100% Positive Feedback on Photography Holidays

I have been going though the comments from the photographers’ about their recent Photography Holiday in Menorca. It is all very encouraging and means that the holidays are definitely on the right track.

The comments were 100% positive

photography holidays styles

Different styles - three photographers on holiday, three different shooting styles. L-R: Jenny, laid back - John, upright - Ande, cool action man

I am never complacent about the high standards of these Photography Holidays and I am always keen to improve them in any way possible. So one of the questions I ask each of the photographers at the end of their holiday is how we can make the holidays better. I also like to know which part of the holiday they enjoyed most, and what they thought about the S’Algar Hotel.

Below you will find some of the comments I received:

HOW MUCH HAVE YOU ENJOYED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY?

  • Very much indeed.
  • It’s been tremendous. I hoped to learn about photography and I did. Hadn’t anticipated how much fun it would be.
  • Thoroughly. It easily exceded our expectations. We particularly apreciated the wide variety of locations and photographic challenges. It has left us keen to learn more.
  • It’s been tremendous. I hoped to learn about photography and I did. Hadn’t anticipated how much fun it would be.
  • Brilliant. Tuition – fun – locations.
  • Very much indeed. Met new people who were all extremely friendly. Philip was more than helpful.

WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY?

  • The company, the welcome and the professional but relaxed style of Philip’s tuition.
  • Can’t select a single component. Everything has been perfect/wonderful.
  • Philip’s ability t teach. Many people are experts in their field but very few have that special ability to be able to impart their skills and knowledge to others. Great camaraderie in the group, too.
  • Practical experience, having an expert always on hand. The way the practical and theoretical aspects were tide together. The pportunity to share images, knowledge and experiences with the group.
  • Locations: Isla Del Rey and Horse trotting. Learning: and beginning to understand exposure and the use and effect of light. In short the instruction was very good.
  • All
  • Good tuition. Locations. Meeting new people.

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAYS?

  • I think the format works just as it is. The trips were varied and plentiful. The photo opportunities immense. Don’t change a thing.
  • I don’t think it could be improved as I’ve enjoyed every single part of it. My jaws still ache from laughter.
  • Nothing I can think of.
  • More holidays.
  • Make them longer.

One thing shines through all the comments – just what a superb training ground Menorca represents for photographers wanting to learn more. There is a vast array of locations and subjects to chose from on each of our Photography Holidays we try to put together a cohesive and varied itinerary of photography locations – there are plenty to choose from in Menorca – the most beautiful of the Balearic Islands.

Book the September 2011 Photography Holiday now

Date set for ‘Hidden La Mola’ Photo Exhibition

The final selection of photographs for my photography exhibition in Menorca is now on its way to Barcelona for printing. I will not see the finished results until I return to Menorca in September to run another Photography Holiday.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished results and if they are anything like the samples I have seen earlier, the quality should be excellent.

The exhibition, which is to be called ‘Hidden La Mola’ will open on Friday 9th September and run for at least three weeks.

photography exhibition Menorca

Look closely - there are two pigeon chick on a nest in the centre of the picture. To zoom in on them would have entirely ruined the atmosphere and context of the photograph. This is on of the pictures to be included in the 'Hidenn La Mola' exhibition in September. Photograph by Philip Dunn

For anyone who has not been on one of my Photography Holidays to Menorca, La Mola is one of our top photographic locations, offering countless photo opportunities and challenges. The now disused fortress of La Mola covers many acres at the entrance to Mahon Harbour. It was built in the early 1800s and many of the original buildings still stand – although some of them are now little more than ruins.

It is a fabulous place to learn a great range of photography techniques.

Much of La Mola is now open to visitors, but I have had special permission to enter many of the buildings – including the old derelict prison and barracks – that are closed to the public. This has been a wonderful opportunity and produced the set of photographs that will be on show at the exhibition.

Sponsors for the ‘Hidden La Mola’ Exhibition are the owners of the S’Algar Hotel, our superb base for the Photography Holidays.

Spot the birdies – I came across these two pigeon chicks in a nest build into an alcove in a derelict building at La Mola. It would have been easy to ‘home in’ (forgive the pun) on the pigeon chicks and crop out all the rest of the picture. But bearing in mind that this photograph was always intended to be a print in an exhibition, and therefore looked at very closely, I though it best to leave the entire alcove in the shot. This has put the nest into context.

  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 1/3sec
  • Aperture: f/9
  • Off camera flash used with narrow beam to spotlight only part of subject

There is still some availability for the September Photography Holiday in Menorca – BOOK NOW

Philip Dunn’s student gains FRPS

Maria Falconer first came to me for one-to-one photography tuition some five years ago. Since then she has been on several Photography Weekends and at least three Photography Holidays in Menorca.

Philip Dunn photograraphy student Maria Falconer

Maria Falconer has gained her FRPS - Maria has been on many of Philip Dunn's photography courses and photography holidays

Maria has gone from success to success. I am delighted to say that she has just gained her FRPS. Very many congratulations to her.

It gives me a tremendous feeling of pride that one of my students has used my tuition so effectively. Far more valuable than the letters after her name is the fact that Maria is now a very accomplished photographer.

You can see Maria’s work on her new website http://www.mariafalconer.co.uk

Maria Falconer is the latest in a growing list of the students who have gained success after my photography tuition. Many of my former students are now successful professional photographers. It just goes to show that there is absolutely nothing to compare with first hand tuition from an experienced professional.

Find out more about Photography Courses with Philip Dunn

Photojournalism technique to gather pictures

I always like to present a challenge for the photographers on our Photography Holidays, and in Menorca the first challenge normally comes quite early in the week.

The photographers arrive at various times on the Friday. On Saturday morning we get together for a chat so that I can look at everyone’s photographs. We have lunch beside the pool with sparkling cava and dishes of authentic Menorcan tapas – it’s all included in the cost of the holiday. In the afternoon we take a short walk along the cliffs to the next village just to get our shutter fingers working.

Photography Holiday - action photography

In at the deep end - photographers get to grips with the techniques of panning with both fast and slow shutter speeds on the first day of their Photography Holiday with Philip Dunn

Then comes the real challenge – in the evening I take the photographers to the local horse trotting races.

Many of the photographers have never attempted to capture high speed action before, so the difficulties of panning with fast or slow shutter speed can come as a bit of a shock.

photography holiday - panning technique

Panning with a slow shutter speed - one of the techniques used to convey a dramatic sense of speed. I this case a shutter speed of just 1/25sec was used to create the action blur. Photography by Philip Dunn

It is amazing what is achieved with guidance and a little help. Some of the pictures that the photographers achieve from these trips are an absolute knockout. In fact, I don’t recall that any of the photographers I have taken to these horse trotting races has every failed to produce at least one god photograph.

photography holiday menorca - freezing the action

A fast shutter speed of 1/2500 was used to freeze the movement in this action photograph of the horse trotting in Menorca. Photography by Philip Dunn

One of the joys of covering these events in Menorca is the fantastic welcome extended to our photographers by the people who run the trotting events. This is definitely not a big league commercial event. It is run by the participants themselves – local people who love horses and are happy to help our photographers get great pictures.

The level of concentration on the main subject – horses and riders – when covering events like these can be intense. Rightly so if you are to produce powerful images. But I do try to guide the more advanced photographers in some of the techniques used by any professional photojournalist worth his salt.

One of these techniques is to ensure your eyes are kept wide open in order not to miss all the other photo opportunities that might present themselves. For instance, while walking up the dusty track between races, I encountered an old man walking the other way. I liked the look of the old boy and the look of the place he was in – so I captured the photograph. Not directly to do with the horse trotting, but a pleasing and atmospheric picture nevertheless.

And one that would have been missed if my eyes had been blinkered like some of the horses in the trotting races.

photojournalism technique in gathering pictures

The basic photojournalist technique of keeping one's eyes open for every opportunity will enable you to capture all aspects of a potential photo essay.

It is worth remembering that these ‘extra’ pictures can be tremendously valuable when selling your photo essay to a magazine or newspaper. They can add an extra dimension to your set of photographs and give the whole feature greater depth.

I often return alone to the horse rotting races when all the photographers have gone home. It always produces interesting photographs, and I am able to share them with the events organisers – it goes some way to repay the hospitality we receive.

We will be heading back to the horse trotting races on the next Photography Holiday in September. There are still some places available – so book your place now.

Fun with serious photography

The photographers have gone home after their Photography Holiday in Menorca.

Photographers on Photography Holiday

PhotoActive photographers get to grips with the visual possibilities of La Mola during their Photography Holiday in Menorca

It has been one of the best weeks of photography I have ever enjoyed. There has been an awful lot of serious photography tuition, and a great many fabulous photographs have been taken. But, my, oh my – there has been a whole load of fun along the way, too. We have had complaints about aching jaws from so much laughter, and I can understand why.

We are always fortunate in that the individuals in our photography groups get on so well, but this latest group has been absolutely fantastic. They have shared a great deal of laughter and learning.

I will be posting some of the groups photographs from the Photography Holiday very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself the high standards of photography that were achieved after just a week of intense tuition. It’s a knockout.

As always, the favourite location for most of the photographers was the old fortress of La Mola. The photographers loved it and once again the biggest difficulty was dragging people away at the end of the day. I sympathise totally – I love the place.

Our old friend Ken Terry – he was on the Photography Holiday for the sixth time – was thrown in at the deep end when we went to the local horse trotting races. I had arranged for him to take pictures from the umpire’s vehicle – but I gave him no warning about what was going to happen. Ken coped fantastically well and produced some great pictures despite being bounced around in the back of the van. Well done Ken. I’ll post one of Ken’s pictures soon.

And it was great to have another old friend Ande Wick with us again. Always the centre of any mischief and fun, Ande gives the impression that he is just floating happily though the week. In fact, as always Ande produced a beautiful set of photographs for our last night slide show. We are looking forward to having Ande with us again next year.

photography on photography holiday Menorca

One of our photographers enjoys the wonders of our new photo location in Menorca during his Photography Holiday

The other great success from this Photography Holiday was our new photo location on the north side of the island. We went there by coach very late in the afternoon, and at least one photographer was doubting my sanity as the coach wound its way down some very narrow lane. But when we arrived, and the vista opened up. There was an audible gasp and everyone was fighting to get out as soon as possible and start taking photographs. The light was perfect and the location unbelievably photographic. This location is a must from now on.

There are still some laces available on the September Photography Holiday in Menorca
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Photography Holiday – on-location portraits

Can it really be almost a week since the photographers arrived in Menorca for their Photography Holiday? I’ve never known time to fly so fast.

Tomorrow we will say farewell to a wonderful group of keen photographers. It has been fantastic having them with us – a real treat.

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photography holidays in Menorca - portrait session

Not the easiest place to work and produce great portraits - but the light in Pedro's outbuildings is just perfect and can result in powerful portraits. Here Pedro poses for some f the photographers during their Photography Holiday

We have certainly covered a wide variety of subjects – everything from on-location portrait sessions to action photography and landscapes. I’ll be posting some of the photographs very soon so that you can see for yourself.

Photography Holiday - portrait by Ken Terry

Ken Terry's beautiful natural light portrait of Pedro - a portrait session with Pedro in one of the highlights of a Photography Holiday in Menorca

Once again, our lovely old friend Pedro was top favourite for everyone when we visited his smallholding just a short distance from the S’Algar Hotel. These portrait sessions with Pedro are always great fun and, I hope, highly instructive. The photographers are encouraged to find the best light and then to capture the character in Pedro’s face.

Some great pictures resulted again this time – with Ken Terry, who has been here on his sixth Photography Holiday with me – producing a splendid portrtait shot.

Norene and I will be terribly sorry to see everyone leave tomorrow – but we are pleased to say that several members of the group are already talking about booking for a Photography Holiday again next year. We very much hope they do.

There are still a few places left on the September Photography Holiday in Menorca

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Photography opportunities in Menorca

I came across this handsome fellow earlier today as I explored the countryside just a short walk from the Hotel S’Algar, our base for the Photography Holidays in Menorca. It won’t be long now before I am welcoming a full group of photographers for the first of our two holidays here this year – on Friday ths week in fact.

Real Menorca can be found just a short walk away from the Hotel S'Algar - our base for the Photography Holidays

I was so impressed by the picture possibilities of this black beauty’s stables – there are other horses here as well – that I might even include a visit to photograph them on the next photography holiday itinerary. I have now spoken to the owner of the horse and stables and he may even come along and put the horse through his paces for us.

a black horse in Menorcan stable

I'll be taking the photographers on our Photography Holiday next week to photograph this black beauty

PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS
By the very nature of the subjects we cover in my quest to teach as many aspects of travel photography as possible, our itinerary timings, and sometimes even the venues themselves, vary from the outline itinerary.

For instance, this might be because a particular person we had arranged to photograph is not available, or a building is being renovated. So it is always a great advantage to discover new subjects like these stables. If I do include the stables, it will mean there is a bit if a ‘horsey’ bias to the overall itinerary this time.

PHOTOGRAPHING MENORCAN HORSES
We will, of course, once again be going along to he horse trotting races at the Hipodromo in Mahon, where we will cover the various aspects of panning and freezing fast moving subjects. We also photograph the wonderful horses and the jockeys and other characters in and around the stables.

Of course we will try to make time during our trip to the trotting to place a bet on one of the races – I doubt if we will lose ours shirts because maximum bet is only 1 Euro.

With all the turmoil going on in so many countries around the Mediterranean, it is comforting to know that when our photographers come to Menorca they can relax, learn and take their photographs in a safe and friendly environment on this beautiful island.

Hmm, looking at this picture again, I think I might have missed a trick – I hope the photographers will remind me to photograph that wonderful door on the right next time I go.

The next Photography Holiday with places available will be in September
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Philip Dunn Photography Exhibition Menorca

I have just seen the first sample of one of the prints for my forthcoming Photography Exhibition to be held at La Mola in Menorca. Those who have been on my photograph Holidays in Menorca will know all about La Mola. It is a wonderfully inspiring place for any photographer.

‘Hidden La Mola’ – at the moment that is the working name of the exhibition – is a collection of interior and exterior photographs I have taken of these old fortifications that guard the entrance to Mahon Harbour. The exhibition is being staged with the co-operation of the Hotel S’Algar – the Menorca base for our Photography Holidays.

Philip Dunn La Mola Photography Exhibition

Philip Dunn with the first test print in preparation for his September Photography Exhibition in Menorca

The image chosen for this test print shows the crumbling main staircase of La Mola’s prison. The print has been made professionally in Barcelona and I am delighted with it. The quality is spot-on and none of the glorious colours of the subject have been lost in any way.

I’m very pleased I was able to photograph this wonderful staircase, and many other aspects of this sinister, but fascinating ruin because shortly after I took the pictures, a major part of the roof collapsed.

The wonders of La Mola extend far beyond the possibilities of straightforward interior shots – the entire fortified area, covering many hundreds of acres with dozens of underground tunnels, offers a most fantastic opportunity for photographers. That’s why I so often return again and again after the groups on my Photography Holidays have returned home. I just can’t get enough of the place.

La Mola fortress in Mahon Harbour, Menorca

The brooding structure of the La Mola Fortress guards the entrance to Mahon Harbour. It is one of the favourite locations for the photographers who come on my Photography Holidays in Menorca

The image of La Mola from a distance (above) was captured on my little Canon Ixus 960.  It was a lucky shot taken while with a group of photographers crossing Mahon Harbour by boat. I thought it captured something of the brooding atmosphere of this huge and extraordinary place. All the other photographs for the exhibition were taken on Nikon D700s using either 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. My little Gitzo Traveller tripod with its simple ball head proved an essential tool when photographing the interiors.

The exhibition will be staged at La Mola, Menorca in September and October later this year. That means that when we visit La Mola with the photo group on the September Photography Holiday, the photographers will be able to visit the exhibition between taking their own pictures of La Mola.

You enjoy the benefit of professional photography tuition and photograph the wonders of La Mola when you come on a Photography Holidays in Menorca.
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