Photography and digital image manipulation

Slow photography – a contemplative approach with Tracy Calder

Ref: SWE09185


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About this course

Experience the creative potential of a clear, quiet mind with a slow approach to image-making. Through a series of photographic exercises take unique, purposeful pictures. The ideal antidote to photographer's block.

Course Description

Experience the creative potential of a clear, quiet mind with a slow approach to image-making. Through a series of photographic exercises we will explore the world around us with new eyes, leading to unique, purposeful pictures. This course is the ideal antidote to photographer's block.

Some of the words we use to describe photography can be quite forceful: we 'take' a picture, 'fire' the shutter or 'shoot' a frame - but when we learn to appreciate the act of making a picture as much as the end result the by-product is often greater perception, improved focus, and a general sense of fulfilment. With the mind calm and clear, unique, purposeful pictures are created.

Through a series of short photographic exercises we will adopt a mindful approach to photography, looking at themes such as positive and negative space, boredom, breaking the rules of composition, adopting a beginner's mind, interconnectedness, and the subtleties of light. Our approach will be slow and deliberate, with plenty of time for discussion.

When we become mindful we create a gap in the thinking process, allowing flashes of perception to rise to the surface. We will learn how to recognise and extend these gaps, resulting in a deeper appreciation of the present moment, and more satisfying photographs.

To succeed on this course:

Students need to have a basic understanding of camera controls, and should be able to sit for short periods (10 minutes or so) outside, so please bring appropriate clothing. Seating will be provided (by the tutor).


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • You are required to bring a fully working digital camera and lens (any focal length), charged battery (and preferably a spare), battery charger, plenty of clear memory cards, and suitable clothing for outdoor sessions (preferably warm, waterproof trousers and walking boots or waterproof shoes).
  • You need to be familiar with using a computer as while instruction will be given on getting to grips with imaging software, the course will not teach basic computer skills.
  • Please bring the above, and in addition:
  • Camera/phone-to-computer cables, camera instruction manual (if available)
  • Tripod (if available)
  • Any accessories you commonly use for photography
  • Pen and paper
  • USB stick

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • USB memory sticks


Tracy Calder

Tracy Hallett is a former editor of Outdoor Photography magazine, and currently works as Technique Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine. She has written various photography books, including Close-up & Macro Photography (which was recently translated into Chinese and French). Her work has been exhibited at The Photographers' Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in London.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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