Travel Geeks: Expedition Photography by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Tuesday 19 November 2019: Wallacespace, 18 Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0DP

Spent a fabulous and interesting evening in Clerkenwell, London at this event organised by the National Geographic Traveller (UK).

Listened intently as the four panellist and the moderator – Emma Thomson spoke about their experiences, knowledge and equipment when photographing in extreme locations and under extreme conditions.

As well as drinks and an excellent assortment of nibbles being provided; there was also the opportunity to speak informally with the panellist on a one-to-one basis. Excellent well-organised event.


Paddy Scott, filmmaker and photographer
Award-winning cameraman Paddy has travelled the world in pursuit of extreme photography, embarking on epic trips such as the South Pole and paddleboarding the Amazon River. He’ll be sharing his photographic expertise on how to get the most out of an expetition, whether you’re looking to shoot wildlife or windswept landscapes.

Jamie Lafferty, travel writer
Jamie is a regular contributor to National Geographic Traveller and has covered a breadth of wild and remote destinations in his career as a travel writer, including Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Kyrgyzstan and Antarctica.

Nori Jemil, travel photographer and writer
Also a regular in National Geographic Traveller, award-winning photographer Nori says photo specialist expeditions to destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Bhutan and the Atacama Desert have transformed the way she travels. She’s now working with specialist operators to lead tours that focus on extreme locations.

Alastair Newton, expedition leader, Ponant
As the director of the National Geographic Partnership with luxury cruise operator Ponant, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, Alastair has a wealth of experience leading expeditions to some of the planet’s farthest-flung reaches.

Moderated by

Emma Thomson, travel writer
As well as National Geographic Traveller, Emma contributes to publications including The Telegraph and The Independent. She’ll be keeping our panel in check whilst sharing her own tips, tales and experiences along the way.

Photographic Tours – My New Company

Over the past few months, I have been working hard forming a company which will be providing Photography Tours in the UK, Europe and globally.

Masterclass Photography has now been registered with Companies House.

The website is currently under construction and will be going “live” soon.

My first tour is being arranged for the Isle of Skye – Further details to follow.

How to take sharper images

One of the most common questions I get asked through my work as a Photographer is – “Why are my images not sharp? I thought all my camera settings were correct”.

Here are seven simple checks to improve your photography by taking sharper images:-

  1. Improper Focus – Adjust your focal point through the viewfinder
  2. Not using the sharpening tool during post production
  3. Camera Blur – Reduce camera shake by using a faster shutter speed
  4. Motion Blur – Reduce your subject shake by using a faster shutter speed
  5. Using a poor quality lens
  6. Too shallow DOF (Depth of field) – Increase DOF for better quality
  7. Diopter set wrongly – Take the time to adjust to your eyesight – Will not improve your image but will decrease the chance of a wrongly focused image   

Lee Filters

It’s been 50 years since LEE Filters first started to manufacture filters for the photographic industry.

For my landscape photography I will only use the market-leading 100mm Lee Filter kit, including the polariser, Little Stopper, Big Stopper and the Graduated Filters. The results are amazing.

Have a minute check out the Lee Filters website and their explanatory videos for further information: –

Long Exposure Photography


In what you might term ‘regular photography’, with your camera in an automatic or semi-automatic exposure mode, you’re likely working with a shutter speed of somewhere between 1/60 of a second and 1/4000 of a second.  These kind of shutter speeds tend to cover most normal situations, from bright sunlight at midday to occasional indoor shooting.

Long exposure photography is when we are using a much longer shutter speed and it’s usually used as a specific technique to achieve a certain effect.  There’s no defined transition point at which a shutter speed becomes slow enough to define your shooting as ‘long exposure photography’.

Generally speaking, I tend to think of it as when we are talking about our exposure times in terms of seconds, rather than fractions of a second.  These kind of long exposure times (shutter speed is the same as exposure time) are often used to blur something in a photo, for example running water in stream, or the movement of stars across the night sky.  A long exposure helps us to trace the pattern of time and render things in a different way to how we are used to seeing them.  When we see things differently, it naturally fascinates us and that’s a significant factor in creating a compelling image.

In order to achieve long exposures during the daytime, it’s often necessary to use neutral density filters on a lens, which cuts down the light entering the lens.  With less light entering the lens, the shutter speed needs to be much longer to achieve the same exposure.  Neutral density filters can allow you to shoot exposures of several minutes long, even in bright daytime situations.

My first Photographic Experience as a HF Holiday Leader

20/07/2019 – 27/07/2019

“Cornwall Through A Lens”

It was an absolute pleasure leading my first HF Photographic Holiday for one week from our base in St Ives, Cornwall. The attached photo is the group of the nine photographic holidaymakers who made the holiday such a wonderful event.

For my first “leader” experience, I could not have wished for a nicer, more friendly group of people. The group bonded throughout the week and the photographic results were fantastic.

My thanks to HF Holidays – I hope to lead many more HF Holiday photographic experiences and workshops in the near future.

New- Photographic Workshops coming soon

Over the coming months, I will be producing several photographic workshop videos. These videos will be featured on this website. It is planned that some workshops will even be transmitted “live” through various social media sites including my Youtube channel.

Subject matter will vary but will include practical workshops that will include lighting, composition, filters, photographic gear and more!!.

Keep viewing this website for further updates.

HF Holidays

Exciting times – I am delighted to announce that I have been successful in my application to work for a superb award-winning company – HF Holidays.

My new role will be as a Photography Leader at HF Holidays organising and leading photographic tours both in the UK (18 beautiful Country House Hotels) and Europe.

For more information check out HF Holidays website at:

Travel Photography in 2020

2020 is going to be a big year as we start to move into the world of Travel Photography and more specifically Photographic Tours in the UK and Internationally.

A few destinations we are considering including are:-

  • Italian Lakes – Venice – Slovenia
  • Iceland
  • Scotland (Isle of Skye)
  • Lofoten Islands (Norway)
  • Dolomite Mountains 
  • … and more!

Further details to follow with regular updates