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Bee Orchid Photography Workshops, Dorset
June 2023

Bee orchid [Ophrys apifera]. Photographed in May 2022, near Worth Matravers, Dorset.

1-1 On Location (Purbeck Area)

£150 for 4 hours (half day).

Dorset Bee orchid [Ophrys apifera]

Group Bookings On Location (Purbeck Area)

Price on application (half day).

Dorset Flower Photography Workshops

Why choose me as your teacher?

I have many years’ experience in flower and botanical photography and two RHS medals (Silver-Gilt and Bronze). In 2021, a portfolio of my work was on display in the Saatchi Gallery. You can read about this HERE.

I am passionate about flowers, plants and trees and love to capture images that will last forever, which is especially important in these days of climate change. You can see a portfolio of my botanical photographs HERE.

I often return to the same photo locations each year, just to check that ‘my’ plants are still there. There are already some that have disappeared, either due to being dug up and stolen by humans (yes, unfortunately that happens) or the changing weather conditions.

If I can pass on my enthusiasm for flowers, plants and trees to others, then my job is done.

Read more about Dorset orchids here.

A beautiful pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Bee orchid photography workshop dates

I will be running bee orchid photography workshops in the Purbeck area of Dorset on the following dates:

  • Saturday 3rd June 2023. (HALF DAY – 8am-12 noon)
  • Wednesday 7th June 2023. (HALF DAY 8am-12 noon*)

*The actual teaching part of the workshop is for 4 hours (HALF DAY), but please allow an extra hour or so to include a picturesque walk of about 30 minutes each way to get to the bee orchid location. [Optional: bring a picnic to eat amongst the bee orchids after the workshop finishes]. 

Details of the location will be provided after booking (booking includes a *non-refundable deposit).

* Only refundable if I have to cancel for some reason, e.g. the weather is so bad that there is no window of opportunity for us to re-book.

Bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) in Dorset

These wonderful orchids appear at the end of May and flower through to June. They are beautiful and distinctive-looking orchids, with pale green or pink petals and a brown, velvety lip that looks like a foraging bee.

Bee orchids mimic a female bee both in appearance and smell, to entice male bees to mate with them. The bee then flies on to the next plant and transfers the pollen from the previous orchid, thus aiding pollination.

Although we will be photographing these lovely orchids, there will be plenty of other wildflower photo opportunities, albeit we are primarily there for the bee orchids of course.

How many students are in a class?

These will be small classes, with no more than three students at a time, or on a 1-1 basis.

Please note that if there are not enough students to run a class then I reserve the right to cancel. Should that happen then you will receive a full refund.

What photographic equipment do I need?

To participate you will need to have a DSLR camera that is capable of being used in manual mode (i.e. not set to automatic). You don’t necessarily need to know how to use it in manual mode before the class but it would be helpful if you did, even if it’s just the basics.

Compact and more simple digital cameras would probably not be suitable as they are quite restrictive in the way they work.

It’s also a good idea to bring your camera manual along, as sometimes we might need to change some settings.

You will also ideally need a macro lens or extension tubes, and a tripod, or at the very least something solid and flat to rest your camera on, such as a sturdy camera bag.

I will have a few bits of photographic equipment to lend you on the day, but not cameras. If you have a Nikon DSLR I may, however, be able to lend you a lens to try, but please note that this is not guaranteed.

What to wear & bring with you

Walking boots (or proper wellies) and waterproof/protective clothes are a must. Snacks and drinks, or a picnic if you plan to stay longer. Spectacles (a spare pair is also advisable!) so you can see the flowers properly.

Please be aware that a certain level of agility and awareness of your surroundings is required for this workshop. That’s because it’s usually best to get as low down on the ground as possible to photograph your subject (if you’re able to).  That often means there is a danger of accidentally crushing the orchids and other plants and flowers that grow there. You can bring an old blanket or something to lie down on, but it’s likely that there may not be enough room to use it.

How fit do I need to be to take part?

A reasonable level of fitness is necessary, as there may be a short walk to get to the flowers, sometimes on uneven ground. You will also need to be able to climb a fairly steep slope to find some specimens.

Additionally, it would be best if you are able to get down on the ground on a level with the flowers, although if you really can’t do that it’s okay.

What about the weather?

This is Britain! The 2023 Dorset Flower Photography classes will go ahead unless the weather is really bad (e.g. exceptionally windy and/or rainy). If that’s the case, depending on what we are photographing we may be able to switch the location to somewhere more sheltered, but in the worst-case scenario, we will need to reschedule. If so, time is of the essence as the flowering season of bee orchids is relatively short, especially in hot weather.

Please note that we will usually have an early start, e.g. 8 am, in order to get the best weather conditions (less windy) and good light.

Post-Processing

Please note that in order to edit the photos you take on location, you will need to have access to Lightroom and/or Photoshop for the best results.

Please be aware that editing is not included in these field workshops, although we can have a brief chat about the basics.

Book Your Bee Orchid Photography Lesson

Please contact me here to register your interest or fill out the enquiry form below.

Preferred Workshop Date

Bee orchid [Ophrys apifera]. Photographed in May 2022, near Worth Matravers, Dorset.

Bee orchid growing in Dorset.

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Tiny early spider-orchid [Ophrys sphegodes] in Dorset.

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Beautiful wild pasqueflower at Martin Down NNR on the Hampshire Dorset border

Pasqueflower at Martin Down NNR.

Wimberley The Plamp II - Great for flower and plant photography

Wimberley Plamp II

  • Dimensions: 23 x 4.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Item model number: PP-200
  • Holds reflectors, diffusers and flashlights etc.
  • Allows small adjustments to your subject for alignment in film plane
  • Steadies wind-blown plants for ambient light photography
  • Great for studio use
  • Positions subjects to aid better lighting and focussing

About The Plamp 

One end of the Plamp clamps to your tripod and the other grasps your flower, plant etc.

Use the Plamp to stabilise windblown subjects, adjust the position or angle of your subject, move obstructing foliage, or to hold a diffuser or reflector. 

More Info On Wimberley The Plamp II