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Woodland Photography Workshops

Learn to Capture the Magic & Mystique of Forests on Camera

Join one of my workshops in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, or the Chiltern Hills.

Tim Smalley is a professional photographer specialising in trees and woodland. My work has appeared in the National Press, and has been commended in both local and national competitions. I have run workshops with private clients and groups since 2010. My main aim is to make the workshops educational, inspiring and, most importantly, fun.

I run a small number of one-to-one workshops each year in woodland across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the Chiltern Hills. I do also run workshops further afield in the South Downs and Peak District, but please note that there will be an additional surcharge to cover my travel and accommodation.

What to expect

Unlike many photographers and workshop leaders, I do not go out with the goal of making my own images. It just doesn’t sit well with me – I am there for your benefit, not mine. You have paid me for my time and expertise; not for me to make photographs for my own benefit.

I do, however, believe that the best way to learn is through imitation. As a result, I do take a small digital camera with me to show you how I go about finding and working compositions to the point of when I would set up my tripod and view camera to make the final image.

I will help you to slow down and focus, so that you can become more deliberate and analytical in the way you photograph trees, woodland and the landscape in general. My aim is to help you get past the natural chaos of woodland, and to learn to see – without needing rules to dictate how your photographs should look.

Although I spent a lot of my school years studying art (and taking photos for most of my adult working life), I am formally trained as an engineer. As a result, I like to simplify my way of working and build in time for analysis while I am out in the field.

I will take you through the process I use to improve and refine my compositions once I’ve found a subject with potential. I’ll show you what I look for, and how I resolve the issues I find… and then how to craft images with balance and emotion, using focus, depth of field and exposure to determine your viewers’ reaction.

2020 Group Workshop Calendar

My group workshops last for approximately 5 hours, during which you will be guided around one of these areas of outstanding beauty. Unless specified, these workshops take place in the morning. Each workshop has a maximum of 4 or 5 participants in order to ensure my undivided attention – please book early to avoid disappointment.

Unless specified, the workshops are aimed at intermediate and experienced photographers who want to master the art of woodland photography. I also run a few beginner workshops for those who have just bought their first proper camera, or want to take their photography more seriously.

At a minimum, I recommend bringing a camera with an aperture priority or manual exposure mode, a sturdy tripod and suitable footwear. The terrain is light to moderate, and the ground is likely to be muddy. Please dress appropriately as the workshop will continue in the rain – it often presents the best conditions.

Winter 2020
  • Thursday, 16th January 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire
  • Tuesday, 21st January 2020 – Broxbourne Woods NNR, Hertfordshire 
  • Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire (Beginners)
  • Tuesday, 28th January 2020 – Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire
  • Thursday, 6th February 2020 – Padley Gorge, Peak District
Spring 2020
  • Tuesday, 28th April 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire- Bluebells (Beginners)
  • Wednesday, 29th April 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire – Bluebells
  • Thursday, 30th April 2020 – Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire – Bluebells
  • Monday, 4th May 2020 – Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire 
  • Tuesday, 5th May 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire
  • Wednesday, 6th May 2020 – Broxbourne Woods NNR, Hertfordshire 
  • Thursday, 7th May 2020 –  Padley Gorge, Peak District
Summer 2020
  • Thursday, 25th June 2020 (am) – Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire

  • Thursday, 25th June 2020 (pm) – Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire (Beginners)

  • Tuesday, 30th June 2020 – Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire
Autumn 2020
  • Monday, 26th October  2020 – Padley Gorge, Peak District 
  • Tuesday, 27th October 2020 – Broxbourne Woods NNR, Hertfordshire
  • Thursday, 29th October 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire (Beginners)
  • Monday, 2nd November 2020 – Padley Gorge, Peak District 
  • Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 – Hainault Forest, Essex
  • Wednesday, 4th November 2020 – Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire
  • Thursday, 5th November 2020 – Broxbourne Woods NNR, Hertfordshire
  • Monday, 9th November 2020 –  Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire 

£129.00 per person

(max. 5 participants per workshop)

The one-day workshop I did with Tim was an absolute revelation. I learnt so much!

Before the workshop, I wanted to spend more time taking photos of trees and forests, as I wanted to find more meaning in my outdoor photography. Unfortunately, I’ve always felt intimidated when photographing forests. Whenever I did venture into my local forest, I was almost always never happy with the photos I came back with.

Tim’s instruction was clear and inspiring. He helped me to get over my hurdles, slow down, and build a simple process for finding compositions in forests that worked for me. I highly recommend spending time with him. Thank you, Tim!

J. Whitworth

Book Your Workshop Today

With the threat to our environment, British wildlife and woodland becoming very real, I want to ensure my workshops are sustainable. We gain a lot from the environment, especially when making images, so I want to ensure we’re helping to protect it.

You’ll be pleased to know that, with every booking, two trees are planted on your behalf through a donation to The Woodland Trust. This helps to offset carbon emissions, but you can also rest assured that the donation goes towards protecting and restoring ancient woodland.

Please note: while your camera is not of huge importance, you will benefit most from our time together if your camera supports manual or aperture priority exposure with compensation. It should also be able to shoot in a RAW format. Ideally, you will own an interchangeable lens camera, CSC, MILC or DSLR with two or more lenses covering wide angle to mid-telephoto (at least 24 to 135mm in 35mm equivalent). A sturdy tripod is also recommended in order to get the best quality pictures.