To call what we offer here ‘a course’ does it a disservice...but, if we say it is a ‘learning experience’ then that sounds pretentious. What we guarantee is that you will leave us with your appreciation enhanced, tuned to the immense opportunities around you through a mastery of basic and not-so-basic techniques that will enable you to create your own unique vision of nature. You will learn how to get the best out of macro lenses, take larger than life pictures and use wide angles (both fixed focus and zooms) to get pictures of plants and animals with impact in the context of their environment. And, en route, you will have met congenial, kindred spirits and dined well!
We offer two different dates (and can fit in others to order: see Italy-made to measure
Specific dates will appear each year on our blog and we also offer 1-3 day photographic courses tailored to your needs...from beginner to professionals. Details on request
We, (Paul & Lois) live near Orvieto which has to be one of the most photogenic cities in the whole of Italy and it lies just about about 90 mins north of Rome. There, between Orvieto and Bolsena (with its immense lake) we live in an ancient farmhouse which we have brought back to life from a shell, doing the bulk of the work ourselves. Around us lies traditionally worked farmland, rich in bird, flower and insect species - porcupine inhabit the Etruscan tombs behind the house - and we are deeply involved with Italian friends in local conservation and educational projects.
This involvement has provided us with unique local contacts and a deep knowledge of some astonishingly rich habitats close to home where you can relax, take your time and get photos you never believed possible working to the highest professional standards. We base our close-up and macro courses and workshops in the area we know best so that at any time throughout the seasons we are placed to help you get the best of what is available for subjects change with the seasons. There are fungi in autumn and winter, orchids and insects in spring, treefrogs, butterflies, moths - even fireflies and glow-worms. Within two hours travel we can be beside the sea and extensive dunes or head inland to heights of over 2000m and a true alpine environment. Closer still to home, lie orchid and butterfly-rich meadows, ancient ponds and the most wonderful ancient woodland imaginable with a rich natural biodiversity... including hundreds of species of fungi.
We have very limited guest accommodation at home which we use when numbers are small or when we cater for individuals. But, in living and working here, it is important that we put ‘something back’ so we work closely with friends locally using their excellent agriturismos. Our home studio nearby is handy for indoor work, talks and for looking at images after a day’s work. We are Mac users for our own professional work...but all our machines will run Windows as well. And, we even have plugs for those with laptops!
So... what do we provide that is different from others? Well, for a start, Paul HD is a lifelong naturalist who cannot remember a time when he was not inspired by a love of the natural world. He has long been a dedicated conservationist and an advocate for the protection of the small – the insects and plants often overlooked but indicative of the health of our environment. Some years ago, various magazines began to attached the epithet ‘macromaestro’ to him because for Paul the world of the close-up is an adventure, a pursuit that never ceases to delight and enthuse.
Paul has always spent a significant part of his time teaching - from young children to university level and numerous mature students. He has a rare gift for communication through an understated teaching style that has taken him the length and breadth of the UK, to Cyprus and the US and now Italy. Paul has written numerous books including several standard works on photography at close-quarters and plant photography and has broadcast on both radio and television and is regarded worldwide as one of the finest of ‘macro’ photographers...He provided the definitive entry on flower photography for the latest Focal Encyclopaedia of Photography and was invited to speak at Wildphotos 2008, the premier international event for wildlife photographers, on his passion for photographing the ordinary and the way we can all contribute as habitats vanish.
Paul works with you to help you realize your potential, whatever experience you bring along. No-one need ever feel shy of being a beginner - on our courses we accept that we are all on the same path, some might be just a bit further along than others but there is inspiration for everyone from novice to expert.
...We can provide you with a week's learning and practice, a long weekend or even a day. In fact, we can tailor what we do to particular interests you may have...try us.