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Workshops and Tuition

Would you line up at a racetrack before you'd learned to drive a car? Would you give an important presentation at work without thorough research and rehearsal? Would you cook an intricate recipe for friends before a practicing getting it right first?

Yet how many people buy a new camera prior to a trip, but don't learn how to use it before they leave? Far too many! A game drive in the Serengeti or a walk through a rainforest is not the place to be reaching for an instruction manual.

A camera is a tool designed to do a job and knowing how to use it efficiently and effectively is crucial to achieving good results. Familiarity with you camera and a grasp of simple photographic techniques pays dividends in the field and your photography will improve immeasurably. Good teaching requires a thorough understanding of the subject and the ability to communicate clearly, especially when dealing with technical subjects. My aim when teaching is to cut through the jargon and lift the shrouds of mystery that surrounds so much of photography and digital processing.

I offer tuition days for one or two clients and UK-based weekend workshops for larger groups, as well as longer workshops and photography tours abroad.

Day courses are tailored to suit personal requirements, whether it be improving your capabilities with a camera, understanding various photographic techniques or getting to grips with digital processing, image optimisation and manipulation.

Nick’s Newsletter

Always remember cameras don't take photographs, people do

Red Deer on Exmoor

Devon: Exmoor in Autumn: Red Deer, Ponies & Night Skies

Dates: 5th-7th & 8th-10th November 2021 (postponed from November 2020)

Price: £695 (Twin-share): SRS: £150
Maximum Group 6
Current Availability: Please Enquire
LEADERS: Nick Garbutt with Daphne Brace

Located on the north coast of Somerset and Devon, Exmoor is a unique landscape shaped by both nature and humans over thousands of years. It is one of southern Britain’s finest ‘wilderness’ areas, with large tracts of open moorland, spectacular coasts with precipitous cliffs and deep valleys cloaked in ancient woodlands. All combine to form a rich and distinctive mosaic and landscape. These diverse habitats provide a home for an impressive array of wildlife, including majestic red deer, roe deer, rare raptors, a wealth of bird life, elusive otters and some of the UK’s rarest butterflies and bats.

Exmoor ponies

Equally iconic are Exmoor ponies, one of a number of British native rare breeds.  They are semi-feral, with herds free to roam over the moor, but all are owned and managed. There are around twenty different herds on the various commons of Exmoor.

Of course, Exmoor is not a true ‘wilderness’, rather it is a living and working landscape with several small towns, numerous picturesque villages and isolated hamlets and farmsteads. Many of these settlements have their origins in the Bronze Age and some even date back to Neolithic and Mesolithic times.

Starry Skies over Exmoor

These photo workshops have been timed to coincide with the red deer rut and we will have exclusive off-road access to some National Trust sites that offer some of the best potential viewing and photographic opportunities. This is also a time when the autumn colours across the various habitats of the moor are often at their best. Over the course of the workshop, we will hope to photograph majestic red deer stags and hinds, perhaps in both woodland and moorland settings. We will undoubtedly be able to photograph the hardy eponymous ponies and magnificent highland cattle and explore areas of ancient woodland where there will be plenty of options for captivating macro photography and impressionistic waterscapes.

Experiencing little light pollution, Exmoor is the best place in southern Britain for night sky viewing and, clear skies permitting, we hope to capitalise on this with some sessions of night and star photography.

Click: contact Wildlife Worldwide to book this tour




Tropical Rainforest Photography Workshop Series



Morning mist in a rainforest in Borneo

Leaders: Nick Garbutt and Alex Hyde


Borneo: 6th - 23rd October 2020 & 10th - 27th April 2022
Price from £9595 (Twin-share)

Costa Rica: 24th April - 13th May 2021
Price from £TBC (Twin-share)

Ecuador: October / November 2022
Price from £TBC (Twin-share)

Workshops by their very nature are more involved, more intense: they are an immersion into all aspects of wildlife and photography of a destination. These workshops are built around the premise that it is necessary to spend more time in locations to see and photograph wildlife successfully. This allows us to maximise individual time with clients and specifically focus on techniques that are appropriate to the subjects, location and prevalent conditions.

Eyelash Viper in Costa Rica. This is the distictive yellow / orange 'oropel' form

Tropical rain forests are the greatest expressions of terrestrial life on the planet and offer a wonderful array of species to see and photograph, yet they are also amongst the most challenging places to capture good images successfully - lighting conditions are often challenging and gloomy conditions often mean it is imperative to use flash judiciously. As such rain forest locations lend themselves ideally to the workshop format, where fewer locations are visited but much longer is spent in the chosen places than would be the case on a 'regular' tour.

Sword-billed Hummingbird feeding at a Devil's Trumpet Flower in Ecuador

For these workshops, I am delighted once again to be teaming up with my friend Alex Hyde. We have travelled extensively together to tropical rainforests and have already successful run similar workshop tours to various parts of the world. We have identified a number of iconic and spectacular tropical rainforest locations around the globe and over the coming years we will be offering a series workshops focusing on these destinations. We hope that by co-hosting these workshops, we will be able to maximise individual teaching opportunities for participants, such that they gain as much insight as possible in to appropriate considerations and applicable techniques and, therefore, return home with a broader skill set and improved portfolio of images.

Alex and an apollo butterfly

Alex Hyde
Alex is one of the UK's finest exponents of macro photography, combining the best of art and science into his exquisite images. He is a master of the technical aspects of digital photography and in the field or indoor workshop environment has the enviable skill of being able to convey challenging topics and ideas, concisely, simply and in a way that makes them understandable. To see more of Alex's stunning work click here





Watching European Badgers

Photography Tours Nick Garbutt WW logoBadger Workshops: Devon

Dates (TBC): June / July 2020

2020 Price £TBC (Workshop Only)


Maximum Group 4

Register interest

A purpose-built photography hide in a secluded valley in the Devon countryside offers a perfect opportunity to photograph a well-established badger sett and benefit from Nick's help and tuition.

Badgers are undoubtedly one of the UK’s most popular and best loved wild animals (at least by all those not connected with the farming community). Yet as they are primarily nocturnal and generally shy, they are usually difficult to see.

This workshops offers excellent daylight photography opportunities

However this well-positioned hide has been thoughtfully modified for photography (i.e. the glass can be removed the windows), and offers unimpeded views of the badgers as well as providing a perfect opportunity to take pictures.

In addition the workshop will offer a chance to enjoy nearby Exmoor*, where there are opportunities to capture images of habitat and landscape, plus a chance to photograph the iconic and eponymous ponies. There will be an indoor workshop on digital workflow*, during which you will learn Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop techniques to complement your field skills, allowing you to get the most from your digital images.

Please Note: * The Exmoor / indoor digital workflow elements of the programme will be influenced by the weather.
Accommodation in Devon is not included.




Private Badger Workshops by Arrangement

2018 Price from £135 per photographer per session

For more experienced and particularly keen photographers looking to add to their portfolio of badger images, the hide can be booked for private sessions, with no more than two photographers sharing a session. An average session lasts for 2 to 2.5 hours.

The badgers regularly approach to within 3-4m of the hide, and sometimes closer, so a choice of lenses ideally on more than one camera body is the ideal approach. Lenses of 200mm to 400mm are sufficient for close ups. A tripod is certainly required as low-light conditions are always prevalent, even during long summer evenings.

There may also be opportunities for photography from outside the hide to vary angle and backgrounds, but this is very much dependent on conditions at the time. Absolute silence is necessary at all times.




Tuition Days

All tuition days are run from my base in Devon. Alternatively home visits can be arranged.
If you would like a day's tuition tailored specifically to your requirements please contact me.
Prices for all one-day courses are £250 per day for one person (+£100 for an additional person) (+VAT), plus travel costs for home visits.

Getting Started with Digital SLR Photography

1 person £250, 2 people £350 (+VAT)
Plus travel costs for home visits

  • Starting with the basics you will become familiar with all the necessary fundamental principles and set off on the road to becoming a competent and confident digital SLR user.
  • Learn how to interpret histograms.
  • File types explained and understand the benefits of shooting 'RAW'.

Progressing with Digital SLR Photography

1 person £250, 2 people £350 (+VAT)
Plus travel costs for home visits

  • More advanced skills, including making the most of wide-angle and macro lenses and using flash creatively.
  • Learn how to maximise the opportunities digital photography offer with techniques like stritching, focus stacking and exposure stacking.

LR_PSGetting to Grips with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

1 person £250, 2 people £350 (+VAT)
Plus travel costs for home visits

Adobe Lightroom is a powerful library organisation and image processing tool (and much else besides) that lies at the heart of all I do with my images. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for image manipulation. In conjunction these programmes provide all an advanced photographer is likely to need to process, optimise, manipulate, prepare and publish their work. Tuition will be tailored to suit individual requests, but will include some or all of the following.

  •  Organising an image library, with keywords and captions at the heart of image retrieval.
  • Fundamental processing and image optimisation.
  • Cleaning up images and removing blemishes.
  • More advanced cloning techniques for unwanted distractions.
  • Using multiple files to create a final image - digital stitching, exposure stacking and focus stacking.