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The landscapes of southern Germany and the Italian Dolomites are full of fairy tale castles and magical peaks – perfect for photography workshops…

I’ve recently returned from a magical trip around southern Germany doing a recce for my German Castles Workshop next October. Magical because these castles are right out of a fairy tale book and many have been used as locations for fantasy films. Seeing them in the autumn is the best time I feel as the colours are fantastic and the summer crowds have subsided. Saying this, I happen to visit  the famous Neuschwanstein Castle on a German holiday so it was heaving with people. It was worth putting up with the crowds as the weather conditions were gorgeous. I was relieved to see they finally took the scaffolding down from the castle which was completely covered a couple of years ago. I love this part of Germany and was hoping to live here at some point, but unfortunately that idea has gone out the window, I won’t mention the ‘B’ word. The workshop will take place 18-26 October 2020 and you can book your place here.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany
Sigmaringen Castle in Autumn, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

One of the things I love about this part of Europe is how changeable the weather can be. If you don’t like the weather where you are, just drive a few hours. Rain was coming into the area around Neuschwanstein Castle, but the weather looked great on the other side of the Alps so off I went. The South Tyrol in Italy is a place I never get tired of. It’s always different every time I go with the change of seasons and weather. I’ve been checking out a few new locations for the Dolomites photo workshop and one of the most amazing views I’ve seen in the Dolomites is one that doesn’t require an arduous hike. The gondola ride alone is pretty amazing, but when I reached the top and stepped out to the panoramic view of the mountains, all I could say was ‘wow!’

Mt. Seceda, Trentino Alto Adidge, South Tyrol, Dolomites, Italy

I spent several hours just sitting overlooking Seceda watching the light change on the mountains. The groups of selfie stick wielding tourists came and went. A young woman with a tripod for her iPhone (I was impressed that she was using a tripod and envious of the light weight equipment) asked me what I was waiting for and I explained the light had to be in the right place. I could tell she didn’t quite understand what I was talking about until she later saw my Instagram post and commented now she could see why I waited so long. So much photography nowadays seems to be disposable for those 10 seconds it will be seen on social media. I much prefer to take the time to get it right.

Earth pyramids, Renon- Ritten, South Tyrol, Italy

I decided to change one of the bases on the Dolomites workshop so I could incorporate some different locations. One of these is the unusual rock formations called earth pyramids or hoodoos. These date back to the last Ice Age where moraine clay soil was left behind when the glaciers melted away in the valleys. They are continually eroding and evolving as the rain melts the soil away, though some of the formations have harder capstones that help protect them. When you look at the surrounding landscape, these hoodoos look so out of place and would be better suited for a scene from Lord of the Rings. I was there in Spring this year, but didn’t like the light that I had, though on this occasion I was fortunate to get a much stronger sidelight that highlighted the shape and form of the formations better. It’s a landscape that is always changing and is different with every visit.



Northern Spain: Bilbao to Zaragoza

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of being in Northern Spain, leading my new workshop that delved into the fascinating realms of modern and traditional architecture. Our journey began amidst the sleek urban landscapes of Bilbao. The city’s avant-garde structures offered a minimalist aesthetic that was both challenging and rewarding to capture. The Guggenheim […]

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Kase Filters review

If you have followed my work over the years, you will know that I have been using and promoting one of the leading filter manufacturers. Photography has changed drastically in a relatively short span of time. As a professional photographer I need to change with technological advances, so I’m always looking at what is on […]

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Composition-It’s all about the lines

To understand how to create compelling compositions in landscape photography, you should first look at the lines in the scene. The lines are the structure of the image and, if you study the classic artists in history, most started their masterpieces by sketching a pen and ink drawing to establish the structure of the painting […]

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