NORTHERN SPAIN: ANCIENT AND MODERN
This exciting three-centre workshop focuses on the best of ancient and modern landscapes, both natural and man-made, in this largely unspoilt corner of northern Spain. From Bilbao's outstanding contemporary architecture to the history-steeped monuments of Zaragoza, by way of the breathtaking Bay of Biscay, it's the ideal mix to fire your imagination and enhance your photography skills, whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced enthusiast.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AT A GLANCE
Could you be tempted by ten days in warm and sunny Northern Spain in early September, shooting ancient and modern architecture and stunning landscapes, based around Bilbao and Zaragosa?
You'll find so much to shoot on this two-centre trip, starting with Bilbao's contemporary architecture and art installations, including the extraordinary curves of Guggenheim Museum. From there, it's a short trip northeast to the dramatic coastline around Gaztelugatxe in the Bay of Biscay, including the inspiration for Game of Thrones' Dragonstone Castle.
The second half of the workshop sees us heading inland to the ancient city of Zaragoza, with its 11th century palace, iconic basilica and - in complete contrast - the fiercely modern Pabellon de Aragon and Caixa Forum. We'll also be capturing alluring late evening reflections in the beautiful Ebro river.
This trip is as much about relaxing and making friends with your fellow photographers as it is about bagging those must-have pictures, and the pace reflects this. You'll have plenty of time to swap ideas and tips, and for enjoying a taste of life in Spain, where the emphasis is definitely on less haste and more leisure.
Accommodation includes a well-appointed private room and a delicious breakfast. We'll have time for a spot of wine tasting, and for sampling the excellent regional specialities - from pintxos (Basque-style tapas) and intxaursaltsa (a custard-like dessert made with walnuts and milk) in Bilbao, to Zaragoza's famous bacalao Ajoarriero (salted cod), as well as traditional guirlache nougat, and tronchon (soft-ripened sheep's cheese).
With a maximum of just six people on the workshop, you'll enjoy lots of invaluable one-to-one tuition with Tom - everything from making the most of your camera and lens selection, to honing your eye for composition, playing with light and learning how to capture the best angles for buildings as well as landscapes and seascapes. You'll also pick up some expert post-production skills to give your images that final professional polish.
All transport during this photography workshop is included - so sit back and enjoy the ride!
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP ITINERARY
For the first two nights of our workshop we'll be based in the city of Bilbao, a once-pedestrian industrial port that has been reborn as a hub of modern architecture and art, including eye-catching sculptures, and a hotspot for the terrific local "pintxos" (tapas, Basque-style).
Our main focus will be Bilbao's most famous landmark - Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum, whose titanium-clad curves rise every which way above the River Nervion, reflecting the light from all angles. As well as shots of this iconic building in splendid isolation, we'll be using the strikingly different designs of the neighbouring La Salve and Calatrava bridges to create dynamic leading lines and more abstract images.
We'll then be heading northeast for a two-night stay on the spectacular coastline around Gaztelugatxe - which translates from the Basque as "castle rock". This craggy islet some 20 miles east of Bibao recently served as the location of Daenerys Targaryen's Dragonstone Castle in the acclaimed TV series, Game of Thrones. While Gaztelugatxe is crowned by a somewhat more modest - and dragon-free - hermitage in real life, it's an indisputably evocative centrepiece for dramatic seascapes, especially at sunset.
For the third part of our workshop, we'll drive across country to Zaragoza, stopping en route for two nights at two bodegas - one designed by Frank Gehry, and the other by renowned Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava (our stay here also includes some rather enjoyable wine tasting).
We spend the last three nights in Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon. One of Spain's oldest and most vibrant cities, dating back over 2,000 years, it's rich in traditional architecture, shaped by the influence of both Roman and Moorish conquerors. In sharp contrast, there are also some surprisingly modern buildings, including the fierce and shiny geometry of the Pabellon de Aragon and the Caixa Forum.
Among the city's most imposing treasures is the huge 11th-century Aljaferia palace, a masterpiece of Islamic, Mudejar and Gothic-Renaissance architecture. We'll also be shooting the iconic Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar on the banks of the River Ebro, its soaring towers and ornate cupolas framed by the graceful 15th-century Puenta de Piedra bridge - wonderful for spotlit evening reflection shots. We head back to Bilbao Airport on the morning of the 13th.
- One-to-one and group tuition with Tom
- 9 nights' accommodation
- Private rooms (no single supplement)
- Transfers to/from Bilbao Airport
- Transport during workshop
What's not included?
- Travel insurance
- Lunches, evening meals, snacks and drinks
Whether you're a beginner or a semi-pro, you'll find plenty to learn and enjoy on this workshop.
You'll require either a digital camera with at least a 16GB memory card (minimum 32GB if it's high resolution) or a film camera (SLR, medium, large or wide format) - Tom has many years of experience working with both.
Additional kit - a tripod, shutter release and polarising filter will help you maximise your shooting opportunities, although they aren't essential.
Average physical fitness levels - nothing strenuous involved.
Zaragoza in September averages a balmy 22C / 72F and can reach 28C / 82F, with lows around 15C / 59F, plenty of sunshine and very little rain. Bilbao is a shade cooler and rainier, with less sunshine, but still very pleasant. It's best to pack for warm weather but throw in a waterproof and something warmer to wear for evening shoots, and good walking shoes.
To ensure a relaxed pace and quality, individual tuition from Tom, this workshop is limited to six participants, so book early to secure your place.
If you have any questions about Tom's photography workshops, please check the frequently asked questions page. Alternatively, get in touch with Tom directly and he'll be happy to help you.