Photography courses based in Whitehaven, Cumbria

My courses have been running in West Cumbria since 2008 and have helped hundreds of people to get more out of their photography and enjoy it along the way!

Current Photography courses – at a glance

    • Digital Photography for Beginners – Will be around summer time
    • Digital Photography for the Serious Amateur – 5th June start date
    • The Ruins of Calder Abbey – a workshop running on 1st June
    • Birds of Prey at Muncaster – a workshop running on 8th June
    • Getting to grips with your Smartphone – a workshop at Muncaster on 8th June

To book a place or for more information please book online.
– To enquire you can click to email or Telephone; 01946-506416

Photography for Beginners is aimed towards people who own a digital camera but just want to get something extra from it. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about your camera and how to take the photos that you want and not to leave everything to the camera to make the choices for you! You will learn how to get some great effects from easy-to-learn techniques … and no, you don’t need the latest camera with very expensive lenses.  Recommended for people who own Mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
– A total of 9 sessions over 5 weeks (5x classroom sessions on a Wednesday evening and 4x field trips on weekends)
– £123.75  Concessions available.

Photography for the Serious Amateur is aimed towards those who may already know a little about their Mirrorless or D-SLR camera and want to learn some more advanced techniques.  We go deeper into some more advanced techniques including HDR, off-camera flash and multiplicity with more use of software such as the use of layers in Photoshop and image compositing.  Recommended for people who own Mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
– A total of 11 sessions over 6 weeks (6x classroom-based on a weekday evening and 5x field trips at weekends).
– £148.50  Concessions available.

Photography workshops are informal workshops where you have the opportunity to visit amazing places with your camera.  The tutor will be on hand to help you if needed and offer tips and advice on improving your photography.  These include trips to locations such as Devoke Water, Stanley Ghyll, Muncaster Castle & Owl Centre, Calder Abbey, and more!
NOTE – The Calder Abbey workshop has a cash entrance fee of £7.50 so this is deducted from the fee – please bring the cash with you on the day.
For more information please visit the Adult Learning website where you can also make a booking.
– From £30  Concessions available. 

How do I book on to the course?
Please book all of the courses online.

What is the cost of the courses?
Current costs, along with a lot more detail, can be found on the Adult Learning in Cumbria website.

Can I talk to someone?
If you have any specific questions you can email or call 01946-506416.

Who runs the courses?
The courses are run by Dave Wilson, an established photographer, on behalf of the Adult Learning Centre.  The courses are regulated and inspected by Ofstead and run in a safe environment meeting effective standards for Safeguarding and Equality & Diversity.

What happens in the courses?
Firstly and very importantly, everyone gets their fair share of help.  So don’t worry if you feel you need some extra time, you’ll get it.
Most of the courses have classroom sessions and field trips (where we go out and practice what we’ve been talking about).  All of the courses include tips on how to improve your technique, learn some of the theory involved in the photos you are taking, what to look out for, and loads of other great stuff which will help you improve your skills.

What if I’m not good enough?
There’s no such thing.  Everyone starts as a beginner so don’t worry because you will get the help and support to see you taking better pictures than ever!  In fact, every person who has completed the courses has gone on to exceed their expectations and I have seen some truly amazing pictures on social media from our learners!

What days of the week do the courses run?
Classroom sessions for the longer courses are on a Wednesday at St Benedicts Campus and the field trips are usually at weekends, the timing of which is mutually agreed with everyone in the class in order to suit the majority.
The smaller Workshop sessions usually run on a Saturday.

Where are the courses run?
– The longer photography courses have classroom sessions at the Whitehaven Campus (St. Benedicts School) and the field trips are mostly around the Whitehaven Marina area with some field trips reaching the likes of Eskdale and Calder Bridge.
– The Industrial Heritage Photography courses have visited historic areas such as Force Crag Mine, Threlkeld Quarry and Museum, Florence Mine and we will be looking for the same or other areas to visit.
– The Landscape of the Lakes course will visit locations such as Ashness Bridge, Derwent Water, Ennerdale, Latrigg.

– The Studio taster course will be run at Whitehaven Campus.
– We run most of our smaller workshops at Muncaster’s Castle, Gardens and Bird of Prey Centre.
Wherever we venture outdoors we use locations which are fairly easy to reach and we don’t do any difficult or long walks.

What equipment do I need?
DSLR or Mirrorless cameras are ideal although people have completed the courses successfully with Bridge or Compact cameras. A tripod is recommended for some field trips. An ND (Neutral Density) filter is also recommended, these can be quite cheap – recommendations to fit your particular lens can be given out in the classroom sessions.
For the Studio taster course, you may be able to use your own camera or alternatively you can use the tutor’s equipment, and the lighting is provided.
For the other workshops, you can bring what you like but you need to be able to carry it.

What if I can’t make a session?
That’s no problem, everyone has other things on, simply let the tutor know. However, we would like you to get value for your money so if you know that you would miss a large chunk of the course because of holidays etc. then we recommend considering an alternative date.

How often do the courses run?
The courses repeat at various points in the year.

What have previous learners had to say about these courses?

“When I first started Dave’s course I didn’t believe I’d even be able to operate my camera, but I started to learn and understand things from that first lesson, and by the end I couldn’t believe how much I had learned. I now know how to work with lighting, shutterspeed, HDR, nevermind the vast amount of fantastic software!” 
S E Denny

“Instructor had a friendly, easy-going manner whilst demonstrating deep knowledge of the subject”,

“This course … will inspire me to go out and take my time with a hobby I always wanted to do – thanks Dave!”

“Informative course in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere”

“Dave is a great tutor with endless patience who has made learning easy. A friendly, interesting course that I have enjoyed and would recommend”

“I’m glad I came, learnt so much more that I thought I would”.

“Fantastic course, great technical knowledge & teaching, a definite must, the man knows his stuff!”

“Would recommend the course for anyone wanting to improve their photography”

“I did both of the courses, all in all a very enjoyable 12 weeks!”

“I enjoyed it from start to finish. The course was delivered in a very friendly relaxed and easy manner. I will recommend this course to anyone who wants to progress their photography skills.”

“The course was very informative and adaptable to topics we were interested in. Also the field trips were fun and gave us the opportunity to put the learned skills to practice.”

“I learned a lot in an easy-going atmosphere and met a group of really nice people with a common interest.”

“Now using my digital SLR more to its potential compared to before the course.”

“I wanted to feel more confident using my camera and now I do!”

“I have a much better knowledge of what the camera features do and now have the confidence to try them out.”

“Excellent course and extremely informative. Field trips provided practical examples of course content.”

“Very good course, would recommend!”

“I’m surprised at how well my knowledge has improved. I feel that I have the confidence to move away from the auto mode. A worthwhile course that has fired up my enthusiasm to continue to learn.”

“Really enjoyed the course, great tutor whose informal approach and genuine enthusiasm for photography is infectious! Great stuff Dave, thankyou! You have taught me something I wish I had learned years ago.”

“Learned a lot in an easy & understandable way that Dave taught.”

“I have a much better understanding of how the camera works and how to get better pictures.”

“Enjoyed the course and now feel very confident.”

“I have a much better understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they all work together. Excellent course, I am much more confident using my camera.”

“Dave is a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic ‘snapper’. Seems to enjoy passing on tips and techniques. He always ensures the whole class understands the concepts and is happy to answer even the simplest question. Thoroughly enjoyed the course, thanks Dave”

“More confident to use other features on camera not just ‘auto’ all the time. Better able to handle camera & use more facilities on it … have learnt more in general about photography”

“In the first 2 weeks I doubted that I would be able to understand, remember and be able to put into practice what I was learning but I have!”

“Dave is a very good tutor, has the time and patience to show you how to learn and explains everything very well

“Dave has been a good tutor, he has inspired me to try things out and helped when I’ve gone wrong. Thoroughly enjoyed the field trips”

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