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Ireland: Photo Tour in Beautiful Cork and Kerry

“I had a fantastic time. Sitting here less than a week later back at work it feels like some sort of vague dream already. The locations for shooting were incredible and the large number of locations you got us to in 10 days was also very impressive.
You are a very good instructor. Those of us who do this for a living recognize that the axiom “Those who can’t, teach” is pure bullshit and they’ve never tried teaching. I’ve met many amazing professionals in a variety of fields who couldn’t articulate worth a damn to another person how it is they do what they do —even when that is why I was paying to see them try. You show very disciplined patience when necessary, but also are very good at utilizing your sense of humor to make everyone have a good time. Your depth and breadth of knowledge is commendable. Not only are you able to answer questions, but also give a deep understanding behind the answer if necessary.
You made yourself amazingly accessible. I didn’t anticipate that you would be with us at every meal and so open to discussing photgraphy during every breathing moment you were awake. That level of accessibility is not something I was expecting.”
— Scott McGlynn, USA

“I can’t thank you enough, Peter, for making this workshop such a memorable experience. You gave us magical locations, great food and fun, and most of all your ability to provide useful and positive learning opportunities at all skill levels. You truly are a teacher and photographer with a “high dynamic range!” I’m already recommending your workshops to my friends.”
— Gail Bingham, USA

“As the only genuine old-timer in your group I found the course to be tough but very rewarding. You took us to some beautiful parts of Ireland that but for this course we might never have seen. Each day you took trouble to spend time with each of us to explain everything from the absolutely simple to the highly technical about landscape photography. Above all, through your leadership, you merged us into a team who enjoyed each others company and at the same time greatly improved our photographic skills. The organisation, food and accommodation were all first class
Many thanks for a great ten days. Long may you reign in elite photographic circles.”
— Robert Moran, Australia

“What can I say? Brilliant locations, food, accommodation, teaching and non-stop laughs. And you got me on the plane with my tripod!”
— Val Graham, UK

Ireland offers some of the finest landscape photography in the world. From green rolling hills and manicured farmland to the wilds of the Atlantic coast, it is a dream destination for many photographers, professional and amateur both.

Join me on an unforgettable ten-day photography tour through Ireland’s south-west, where you will photograph some of the Emerald Isle’s most dramatic and beautiful scenery. I’ll introduce you to my favourite locations – famous and unknown alike. Along the way, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to learn how to improve your own photography, with ad-hoc lectures and one-to-one attention. Not to mention an introduction to the local culture and plenty of good craic!

My ultimate goal is for you to have a great time on the trip, get some fantastic photographs of stunning locations and most of all to go home having learned how to make better images for yourself.

This trip is limited to 12 participants only.

Dates for 2015 are:

  • July 5-14, 2015

Dates for 2016 are:

  • September 11-20, 2016

If this sounds like something that you’d love to do – read on!

Philosophy:

This trip is about improving your photography as well as getting out and about in stunning locations. I will be out shooting with you every day, helping you get the shots you’re after and introducing you to new ways of seeing, so you get images you never thought of before.

As such, this workshop is targeted to a wide range of people. From the advanced amateur who is looking to refine his or her technique, to someone who has recently started to cultivate their passion and is looking for a guiding hand to master the technical and compositional aspects of the art.

What You Will Learn:

There will be classroom sessions on this trip with plenty of demonstrations and lectures on such things as:

  • How to make a good exposure
  • Understanding aperture and depth of field
  • Shooting technique and how to eliminate camera shake and vibration
  • Photographing panoramas with a view to digital stitching
  • How to use filters (polarizing and neutral density)
  • The basics of good composition, and when to break the rules
  • How to use RAW to maximise your image’s potential
  • Exposing to the right to capture maximum detail

In the evenings while enjoying a nice beer or a cup of coffee, we will discuss such topics as:

  • Optimising your image in Photoshop, Lightroom and other applications (using curves, local contrast enhancement, contrast masking, using a pen and tablet to ease your workflow, eliminating colour fringing and halos, and more)
  • Understanding colour spaces
  • The importance of profiles, and how to create them

As well as all that, there will be regular critique sessions in the evenings where we can look at what was successful, and what wasn’t, in each other’s images. These sessions are an invaluable tool in improving your photos, as they show you exactly what you did wrong (and right!), allowing you to learn from your mistakes.

Accommodation and food:

We will be staying in hotels every night. Your comfort is taken seriously so all the establishments will offer a high standard of comfort and excellent food. After a long day’s shooting, the creature comforts are important!

Internet access will be available in most locations.

All meals are included. If you have a special dietary requirement you will be accommodated – just be sure and let me know when you make your booking.

The included accommodation is based on a sharing rate – single rooms are available but will involve an additional charge.

Lunches will be taken on the road, either in cafés or as packed lunches/picnics.

The Culture

Along the way on the trip there’ll be plenty of opportunity to engage with the local population – Ireland truly is the land of a thousand welcomes so conversation starts easily.

Several of the places we’ll be passing through are Gaeltacht areas where Irish is spoken on a daily basis, so if you have a cúpla focail you’ll be able to try your hand conversing with the locals as Gaeilge.

Itinerary:

This is the basic itinerary, and may change depending on the weather conditions. If the weather is particularly poor, we will spend time relaxing and critiquing images as well as holding a few classroom-type sessions on shooting technique and post-processing.

Day one: Fáilte romhat! We begin by meeting at Shannon airport. If you arrived the day before, I’ll collect you from your hotels. From there we’ll drive to our first port of call, the town of Dingle. This is a Gaeltacht area – one of the last few places where Irish is spoken on a daily basis. We will be spending three nights in this area.

After lunch, we’ll photograph some of the dramatic coastline close to the hotel before a well-deserved relaxing dinner.

Overnight: Dingle

Day two: Today we’ll start with a dawn shoot from the top of the Conor Pass, the tallest mountain pass in Ireland, and a fantastic photographic location. Wonderful views to the north and south will provide plenty of inspiration. After breakfast, we’ll be heading out on a chartered trip around the Blasket Islands with a short stop on the Great Blasket, weather permitting.

The Great Blasket Island has spawned more Irish literary figures per capita than any other place in the country. To prepare yourself for this part of the trip, you may want to immerse yourself in The Islandman by Thomas O’Crohan. An engaging autobiographical account of what life was like on these islands before they were evacuated in the 1950s, it will give you a clue as to the history and culture of the whole region, not just the Blaskets themselves.

If the weather doesn’t allow a visit, there are plenty of opportunities to photograph the islands from the mainland.

Overnight: Dingle

Day three: More of the Dingle peninsula with a second chance at the Blaskets trip if the weather didn’t cooperate the day before. Slea Head and Smerwick Harbour are some of the locations we’ll visit otherwise. Dramatic seascapes and isolated fishing piers are the order of the day.

Overnight: Dingle

Day four: After our dawn shoot, we’ll move our base of operations to Killarney, the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. We’ll spend two nights here in our hotel right on the shores of Lough Leane. Ladies’ View, so named because Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting were very taken by it when she visited the area, will be our location for this evening’s shoot.

Overnight: Killarney

Day five: Today, we’ll have an optional trip into the mountains to photograph Glencar and the Bridia Valley. Those who would prefer a rest can wander the streets of Killarney. A charismatic town which is always buzzing with activity, there’ll be an opportunity for some shopping and people photography.

Overnight: Killarney

Day six: We’ll make our way to Portmagee this morning, where we’ll be chartering a boat to take us to the spectacular Skellig islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, weather permitting.

Skellig Michael is definitely the crown jewel of Ireland’s landscape and heritage. A jagged spire of rock thrusting out of the Atlantic Ocean, it is home to thousands of seabirds and, hundreds of years ago, to a small monastery inhabited by hardy souls who chose to live on what was then the very edge of the known world.

If the weather doesn’t co-operate, we’ll be exploring Valentia Island and its surrounding area, driving to the summit of Geokaun mountain for some amazing 360 degree panoramas.

Overnight: Portmagee

Day seven: The Skellig Ring on the mainland will be our goal today, or a second chance at the Skellig trip if the weather didn’t cooperate the day before. Some of the more dramatic coastal views of the trip will be found today.

We’ll end up in Kenmare for the night, our base for the next two evenings.

Overnight: Kenmare

Day eight: Today, we leave the Iveragh peninsula and the Ring of Kerry and visit the last of the peninsulas of the trip – the Beara. We’ll travel up the winding Healy Pass, a spectacular drive on a road which was built as a relief project during the Great Famine. Once on the other side, we’ll head westwards to photograph Dursey Island, which is connected to the mainland by a cable car.

After lunch, we’ll wind our way along the spectacular Beara coast back to Kenmare for dinner.

Overnight: Kenmare

Day nine: We’ll head south from Kenmare and cross over the Caha Pass, opening up some of the finest mountain views in the country. We’ll have lunch in historic Bantry before heading inland to my home turf – Gougane Barra. Along the way we’ll photograph Kealkil stone circle, one of the most beautifully situated megalithic structures in the country.

Gougane Barra is a glaciated valley with a beautiful church on an island in the lake, and one of the lesser-known gems of the Irish landscape.

Overnight: Gougane Barra

Day ten: We’ll roll out of bed this morning for our dawn shoot which will be about a hundred yards from the front door of the hotel. A great way to finish the trip, as after breakfast we’ll be heading back up to Shannon for the afternoon flights home. We plan to arrive in Shannon around noon, so when booking your flight please make sure it doesn’t leave earlier than 2.30 or 3pm.

Slán agus beannacht libh!

The Instructor

I am a professional landscape photographer – one of only a handful in Ireland. I am an Irish native, and grew up in this country. I know the locations we’ll be visiting intimately, and have sought out many hidden gems in my own explorations which I’ll share with you.

I received a Fellowship from the Irish Professional Photographers Association (IPPA) and also a Qualified European Photographer award from the Federation of European Photographers.

I won the IPPA Landscape Photographer of the Year award in 2007 in both the portfolio and single-image categories, and have placed highly in several international photographic competitions.

I have a passion for both photography and for teaching. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, I make sure to pitch my lessons at your level and to ensure that you understand what’s being taught. My goal is for you to leave not just with great pictures and fond memories – but with increased confidence and ability too.

I teach year-round, both private and group workshops and courses – all on digital landscape photography. I have also taught a short Winter course on digital postprocessing techniques at Williams College in Massachusetts in the USA.

The Price:

This workshop will cost €3,895. This price includes all expenses except your airfare to and from Shannon airport. Your transportation, food, drinks (except alcohol) and accommodation for the entire ten days are covered.

Accommodation will be in single rooms.

To secure your place, a deposit of €700 is required within two weeks of registration, the balance payable three calendar months before the start date of the workshop. If you have to cancel up to this date, you will get a full refund less €350. Cancellations after that date will only be refunded if a replacement for you can be found.

Sign Me Up!

If this trip sounds perfect for you and you’re ready to embark on a ten-day odyssey of beautiful landscapes, friendly and competent instruction and a fantastic cultural experience, then secure your place now. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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