Testimonials

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Workshop Testimonials

Below you will find some testimonials from people who have spent the day on one of my workshops:

Francis took me on a workshop in Hope Valley just outside Sheffield. It was perfect from start to finish. Not only is he fully knowledgeable in his craft, he is great to work with. After 5 minutes I felt I had known him for years. He took me to fantastic locations and give me instruction on how to take wonderful images with the prevailing conditions. Any question was answered quickly and clearly and at my level. I also had some Post Processing instruction with him which I highly recommend. Francis gave me a practical lesson on how to bring the best out of my images. We used one of his images and then worked on several of mine that I had taken earlier. My wife, my biggest critic, has now said my photos are now longer flat and boring but they pop out at you. That’s the best praise I could ask for. I look forward to having another workshop with Francis.  

PS. After returning for another session I really learnt a lot more and have improved even more. I really enjoyed the time with you and I’m looking forward to put it into practice. 

  – Matthew

Francis is one of the nicest people we have ever met. We had a dipper photography session, and he was amazing, teaching us how to use our camera more effectively. We had no prior knowledge of how to set up manually, but he helped us with all the technical details of our DSLR camera along with detailed explanations of bird behaviour and animal and environmental facts. Friendly and approachable, we thoroughly enjoyed our day with him and can’t wait to go on our badger photography session!

 – Elena and Joe 

I chose to book a days tuition with Francis for photographing wildlife. Having done a lot of landscape photography I wanted to learn how to get the best images for wildlife, one thing I struggled with was image sharpness. Francis began the day by running me through the correct settings to use for my camera along with how and when to adjust these settings as required. Francis’ knowledge on how to approach the wildlife and get closer without making it feel uncomfortable was excellent, the fieldcraft skills he can teach you are so important in this area of photography. Throughout the day we had the opportunity to photograph a number of different species at different locations. I highly recommend spending a day with him as it really will help your own photography!    

Giles

Thank you for the great workshop yesterday I learnt soo much. Haven’t yet started on the post processing but can’t wait to get stuck into that also. I feel much better equipped to approach Landscapes doing the scenes the justice they deserve.

– Jon

I just wanted to write to thank you for the 1:1 time I spent with you, I learned a great deal from you. For example, the way you set up the tripod and then stood back to assess the scene before making adjustments.  I also found it helpful to think about telling the story of your visit to a location by mixing landscape compositions with close-ups and abstract pictures.  

What – for me – was a real revelation was to interpret the histogram differently from what I had understood was the right way e.g. resisting the bias to stick to the left of the histogram among the darks.  I have always wondered why so many of my photos lack that sparkle.  I also found it really useful to practise bracketing of exposures so that three images can be blended into one with a higher overall dynamic range back in the post-processing.  And then there was the way you showed me how to set up my DSLR so that I used the back button for focus and the front for the shutter. 

 You also helped me (finally!) understand how to use Liveview effectively.  Using the rectangle to identify an area to expose from and then shifting it to sort out the focus was a revelation.  It is also really helpful to have a professional watch what am I doing and then questioning habits and equipment choices – great coaching from you. I thought the choice of locations (riverside, inside tunnels, rock face poolside and orchid-strewn meadow with peak backdrop) was excellent – you’ve left me with a kind of mental repertoire of how to get some variety in where I choose to take photographs in the future.  The little tutorial on using extension tubes to turn my 70-300mm lens into a macro lens was really helpful too.  

What I have not mentioned yet is your unobtrusive yet attentive approach towards the whole session – I felt at ease with my fumbling attempts and never felt under any kind of pressure to perform. I appreciated the way you left enough gaps in the tutorial for me to put questions to you as they arose in the field.   Finally, one important lesson I have taken away from the session is to slow down my practice and work more methodically so that when I do get a decent image it is a bit more through skill and pre-meditation than luck.  That’s the theory anyway!!   Thanks again for the tutorial. I am quite sure I will be coming back to you for another tutorial in the field plus possibly some post-processing.

– Adrian

 

Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed your workshop. Your knowledge of the area is excellent, even though I have lived in the Peak District all my life, you showed me places I’ve never seen and shared interesting information about it too. I am fairly knowledgeable about photography, but you had hints and tips to share which made it more enjoyable and easy. You also helped me to compose the shot better. Just sorry I had to leave before sunset as it was a lovely one!     

Sue

I really enjoyed all of your workshop, I enjoy your company and your knowledge of the subject, which no doubt comes from a long time spent studying and understanding their habits. I’ve really enjoyed being introduced to locations which I would have struggled to find otherwise. I also like the quiet and calm approach you have. Whilst I do enjoy hide photography, I’ve really liked being out in the environment and starting to get to know a bit more of Derbyshire.

– Pip

 

I went on a very friendly, personalised trip into the Peak District to search for mountain hares with Francis. During the day Francis explained the terrain and behaviour of the hares, using great field craft to ensure we got close to the hares in their natural habitat.

– Ian

Having researched quite extensively who to have a landscape workshop with I chose Francis. I was not disappointed. His patient and confident approach to teaching set me at ease and helped me develop new techniques. I would recommend Francis to anyone, you won’t be disappointed either!

– Jon

I joined Francis on a badger workshop in the Peak District.  Before heading over to the sett we spent some time discussing the best settings to use, and Francis gave me a brief overview of exposure compensation and metering, two settings I’ve tended to leave well alone in the past!  He also set my camera so I could use Back Button Focus, which I can’t believe I haven’t been using all this time for wildlife and insect photography – it’s made such a difference being able to focus that bit faster.


Francis is incredibly friendly and approachable, and is immensely knowledgable both about photography and wildlife in general.  It’s clear that the wellbeing of the wildlife is of utmost importance to him, and we also discussed in detail the fieldcraft needed in order not to disturb the badgers as they went about their evening.


On arrival at the Sett we’d only just got settled down when the first badger arrived – it snuffled around quite happily until a group of curious cows wandered over.  Once they’d gone, the badger kept reappearing until as dusk fell, we were treated to two cubs arriving – the sight of a curious badger-cub nose poking out of the undergrowth right next to us is one I’ll never forget!  Having never seen a live badger before, to spend the evening watching photographing them is a real treat, and I’ve come away with some images I’m really pleased with.  I’ll definitely be attending more workshops with Francis! Thanks again, it was a fab evening!”

-Sarah

Francis took me on a half-day workshop to photograph Red Grouse on the moors close to Sheffield, it was immensely enjoyable from start to finish. He is extremely knowledgable on local birdlife and in particular Grouse behaviour which was particularly useful in giving me intimate views of these brilliant birds and getting decent photos – especially difficult as I joined him during the shooting season, a time when Grouse are known to be extremely skulking and skittish. He also helped me optimise my photography technique and camera settings for the wide range of lighting conditions in the field. I would definitely recommend joining his workshops and would love to join another workshop led by him in the future!

-Koel

 

Hi Francis, I really enjoyed your workshop, its given me lots of things to think about and try. Although the wildlife didn’t always play ball, I came away with some nice shots I’m really pleased with. You explained the things I wanted to know and showed me what to look for with certain species. All in all I’m really pleased. Now I just need to practise, make mistakes and learn from them!

– Alan

Dipping into the wonderful world of the Dipper in the Peak District with the ever so patient and knowledgeable Francis. In what one could only describe as challenging photographic conditions, I had a great day with Francis learning about how to photograph these amazing little birds. The rain started and never stopped, the sun nowhere to be seen, but the dippers did not care! I learnt a lot about photographing in these conditions but more importantly to me I learnt about field craft. The end result was some amazing environmental images, a set of which will be framed and hung on our study wall. I am sure you will have to put up with me again hopefully later this year.

– Paul

 

I got the chance to spend a day with this amazing guy last month. What can I say, Fab! Extremely talented and taught me so much. I achieved some really good shots and was one happy lady. If you get the chance I definitely recommend him. You won’t be sorry!

– Naomi

Hi Francis. I would just like to say what a fantastic and memorable day I had with you in the Dark Peak. I was so nervous about my abilities with a camera and not being able to take in the information. Thank you for your patience and pitching your tutorial to a level I could cope with.

Angela


I was given the opportunity to take one of Francis’ Owl workshops having already been on one of his photography days previously. We were treated to a fantastic views of a male Barn Owl hunting in the summer meadows, Francis offered fantastic guidance as to what settings I should be using on my camera to get the cleanest photos. With his guidance I was able to get some of the best photos yet of these wonderful birds. We then moved on to the little Owls close by, again this came out but not quite close enough, as is the way with wildlife, despite this Francis was able to give me tips and techniques for when I am next able to visit the spot myself. I left feeling enthused and pointed in a new direction in which to take my photography to the next level!

Giles

Francis took us out on a very informative and useful  1 day workshop to the Peak District to show us how to get the best out of our new camera. After finding a suitable location on Stanage Edge and setting up our cameras, (he showed us using his first as a demo) he then talked us through the camera settings we would be experimenting with. We then each experimented with the settings he recommended, taking photos and comparing the huge difference to basic shoot mode. As beginner photographers the workshop was a great help to get us up to speed with our camera. We’ve now got some great photos during our travels since! I would highly recommend his workshops!

Richard 

Having followed Francis on his Facebook page and constantly admired his pictures of landscapes, and nature, especially the owls, I took up his tuition offer for a three hour session in the Peak District. Francis’ easy going nature, openness and expertise really helped me grasp the fundamentals of photographing birds. I can honestly say my bird pictures have improved immensely because of his tuition. So much better learning alongside someone, rather than trying to grapple with written ‘tips’ from magazines and the web. 

Eddie

I booked an owl workshop with Francis as even though I know the local area, I know next to nothing about the wildlife there. He showed me how to find and photograph Barn and Little Owls which was fascinating. He also helped me to set up my camera settings to achieve better sharpness which I continue to use and it has made a big difference to my photography. Thank you Francis!

– Rachel

As a complete novice the workshop was just what I needed (I bought an entry level DSLR but never got beyond the ‘Auto’ mode).  The day was perfectly tailored to my level.  Francis is an excellent teacher and clearly explained the basics of photography, many of the functions of my camera and the use of filters. If you are a novice don’t feel that this workshop isn’t for you. Francis was full of encouragement, useful tips and advice. I came away from the day feeling inspired to take my photography beyond ‘Auto’ mode (I have spent the weekend researching a new tripod!) Francis is a really great guy and very easy to get on with.  He has a real passion for photography and I would encourage anyone to do a workshop.


Thank you for an informative and very enjoyable day!

 – Duncan

I booked a ‘One to One’ workshop with Francis in the Dark Peak as a relative beginner. There was plenty of communication before the workshop about my existing knowledge and experience and he customised the day around my needs. He’s a great teacher and I gained loads from the day. Plus he was a really friendly guy to spend the day with!

Matt

 

 

 

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