Destinology Workshop 2020

Mar 5, 2020

Big thanks to all who attended my travel photography talk for Destinology on Saturday, February 29. Hope you had a safe journey home.

Now that the dust has settled, I hope that you’ve come away from the workshop feeling a more confident photographer and I’m always very happy to give you any pointers as you continue on your photography journey.

If you aren’t doing so already, you’re invited to follow me on social media and I’ll follow back. (If I’m not doing this already, send me a private message or email me [email protected] to give me a nudge to do this as it’s sometimes hard to keep track!)




As promised, here is some feedback on everyone’s images. I was so pleased to see some of the points we spoke about in the morning put into practice in the photo challenge and every finalist had at least one top-scoring photo with the judges! This made the final decision very difficult.

Here I’ll pick out one photo from everyone’s portfolio for a constructive critique, plus several from our winner Shannon Peerless, to let you know what us judges liked. 


Our venue had a lot to offer and we loved that Caroline went right to the end of the road for this shot. The framing is fairly even and you’ve got an obvious leading line taking you towards magnificent Crewe Hall.


Exquisite details and colours to this, taken at just the right time when the sun broke through and natural light entered the scene. Good use of shallow depth of field to isolate the wooden bust.


Isolating architectural details to give a sense of place needs a good eye and good framing, and Liam’s shot has this in spades – in fact it’s absolutely dead on! Really enjoy the different colours and textures on display here.


Finding interesting shots in bad weather requires thinking outside the box. You may recall I advised using puddles to your advantage for capturing reflections of interesting subjects and that’s exactly what Amy did here. The ornate front gate to Crewe Hall is captured here in this puddle – 99% of people wouldn’t see or even think of this shot.


Expert framing here by Declan who is cleverly looking through the wall as a frame to a distant object. This is something I always look to do in my photography to make it stand out from the crowd. The fact it’s later in the afternoon when skies are clearer adds something to it as well – this same shot with overcast skies would not have as much punch, so judicious timing too.


Great choice of subject matter here – there are plenty of stately homes in Britain but how many places have a unicorn on the bannisters?! This harks back to my point about finding subjects that convey a sense of place while being different to the norm. I love how Pauline sought out this for an image, it’s unique and quirky. 


I bumped into Jenny as she was walking around the hall taking images and I remember thinking that this shot would turn out well… because I wanted to capture the very same angle! Expert use of a portrait composition to capture the grandeur from floor to ceiling and patience was required to get a shot with nobody walking through frame! You really get a sense of place especially the roaring fire.


An excellent composition with a perfect reflection in the sunglasses lens. This image stood out for us because it was so different to anything else submitted – Paula definitely thought outside the box.


Lovely framing looking down the grand staircase. A few participants captured the staircase looking up, but only Anna went for the opposite shot looking downwards. In fact, even I didn’t get a chance to capture this shot though I’d have loved to. Really nicely seen.


A bonus critique for Destinology’s product exec Gary who also took part in the challenge. Much like Declan, he’s opted to use the wall as a frame for a scene, this time looking inwards instead of outwards. Without the frame this is a less compelling image. You can use many things to frame a scene such as architecture or foliage.


One of Shannon’s winning images captures an abstract of the gate with a super-shallow depth of field to create a lovely artistic scene.

Despite the grim weather earlier, Shannon risked muddy jeans to get low onto the grass to use the daffodils as a foreground interest for a wide angle show of Crewe Hall when the skies became clearer.

“Luxury” was one of these themes that everyone struggled with but several of you thought of capturing a scene that conveyed the tranquility of the hotel’s spa. Of such shots, this is the one that worked the best with the foreground nicely isolated and in focus, and even a glass of champagne to set the scene off nicely. 

Thank you all for your company and I hope you’ll all stay in touch – with me, with the team at Destinology and with each other. It was great to have such a friendly group and helpful, especially when we had some technical issues! 

Happy shooting,