Photography News issue 28

Photography News Issue 28 58 Photographic holidays Stunner holiday Buyers’ guide





Artisan Travel’s Aurora Zone Although not the only destination it offers, Artisan Travel has long specialised in winter holidays to Northern Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle. Realising the popularity of that most photogenic phenomenon, the Northern Lights, the company now offers a special service focused on experiencing the Aurora Borealis, aptly called Aurora Zone. Having run for over four years now, Aurora Zone is the UK’s only dedicated Northern Lights holiday service, with trips to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. Employing an extensive range of trusted guides and photographers, “this is”, says Artisan’s Ashleigh Blackburn, “quite simply your best chance for seeing the Northern Lights.” There’s no substitute for local knowledge, so Aurora Zone’s trips are devised with help from weather experts, locals, and “born and bred Laplanders”, and only take you to areas of Northern Europe and north America where the Aurora Borealis appear most frequently. Trips range from three nights to more than a week and you can either join a small group or create a fully tailored itinerary yourself. ”Some are happy to speed off into the Arctic chill on a snowmobile” says Ashleigh, “others find that prospect somewhat less appealing; it’s all about personal preference so we offer Northern Lights holidays on four levels ranging from Leisurely to Very Active.” Along with accommodation and meals, many packages, for instance the ‘Photography in the Finnish Borders’ trip, also include cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay as well an introduction to shooting the Aurora. “Of course,” finishes Ashleigh, “There’s never a full guarantee that you’ll see the Lights, but if they are top of your bucket list, then you’re giving yourself the very best chance by booking with the experts”. 01670 785049

French Photographic Holidays From their beautiful 17th century home near Brantome in the Dordogne, Paul and Pam Edmunds run French Photographic Holidays (FPH), which has been catering to photographers for the last three years. Typically offering a week’s tuition, including up to six half-day trips into the French countryside and villages, workshops cover all skill levels and are tailored to individual needs. Advice also covers workflow, processing and printing tutorials, with a maximum of four photographers per workshop, and an Apple Mac workstation for each guest to use, so you’ll get plenty of one- to-one advice fromPaul. A professional photographer for the last 21 years, Paul has worked in the graphic arts industry for almost double that time. But his interest started even earlier, at around five years old; “my father worked for a large photographic studio in Vauxhall and I would go to work with himon a Saturday morning, it always fascinatedme!” “For fans of portraiture,” says Paul “there’s also access toour fully equipped studio and a model shoot is offered for an additional €50, which can be divided between guests”. And if you need to persuade your other half, quality accommodation is also at the heart of what FPH offers and with five-star facilities, and all-inclusive breakfast, lunch, and a four-course evening meal provided by culinary expert, Pam; ‘non-participating’ guests can also stay at reduced rates. “We always help guests get the best results they can from their equipment,” finishes Paul, “and one of our earliest guests said she learnedmore in one week than the previous two years at college!”

Lakeland Photographic Holidays Owned and operated by John and Gail Gravett, Lakeland Photographic Holidays (LPH) has been offering residential photo courses since 1999. Based in Braithwaite near Keswick, LPH’s courses place you right in the middle of one of theUK’smost beautiful landscapes, but the company also offer regular international tours to the likes of Italy, India and the US. John has been a professional photographer for over 30 years, as well as having images and tutorials published in many leading photographic magazines and websites. Lakeland provides full board, licensed accommodation in comfortable en-suite rooms, and workshops tend to start with what John calls a “camera clinic, where we discuss setting-up and ways that the menus in the camera can be utilised to improve workability.” Most excursions are within the Lake District national park itself, but you’ll also enjoy trips to the nearby Solway coast. Workshops are varied, so there’s plenty to suit a range of interests such as dedicated black & white courses and Photoshop and Lightroom training, while trips are tailored to the amount of walking youwant to undertake. There are also special four-night young- persons’ workshops in the summer for 16-18 year olds, and even younger photographers are welcome with a parent or guardian. “The days are finished of with a delicious dinner in our dining room,” says John, “and there are evening assessment sessions where guests’ photographs are reviewed and constructive feedback offered.” What will photographers take away from their timewith John? “I domy best to teach people to use their eyes better”, he says “and to get as much right at the taking stage as possible, but it’s also about learning how to get the most from the kit that photographers bring with them.” 01768 778459 0033 (0) 5535 47485

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