Final Photography Holiday in Menorca

It's the end of an era – our very last Photography Holiday in Menorca has come to a end – and what a finale it was – a week full of fun and photography.

Photographers n final photography holiday in Menorca

Norene and Philip Dunn (back left) with the final group of photographers before they set off to explore the wonders of La Mola in Menorca – they were a bit more bedraggled at the end of the day

The final night of the holiday was a very emotional affair for Norene and me, especially when the photographers presented us with a beautiful framed watercolour of Menorca – the perfect present for us in our new home in Shropshire. It will have pride of place beneath the old oak beams of this very English house.

As if this was not enough, we were given an even more emotionally-charged gift – a book of words and photographs 'Norene and Philip – the Menorca Years'. I confess there were a few tears as we turned the pages to see a photographic story of our 10 years of running the hoidays. Photogapher Cathy Robertson had contacted several photogaphers who have been with us in the past to compile a most delightful record of memories.

Thank you Cathy and all the others who helped put this beautiful book together – it is wonderful and has touched our hearts.

Norene and I would like to thank all the photogaphers who have joined us in Menorca over the past 10 years to share our love of this wonderful island. It has been a wonderful experience with friends. It would be wrong to single out anyone in particular, but we have been specially endebted to Ken Terry for his tremendous friendship and support when Norene was so ill. THANK YOU EVERYONE – please keep in touch. As soon as I get a little time and the website is refreshed I will get the blog going again.

Norene and I have decided to concentrate on activities a little nearer our new home in England. It has been a difficult decision, but we believe the time is right. First we must sort out the new house – there is much to do as it has been very neglected. I will change and update the PhotoActive website to concentrate on One-To-One photography tuition and maybe occassional Photography Weekends and Photography Workshops in Shropshire.


Philip & Norene have found a new home


Yes, Philip and Norene will be moving into their new home in August.

From Bonnie Galloway in Scotland to Shropshire in the beautiful Heart of England.

Our new address will be:

Martin's Hatch

It's an old oak-framed cottage and there's quite a lot of work to do before we can get properly settled.

One-to-One Photography Courses
Our aim is to make the place comfortable over the winter so that next year we can re-start the One-to-One Photography Tuition and welcome photographers once again.

This corner of Shropshire is a wonderful base for photography. We will be a very short distance from the magnificent Long Mynd, the lovely town of Church Stretton and the beautiful county town of Shrewsbury.

Martin's Hatch - Philip Dunn's new home in Shropshire. A perfect location for re-starting the One-to-One Photography Courses in 2016

Martin’s Hatch – Philip Dunn’s new home in Shropshire. A perfect location for re-starting the One-to-One Photography Courses in 2016

In fact Martin's Hatch itself will make a worthwhile subject for some photography exercises – and just across the village street is an early English church; another superb subject for photography.

Photography tuition in England
So you will no longer have to travel to Scotland to enjoy the very best professional Photography Tuition available – Philip Dunn will be in the heart of England, just up the M54 motorway.

The PhotoActive website will also be refurbished and updated over the winter to reflect the changes – I think it's going to be a busy time.

Lots to look forward to….

Best wishes,

Philip Dunn




S’Algar Hotel Ice Bucket Challenge


It's a bit out of date now, but I've been pretty much up to my ears running holidays here in Menorca for the last few weeks.



So posting this picture of the staff of the Hotel S'Algar has been seriously held up. Still, I couldn't resist letting everyone see it – it shows what sort of lovely people run the hotel which we use for our Photography Holidays.

Right there on the front row (centre right) is Carlos Sintes Snr the Managing Director, and next to him in the white shirt is Pedro the hotel porter.

I'm not sure how much the staff raised for charity, but it had to be a considerable sum.

Find out more about the Hotel S'Algar, Menorca



September 2014 Photography Holiday

We enjoyed a week of glorious warm weather for our latest Photography Holiday in Menorca.

Photography Holiday Menorca - photographers

Our group of photographers at La Mola – our top favouraite photo location


The photographers visited some new locations this time, including a visit to the beautifully renovated moli (windmill) in San Lluis. This proved to be a great hit with everyone and produced some excellent pictures. I am normally wary of taking the photographers to take pictures in ‘nicely’ renovated old buildings because the renovators usually ruin any real character and grittiness the place once had.



Unfortunately the timeing wasn't quite right for the photographers to photograph the fiesta in Sant Lluis, so I hads to take pictures alone before they arrrived on the island


But in the case of the windmill in San Lluis, even the agricultural objects on display are worthy of careful consideration – and our thanks go to the curator, Eloy, for making the photographers feel so welcome.
This welcoming attitude is the norm in Menorca, and it is greatly appreciated.
Left – the windmill at Sant Lluis
Once again we went to the Horse Trotting Races in Mahon, and yet again, even the least experienced of the snappers produced some knock-out results from their panning shots. I was seriously impressed. I get a real buzz when I see photographers achieve things they thought were way beyond their capabilities.
The dates of the Photography Holiday did not quite coincide with those of the Sant Lluis Fiesta, the photographers just missed it. This was a shame because the atmosphere of this small town fiesta is always very special – and it makes great pictures.
Photographer Ricard Kay, winner of the Light Monkey Award – hard at work in La Mola
Of course, we visited La Mola, and we all found the lower temperatures underground to be quite a relief from the heat of a blazing sun.
As soon as we have a date and price for the May 2015 Photography Holiday I will let everyone know.

The Last Venice Photography Holiday

I have decided not to run the Photography Holiday in Venice next year.


I have run three very successful holidays in Venice and thoroughly enjoyed doing it. However, as part of my campaign to spend more time on my own photography the decision has been made that the March 2014 holiday will be the final one.

My thanks to Arena Travel who have taken the bookings for these holidays. My special thanks to all the lovely photographers who have photographed this wonderful city with me – they have made each holiday a wonderful experience.

My apologies to all those who have enquired about the 2015 Venice trip.

Find out about my Photography Holidays in Menorca






May 2014 Photography Holiday


It’s just over a week since the photographers left us after their May Photography Holiday here in Menorca.

Photography Holiday Menorca

But since they left Norene and I have been running an Art Holiday – and organising 12 artists is a full time job, so I have not been able to post about the photography. Not that I teach the Art Holiday, we bring a very fine art tutor to Menorca to do that.

Left: Perfect locations, lovely weather and great subjects – photographer Jenny Nicholls at work in Menorca

The Photography Holiday went extremely well with the highlight of the week coming right at the start when we celebrated our good friend Ken Terry’s 10th Photography Holiday with us.

Accomplished Photographer
Over the years Ken has become a close friend. He is a highly accomplished photographer, especially of wildlife and birds, and he has a deep understanding of the technical aspects of photography.

We shall always be grateful to Ken and to Maria Falconer for stepping in a couple of years ago to help when Norene was so ill and I was unable to be here.

This holiday we also welcomed back friends Jenny Nicoll – fresh from her Photography Holiday in China – and John and Yvonne Cannon.

Both John and Ken produced truly outstanding photographs from our visit to the Horse Trotting Races on the first night.

We were delighted that Russell Turner was able to join us in Menorca for the first time. Russell has been on several of my Photography Weekends. We hope that we will have him with us again.

Street Photography in Menorca

Flair for People Photography
Novice photographer Carol Davison turned out to have a natural flair for photographing people, and I very much hope she will continue to develop and enjoy this ability.

Carol also revealed a remarkable talent for being able to use Pedro the farmer’s old-fashioned earthenwear water jug. No other photographer has ever accomplished this, albeit at the cost a damp tee-shirt. Even Pedro was impressed.

Right: Russell Turner finds a willing subject in Mahon's main plaza

We had an awful lot of fun during what is really quite an intense week of photography covering a very wide variety of subjects. Norene and I would like to thank all the photographers for being such good sports and great company.

Photographer with Pedro in Menorca

Above: What a laugh – Novice photographer Carol Davison proved to have a tremendous gift for photographing people. Here she is with our old friend Pedro

Top Photo Location
Once again, the photographers’ favourite location proved to be the old fortifications of La Mola, and again some very beautiful pictures were captured during our visit there. However, I did spend a lot of the time worrying whether Russell, who is a very tall chap, would crack his skull as he made his way through some of the low underground arches.

For our Photography Holiday in September we intend, by popular demand, to take a packed lunch and spend a whole day at La Mola.

Left: Ken Terry and Jenny Nicholls photograph the spectacular landscape in Menorca during their Photography Holiday

There are a few places available for our September Holiday in Menorca.



















Cathedral Photo Workshop – New Date

I have arranged another of our very special one-day Photography Workshops at Carlisle Cathedral.

Carlisle Cathedral Photography Workshop

The date will be November 22nd 2014.

The successful format will remain exactly the same to allow the maximum time for personal and group tuition – and actually taking photographs.

The cost is just £60 for the day.

Find out more about these Photography Workshops

Happy Photographers in Venice

Phew! We are back home after a very hectic Photography Holiday in Venice.

What a fantastic group of photographers – and non-participants – we had with us in this most romantic city on earth.

Photography Holiday Venice - photographing sunset

Above: photographing the sunset above the most romantic city on earth

Everyone was very patient with my slightly slower-than-normal walking pace due to my recovery from injury – and it didn't stop us getting to the more remote and interesting parts of the city.

We were blessed by good weather and – most of the time – glorious light with some fabulous dawns and sunsets over the Venetian Lagoon. Countless great pictures were captured.

Instant feedback
A couple of responses so far:

A quick thank you to both of you for the Venice trip.. brilliant. Hywel

Just a note to say thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of Venice with us to make our holiday experience unique…  Elizabeth

Italian Food
Once again the photographers enjoyed our choice of eating places. It's a real pleasure to prove that, even in Venice, you can eat genuine Italian cooking in friendly, welcoming restaurants at sensible prices.

Photographers in Italian restaurant in Venice

Time to enjoy a a toast to the chef and staff of the restaurant – photographers relax after a fine Italian dinner

Marina's warm and cosy osteria proved a great success and we ate there on two evenings. So, too, did the little osteria near the Rialto where I have never yet seen another tourist – we eat lunch with the locals.

The next Photography Holiday in Venice will be in 2015 – yet to be arranged. Please let me know if you would like to be kept informed. Contact me

Photography Holidays Venice


Carlisle Cathedral in the Picture


Yes, we enjoyed another great day’s photography in Carlisle Cathedral yesterday.

Thirteen photographers joined us for a Photography Workshop in this beautiful English Cathedral.


Above – a group of happy photographers persuaded to take a break from their photography so that I could take their picture. The rather crude paste-up of the photographer on the right was needed because this photographer nipped off for a cup of tea just before we got everyone together. We couldn't leave him off the team group, could we? Oh, don't tell me you didn't spot the paste-up and I didn't need to mention it!


After a short talk to ensure that everyone knew what to expect from the day, we were soon out in the cathedral grounds to take full advantage of the glorious light on offer.

After coffee we were inside the cathedral.

Left: Just out of plaster and recovering from a broken leg – Linda Readding came with photographer partner Chris. Linda managed to get around the cathedral really well, if a little slowly

Photographers in all directions
I have never seen so many photographers disperse so quickly – they were off and photographing within seconds of walking though the cathedral door.

I do all I can to find every photographer during the day to make sure they are okay and see if they need any guidance, but everyone knows they only have to come to me and I will help sort out their technical or compositional questions.

Come back for more pictures
Once again, it was a delight to see such a great mixture of old and new friends, some of whom were coming to the Carlisle Photography Workshop for the second time. Typically, photographers tell me there was so much to see and photograph inside the cathedral that they just had to come back.

Two of the photographers had been with us in Menorca reecntly and one of the group will be joining us in Venice soon for the Photography Holiday. I'm pleased to say several others have shown a keen interest in joining us for one of our special holidays in Menorca this year.

I can certainly promise them a great time and a whole load of excellent photography.

Photography Holidays Menorca

Photography Workshop

I welcomed 14 photographers to Kirkcudbright last weekend for a Photography Workshop.


And would yopu believe it – we got some beautiful light in the morning – yes, real live sunshine!

After an initial talk with the aim of ensuring that everyone had a firm understanding of the meaning of Depth of Field, we were soon out with our cameras to put some theory into practise. This started with the aim of photographing rooftops and chimney with different focal length lenses. But the photographers spotted many other picture possibilities.

Left: Photographer Dallas Carter get down among the crocuses during her Photo Workshop – a great chance to put into practise the theory of Depth of Field

Texture and atmosphere
This was all done as we made our way to the Kirkcudbright graveyard – a wonderful location set on a steep hillside overlooking the town. Many of the gravetones date back to the 1600s and the slanting light created some great opportunities to capture the texture and atmosphere.

After lunch we made a short trip to the harbour, but beat a hasty retreat when the rain came lashing down once again.

So I gave a talk and slide show about the finer points of composition – in particular about the Golden Mean and the essentials of seeing the way the camera sees.

Tabletop studio
Then we set up some very basic tabletop studios indoors and carried on taking pictures.

All in all a great day which I think everyone enjoyed.

I have another fully booked Photography workshop this coming weekend – this time in Carlisle Cathedral, a venure I always look forward to with pleasure.

Photography Workshops