French Gardens

French Gardens Photo Workshop 2018

French Gardens Photo Workshop with Philip Smith

This is a 2-day / 3-night Photo Workshop of stunning gardens in the Dordogne region of France.

  •  We will visit and photograph in some of the most stunning gardens in France
  •  The Dordogne region offers some of the most spectacular countryside in France
  •  Your tutor and fellow photographer Philip Smith founder of IGPOTY – The International Garden Photographer of the Year

This is an opportunity not to be missed, France and all is magic, gardens located in the most spectacular of locations and photographer Philip Smith.


French Gardens Booking Form


French Gardens Photo Workshop 2018

  • 1st – 4th June 2018

Price: £795.00 Deposit: £300.00

Who is this for?

The Trip will be of great interest to both those new to photographing flowers and garden scenes as well as the more experienced, either using DSLR or top range digital compacts. The emphasis though will be how to get the most creativity out of the wonderful Dordogne gardens when visiting these photogenic locations. We keep the groups’ small, maximum of six individuals.

The workshop welcomes 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 involve exclusive access to the splendid gardens we visit – outside of normal opening hours, in the early morning and evening to enable you to capture the best images in good light. 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. The second day will involve a change of location and further practical work with one to one tutoring. Be prepared for an early start! The second afternoon will involve a group discussion about the work that students have undertaken during the course, with constructive and inspiring comments about the work on show by both tutor and fellow students.

You will get more out of the course if you have a camera with interchangeable lenses, and particularly if you have a macro lens. This applies both to DSLR and smaller compact system cameras. Extension tubes used with normal lenses are also useful and suitable for this kind of photography. You should bring a stable tripod if you can, a remote shutter release and lens hood. Bring your camera’s manual if you have been struggling with its controls. You will need plenty of media cards and a fully charged battery (or two!) for your camera. The course is 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.

Les Jardins du Manoir d’Eyrignac: is a garden that offers a wide variety of plant subjects to photograph. There are 7 gardens, the White Garden, Greenery Sculptures, the Chinese Pagoda, the Springs (water) Garden and Wild Flower Meadows, The Kitchen and Flower Garden, The Manor of Artaban and the French Garden. This site has a greater selection of garden layouts to photograph.
Les Jardins suspendus de Marqueyssac: is a garden that offers photographers the opportunity to shoot shape and design as for the most part the garden is made up of magnificently sculpted box hedges clipped into amazing swirling patterns. On one side the cliff top walk gives tremendous views of the Dordogne River down below, and on the other side, woods with clipped box growing amongst the natural woodland trees. This is a site that receives a great number of visitors and is listed as a National Historic Monument.
Les Jardins de Cadiot: is a garden that offers 10 areas of different types of gardens. On a smaller scale that the previous two, it is less formal but offers the magical quality of being intimate, very well tended but at the same time has a certain wildness to it being surround by trees with an approach that gives you the sense you have reached some secret destination.
Day 1: Arrival and transfer from Bergerac Airport to hotel.
Day 2 morning: Pickup from hotel for an early morning photo session at Les Jardins d’Eyrinac. Photo tuition in various locations around the gardens, approximate time 3 hours. Break for tea / coffee. Individual time to explore and photograph the gardens and environs. Lunch at the Eyrinac restaurant.
Day 2 afternoon: Pickup from Jardins d’Eyrinac and head to Les Jardins de Cadiot. 2 / 3 hours of photo tuition on garden / flower / plant photography. A smaller area with a varied selection of photo subjects where the group can, after group activity, go their separate ways to capture their own images. Transfer back to the hotel. Early evening informal get together to discuss the days events before going separate ways for dinner.
Day 3 morning: Pickup from hotel for a morning photo season at Les Jardins de Marqueyssac. Exceptional photo opportunities of the hand pruned sculpted boxwoods. After 3 hours of hands on tuition there will be the opportunity to explore and photograph the extensive gardens with outstanding views of the Dordogne River. Lunch at the Margueyssac restaurant. Transfer back to Sarlat. Day 3 afternoon: An opportunity to explore and photograph the picturesque old town of Sarlat before meeting up late afternoon for a summary of the workshop with any questions and discussions of the photo techniques used during the workshop.
Day 4 morning: Breakfast and goodbyes. Transfer to Bergerac Airport.

 Included in the Price:

  • Transfers from Airport to hotel
  • 3 nights accommodation, breakfast and evening dinner
  • Maximum of six (6) individuals
  • Transportation between shoot locations
  • One-to-one and group guidance
  • Backup notes
  • All accommodation

Not included in the Price:

All flights to and from your home country to Bergerac Airport.

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  • Price: £ 300.00
    Total cost required £795.00
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