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Back to School Weekend Photo Workshop

Checking settings for night photography

Students checking camera settings

Chamonix Photo Workshop

At the end of September I ran a weekend photo workshop for students from the Le Rosey school in Rolle Switzerland. It combined a lovely autumn weekend mountain hike and Chamonix sight-seeing with learning about and practicing lots of photography techniques.

We used the Chamonix lift system to get up into the high mountains quickly. For the morning and afternoon, we did a hike above the Chamonix valley led by valley local (and Idris ski maker) Tom Greenall – who is a fully qualified UIMLA (IML) hiking guide.

During the hike, I spoke about and demonstrated lots of different ways to use your camera settings to get the kind of image you want to see, and I answered plenty of questions along the way. We had a lunch break on the trail in glacial boulders near a running stream. In the afternoon, we hiked back towards our mountain refuge for a break, downloading photos and ate a nice home cooked dinner. The refuge had both electricity and showers, making it an ideal choice for our workshop.

After dinner we had a review of the day’s shots with everyone getting a chance to see what the other students captured and to discuss how the settings we chose worked (or didn’t – and why).

Thanks to clear skies, we spent a couple of hours trying out some night photography techniques with tripods. This was surely one of the more stunning evenings of the autumn season. The views of the mountains at night were incredible and the lack of a moon made the stars shine brighter. Low clouds filling the valley far below made some beautiful glowing effects in the night landscapes.

The following day anyone who wanted to get some sunrise images woke up early and captured a few shots before breakfast. Then we headed up the Aiguille du Midi to the top station to learn about settings for snow photography.  We were lucky to see and photograph some wing suit BASE jumpers taking off from the high station. And in some of the other platforms we found alpinists completing high mountain routes.  And of course there was always the landscape beauty of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps to photograph – all of which are all visible from this incredible top station at 3810m altitude.

We descended down to Chamonix for lunch at a lovely café while downloading photos, and had a final review of images after lunch, before the group headed into town centre to take in the sites and visit the shops.

Everyone learned a lot more about their cameras and photography techniques and worked hard to try out the new settings and ideas I was throwing at them. The students were great and really ready to take on board new suggestions and then got stuck into it, playing and experimenting with the ideas that I introduced.

We had just a brilliant time together learning and sharing our ideas about photography and looking for “that perfect moment” to capture (or create).


Check out some beautiful images taken by Le Rosey students in the Chamonix photo workshop in this gallery !

The slides showing in this post are a gallery of some of the images that I took of our adventure together.

Booking your Chamonix Weekend Photo Workshop

If you are interested in booking a photo workshop for your family, club, group or your students, please contact me  with any of your specific needs for a quote.



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