderful landscapes. In fact being a geologist and landscape photographer go hand in hand. I understand the landscape and how it formed and I also understand how to get the best out of it photographically.
Northumberland has some wonderful geology and a rich geological heritage. The Whin Sill forms the Farne Islands and the outcrop that Bamburgh Castle sits on. Further south there are outcrops at Dunstanburgh, Craster and Cullernose Point. Inland It forms the prominent scarp along which Hadrian's Wall is built between Housesteads and Walltown. Indeed the geological term "sill" comes from the Whin Sill. So every geological sill in the world owes its name to this region. While the Whin Sill forms some of our most spectacular scenery, the main geology of Northumberland consists of sandstones, limestones, mudstones and of course coal deposited around 350 - 290 million years ago during the Carboniferous period. In the North are the Cheviots Hills, which are comprised of tough resistant lavas and granites. These rocks tell the story of an earlier, more violent volcanic period in the geological history of the region.
Photography Workshops

Whether you are a novice or looking to develop your existing skills the courses can be tailored to meet your individual needs.

Main topics:
Understanding Exposure
Understanding the Histogram
Camera Modes
Menu Settings (bring your instruction manual!)
Composition
Depth of Field


So if you want to learn more about f stops, depth of field, shutter speeds, ISO or the rule of thirds, join me on one of my day-long courses.

Bring your camera along, any extra lenses or accessories if you have them, remembering to include spare batteries and memory cards. We'll be outside all day so, please make sure you have warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear (hiking boots or wellingtons with a deep tread), and a packed lunch. It's also useful to have some polythene bags to protect your camera from sea spray or rain and a soft cloth to dry things off. In addition a large plastic bin bag or sheet of polythene is very useful for protecting you or your camera bag from wet sand or boggy ground. Some walking over rough ground will be necessary, so a reasonable degree of fitness is required.


Coastal Photography The Northumberland coast: miles of pristine golden sands, rocky coastlines, Marram covered dunes and of course castles. depending on the tides, weather and group choices options could include: Bamburgh, Embleton Bay and Dunstanburgh, Craster, Howick, Alnmouth or Druridge Bay. Please note that it isn't feasible to visit all of these locations in a single day!

Cost: £60 per person
For groups of 3 or more booking together there is a discount of £10 per person
Maximum group size: 6
Courses are run on demand throughout the year
For availability, or more details click here...

Sunrise Pool
 
Dunstanburgh Sunrise
 



Geology Workshops

These geology courses aim to remove the mystic surrounding the world of geology. No prior knowledge is needed. Just yourselves, some warm and waterproof clothing boots or wellingtons with a good deep tread and a packed lunch.

Workshop 1

The geology of Hadrian's Wall and the Haltwhistle Burn. The dramatic scenery of Hadrian's Wall is due to the underlying geology. Join me on a day of discovery as I uncover the story of what lies beneath our feet. Starting at Steel Rigg we'll walk the short distance to take in the view of Peel Crag and Crag Lough, the most impressive section of the Whin Sill. From there we'll move down to Cawfields Quarry where we can examine the Whin Sill in greater detail. Then a journey down the Haltwhistle Burn where the sequence of Carboniferous, limestones, sandstones and even coal are exposed in the river banks.
This workshop involves a walk of just over 2 miles over relatively good ground, with a path down Haltwhistle Burn. No hammering is allowed.

Dates: Courses are run on demand throughout the year (dependent on weather)
Cost: £60 (doesn't include parking at Steel Rigg, Cawfields (£4.00 all day for any National Park car park) or in Haltwhistle)
For groups of 4 or more booking together there is a discount of £10 per person
Maximum group size: 8
For availability, or more details click here...

Crag Lough Evening
 


Workshop 2

The Carboniferous geology of Cocklawburn. The coastal section at Cocklawburn, just south of Berwick on Tweed provides an excellent location to examine the Lower Carboniferous rocks of Northumberland. Folds, Faults and Fossils!
This workshop involves a walk of around 2 miles over rough ground and potentially very slippery rocks and great care should be taken when walking across them. No hammering is allowed.

Date: Courses are run on demand throughout the year (dependent on weather and tides)
Cost: £60
For groups of 4 or more booking together there is a discount of £10 per person
Maximum group size: 8
For availability, or more details click here...