Photo © Georgijevic / iStock

One way to learn photography fast is to gain field experience under the tutelage of a master. The excitement of firsthand encounters in the company of others who share your passion can greatly accelerate learning and skill acquisition.

Immersive Learning vs Linear Learning

The evolution of learning has advanced beyond a traditional classroom setting, to redefine the educational ‘experience’.

Whilst linear learning has its attributes, establishing curriculum objectives and standards—these rigid protocols can impose conformity and stifle creativity. Some will flourish—mostly those who respond well to routine-based lesson progressions. While visual learners who derive knowledge best through experience are less likely to reach their full potential under this regime. Furthermore connecting visual cues with knowledge or skill acquisition helps reinforce, inspire and encourage innovative thinking.

As our world embraces field excursions, interactive lessons, workshops, virtual and live expeditions, our scope of resources and methods expand to accommodate the different ways people learn.

Have Lens Will Travel

Photography tours offer incredible opportunities to garner knowledge from professionals, in different conditions and environments around the world. When choosing a tour consider the subject matter you want to explore and then seek out an expert in that field, this will benefit your learning in two ways: 1. establishes focus to craft your skills. 2. connects you with a professional in your field of interest.

Secrets of Photography

Aside from skills you can learn character ethics from your instructor—’what are the values that made them successful?’ Timing and instinct are part of the equation and keeping company with inspiring mentors is a proven catalyst for development.

Photography expeditions which cater to small groups, allow for more one-on-one time with instructors but usually sell out fast so you need to book ahead.

To help plan your schedule we have provided a short list of exceptional photo opportunities.

Travel to Namibia with National Geographic

National Geographic Expeditions offer a variety of Photography Tours and Workshops.

Worth a look is their 12 day Photo Adventure in Botswana, a new offering from the world’s leading photographic society.

Glide down Botswana’s Chobe River aboard the luxury Zambezi Queen riverboat, and navigate the meandering streams of the Okavango Delta on traditional mokoro canoes. Hone your night photography on nocturnal safaris alongside expert trackers in pursuit of leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and other predators. Climb aboard the vintage Royal Livingstone Express steam train for an unforgettable dinner ride through the photogenic Zambezi River Valley.

Explore A Land Lost in Time with Nick Garbutt

The biodiversity of Madagascar is reflected in the creatures and culture of this enigmatic place, and who better to explore its wonders with than wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt. Nick is well-known as a leading authority on the wildlife of Madagascar. He first traveled there in 1991 and spent a month back-packing and visiting four of the island’s parks. Returning every year since he has travelled the length and breadth of the island, visited all the major national parks and reserves and has seen the majority of the island’s lemurs and other mammals in the wild, plus a very high proportion of the other endemic fauna.

Nick’s written several books on the island’s wildlife, including the highly acclaimed Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide, Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide and Chameleons and his enthusiasm for the country and its natural history is infectious.

Madagascar is intoxicating—a strange and incongruous mixture of wildlife and culture combine to produce a country unlike any other. Memories of the friendly people and unique wildlife will linger and create the overriding experience of an island lost in time.

Go on an Adventure in the Arctic with Daniel J. Cox

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Svalbard. Photo © SeppFriedhuber / iStock

Natural Exposures caters to all levels of experience, touring to exotic and remote regions like the Amazon and the Arctic with husband and wife team Tanya and Daniel J. Cox. With over 30 years experience as a professional wildlife photographer, Daniel’s knowledge and passion make him a highly regarded and sort after teacher. He is the media director for Polar Bears International, and his photos have appeared in numerous books and cover stories for publications like National Geographic and BEJournal.

Natural Exposures, is your connection to the world of photography, nature, conservation and the conduit to fulfilling your lifelong travel dreams. Daniel’s photographic expertise will enhance your photo skills. Tanya will shepherd you to the world’s most beautiful locations, and they’ll both introduce you to like-minded individuals who often become friends for life. The world is waiting and time is short. Join the duo in creating memories you’ll never forget and the pictures to prove it.

Daniel’s tours are incredibly popular, with only a few places remaining for 2022 adventures.

Daniel’s close work with Polar Bears International makes his Svalbard Arctic Photography Tour an exceptional opportunity to see the skilled professional in his element and a great choice for those bear loving individuals.

Head to the Highlands with Peter Cairns

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, UK. Photo © Peter Cairns

Peter Cairns is a founding director of Northshots and an award-winning photographer with 20 years experience sharing photographic adventures and passing on his knowhow in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. These days Peter focuses closer to home in the Scottish Highlands, where he knows the lie of the land intimately.

Peter’s love of the land is infectious, and as an advocate for conservation his teachings reflect a respect for nature. This is a character quality which resonates mutual regard and ethical practises in his students. His e-book ‘Cairngorms: A Photographer’s Insight’ showcases Peter’s passion for his homeland and knowledge of it’s nature.

Peter Cairns Photo Retreats are designed to provide our guests with a fulfilling photography experience in some amazing places. They’re also designed to be fun. Peter personally guides all of retreats but behind the scenes there’s an administrative engine room in the shape of his wife Amanda, and team members, James & Emma. They make it all happen. Designed for photographers who wish to tap into the seasonal beauty of this ancient land. Capture images of iconic species such as the red squirrel, crested tit, red deer, ptarmigan, mountain hare, snow bunting, buzzard, woodland birds, and wildfowl.

Explore the Great Bear Rainforest with Suzi Eszterhas

California-based wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas spends several months of the year shooting a wide variety of wildlife in the field. In recent years, she has specialized in documenting family life of endangered species and has become well known for her unprecedented work with newborn animals. Although Suzi works primarily in Africa, she has undertaken commissions and led instructional photography tours and workshops all over the world. Her photographs have been published in books, magazines and newspapers all over the world, including many feature stories and front covers.

Explore British Columbia’s pristine Great Bear Rainforest, world renowned for its legendary all-white spirit bears. Having arranged for extra permits that allow twice the amount of time in spirit bear areas than other tours, increases your chances of capturing amazing images of these rare and elusive bears. In addition to spirit bears, you’ll search for grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, bald eagles, humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, seals and more. Explore moss-draped forests, rushing waterfalls, soaring granite peaks and glacier-cut fjords while staying aboard a small ship.

Discover Papua New Guinea with Michele Westmorland

Michele Benoy-Westmorland is a freelance photographer with a range of skills, including worldwide travel, lifestyle and underwater photography. Her years of diving have led Michele to being an active proponent of marine conservation issues. In addition she is passionate about cultural preservation as highlighted by her project Headhunt Revisited.

Michele has traveled to Papua New Guinea some 36 times and considers this beautiful country her second home.  She invites you on this exclusive and intimate tour where only 7 guests will share both photographing and engaging with communities in a variety of locations. The journey will begin with the Tumbuna Sing-Sing outside of Mt. Hagen and continue on over mountain tops to delta areas and coastal environments.

Encounter Anacondas and Jaguars with Amos Nachoum

Amos Nachoum is a photographer and explorer. He has shot just about everything there is to shoot, but what he loves most is wildlife photography. Especially if it’s in the water. Based in San Francisco, California, Amos operates the premier and cutting-edge adventure-travel company Big Animals Expeditions. These voyages take him and his guests around the world to observe, photograph, and revere the most magnificent creatures on the planet. In addition, he works tirelessly to bring attention to some of the most fragile regions of the underwater realm, with preservation of the environment foremost in every encounter.

Brazil is the land of diversity. Big Animals expedition explores a region of Midwest Brazil that retains much of its original characteristics. The Bonito area offers the ideal conditions for thrilling experiences such as snorkeling with large schools of fish or diving with large anacondas: crystal clear-rivers with several meters of visibility, preserved environments and an excellent infrastructure to ensure you a great program.

The region interconnects directly with the Pantanal Wetlands through their waterways, thus providing many other opportunities of encounters with other wildlife. Specialized guides who know the region well lead the expedition and—together with local staff—are valuable and pleasant companions who help you increase your photo and video opportunities.