Here are some of the kind words past students have said about my landscape photography workshops:
" Mark - we would all like to thank you for the wonderful tuition on our Photography day. We all learned so much in such a short time. Your explanations were really clear and we all had fun playing with the process in the few days we had in the Lakes afterwards. We managed to get some pretty good pictures even when the weather was less than ideal. We have been taking fewer pictures but they are better compositionally and certainly technically. We will be back to learn more next year. In addition to learning a lot we also had a fun day so thank you for your time and patience and thanks also to Vicki for her help.
Mary, Nikki and Jill, Hertfordshire
"At the outset of booking Mark for a 121 workshop, I set myself a challenge of taking my landscape photography to another level and then asked him to help me getting there. Perhaps this was a little unfair, but he accepted the challenge and we met yesterday to try and set me on my way. After discussing my existing knowledge and my expectations, we ventured out to Langdale and Blea Tarn, which was a fantastic setting, where he walked me through some of the processes that he utilises when composing and setting a scene. It is fair to say that these procedures and steps will help me take my photography to another level. They will allow me to work on my technical capabilities and also to work on my composition, in way that I would not have reached on my own. I hope I will do them justice and produce some photos that I will like (first) and hopefully that others get pleasure from, as they do with yours. I thoroughly enjoyed our day together, some great stories and anecdotes, in between sharing your knowledge and expertise and pushing me and challenging me to put those learnings in to practice. I know that practice and getting out there in the landscape is where I need to be, thank you again for giving me a few more tools that I can take with me"
Chris Ward, London
"I recently booked a 1-2-1 workshop with Mark and it was so much fun! He immediately puts you at ease, is very patient, and a great teacher – I learnt a lot about settings and composition in a short time. We might have spent that time avoiding tourists and sheep poo around Wast Water but by the end of the day I felt a huge sense of achievement and had photos that I was very happy with.
Mark’s guidance was invaluable and I now feel more confident and having recognised the areas I need to work on, I am more excited about photography than ever. It was an extremely rewarding experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mark’s workshops to anyone with an interest in landscape photography. My only regret is that I didn’t book more than one day.
Thanks Mark, I’ll have to come back again."
Lena Whittaker, Hertfordshire
" By nature I’m averse to writing recommendations for people or services so the fact that I am here at the keyboard is unusual in itself
I was bought a day with Mark Gilligan as a Christmas present but due to vagaries of work and leave was unable to take it up until the tail end of June.
It turned out to be the best Christmas present I have ever had - bar none!
Mark began by chatting with me to get to know my motivation and some understanding of my, admittedly basic, knowledge of cameras and things photographic.
He then moved on to teaching an easily learnt system for taking landscape photographs and then we went into the field to put it all into practice.
After some tips on composing a picture we got down to the actual photography and,wonder of wonders, I took several shots that are more than half decent (even he said so, so it must be true!)
Although the weather was not great we had the stunning beauty of the Lake District and to top it all he’s great company.
We then retired for a cup of coffee and a brief tutorial on processing the images.
I came home that day having learnt new skills which I continue to put into practice, having had a great day out in good company and great scenery, and feeling happier than I have done for some considerable time.
If anyone out there is thinking of booking a course with Mark I would say, “Don’t think about it - just do it. I’m sure that you won’t regret it."
Mark O'Donnell, Lancashire
" Mark provided an excellent day of one-to-one tuition, using classroom, practical and computer based techniques, that changed me from an "Automatic"amateur into a photgrapher who felt confident to Control,Compose and Expose his shots, using techniques in a structured manner necessary to produce a first class landscape photograph.
All those Menu items on the camera, I had never understood and avoided were explained clearly and now being used in practice.
Wind, Rain or Shine, the practical aspects of the day, provided an excellent structure for my future photography whatever the weather!"
Nigel Casson-Moss, Grange Over Sands
"My two day workshop was booked as a 70th birthday present from my family and was the best present they could have given me. I had very little knowledge and was at first quite apprehensive at meeting one of the best landscape photographers. However, within minutes of meeting Mark, with his easy going manner and sense of humour, he made me feel completely at ease. By the end of the first day, I was feeling more confident both in my camera and myself and had taken some fabulous photos of Wast Water. I left at the end of the 2nd day with plenty of tips and confidence in myself and the whole course was extremely rewarding and fun, and I would say to anyone, no matter what your ability, if you would like to improve on your techniques and skill then contact Mark."
Kath Marsden, Lancashire
"To find a photographer with immense experience and real talent is one thing, but to find one who also has the people skills needed to run bespoke workshops, tailored to the needs of the individual, is a rare find indeed. On my recent one to one workshop with Mark I achieved everything and more in a day that was well paced and structured with an emphasis and constant reflection on my goals. With his listening ear and a great deal of patience he guided my limited experience gently towards achieving a much broader understanding of what’s required to get the best from my camera, increasing my confidence and self belief in my ability. My day with Mark Gilligan was priceless and I look forward to repeating the experience in the not too distant future. "
Hilary Denison, North Wales
"Mark, Thanks for a vey enjoyable and enlightening couple of days. Your methods for selecting filters and appropriate exposure have helped me no end. My approach to composition will obviously continue to develop and you have given me a good foundation build upon. The advice and coaching you provided has resulted in some cracking pictures in what I had previously considered to be challenging light and weather conditions. I was actually pleased the weather wasn’t fantastic as we get so many days like that and they will no longer be a lost opportunity. Oh, and I don’t know what this says about my sense of humour but I didn’t think your jokes were that bad!"
Paul Fletcher, Eskdale Green
"My friend Julie and I have just returned from the Lake District after a two-day workshop with Mark Gilligan. Considering how poor the weather conditions were (rain, hail, snow, floods), we had an enjoyable time, learnt a lot about the processes of taking photos and processing them, and took some photos which were a considerable improvement on our usual fare. Mark took us to different locations and had his huge umbrella at the ready. We covered several photographic styles and spent time finding the best angle to bring the most out of a landscape. He set out plans for the workshop based on our needs; he was clear with his instructions and checked regularly that we understood. We can certainly recommend him, just look at his photos!"
Jenny Langran and Julie Peart, Nottingham
"Mark, I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed our workshop on Tuesday. I definately feel that I learnt a lot about both the creative and technical aspects of landscape photography. You gave me the inspiration and tools that I need to take the next steps in my journey from "keen snapper" to "considered phototgrapher". Not only did you pass on a lot of great information, you did it in a way that made the day really good fun. Thanks very much"
Iain Wilson, Aberdeen
"My second workshop with Mark was quite simply excellent. As a retired teacher, I can honestly say that he is a great teacher and strikes a perfect balance between theory and practice. His knowledge, infectious enthusiasm and absolute passion for both landscape photography and the Lake District is evident from the get go. Mark's got me to a stage where I understand the camera far more than I ever have done in the past and now it's something I control - not the other way round. He won an award for a photograph entitled 'Finding Gold'. That's how I feel about coming across Mark as a teacher. Simply first class."
Andy North, Lincolnshire
"My day around Wastwater with Mark was an excellent day of learning. Mark spent time helping me think about image composition and structure before imparting his knowledge on capturing a technically excellent image. He did this in a simple and patient manner and there were lots of opportunities for practice and review. Spending time later in the day in the comfort of the local pub editing and reviewing images was also a real eye opener. From just a day with Mark I now consider myself to be a much more proficient photographer and look forward to booking the next session with him soon."
Steve Makin, York
"The two-day workshop was an excellent couple of days that Mark managed very well and his insight was invaluable. He strikes a very nice balance between teaching where required and empowering you to create your images from your own skill set and creative basis. He was also able to make the best of some horrendous weather and utilise his knowledge of the conditions and The Lakes. I highly recommend this workshop to others."
Chris Duggan, St Albans
" I still can’t believe it! My wife’s inspirational Christmas present was a one day one-to-one workshop with Mark whilst on holiday in the Lakes. I had no idea I could learn so much in just one day - and Mark just made it seem so simple! I will now be cataloguing my photographs under two headings: BM and AM (Before Mark and After Mark); and the difference? Composition and a fraction of the time spent tweaking in Lightroom/Photoshop. I can’t recommend Mark highly enough. Great day, great bloke, great fun and top results…what else could you ask for."
Sheldon Rowles, Oxford
"Myself and three friends spent a day with Mark at his ‘ office’ on Wastwater and what a great day it was. We all learned so much about how to use our cameras - it’s amazing how easy it is to work in manual mode when it is explained so clearly. Mark is an excellent teacher, patiently explaining the processes in an easily digestible and comprehensible way and making the whole day fun and enjoyable. We are all converted to becoming enthusiastic landscape photographers and he has changed the way we now look at any vista in front of us. I can give no better recommendation than to say that we are already planning to book further days with him in the future."
John Lovelady, Grapenhall
" My mother and I have always been interested in photography, especially whilst travelling, but have only used the auto setting on our SLRs. Having just 1 day with Mark took our understanding from memory snaps to building the photo composition and technically capturing what you see in front of you onto a photograph. For the first time we were in control of the camera!! It was a fantastic day for the 2 of us both in terms of a fun day together and also learning a process that we will be able to use over and over again. Thank you Mark! I am sure we will be back"
Rosie Snow, London
"Our 1 day photography course with Mark was booked as a wedding anniversary present and was meant to be a bit of fun and learning, it turned out to be so much more! Mark brings expert knowledge and also years of teaching experience. Key concepts and processing steps were explained very clearly and in only a short space of time we were able to start taking control of our D-SLR. Mark has tons of local knowledge and his love and enthusiasm of photography and the land is delightful. We were lucky to learn from the very best and will never return to automatic mode. We enjoyed the practical hands on experience in the beautiful surroundings of the Lakes and would not hesitate to return for some more fun and learning. If you want to take some real landscape photos then Mark, the Rainbow Man is your man. Our only regret is not to have booked a longer course!"
Joyce Yeung, Hatton Park
"I received the 1 to 1 as a Christmas present from my family and it's probably one of the best gifts I have ever received! After meeting Mark at the Inn where we were staying, he tailored the day to suit my ability. The way he taught me was relaxed but he also got the points acrosson how to compile a landscape photograph in an uncomplicated way and this is now how I will approach taking landscape photographs."
Ste Roughly, St Helens
" I recently had the pleasure of a one-day landscape photography workshop with Mark in the beautiful and inspiring Wasdale in Cumbria. It really is incredible how much you can pack into one day without realising it until later!
Notebook at the ready, we began with a conversation about me, him, photography, equipment, expectations, aspirations and the world in general. This both puts you at your ease and allows Mark to establish how best to introduce you to “the process”.
I like processes. Once the penny drops; you will have at your fingertips a technique which puts you in control of the photograph you are about to create.
With Mark there is nothing but encouragement for you and the pace at which you want to learn. Bespoke means bespoke (with apologies to our Prime Minister).
I was delighted with the day’s photographs. It was particularly satisfying to see such a dramatic improvement on my previous efforts after just one day.
So, would I recommend a workshop with Mark? The answer is a resounding yes."
Martin Morgan, Poulton-le Fylde
" Just had a 1-1 workshop with Mark and he introduced me to graduated neutral density filters. The day with him helped me to slow down and compose my photos in a more considered way. I use a Fuji X Pro and it was a huge bonus that Mark knows these cameras backwards. By the end of the day I had learned a new way of working and become much more comfortable with tripods, filters and manual exposure: practical lessons from a patient teacher against a perfect, lakeland backdrop.
Andy Denwood, Yealand
"Just completed a three day adventure with Mark in and around the beautiful West Lakes area of Cumbria. It was an education and I had not realised before meeting him that I had no idea how to hold a pen or a camera. Mark you are a gem. I have the greatest admiration for his experience, advice and knowledge of this area. I got what I came for and so much more. He introduced me to the Stands Inn and the wonderful and landlord and landlady Mark and Lesley who were extremely accommodating. I appreciate why Mark likes the place, simply explained by the sign outside the pub that states "Muddy boots and old dogs welcome". Most apt. You are my new hero, well for this week anyway. He taught me more in the first few hours of day one that all of the reading, and several other workshops that I have attended. To be recommended and endorsed by me for sure. Thank you Mark."
Paul Jones, Bedfordshire
"From the moment I found Mark's website, to making the enquiry and attending the workshop, I was very impressed with the whole experience and find Mark an excellent tutor in the art of landscape photography. He goes the extra mile, makes you feel comfortable in your surroundings and instilled confidence in my camera abilities. I have left Mark's workshop with impressive images, new found skills, confidence and, also as important, a new friend. I would recommend the workshop to anyone who ever doubts themselves behind the camera and wants to capture the beauty of the Lake District! Thanks Mark x "
Ashleigh Salter, Bristol
"What a great experience. I could not ask for any more from the 2 day workshop I attended. Mark has a great way of taking away the mystery and teaching simple drills to really help you understand the process. No matter of books could do this. One on one instruction is totally dedicated and I found myself on a huge learning curve and a high after the experience. Beautiful surroundings and great administration, I would recommend this workshop to anybody, who is really looking to open up their adventures into photography. Thanks Mark."
Steve Cottrell, Southport
" I spent a day with Mark on Wastwater having been given it as a present from my wife. Mark took the time to understand exactly what it was that I wanted to achieve from the course and then ensured that he concentrated on these areas. Obviously an extremely talented photographer, Mark taught me some extremely useful tools and techniques to ensure I left the day with the knowledge I needed to improve my photography skills. Having seen other photography courses in the past where the professional also takes the opportunity to take photos, it was nice that Mark didn’t even bring his camera and instead concentrated on teaching me. Overall and fantastic day. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Mark to anyone interested in improving their photography skill."
Andy Tamea, Penrith
"What can I say? The 2 day workshop I did with Mark is some of the best money I've ever spent. In the magnificent surroundings of Wasdale and beyond, I learnt a technique that is so simple to use it's absolute genius. Mark is an excellent teacher and his enthusiasm and passion for both landscape photography and the Lake District is infectious. The two days went incredibly quickly in a relaxed and fun atmosphere in which Mark's main focus was to improve my understanding of the camera and of landscape photography. At the start of day one, he said I would experience a steep learning curve. And boy, did I! If you're thinking about a landscape photography workshop then without question, Mark's your man. Quite simply brilliant."
Andy North, Yorkshire
"My wife booked me a one to one Landscape photography course with Mark over at our Caravan in Ambleside. He travelled up to the Lake District and met me at our place. Right from the start Mark makes you feel at ease as he gets to know you and at no time makes you feel intimidated. This was the start of a very enjoyable day as we drove to a nearby area and started to really get into what he does best, teach photography and makes it very enjoyable. His approach and the way he explains it all is something you can only get from a one to one. After getting to grips with various techniques we returned to where we stay and this was where it gets even better,checking what you have taken and the knowledge you have gained. I'm not new to photography and have had cameras for many years but the improvement was quite remarkable. Do yourself a favour and get out and about with Mark ,you wont regret it. Im looking fwd to another session out and about with him when time permits.
Kevin Duffy, Newcastle
"Mark, thanks for a very informative and fun couple of days and should the rain ever stop I will go out and practice what you taught me! I really enjoyed our days in the field and I am looking forward to minimally tweaking the pics I took. Thanks again"
David Leck, Newcastle
"I have just returned from a two day workshop with Mark. It's has been an incredibly enjoyable and informative two days and my head is buzzing. Above all I have felt empowered and facilitated to express myself through photography.
Mark has a very relaxed but professional and systematic approach. His unique sense of humour and communication style make learning a joy. It is so much about the passion not just the technicality. He has a real knack for understanding where you are at and working with this with the philosophy that no question is too daft- I really appreciated that!
We started with a review of 12 images that I had sent earlier to get a feel for what I was capable of and then ran through my understanding of the camera. That’s a great test when you have to explain it back to an expert.
My goals were to get better at composition and develop my own style. But I soon realised that I needed to get a better exposed photograph and Mark’s run through of how to do this was genius in its simplicity and reliability. Just ask PAM!
We moved for the next few hours to Wastwater and practised all the techniques we had talked about. An analogy about fishing and patience helped me. All the way Mark was very focused, gently challenging, encouraging rather than being prescriptive or judgmental. When the light seemed to have gone we waited and witnessed an extraordinary rainbow. Patience…
The following day began with a couple of hours of understanding workflow and doing some gentle tweaks in Lightroom and Photoshop before visiting a couple of other great locations using Mark’s extensive local knowledge. This cemented what we have done previously.
The 2 day workshop exceeded my expectations and provided me with fantastic tools for the future…and some fantastic images. Highly recommended."
Andy Carlisle, Newcastle upon Tyne
“Back in September, I attended my fourth, two-day workshop in the Lake District with top landscape photographer Mark Gilligan.
Over a coffee, we had a catch up chat and viewed a few of my images just to give Mark an idea had to how far I'd progressed over the last twelve months. I wanted him to show me how to successfully take and process panoramas without going to the lengths of buying a special ‘pano’ head.
Dodging the showers and moving between locations such as Latrigg, Braithwaite and Crummock Water, we managed to do just that. Delighted!!
Day two and we moved over to Ullswater. Mark organised the day as if I was to take shots for a magazine. The weather was 'iffy' again but I managed some lovely images. We made our way back to a local hotel where we had a coffee and cake then reviewed my day’s work. I plan to have another workshop in 2016 with Mark using my new Fuji X Pro1 alongside my Canon 5DMK3. All I can say is, Mark thank you for another fabulous workshop. If anyone out there wants to improve their landscape photography skills look no further than the Master!”
- Tony Nicols, Yorkshire
"Having recently returned from a most enjoyable one to one two day landscape workshop with the very talented (and almost famous) Mark, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it with this master of landscape photography in one of the most picturesque areas of Great Britain. Both light hearted and informative, I thoroughly loved the workshop. Mark has a unique and relaxed approach to the teaching of his techniques but also ensures you learn along the way too. Would, without a doubt, recommend working with Mark on his workshops. Booked to go again within 3 weeks of my return and looking forward to a frosty and hopefully snowy two days in November."
- JEN GRACE, Oldham
"As a veteran of close-on a dozen workshops, I can say that Mark was one of the very best. He looked at some of my previous images, and gave me a constructive critique. Then out in the field he started by making me practise a straightforward method for exposing an image correctly and managing filters – I wondered why none of my previous professionals had suggested it. Simple and systematic; if Mark could patent it he’d be a millionaire. The Wastwater locations were splendid, hardly surprising as he has made it part of his life’s work to photograph the area. He was unfailingly helpful answering questions and suggesting improvements, even carrying my monster tripod when we were going over rough ground – I’m not as athletic as I used to be. We had one dismally grey and damp morning, when I and many photographers would not even have taken the camera out – but Mark found a location where we could do something really rewarding. Last but not least, my wife was with me; she has never been a photographer and was just going to come to walk and enjoy the landscape – but she got enthused, and Mark generously included her in his instruction; she ended up with a liking for photography, and some very creditable images. So in three days I learned a lot, my wife became a photographer and we took some pleasing shots. It could not have been better. Thank you Mark!"
- PROFESSOR ROBERT CASSEN OBE, London
"I had a super action packed landscape photography day with Mark. A spot of theory in the cafe (nicely supplemented by good coffee and cake) followed by a practical session up at Wast Water. Mark proves zero to hero is in the realms of reality. Thanks Mark!"
- MELISSA SHEPHERD, London
“Mark, I just wanted to thank you for a fantastic day which I truly enjoyed. I must admit though, because I had completed a BTEC Level 2 in digital photography previously, I wasn’t sure how much more there would be to teach, but I was so pleased that you were able to alter the course to take what I had previously learnt and build on it, so I learnt so much more!! I thoroughly enjoyed playing with your Big Stopper too! It’s a great piece of kit and after using it for a short time, I got the hang of it with amazing results! I will definitely be buying one very soon! Thank you again, I would have no hesitation in recommending you to all levels of photographer wanting to learn the techniques of landscape photography."
- ADAM STEPHENSON, Cumbria
"If anyone is even thinking about a Landscape Photography Course, stop thinking and definitely look no further than one of Mark's Workshops.
I enjoy my photography but having recently undertaken a one day course I realised how much I didn't know and he helped me fully understand how to get the most from my camera to take landscape photos. You’re guaranteed a 'bespoke' workshop with Mark which is tailored to your needs & level of photography.
From the moment you meet up with him, over coffee, it isn’t long before you realise that it is going to be run in a very relaxed, humorous & informative manner... it’s FUN, with a good sense of humour thrown in ‘free of charge’!! There’s no classroom environment or heavy teaching. You are out there ‘hands on’ being tutored by Mark, surrounded by some pretty awesome scenery!!
You’re sure to come away with more knowledge & understanding of camera technique & ability to capture what’s around you ‘in camera’ too. None of this hours spent toiling on a laptop. This was pure photography with minimal processing afterwards. I promise you will learn more than you could ever imagine.
Would I recommend Marks Workshop? Definitely, without shadow of doubt!!
Will I be returning for a two day workshop... most definitely. Thanks again Mark for a great informative day. Look forward to seeing you later in the year.”
- BRIAN WILCOX, Manchester
“Mark you have a great formula for success that I found accessible and fool proof. Your approach really cuts through the complex stuff. I was impressed at how quick I was able to move into 'manual' mode to capture a quality image. An inspiring day from a true professional!”
- ANDREA BURNS, Bolton
"Before the workshop, I was set my first ‘homework' First to send 8 of my best landscape shots, then a list of features on my camera to learn. There’s more theory than I imagined, but Mark’s simple explanations made it easy for me to grasp. I find that I get things easier by actually doing.
Mark explained it is best to get all you need done when you’re taking the shot, so you have to do the minimal amount of processing afterwards. We did! A few minor tweaks on the laptop when we got back which took seconds and before me was my first ever proper picture. I was very proud."
- GINA PENNINGTON, Cumbria
"Can highly recommend Mark's landscape photography course as it has really changed my pictures from being 'good' to 'great'. I received his one day Wasdale landscape photogrpahy course as a present and it is the best Christmas present ever! I benefited from Mark's unique approach and teaching methods as it was clear that the day is tailored to each person based on their abilities - it's not just a standard course! The way that the day was structured has ensured that I'm now able to apply the more technical aspects when out and about resulting in much improved photography."
- ANDREW ARMSTRONG, Manchester
"Well the course started over a coffee and a chat and at the end of the chat the statement from Mark was, 'I will have you shooting in full manual by midday' True to his word he did. The two days gave me great insight to landscape photography & the confidence to really focus on taking the right shot! I will be back for further courses and to enjoy Mark's relaxed training style."
- VINNY GIDLEY, Nottingham
"Having really enjoyed my first landscape photography workshop with Mark, I returned for a two day course. He went to enormous trouble to make my trip enjoyable, whilst giving useful advice to help me achieve some great photographs. We covered a lot of ground over the two days, providing an interesting variety of scenes to capture.
I have been really pleased with the improvement in my pictures and would highly recommended Mark to anyone wishing to develop their landscape photography skills."
- PHILLIP HARTWELL, Lancashire
"I feel like shouting out 'Look what I made!' All thanks to Mark Gilligan!
I've gone from being a 'geek with a phone' to a 'nerd with a camera'. Had a fabulous bespoke workshop with Mark. I would recommend those budding photographers or anyone who's a whizz to try this workshop with Mark.
He fits his workshop with your level of skill - mine was pretty low but what a learning curve! I am now going off to take some pictures!"
- NANCY BANKS, Gosforth
“This was my third landscape photography workshop with Mark. I have to say another outstanding two days!
One of my objectives on this trip was to incorporate my new Lee 6 stop filter. I have to say that nothing is too much for Mark. He's on hand to offer advice and suggestions and he knows the lakes so well. You don't shoot loads and loads of images. Its about quality and not quantity.
He makes the workshops fun, has a good sense of humour, is very knowledgeable and always happy to help. I'm looking forward to my next workshop when Marks going to guide me through Lightroom and I have already booked him for two more days.
Thanks again Mark, you're the Master!"
- TONY NICHOLS, Yorkshire
"Thank you for a most enjoyable and informative 3 day workshop. I must admit you taught me more than I was expecting. What impressed me most, was your demonstration that it is possible to take stunning pictures in low light on dull days. I had heard this said before but never really accepted it until your skill and experience led me to discover the truth for myself.
The whole experience was great. Fresh from your outstanding workshop, I managed to apply many of your tips and get some great shots throughout the rest of my trip"
- WAYNE GIBBONS, Australia
"I attended a two-day landscape photography course with Mark in August 2013 – it was a 60th birthday treat from my wife. Little does she know that it’s going to cost much more than she bargained for as I now have a shopping list of things I want to buy to consolidate what I learnt! Of course, not everyone will want to do this.
I learned so much about composing pictures that if I just took that away it would still have been valuable. I previously thought myself to be a reasonably competent photographer in that I’ve got some fairly decent images of the outdoors where I have spent a lot of time. And, indeed, Mark confirmed that the set of 10 best landscapes which I submitted prior to the course were ‘not bad’.
But now I feel that I want to re-visit all the places I’ve been and photograph them all again with my new-found set of skills. What Mark did was listen. He asked me questions and listened to my responses. He didn’t come from ‘Look at me – I’m the expert’ - he listened to find out what was getting in the way of me making great pictures. And then he figured out how best to help me. He didn’t criticise or put me down. He found out where I was in respect of my ability to ‘see’ a picture and my technical understanding with respect to the camera and the software editing process.
Then he started to work on developing my ‘seeing’ eye and my technical knowledge. He never went faster than the pace I was comfortable with and he stopped several times during each day to re-cap – ‘so, what have you learned so far?’ – to check what was sinking in. And all this with a great sense of humour and lots of stories – if you’re going to be on a 2-day course with 1:1 tuition, you might as well do it with a good bloke.
I liked the way that he was pretty much hands-off. He worked with me, my camera and my accessories. He didn’t even bring his own camera. He made suggestions about kit but that’s all. This isn’t a course about buying top-of-the-range cameras and computers. The fact that I want to go out and buy a few bits of extra kit that will help me in the editing process is purely a personal choice and reflects the stage I am at with respect to my photographic and computer skills.
I also liked the fact that he knew exactly where to take me to make the point about composing scenes and dealing with light. We had a gloomy two days with cloud rain and only a glimmer of sun but that didn’t matter, he knows how to teach and that’s the main thing.
I learnt two key things in the two days: How to take a good picture and How to make a good picture.
The first part is about ‘getting your eye in’ – finding and composing the right shot in the viewfinder and getting sensible information about it onto your memory card.
The second is about re-creating that shot in the computer ‘dark room’. This requires some basic computer skills and is perhaps the more technical aspect of the course, depending on your own experience – but it is a necessary part of the process and is absolutely fascinating.
I can highly recommend Mark – a talented guy who understands photography at many levels – he has an amazing eye for landscapes and is able to pass this on to his students. He’s got loads of experience and patience and will use this to make you a better photographer. Not only that – you’ll enjoy your time with him and will come away feeling much more confident."
- STEVE RIPLEY, Lancashire
"I decided to take a two day course with Mark Gilligan. As well as being a supremely talented photographer, more important for me, is that he is also a GREAT teacher. Within two hours I was understanding all about those mysterious f-stops and taking photos on manual. How excited was I?!
We then to go back to the computer and become the processor of the image I had taken which was an even more exciting discovery. By the end of the second day, I was framing my photographs better and I was in control of my camera.
Mark's practical approach to teaching and allowing me to experiment and learn in a relaxed and beautiful environment of The Lake District made the two days fly by. The results of these two days? When I saw the image on the computer screen I jumped up and down with excitement!
FINALLY the image I was looking at was a true reflection of the photo I thought I had taken! Oh- and did I say how patient a teacher he is?I'll certainly be going back for more"
- JUDY KING, Shropshire
"I've been meaning to send you this 'Thank You' note for awhile now, but unfortunately life took over when we returned to the States and I'm just now getting to it.
Both Karen and I had a wonderful day with you and it seemed to fly by. I certainly feel that I learned a tremendous amount in a very short period of time. You really helped me fill in a lot of technical gaps and think differently about optimising the image in the field as opposed to lots of post-processing work.
Don't forget, if you make it over to the States, our door is always open. We'd be happy to show you around Mystic, CT and I know lots of great spots for some photowalks."
- DAVID PLOWCHALK, Mystic, USA