Photo Workshop: London

  • 7-day workshop led by a top National Geographic photographer
  • Capture images of iconic sites, bustling local markets, and nearby Brighton.

Expedition Details

 

International and historic, elegant and avantgarde, London is one of the most visually exciting cities in the world. Settle into our hotel in fashionable Kensington and set off to capture London’s palpable energy. Photograph bustling Billingsgate fish market and iconic Portobello Road. Stroll through serene gardens and delve into the ethnic neighborhoods of the East End to shoot portraits and street scenes. Spend a day in Brighton, documenting architecture both eccentric and quaint, and get a new perspective on the Tower of London and Trafalgar Square. The workshop includes two group dinners and one lunch.

This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

The following is our planned itinerary; however, the schedule is flexible to allow for spontaneous photographic opportunities.

Itinerary - 7 Days

Day 1 — London, England

Arrive in London and check into our hotel, set within an elegant townhouse in the upscale Kensington area or stay at accommodations of your choice. This evening gather for a reception and dinner with your instructors and fellow photographers.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel (D)

Day 2 — Knightsbridge to Trafalgar Square/Kensington

Meet in our classroom at the hotel for an image presentation and technical lecture by your National Geographic photographer and your first photo assignment. After a pub lunch, hop on board an open-air double-decker bus and get a first glimpse of London’s most iconic sites. We’ll have the freedom to stop for photographic opportunities when and where we want on our tour. Our route takes us through swanky Knightsbridge to Harrods, Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, Oxford Street, St James' Park, Buckingham Palace, No. 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Trafalgar Square. As the late-afternoon light beckons, capture the busy street life in South Kensington and then photograph nearby architectural wonders including the Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel

Day 3 — Billingsgate Fish Market/East End/Hyde Park

Arise well before the sun for a visit to the lively Billingsgate Fish Market, where fishmongers hawk species of all shapes and colors. Then set out on a photo walk from the market to the historic heart of the City of London—now a modern financial district known as “the City.” Shoot photos as the morning commute reaches a crescendo and the bustling capital comes to life. Wander past the graffiti of Brick Lane and enjoy a warm bagel and a fresh “cuppa” from London’s best bagel bakery. Then photograph the stately buildings of the City, including the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, Mansion House, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Return to the classroom for a lecture and an edit-and-critique session with your instructors. Later this afternoon, go on assignment in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens as Londoners enjoy the start of their weekend.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel

Day 4 — Notting Hill/Tower Hill and Tower Bridge

The Saturday markets on Portobello Road are brimming with vivid colors and local charm. Work your way down this cobblestoned road while photographing a wide assortment of people and their treasures. Capture the intersection of past and present as we wander past antique shops. Stroll through Notting Hill where refurbished Victorian homes line the street, and get a bite to eat before our afternoon edit-and-critique session. In the late afternoon light, head up to Tower Hill to photograph the Tower of London. Continue the shoot as night falls, taking images of Tower Bridge, City Hall, and other sites along the Thames, all lit up against the darkening sky.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel

Day 5 — Brighton

A short morning train ride brings us to Brighton, an eclectic seaside city bursting with stories. Once a fishing village, Brighton was a favorite resort of royalty in the 18th century and later became a rowdy beach getaway for Londoners of all stripes. Photograph a wide array of architecture, from elegant Regency townhouses to the domes and minarets of the extravagant Royal Pavilion. Meander through "the Lanes," a warren of colorful alleyways crammed with antique shops, pubs, and cafes. Stop for a traditional Sunday lunch at a pub and then head to the waterfront to catch the activity on the beach and the pier. Return to London for a late dinner.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel (L)

Day 6 — Kew

Londoners have a passion for their gardens and parks, and this love affair is the subject of today’s assignment. Travel to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a UNESCO World Heritage site in south west London. Explore soaring glasshouses, flower beds, themed gardens, and 250 years of history at one of the world's most famous gardens. Walk among the treetops, delve into rain forest, and snap close-ups of a spectacular array of blossoms and exotic plants. Gather for a final edit-and-critique session back at our hotel this afternoon, and enjoy a festive farewell dinner this evening.
Optional Accommodations: The Kensington Hotel (D)

Day 7 — London/Home

After breakfast, watch a presentation of the best images of the week followed by a final discussion and question-and-answer session with your instructors. The workshop concludes at noon.

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson  Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson are two highly experienced photographers who have also been partners in marriage for over 30 years and are contributing editors for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Collectively they have photographed more than 60 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. Sisse and Cotton have spent much of their careers working in Europe, shooting stories from the Arctic and United Kingdom to Italy and France. They also spend each season in Svalbard, Norway and the Antarctic Peninsula. Both have been awarded numerous prizes by Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, White House Press Photographers Association, and Communication Arts. Today they are based in Glasgow, Scotland, yet spend most of the year on the road producing magazine stories and videos for the Geographic.

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson will join the following departure:

Oct 22 - 28, 2014

Dates

2014
  • Oct 22 - 28, 2014

Expedition Cost

2014

Without Hotel

$3,595

With Hotel

$4,795

Workshop prices are per person; price with hotel is based on double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,200. Airfare from/to your home city is not included in the workshop cost.

Meals noted in the itinerary are included for both cost options (with and without hotel); the cost with hotel also includes breakfast each morning.

What To Expect

This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.