Digital Photography made simple – Weekend Residential course – 17th, 18th & 19th February 2012 – COURSE COMBINED WITH DIGITAL LANDSCAPE COURSE APRIL 13TH-15TH

The Wildlife Film School

 Digital Photography – made simple

weekend residential course

17th, 18th & 19th February 20

Whether making a photographic record of our stunning landscapes and seascapes, indulging your passion for portrait photography or simply recording your local wildlife or native plant life; photography is an increasingly popular, absorbing and sometimes financially rewarding activity.

The Digital Photography – made simple course is a weekend residential field course that runs from Friday evening 17th February to Sunday teatime 19th February 2012.  It will look at the range of equipment available to digital stills photographers and will include detailed coverage of camera settings and techniques for photography in more challenging conditions.

Our objective is to hack away at the jungle of jargon, technical obfuscation, advertising exaggeration, and downright misinformation that is presented to the digital photographer and liberate you to concentrate on the making of beautiful and exciting photographs.

The emphasis will very much be on practical field sessions at selected locations close to our base at Liss Ard House. If you simply wish to make better digital photographs or add a particular discipline to your range of skills as a photographer then this weekend residential workshop will prove invaluable. You will hear first hand tips and advice to create stunning digital images with the equipment you already have – without spending a fortune on new gear! Included in the workshop will be a session on how to use Photoshop to process and enhance your images ready for printing. We will take you through the printing process and provide you with a large digital print of one of the images you take on the course to take home as the start of your portfolio.


Just some of the things you will take away from this workshop:

> Digital photography: Differences from traditional film

> Do pixels matter?

> What camera is right for you for what you want to achieve

> Getting your camera settings correct

> Exposure, depth of field and motion effects

> Choosing shutter versus aperture priority

> How to interpret the complexities of your camera manual

> Preparing images for printing

> Using Photoshop to process and enhance your images

Course notes will be provided and tutor/s will be on hand at all times and numbers are limited so there is plenty of time to ask questions of tutor/s and discuss personal projects with fellow attendees. The tuition is pitched at level: Beginner/Intermediate.

The lead tutor on this weekend residential Digital Photography course will be:

Chris O’Dell BSC

Chris is a photographer and cinematographer, a graduate of the London International Film School. Initially trained as a stills photographer, he travelled widely in the 70s and 80s filming documentaries of every kind, including the world famous “Cosmos” with Carl Sagan, and “The Heart of the Dragon”, the story of China, for Channel 4. Chris was cameraman on two major wildlife series for Channel 4 with naturalists Gerald and Lee Durrell, “Ourselves and other Animals” and “The Amateur Naturalist”. As a qualified diver, he spent a lot of time filming underwater for the BBC and other clients. He ran a successful production company making arts and music programmes for the BBC. Since 1990 has been the director of photography on many very successful TV drama series including Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Sharpe, Hornblower, Inspector Morse, the Morse sequel Lewis, and many single dramas. Chris lives and works in West Cork and photographs the wonderful changing light on the landscape of West Cork for which he employs Nikon, Apple, Photoshop, and Epson equipment. Chris O’Dell was chairman of the 2009 Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival.

The supporting tutor on this One Day Digital Photography course will be:

Nic Slocum PhD

Nic is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic has maintained a lifelong passion for using photography and film to promote the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV.  A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers and is working on a book – Field Craft in Wildlife Photography and Film Making. Nic Slocum lives and works in West Cork and is a director of The Wildlife Film School which runs workshops in all aspects of digital photography and wildlife film making.


Course schedule

 Friday 17th February 2012

5pm to 7pm – Arrival at Liss Ard House.

7pm – Greeting. We introduce tutors and participants; who we all are, what we want out of the workshop, and the structure of the weekend’s activities.

7.30pm – Evening meal served

8.30pm – Introduction. We will discuss the basic theory and practice of digital photography and how it differs from the traditional film system that we all know and love.  We will look at some of the different cameras available and cover some of the techniques that will be practiced in the field sessions.  We will explain how to get your equipment set up for the following day’s work, and how to simplify your camera settings so that you can concentrate on the subject matter. We will introduce Photoshop as being an important part of the creative process. We will discuss ancillary equipment such as filters and tripods.  This will be accompanied by screening some examples of our own work.

9.30pm – Relaxation time. Discuss personal photography projects and prepare for the next day’s practical session…or simply chill out!


Saturday 18th February 2012

8am – Breakfast

9am – Assignment briefing. What do you want from your digital photographs?  We run through your camera set ups and set assignments and photographic objectives for the day.

10am – Photography assignments in the field. Possible subjects include wildlife, macro, landscape, architecture and documentary. The emphasis of this detailed practical session will be on “looking at subjects differently”. The tutors will be on hand at all times.

1pm – We return to our base at Liss Ard House for lunch.

2pm – Continue field assignments.  Using your most precious tool, your eyes, we will make a series of images this afternoon using the techniques we have been practising during the morning session.

4pm – Return to Liss Ard.  Download and critique photographs according to composition, exposure and depth of filed.  Students will each choose two photographs from the day’s session to enter the informal competition to be judged on Sunday.

6.30pm – Free time

7.30pm – Evening meal served

8.30pm  – Group will look at some of the images taken during the day and have a chance to see Photoshop used on the images that you would like to submit for the photo competition. One image will be selected and prepared for printing.

9.30pm – Free time


Sunday 19th February 2012

8am – Breakfast

9am – Field assignments with the tutors.  Honing up the techniques you have learnt, shooting with Photoshop in mind.  Trying some new subjects!

1pm – Lunch

2pm – Review of the morning’s images.  Questions and discussion.  Preparing your shots for the printer. Each participant will have the chance to chose his favourite image from the weekend, prepare it for printing, and then will be coached through the printing process.  You will each go home with an A3 size exhibition print, the start of your portfolio!

4.30pm – Final questions to the tutors and announcements of photo competition winners and prize giving. Course ends following group photograph.


Booking Information:

Cost: €430. This INCLUDES expert tuition, accommodation and all meals. To secure a place a deposit of 100 euro will be needed. If booking less than four weeks from the course dates then full payment is required at booking. If The Wildlife Film School cancels a course for any reason all monies paid are refunded in full. If you have to cancel a booked place we will proved a full refund if we can fill your place in time for the course. If not we will provide you with a full price voucher valid for 6 months for use on another equivalent priced course of your choice.


Course Dates: 17th, 18th & 19th February 2012.

NB. If you are interested in a course which is fully booked please put your name on the waiting list as places occasionally become available and are allocated on a first come first served basis.


To Book: Contact The Wildlife Film School on:


Phone:  00 353 86 153 1663

Course numbers are restricted to 8-10 people



We will be staying at the Georgian Manor House on the imposing old O’Donovan estate of Liss Ard, just outside Skibbereen in West Cork. With beautiful views over the surrounding countryside, superb West Cork farmhouse cuisine prepared by the Liss Ard chef and single occupancy rooms with en suite facilities, our comfort is assured. All presentations will take place in the lecture room at Liss Ard House and we will travel out from there to selected locations for the fieldwork.

Other courses you may be interested in:

> Digital Landscape Photography course (one day and weekend options)

> Digital Wildlife Photography course (one day and weekend options)

> Digital Portrait Photography course (one day and weekend options)

> Digital MACRO Photography course (one day and weekend options)

> Digital Seascapes and Islands Photography course (weekend option only)

> Digital Photography Post Production – getting to grips with Photoshop and printing (one day course option only)

> Classroom in the Wild – a series of one day courses running consecutively focussing on different disciplines each week ranging from landscape, seascape, wildlife, macro, portrait and post production


What people say about our digital photography workshops…

“…well I tell you, I haven’t laughed that much in a long while. A great bunch…”

“…also thanks a mill’ again for sharing with us your wealth of knowledge. I’m officially hooked!!! I’ll be recommending these courses to all my friends!”


“…just some words to thank everybody again for the brilliant atmosphere. It was a fantastic week end…”


“…thanks everyone for making it a great weekend…”


“…thank you for a great weekend and for sending on the group photo. I learnt a lot over the weekend and I look forward to putting it into practice…”


“…thanks again for a great weekend, I will be doing a workshop in the club on the weekend and let the members know what I covered over the course of the 2 days…”


“…thank you and the guys very much for a very enjoyable weekend. Not only for the great workshop but for the great craic we had too…”


“…we had a great weekend and it was a pleasure to meet you all. We will be in touch about future courses and will be recommending you…”


“…thank you for the most enjoyable and easygoing weekend. The venue was delightful,   the food was delicious and the tuition and help were given enthusiastically and your hospitality was much appreciated.    I look forward to the next weekend I can attend…”


“…I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and found it most instructive…it was perfect…”


“…thanks again for a wonderful weekend – learnt a lot and enjoyed meeting everybody…”


“…organization very good. Looks like you are very committed to your craft and presentations were given with enthusiasm. I will have no problem in recommending your course to anyone I meet…”


The Wildlife Film School

Union Hall



Tel: 00 353 86 153 1663


Speak Your Mind