May 4th

Stockton Bury Garden, near Leominster, Herefordshire

Better Plant and Garden Photography

Stockton Bury is an undiscovered gem in deep in the Herefordshire countryside. The garden’s director is Tamsin Westhorpe, past editor of The English Garden magazine and one of the country’s leading horticulturalists.

The group will have unprecedented free access to the garden and will be expertly led by Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year and renowned horticultural photographer in his own right.

For a photographer, the challenge is to really capture the essential spirit and character of the garden. This workshop will help you discover practical techniques and ideas to capture that elusive spirit. Philip will start the day with a short introductory talk and demonstration of key techniques. Topics covered will include composition, light, and technique including macro – all related specifically to garden and plant photography. You will be free to explore the marvellous ‘garden rooms’ at Stockton Bury, making your own images with one to one help and support from Philip as needed. There will be time for the group to reflect at length on the photographs taken on the day and also any images you may want to bring with you to share - on data stick please.

Who is it for: photographers with any type of camera, although DSLR or Bridge users with interchangeable lenses will get most from the day. If you are unsure about how your camera works then please bring your manual.

What to bring: tripod is extremely useful but not essential (not monopod), all your lenses, full battery and enough card storage, any reflectors or extra lights you like to use, garden kneelers are useful and suitable clothing for outdoor work.

“It’s so clearly a happy place, thoughtfully designed and maintained…organised to display the plants’ best qualities…it is possible to spend many hours there…shooting macro, wide mini-landscapes, and atmospheric, semi-abstract images…at Stockton Bury, I’ve found this process hugely rewarding” Philip Smith, RPS Journal, 2018.

For more information: http://www.stocktonbury.co.uk/events-courses/


May 10th

The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Devon

Better Plant and Garden Photography

This workshop takes place in a garden renowned for its innovative, contemporary planting and fantastic location on the edge of Dartmoor. It is several locations in one , including a walled garden, lawns edged with mature prairie-style  grasses, and mature trees with views across the moor, all of which offer great opportunities for photography. We welcome photographers of all levels and no specific level of expertise or previous experience is expected. The aim of the course is to provide you with a set of skills and techniques that you can use to improve your photography of plants and gardens no matter what type of equipment you use. You don’t need the latest expensive cameras – all levels are welcome.

There will be an emphasis on training the eye to see photographic opportunities, as well as ideas and techniques to enable you to make the most of the locations. The course will be a mix of lecture, practical work, and group discussion.

The lecture will consist of a talk by Philip Smith accompanied by images of his and other photographers’ work to illustrate key points. The aim is to give you a sound basis for developing your techniques later in the day. Topics covered will include macro, composition, depth of field, focus, priority modes, control of light, and light and colour. An overview of digital processing will also be given.

The practical work will be a photographic exploration of the garden . You will pursue your own subjects and interest, in addition to undertaking projects suggested by Philip. There will be ample opportunities for one to one discussions with Philip about any aspect of your photography.

You should bring your camera - full battery please - and a storage card (any format). If you have a DSLR or compact system camera with interchangeable lenses you will get more out of the day than if you use a simple compact camera. 


May 18th

Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Essex

Close up on Plants

Macro photography provides a fascinating insight into the world of plants. The focus of the workshop is on the most useful techniques and tips to help you explore the colours, shapes and patterns of plants. Philip will start the day with an introductory talk, sharing information from his professional experience to help you improve your images, including lighting, composition and exposure. You will discover how to get the best out of your camera and what are the best equipment options for macro camera work. Following the talk you will have an opportunity to explore the garden making your own images with one to one help and support with Philip’s expert guidance as needed.

The workshops welcome photographers of all levels and no specific level of expertise or previous experience is expected. The aim of is to provide you with a set of skills and techniques that you can use to improve your photography of plants and gardens no matter what type of equipment you use. The workshops are about exploration and moving out of your comfort zone to take great pictures. But it is not deadly serious nor is it a course about the latest technology. In a friendly, open environment, we aim to inspire you to get more pleasure and fun from your photography for years to come.

What to bring: your normal camera setup, along with any bits you perhaps rarely use, including a tripod. Fully charge your batteries and bring your camera’s manual if you are struggling with its controls. Dress appropriately for the outdoors and bring gardening kneelers if you have them.

For more information: Beth Chatto Gardens website


August 10th

Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Essex

Capturing the Image

A garden in midsummer is a wondrous sight and one of the most popular times for garden visiting. In many ways we are spoilt for choice of subjects, but how often is it that the resulting images fail to really capture the essential spirit and character of the garden? This workshop will help you to feel that elusive essence of a garden in your photography. Philip will start the day with an introductory talk. Topics covered will include composition, light, the ‘language of lenses’, metering and exposure, preparation and planning. We will also touch on post capture processing. Following the talk you will be free to explore the garden making your own images with one to one help and support with Philip’s expert guidance.

August 11th

Get Snappy

For accompanied 9 to 14 years old

2-4 pm

Enjoy an afternoon of exploration of the garden for budding plant photographers. The event is aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 14 who enjoy photographing the world around them with their phone or camera. Your guide will be pro photographer Philip Smith. We will look at the best way to choose subjects, whether they be plants or the creatures that live on the plants. We will talk about colours and shapes, views and closeups, with the aim of getting budding photographers to get more enjoyment out of their cameras, and to be able to capture images that they are really proud of.

For more information: Beth Chatto Gardens website


August 23rd

Stockton Bury Garden, near Leominster, Herefordshire

Better Plant and Garden Photography

In association with the Royal Photographic Society.

Stockton Bury is an undiscovered gem in deep in the Herefordshire countryside. The garden’s director is Tamsin Westhorpe, past editor of The English Garden magazine and one of the country’s leading horticulturalists.

The group will have unprecedented free access to the garden and will be expertly led by Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year and renowned horticultural photographer in his own right.

For a photographer, the challenge is to really capture the essential spirit and character of the garden. This workshop will help you discover practical techniques and ideas to capture that elusive spirit. Philip will start the day with a short introductory talk and demonstration of key techniques. Topics covered will include composition, light, and technique including macro – all related specifically to garden and plant photography. You will be free to explore the marvellous ‘garden rooms’ at Stockton Bury, making your own images with one to one help and support from Philip as needed. There will be time for the group to reflect at length on the photographs taken on the day and also any images you may want to bring with you to share - on data stick please.

Who is it for: photographers with any type of camera, although DSLR or Bridge users with interchangeable lenses will get most from the day. If you are unsure about how your camera works then please bring your manual.

What to bring: tripod is extremely useful but not essential (not monopod), all your lenses, full battery and enough card storage, any reflectors or extra lights you like to use, garden kneelers are useful and suitable clothing for outdoor work.

“It’s so clearly a happy place, thoughtfully designed and maintained…organised to display the plants’ best qualities…it is possible to spend many hours there…shooting macro, wide mini-landscapes, and atmospheric, semi-abstract images…at Stockton Bury, I’ve found this process hugely rewarding” Philip Smith, RPS Journal, 2018.

For more information: http://rps.org/events/2019/august/23/plant-and-garden-photography


September 14th

Knoll gardens, Wimborne, Dorset

Experience the photographic opportunities in one of Britain’s leading gardens that specialises in grasses, plants that are at their most dramatic in autumn. The owner, Neil Lucas, is holder of ten Chelsea Flower Show gold medals. This workshop is a unique opportunity to photograph the garden in the best morning light - it will be an early start at 6:30 am, finishing at midday. The schedule will be determined by the weather conditions; normally Philip will start the day with an introductory talk on photographing plants, sharing tips and techniques to help you improve your images, including lighting, composition and exposure and of course macro photography. You will discover how to get the best out of your camera and what are the best equipment options for the type of photography that interests you. Following the talk Philip will demonstrate techniques outside in the garden, after which you will have an opportunity to explore the garden making your own images with one to one help and support with Philip’s expert guidance as needed.

Who is it for: photographers with any type of camera, although DSLR or Bridge users with interchangeable lenses will get most from the day. If you are unsure about how your camera works then please bring your manual.
What to bring: tripod is extremely useful but not essential  (not monopod), all your lenses, full battery and enough card storage, any reflectors or extra lights you like to use, garden kneelers are useful and suitable clothing for outdoor work. 

For more information: http://www.knollgardens.co.uk/events/