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PhotoTrek Reviews

After every PhotoTrek, the guests are sent a questionnaire for a review of their day. These are comments taken from those customers questionnaires from recent PhotoTreks.

PhotoTrek New Forest Burley area April 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed spending the morning with people who love taking photographs and learning so much from Ian. Ian has a great teaching style and I felt I was being taught by an expert.

The focus (pardon the pun) was on demonstrating key principles rather than getting caught up with the pros and cons of different gear etc. which was great. The banter between Ian and Barry made the morning fun. I feel I know my camera much better now and I can put into practice basic composition rules and an understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

A great morning, I am now more confident with the technical aspects of my camera and really thinking about how to compose pictures rather than just snapping away and hoping for the best. I look forward to putting my new skills and knowledge into practice.

Thank you so much for yesterday, had a lot of fun.

PhotoTrek New Forest Bolderwood area March 2014

It was an informative and instructive morning.

I enjoyed the workshop, grasping more this time round depth of field, rule of thirds etc .

Enjoyed the tuition, explained in simple terms. Enjoyed the practical side of it and the different aspects covered. Would have liked bit less time in woods and maybe squeezed another aspect in. You and Barry were really good together and that made the atmosphere great for learning and relaxed. Good mixture of people. Learnt how to focus on a subject and blur background, which is what I needed clarifying. It seems now that everything is coming together and beginning to make sense.

PhotoTrek Autumn Colours New Forest November 2014

I thought that this was another very good session and I will book more.

What I learnt was being able to put into practice what I had read about in camera mags. I knew most of it in theory, but when it comes to practical photography, I think it will now stick as having someone to explain is much better than reading about it in a book

I very much enjoyed the workshop, and found it useful. I thought that the comments on the photographs that we had taken, particularly the composition, was very helpful. Overall, it was very enjoyable.

An excellent field instruction trip. Teaching clear, comments on your shots constructive and helpful.

Very good, and something I would recommend to other friends keen on photography

PhotoTrek Lepe September 2013

A very interesting experience in a lovely location. I have a much better understanding of my camera and how to use it. I have even found some more functions on it since the PhotoTrek! I have to admit I did struggle with understanding shutter settings and speed etc and will need to work on that. The Trek has given me lots of ideas on how to create a good picture and not just take scenery but look at other subjects around me, I am going to enjoy the coming Autumn and Winter with my camera. Therefore I can say that I have gained some useful knowledge from the Trek which is all to the good. I have already recommended the Treks and your website to a friend.

Smashing day really enjoyable. Info given in every day language not too much 'technotalk'. All of the day was good with a very good balance of explaining in a way that did not insult our intelligence but gave very good info on the technical side of the camera .Most helpful to have an explanation of what we wanted to achieve and then hands on explanation then do it ourselves Brill.

Bolderwood PhotoTrek July 2013
Huge thanks, we had a great time and doing a photo trek for me is definitely the best way to learn.
I really enjoyed the trek, both you and Barry were very patient as Katie and I really were starting from scratch and therefore it took a while before we got it. It was great having both of you there as you were able to forge ahead to set up the next lesson while we took a few shots on route. Barry was fun and easy to get along with and he spent time making sure we were all ok. You explained things very well, and although I thought I was never going to get it it kind of all came together at the end.

I learnt how to take control of my camera and it is great finally taking it off automatic, Katie and I are going out Thursday afternoon to do some practising so we don't forget it.

Oh, and the flapjacks were fab too!

Thank you so much for all your patience last week as I am normally so quiet person
I really enjoy the day
It was well instructed
And time is about the right as half day is always good for me
Thank you so much for changing exposure delay mode in my camera, I have never know why it take so long some time till you look at that!
Thanks both of you and Barry

Burley PhotoTrek April 2013

Many thanks for the Photo Trek which I enjoyed greatly. I thought the length was about right (even in that cold wind), the locations were carefully chosen and the amount of elements you put over in the time was just right, given the need to practise what you were telling us. I particularly liked the fact that everything you taught us was instantly applied and obviously useful since my worry before it started was that there might be lots of technical stuff which would pass me by.

You certainly kindled my enthusiasm to work at composition and not just point a camera. Once again thanks and best wishes to you and Barry,

Bolderwood PhotoTrek March 2013

It was pitched at just the right level. I thought the separate lessons were at the right point and spaced just the right time apart to allow the information to sink in and allowed opportunity for practice. It was also good to have Barry as well to talk to and add snipits. It was a great day and I learnt a lot. Thank you.

Most enjoyed the environment and explanations on how to achieve potential in grey skies

I fully enjoyed the morning, the instruction, the walking, the trees and shapes in the land, the ability to stop and look and photograph without interferences (family, grandchildren, dogs etc)

I liked the timing of the workshop as I'm a morning person, and droop a bit by the afternoon, and so was able to concentrate better than with a full day. And please thank Mrs Badley for her flapjack........most welcome.

Rhinefield PhotoTrek February 2013

Most enjoyed -
Taking pictures of reflections. You could really think creatively and I managed to get some nice abstract pictures. Also the Flapjacks were pretty good indeed!

Nothing was boring! Even if I already knew a few things it's always good to hear them from someone else. The best thing is that I got to fill any gaps or uncertainties I had in my knowledge.

Everything was really good. The lessons were always interesting and the location very photogenic.

Great morning, a lot to take in but I think the right amount of info to come away with and be able to practice and improve

Thank you very much for the Trek, it was really useful and I enjoyed it very much!

Beaulieu PhotoTrek November 2012

Enjoyed the workshop especially going to a new location and shown the potential there. Very good to stay through til just after dusk and experience different light. Really enjoy the length of workshop and tea break! Good to go through basics but also go a bit more in depth. Appreciate being able to ask any question even if I am supposed to know the answer. Liked seeing the potential for abstract with the lights.

Excellent, clear easy to follow & put into practice

From a photographic view I found it very good there was something there for us to practice what we were being shown.
I was concerned that because of my hip problem it would be difficult, however having attended a previous Phototrek before I though it maybe ok so bought walking stick with seat and crossed my fingers. It made me realise how much I have developed since the last phototrek I attended and also how much I have to learn. The group was nice and everyone wanted to learn not show off how good they were. Having information given/shown to you, that you can then practice is the way I learn best so this is an ideal format for me. Starting with "there are no stupid questions" makes it feel safe to ask/contribute even if you're not confident.

I have clarified my understanding of depth of field, the area I had most to learn. I read about it but cant hold the information to translate it into practice, however how it was presented has given me a format to do so, as I can visulise it and it will be much easier to recall now.

I never felt underpressure and there was plenty of time to shot things on my own as well as sharing what I had done. I found the attitude of both tutors professional, encouraging and respectful.

I get great pleasure from taking photos and want to do more and have better understanding of how to achieve consistent good images, make better use of light and composition. This Phototrek has re-enforced what I knew and built on that as well as giving new ideas and techniques.

As I did after the first Phototrek I feel motivated and enthusiastic about my photography and my potential to develop.
Thank you

PhotoTrek October 2012
I thought the whole trek was well thought out, informative and a very pleasant way to learn and improve my photography skills. The route was about the right length, with a variety of scenery to demonstrate the important points of composition and of course the beauty of the New Forest.

Enjoyed it very much. You are both patient and knowledgeable. You make it interesting without being patronising to those of us not too clever. Nice to have a friendly group to work with. No-one who set themselves up to show off and try to hog your time. Evenly shared.

Enjoyed it very much. You are both patient and knowledgeable. You make it interesting without being patronising to those of us not too clever. Nice to have a friendly group to work with. No-one who set themselves up to show off and try to hog your time. Evenly shared.

I found the workshop intense, (due to brain slowing down....woman of certain age!).......and great .........exactly what I needed to put together all the stuff I've learnt before but havent had experience with. Most of my photos have been lucky rather than thought thro'. I feel excited at the prospect of being able to compose pictures with more technical skill skill than luck! I love the considering of where the sun is thro out the year and how I can assess where would be a good place to photograph, which fits with other things I do. Also the little professional tips you and Barry offered/ used were helpful. No time for anymore as I have to go practise!!!
Many thanks to you both

The day was light hearted and fun as the tasks were mini competitions/challenges and exciting, rather than just repetitive or boring. It didn’t hit me how much we’d covered until we sat back in the Creative Space and recapped! Time flies when you’re having fun. I feel like I’ve got a real understanding on photography now, especially the exposure triangle, and that I could explain it to someone else.

Rhinefield PhotoTrek March 2012

Thank you very much for your time and instruction on Saturday. I really enjoyed it and have some cracking shots which I hope to print and display.

Most interesting?
For me it was understanding the triangular relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. It seemed to sink in on Saturday! In addition, the opportunity to photograph trees and forest landscapes which I enjoy anyway

For me a different angle on composition, i.e. looking more with my eyes first before applying the camera.

The group dynamics were fun too. Your partnership with Barry works well and was entertaining!

Fabulous way to spend a morning with my camera and trees! Feel more confident about working off of the auto mode. Just need to keep practising for it to truly sink in.

Enjoyed looking at the shots you had set up as demos eg varying depth of field

Enjoyed it all, a very good session

Enough for an interesting group but not too many for you to be able to address individually

Having everything explained in a simple, understandable format and being able to ask questions which were then answered, was most enjoyable.

I came away with a feeling of 'Wow, that was brilliant'. I learnt more in the morning than any of the courses I have previously been on. You actually took the time and trouble to address our individual problems/issues and I felt it wasn't too much trouble for you to be able to make each of us feel part of the group. It was the personal, individual attention that I liked as well as the way you set up examples on your camera in advance and approached each subject separately over the morning without overwhelming us with information at the beginning. Professional critical assessment and appraisal of one's photos is so helpful. It is hard to know if one is doing the right thing or not without it.

I wrote a long list of what I learnt some of which is as follows: Compose the picture first then set the camera up. Simplicity. Look. Angle the camera for a more dynamic image. Juggle aperture and ISO to achieve a shutter speed of 60 or over if hand holding camera. Use the histogram and exposure compensation button. White/right/light. Try and take pictures at 90o to the sun/light source. Use the white balance.

Thank you and I would definitely like to join one of your courses again. In fact do you have any spaces left on your Cowes week boat trip?

Most interesting - getting feedback from you and Barry on the shots we took during the 'warm up'

All in all a very helpful morning and I hope to attend a workshop in future

I think both yourself Ian and Barry are highly approachable, some of the impromptu discussions provided snippets of wisdom that are invaluable to someone starting out like myself.

I was worried that today's workshop might be a bit intimidating or it might be a course full of people way above my own ability and I'd struggle to keep up. I'm not the greatest with technology and can be slow to grasp a concept, which I acknowledge is not the best of situations when tackling a new direction in life such as photography! However both Ian and Barry were polite, jovial, informative and full of patience and the atmosphere was one completely of relaxed learning. On reflection I think most of the group were quite similar in many ways and I didn't feel lost in the process. I find it easy to get self absorbed with setting up the picture and tuning out to your surroundings and therefore not hear a vital bit of info, so to be able to get a patient response from Ian or Barry on a question when they must have heard the same question time after time was reassuring and greatly appreciated. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no expert on the Triangle but I'm a whole lot further forward this afternoon than I was at 0800 this morning!

I've certainly learnt to open my eyes with the landscape and find some interesting aspects on a subject matter that beforehand hadn't held that much of my attention. Oh how wrong can you be! It was also lovely not to be told directly what to photograph and we were left to our own devices.

I think the only thing I would have preferred would have been some more feedback on the shots taken, however I recognise that in a group situation and a short timescale that its probably not possible to do this, but even a quick review would help the science sink in, at least for me.

Amazing flapjacks - can I have the recipe?
Barry - you need to work on your jokes...!

Bolderwood/Fritham PhotoTrek February 2012

I just wanted to say thank you very much for very interesting phototrek on Saturday morning.

With the help of you and Barry I now understand my camera loads more - think I was getting too confused with books and magazines! Have been practising lots as suggested and already seeing massive improvements.

Many thanks again for an enjoyable morning - think I will be booking up for more

Most interesting? The very pratical aspect of teaching eg: don't just look ahead for subjects - look all around

The group size was just right.

Stunning and wonderful mix of heathland, wood and man made structures

Thank you both for a very helpful and instructive morning. Hope to see you again and gain more experience. One particularly helpful comment you made, 'imagine a stranger looking at the image, would they understand it as intended'

I really enjoyed experimenting with different apertures and ISO's, something I had never tried before. Also loved the location and opportunity for different photo opportunities.

I really enjoyed the workshop, lovely setting with good opportunities for different kinds of photographs. It was good to see a part of the New Forest I had never been to. Ian and Barry's company complement each other - Ian giving the overview and Barry explaining the details when things perhaps were not understood immediately. I think the trek through the tree area wasn't quite so interesting but loved the end location at the brook, where I would have liked more time to explore. I learnt not to leave my camera on automatic but to change the aperture and ISO, however white balance is still a little confusing. I will probably have to come on another phototrek to further increase my photographic knowledge. I did, however, go out practising the day following the trek and was very pleased with the different types of pictures I took. Since then I have found experimenting is the best practice.

Keyhaven PhotoTrek January 2012

I found it very enjoyable - if a bit cold

Lovely location, haven't been to Keyhaven since I was a young lad. It also offered a wide variety of opportunities for almost everybody.

Practically everything was interesting. As a newbie I needed as much basic information as I could absorb, and I got it.

I had a basic knowledge of Photo Treks as my son-in-law attended one last year and, as I am coming up for retirement, my family got me one for Christmas. I enjoyed all aspects of the trek, learnt a great deal and hope to put it inot practise as soon as possible.

Had a great morning, enjoyed it

I didn't really know what to expect from the walk, I class myself as a beginner but Ian and Barry have given me some skills and the confidence to try different things and I'm keen to get out again and try what I learned. I have looked at both websites and it has made me realise how much of a beginner I really am, with a lot to learn. One day I'll be able to take proper photos!!

Good amount of personal feedback from you both

Best part for me was (learning about) Aperture Priority, ISO, Setting the time & f stop, & brightness of the subject.

I enjoyed all of it , format ok, instruction clear and well presented, enough info, because I can only take in so much at one time - probably some still went over my head. All in all a good morning for me . See you again in March.

It reignited my interest in what I can do to stretch myself as an enthusiastic amateur

There wasn't anything I didn't enjoy or learn from

I very much enjoyed the day and it has made me think more carefully about how I approach some subjects in the future and also improved my technical knowledge and helped to put that knowledge into a practical context

It worked well as you pretty much knew that the photos we were initially taking were going to be dull or wrong in some way, then went on to explain why and how to avoid it.

I got far more out of it than i was expecting to. Whilst the instructional element was not necesarily appropriate for me personally, it was good to see other peoples perspective.
Despite the hardware failure, i got a lot out of the day. Its really re-ignited my interest in photography and via the chance venture on b&w, given me a new channel to explore.
It was also really useful to get the opinions and thoughts of more experienced photographers. It gave the group of us a lot more to think about.

New Forest Colours November 2011

I discovered that I really enjoyed macro photography

What did you enjoy most and why? Having the opportunity to ask you a whole range of questions and also the interaction with other attendees. In addition, being taken to a part of the first I didn't know and learning to open my eyes and look around!

Structured but flexible enough to allow ad hoc Q&A

The location was great, I'd never been to that part of the Forest before but will certainly go back.

The points leant were mostly reinforcements of points cover in my previous course but it reminded me that I'd forgotten them already, as such it was good to relearn them.

Mottisfont Abbey October 2011

I enjoyed the way in which photographic techniques were demonstrated and discussed, after an explanation of the technical aspects of the particular area under discussion. I came away reminded of how much the camera can do, if I can only remember to use it all! The workshop will allow me to think in more depth about the photographs that I take in the future, rather than just sticking the camera on ‘auto’.

Burley - October 2011

Thank you for a wonderful Phototrek. Really enjoyed it and learnt so much.

Discovering how to use my camera properly!

As I am such a novice photographer I was worried that everyone else would be miles ahead of me and I wouldn’t enjoy the experience. Nothing could be further from the truth – yes I was the most inexperienced but I had the most to gain. The Phototrek was like a walk in the forest with friends. Informal yet informative. I learnt at my own pace (which is more than can be said for the walking – Ian you do walk fast!) I learnt so much about my camera and about my eye for a good shot. The best part – being told I am a “creative Photographer” Thanks Ian

What did you find most interesting? Explaining how my camera works! aperture, ISO continuing with instruction in 'focal length, depth of field' etc . . .

Bolderwood/Fritham October 2011

I loved it!

I loved combining seeing the countryside with learning more about photography and practising as we went.

it was a good mixture of informal but informative

Mudeford Quay- July 2011

I enjoyed it all - which is good as I do quite easily get bored.

I feel I have learnt a lot and it was at the right pace - especially as you reiterated the information at points during the trek.

I enjoyed the Photo Trek much more than I thought I would, as I had been on a course in Kent and had not enjoyed it that much, as they did not give much individual help . The evening went really quickly as there was plenty to do and think about all the time, which I like. Now it is the summer holidays (I am a teacher) I have plenty of time to try out what we learnt yesterday evening.

Most interesting – trying different settings instead of Auto or Program.

Can’t think of anything I didn’t enjoy.

What did you find most interesting? Learning to use all the settings for the first time – never had a camera with decent settings before.Keyhaven and Hurst PhotoTrek - July 2011

Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU. I had a wicked time (although a bit sleepy today). I downloaded my pics last night and there ARE some brilliant ones (I my mind).

Mottisfont Abbey PhotoTrek - June 2011

Did you enjoy the PhotoTrek? Yes, very much so

I had a great day and spent a very enjoyable couple of hours critiquing my photos

I never would have believed I would be able to understand and apply (ish) exposure compensation and histograms

Many thanks to you(Ian) and Barry

What did you find most interesting? The new stuff - reflections and statues

It was all enjoyable

Black and White photography - was a quick and effective way of showing what a huge difference choosing composing a subject can have

Fantastic wide range of subjects lighting and landscapes

I had booked both the bluebell walk and the roses at the same time. When I first arrived I was fearful that both were going to turn out the same. But although the basic structure was the same there was sufficient addditional and new material to keep me interested for the whole time

Great day which I would highly recommend I was a bit concerned my lack of technical knowledge and experience would hold me up but I was never left behind and Barry and Ian were never far away with a tip trick hint or friendly critique

Rhinefield PhotoTrek - June 2011

A really useful way to spend a Sunday morning!

The group size was just right. Small enough to chat to everyone and to receive adequate attention from Ian and Barry, and large enough to mean that it didn't feel like one-on-one tuition, which might have been a bit intimidating at this stage in the learning process.

There was a lot to take in and by the end it felt like it was time to go away, think about it all and practice, rather than try to absorb even more!

I enjoyed many aspects of the morning, but I think the most enjoyable was the opportunity to hear how Ian and Barry go about taking photos - composing shots, deciding on how best to take the picture - and to see how their preferred styles vary. Ian made us feel very comfortable - 'no question is stupid' - but constantly challenged us to think.

Bolderwood March 2011
Great location - aided by the sun in the afternoon.

Thanks again for another great day, I really enjoyed myself.

I have done 3 different ones now and have really enjoyed them all - want to do more and learn more about my own camera and how to use to great even better - I can put in to practice what I have learnt and picked - can always learn more. I need to understand the technical side better.

As much (information) as you wanted - could ask if you needed more.

Nice and informative and covered a wide selection of photography issues.

I mosat enjoyed looking at the lovely location in a completely different way and appreciating it better - also being pleasantly surprised by the photos I had taken.

Everything was interesting but particularly being told some technical information and then having the opportunity to put it into practise.

Time was brilliant, probably better than a half day.

The whole experience was brilliant and was a good follow on from the half day I attended recently at Mudeford. Being able to spend a whole day with Ian and Barry and tap into their knowledge and experience was fantastic. They were always happy to offer constructive criticism and help improve my skills. Both of them challenged me during the day to make sure I understood what settings I was choosing for my camera in AV mode. This does help to make it sink in a little more and hopefully one day it will all become second nature. I will certainly attend more photographic days with Ian and Barry and look towards the workshops to improve my skills even more.

Flapjacks were fantastic again – thank you!

Mottisfont Abbey February 2011

As a complete novice, I found the day really informative and look forward to practicing the techniques taught on the day

At the start of the day, I found focusing on individual objects i.e. trees rather tedious. In retrospect, however, I can see how the light/texture when combined with techniques such as depth of field can actually produce some great images.

Beautiful setting, with distinct sections (walled garden vs river vs snowdrops) that contained unique features (statues, fountains, trees, architecture) to create a range of photos.

Liked the way Ian set up his camera for various viewings

A good day out in good company – although I would need to go back to take the pictures I should have seen. A good chance to practice and remember how I should be doing it.

I don't think there was anything that I didn't enjoy (maybe the onion at lunch)

Very good facilities, I was more than happy with the food and service
I think the structured yet easy informal approach to the day was good, for me it worked. I felt with you (Ian) at the front explaining the procedure and Barry backing you up going into more detail if required certainly helped. I did find that the size of the group in certain areas was larger than I would have liked just because someone was always in shot.

It was good to have the different functions of the camera explained appertaining to the shot that was being taken in terms that I could understand. As you said there was a lot of nodding going on but I think most of us got at least the gist of it so we could go away and practice.

Although it appears obvious after it is explained, the composition of a scene and the different ways of looking at it were a great help. And of course not forgetting the 'less is best' motto.

To sum it up, I have learnt to stop and look at the subject before taking the shot, and to look at things that I would not have given a second glance at before the Workshop. Now to put it into practice!!

Mudeford February 2011
What did you find most interesting?

Learning how to use my camera on AV setting

Nothing was boring

Time was good although I could easily have spent all day taking photos with Ian

I enjoyed every aspect of the day

Information was perfect for the amount of time

I really enjoyed the day at Mudeford Quay. Ian's tuition was brilliant and I learnt so much in such a short space of time. His encouragement throughout the experience was excellent and his advice and tips for the photos I took was great. The venue was superb offering opportunities for all types of photo. It is likely I will not return to the automatic setting on the camera again and will use AV in most situations although I am looking forward to learning a bit more on another experience with Ian soon and finding out more about my camera and what it can do!

The flapjacks provided for our tea/coffee break were lovely – thank you