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Join award-winning photographers Alex Hyde and Bret Charman on this one-off photography workshop at the National Trust's Box Hill in Surrey.

Using captive-bred subjects like mantids, scorpions and tarantulas, we will recreate the experience of photography in a rainforest and similar exciting tropical habitats. Good close-ups and portraits of such animals are always dramatic, but taking photos of these creatures is not necessarily straightforward and can seem challenging. However, this doesn't have to be the case....

Based at the historic Juniper Hall Field Centre near Dorking, expert wildlife photographers Alex Hyde and Bret Charman will introduce and explain the necessary principles and techniques of this type of photography, so you too can create images with impact and successfully photograph small creatures next time you travel to the tropics or indeed in your back garden. 

The aim is that this weekend be informative and enjoyable and that you will leave with a selection of pleasing images and a new set of skills that you can put into practice on your next trip abroad or while visiting your local nature reserve.

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Welcome & Workshop Activities

    For this workshop we will be based at the Juniper Hall Field Centre, located a short distance from Dorking, close to the famous Denbies Wine Estate. Surrounded by grassland and woodland, this beautiful historical hall is part of the National Trust's Box Hill Estate. 

    This morning, meet at the Field Centre for a welcome and introduction by your hosts, followed by a full day of workshop activities including talks, theory and demonstrations from photographers Bret and Alex, with practical tuition using the captive subjects. 

    During the workshop, they will explain the basics and fundamentals and improve your ability to observe and ‘see a photo’. Concepts and techniques will be demonstrated, then, working in small groups or individually, with Alex and Bret's guidance, you will be able to put what you have learned into practice.

  2. Day 2: Workshop Activities

    Enjoy another full day of tuition to perfect new skills and study macro techniques in more depth, before the workshop comes to a close in the late afternoon.  

You should note: Accommodation is not included in the workshop, however we are happy to recommend some options nearby.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 2 days from £395 pp
  • Group size: 12
  • Departures:
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Lunch and refreshments
    • Photography tuition from Alex Hyde & Bret Charman
  • Activities available:
    • Photography

Expert leaders

Alex Hyde

Photo of Alex Hyde

Often working with moving creatures smaller than a grain of rice, Alex has established himself as an expert in macro photography.

By understanding the behaviour of his subjects, he is able to capture intimate portraits of spiders, insects and other invertebrates in their natural habitats. Although his photography takes him all around the world, the Austrian Alps are a particularly special place for Alex and he returns annually to these favoured haunts to photograph the incredible insect and plant life.

An experienced tutor, Alex regularly delivers workshops and seminars on macro photography and has taught at venues such as the University of Nottingham and the Wild Photo photography festival in London. Alex supplies major international agencies and his photographs appear worldwide in newspapers, books and magazines including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, BBC Wildlife and New Scientist.

Bret Charman

Photo of Bret Charman

Bret is an award-winning wildlife photographer with a background in the wildlife travel and safari industry.

After spending a year in Australia to pursue wildlife photography, he was rewarded with success at the prestigious Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition, as well as making the shortlist in Bird Photographer of the Year and Outdoor Photographer of the Year. Bret has experience leading groups in Europe, the Americas and in Africa – and has a real passion for African wildlife in particular.