Photography Hero holiday

South West, Charente, France

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Holiday Itinerary

Have you got a digital camera and not sure how to get the best out of it? Are you stuck in Automatic Mode and want to learn more about your camera’s other features and functions? If you love photography, you need to spend some dedicated time, in a relaxed environment and really understand how to improve your technique.

This 7 night / 8 day photography holiday is a fantastic opportunity for photography lovers who want to improve their photography abilities and technique. With no more than 6 people on each course, you will get the individual attention necessary to really flourish and get to grips with using your camera to its highest potential.

You will receive more than 6 hours of tuition, guidance, advice & discussion a day from your warm and experienced tutor, who will open your eyes to the functionality of your camera and help you to vastly improve your photography skills.

With an expert at your side and Trisha cooking delicious food for you to enjoy after a long day of work at your photography, this holiday is a real treat. Whatever your choice of camera or photographic ability, this photography holiday will dramatically improve your skills and give you confidence and expertise to continue to take beautiful photos long after you return home.

Stay in the stunning Studio (a lovingly restored barn) in the grounds of a medieval convent house with your own private room with ensuite bathroom for no single supplement. The Studio is surrounded by lovely gardens and there is also a wonderful swimming pool to relax in.

Lay bare the mysteries of your camera and photo-editing software in the lovely on site photography studio. With state of the art computers and software at your fingertips, you will hugely increase your knowledge of the camera in a gentle, relaxing environment on this photography holiday with a difference.

Who is it suitable for?
- Suitable for all levels from beginners to enthusiasts
- This photography holiday is suitable for keen photographers who are ready to get stuck in and develop their skills
- Minimum age 18
- Courses have a maximum of 6 people in each group, singles are very welcome as you'll meet others with a passion for photography and there are NO single supplements

Can I bring a non-participating partner?
- If your friend/partner would like to join you on the holiday but not partake in any of the photography tuition, that is not a problem
- Non-participating partners sharing a room are welcome and will receive a discounted price, click on the 'Costing and extras' tab to see the price
- This price includes 7 nights accommodation (sharing a room with the participating guest), all meals, excursions, etc

When can I start?
- Photography courses start on Saturday, finishing the following Saturday
- Check in around 5pm on day 1 and check out around 4pm on day

Typical itinerary
Please note that the itinerary is as a guide only and may change depending on the weather and time of year.

Day 1: Saturday - Arrival and welcome dinner
- Don and Trisha are happy to pick you up from Angoulême train station at no extra cost and bring you back to the Studio anytime from around 5pm
- You will enjoy a lovely welcome dinner where you will get to know your hosts and the other guests you will be sharing this wonderful experience with
- Your hosts will also go through the program for your holiday tonight so that you can prepare for your days ahead

Day 2 –7: Sunday – Friday – Photography classes
- At 9am you will have a continental breakfast at the studio, and discuss the plan for the photography packed day ahead
- After breakfast your first photography session will start at 10am
- Many of your photography sessions will take place at photo shoot locations which Don will take you to and from, giving you a chance to experience some of what the local area has to offer
- At 1pm you will break for lunch or a picnic
- Your second photography session is typically on location and starts at 2pm and will also last for at least 3 hours
- Depending on the day you might continue shooting at the photo-shoot location or come back to the Studio to carry out some photo editing and manipulation and learn computer based photography skills
- From around 5pm you will have free time in which you could go for a walk, relax by the pool, read a book from the extensive collection or even have a go at a spot of painting
- Dinner is served at 7:30pm, made by Trisha, and will be entirely homemade from fresh local produce and served with delicious wine from the area
- Please note that Tuesday or Wednesday will be a free day for you to relax

Day 8: Saturday - Departure
- You will take your final breakfast at 9am on the departure day
- Please note you will have a final photography session on day 7 (Friday) from 10-4pm and you check-out the following day on Saturday morning when your hosts will happily give you a lift to Angoulême train station at no extra cost as you take your new photography skills with you!

What will I learn?
Please note that the following content acts as a guide only and may change depending on the weather, time of year & needs/wishes of the guests.
- The tutor on this course is attentive to your personal needs and will take into account your level of experience and what you want to get out of the holiday
- Improve your understanding of the rules of good composition and the importance of camera position, leaving you taking stunning photographs
- You will learn how to make the most out of your camera, knowing its functions and when/why to use different lenses – you won’t ever use automatic mode again!
- This holiday includes lots of exploring of the local area where you will take part in location photo-shoots under the watchful eye of your expert tutor
- Discover how and why Adobe Lightroom is an essential tool for the photographer as you manage the basic editing of your photographs
- Make your images stand out and catch the eye as you as taken through the steps of photo manipulation
- Learn how to print photos properly and store them so that they will remain in good condition and withstand the test of time
- Discover when, how and why to use a wide angle, zoom, prime or macro lens
- Polarising filters, auto-bracketing and high dynamic range images;
- How to photograph different locations such as Villebois-Lavalette, picturesque towns in South-West France, rolling countryside and vineyards, châteaux, rivers and rustic, pastoral French villages
- Image storage and how to safeguard their future

Your tutors and hosts
- Your hosts will be Don and Trisha McCrae
- Don and Trisha love meeting new people and have travelled extensively during their careers
- Don, your instructor, has achieved many photographic awards and holds Licentiate and Associateship Distinctions offered by the Royal Photographic Society
- He also was a co-founder of a business which developed and sold a variety of Photoshop plug-ins so he has a deep understanding of image editing applications
- He’s worked with Kodak, Epson, Wacom, HP and Toshiba to name a few and has done many lectures and presentations during his photographic career
- Trisha is passionate about local French food and the electric atmosphere good food and good company provide
- She’s exhibited as a painter and sculptor, screened as an artist filmmaker and holds a BA (Hons) in Art and Art History
- Both Don and Trisha are both highly creative and take pleasure in teaching and inspiring their guests
- They go above and beyond to make sure guests feel welcomed into their lovely home and are attentive and thoughtful hosts

Where will I stay?
- The accommodation is set in the Studio in the grounds of a medieval convent house, lovingly restored by your hosts after they fell in love with this beautiful historic building
- The Studio is set in the picturesque floral garden and a charming old well and swimming pool where you can relax and unwind
- The accommodation has gained the Office de Tourisme (OdT)  accreditation following an inspection by the OdT
- On the ground floor of the Studio you'll find a portrait studio with Bowens lights, 4 separate workstation with all the photography related programs you might wish to use a A3+ printer and a collection of books and magazines to inspire your photography
- See the ‘About the School’ page to read more about this stunning location
- Each bedroom has been stylishly restored and has an en suite bathroom as well as gorgeous views of the Villebois-Lavalette valley
- There are 3 ensuite bedrooms in total (2 twin rooms and 1 double room)
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights / 8 days
- There are no single supplements for solo travellers and you will automatically have your own private bedroom for no extra charge
- Check-in is on arrival day after 5pm and check-out is on day 8 at 4pm

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- Please note this accommodation does not have disabled access
- All of the bedrooms are located upstairs in the building and they have walk-in showers
- Each day there will be excursions to various local villages and there will be light walking involving carrying your own equipment

Are meals included?
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be provided for the duration of your course
- Delicious meals are prepared by Trisha from fresh local produce
- Examples include French classics such as creamy asparagus tarts with salade girolles, magret du canard au sauce bigarde with dauphinoise potatoes or salmon en pipolotte with moon blush tomatoes
- Evening meals include lovely local wine for which the region is famous

What should I bring?
- Bring your camera, lenses, camera bag, memory cards, battery charger and any other equipment you might have
- A laptop if you have one
- Comfortable clothes and walking shoes as you will be out and about in the local area
- A hat/cap or sun cream as well as an anorak to prepare for all weather conditions