TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR INTERMEDIATES  | SICILY FOCUS 

Shrugging off its size limitations, Sicily reveals bustling cities, dramatic coastlines and mountainous countryside. This have-it-all Mediterranean island is Italy in microcosm – a dazzling diversity of landscapes and cultural treasures – gently soothed by palm trees and scented orange groves one minute, and exhilarated by exotic architecture (and divine food) the next.

It’s the perfect place to learn the art of travel photography.

Come experience five days of un poco di tutti (a little of all), shooting epic landscapes at Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, black and white reportage at Catania’s famous La Pescheria, before landing in the punchy capital Palermo, with a glut of gutsy galleries and ornate churches, linked by a spaghetti-tangle of mediaeval streets – and discover Italy like it used to be. 

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“Provided all the inspiration needed to turn a happy snapper into a fully-fledged photographer on a photography course including expert tuition and challenging local assignments. Now back home, I hold my camera differently now – no longer a scary piece of equipment, but a tool to work with to create an image. That’s a lasting holiday souvenir.”

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Travel Photography for Intermediates | Highlights.

A historical feast with 300 days of sun per year, spectacular landscapes, and a vibrant culinary scene, Sicily is becoming one of Italy’s buzziest destinations. It’s the perfect location for photography holidays – and learning the art of travel photography.

There’s something for everyone here, so you can craft your own personal style in myriad locations; chance to get under the skin of the island, hang out with some like-minded people, and bring home some killer snaps of your adventures.

The largest Mediterranean island off the southern coast of Italy has a rich history as a nexus of global trade (dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks). Sicilian culture, from the food to the fashion to the art, has been influenced by a unique fusion of forces—the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, you name it. Whether it’s fine wine and good food, ancient ruins or majestic beaches you desire, Sicily has it all.

For aspiring travel photographers, you’ll …

Get the inside track from planning through production to print
Learn to maximise your shooting, and get the shots you want every time
Try out techniques used by pro travel photographers to make your work stand out from the pack
Learn how to bring together single images into a cohesive series
Sequence your shots, so you can do this every time you visit somewhere new
Capture the sunset on the tiny island of Ortigia, apero in hand
Experiment with reportage-style black and white photography at Catania’s famous La Pescheria, to give your series an edge
Photograph landscapes at the summit of Europe’s largest volcano
Try cinematic-lit stylish street shots in downtown Palermo
Shoot cover shots of locals at our pop-up outdoor studio
Complete the journey at one of Europe’s most picturesque beaches

Sicily Travel Photography Masterclass : Itinerary.

An hour drive south of the airport finds sun-baked Syracuse – an entire city listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Basking in balmy spring temperatures – thanks to its rich legacy of Greek and Roman architecture – we’ll head over to the old town and through a maze of winding streets and crammed piazzas to the tiny island of Ortigia.

After a late lunch of gnocci al pistachio on alfresco tables set out on a tranquil cobbled square in front of Syracuse’s 13th-century castle, we’ll introduce the art of travel photography, showing you what works (and what doesn’t) and build an idea of how your style can bring an identity to your travel shots. We’ll also reveal places to sell your work, what those buying are really looking for, and show you places to easily make some passive income from your photography. We’ll celebrate our new skills with an apero, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. Benvenuti a Sicilia!

Up early, we’ll head to Catania, to La Pescheria, the city’s exuberant fish market – and try out some Cartier-Bresson-styled black and white documentary shots, on trend now in many top magazines to give your work edgy street appeal – sharpening our observation, timing and storytelling skills.

With little time to stop for lunch, we’ll swing by the Via Etnea, and pick up some local arancini, and cigar-sized cannolo, crisp light pastry stuffed with sweetened ricotta – passing Taormina, an achingly beautiful town with sweeping views over the Gulf of Naxos, and onwards to Rifugio Sapienza, the base camp on the south side of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest stratovolcano at 3,350m. Here, we’ll take a funicular to 2,450m and then a 4X4 jeep to the very top – just in time to try some soft light landscapes over the crater, and learn the art of the opening shot, trying a range of styles to help your series work better every time.

This morning on our new photography holidays 2020, we’ll cross the spine of Sicily, through hilltop Enna and into the set of Cinema Paradiso at Cefalu – admiring the postcard-pretty honey-hued stone buildings, mosaic-adorned cathedrals and oh-so-lovely beach – before a short hop to Palermo in time for lunch, a to-die-for spaghetti vongole washed down with chilled Pinot Grigio.

In a tiny piazza, we’ll take stock of our series so far, inspecting moodboards to keep our work clear and in style, and helping each of us as a group achieve our aims. Much of the learning isn’t just taking killer shots, you’ll see exactly how to shoot to a plan, and how to bring each component into a cohesive series. Later, we’ll experiment with atmospheric, low-light shots, bringing lifestyle and mood to our work, before enjoying a hard-earned apertivo and dinner in a nearby piazza.

We kick start the day with a traditional gelato brioche before diving into the Dickensian alleyways of La Vucciria – meaning ‘loud voices’ – where hawkers deliver incessant chants from behind stands brimming with mounds of olives, blood oranges, fennel and artichokes.

We’ll set up a pop-up studio, and prepare for the centrepiece of any travel story – the street portrait. We’ll split into groups, pick a spot, and try out some new skills on authentic, always friendly locals. As ever our tutor will be on hand to guide you to greatness, then some free time to roam the magnificently dishevelled streets of Palermo and soak up the atmosphere in one of Italy’s finest cities. After reconvening and a final review of all of our best images, we’ll pick one of the hidden piazzas in the centro storico and dine the night away.

Flights leave late today, so we’ll head an hour west to Scopello, one of the most important Sicilian rural estates. This ancient monumental settlement, enclosed by old perimeter walls, is located around a stunning bay, where majestic rock towers make the seawater look like a lagoon. The day is yours to enjoy in the Zingaro coastal reserve for those jaw-dropping landscape shots that will complete your portfolio: paths rise through untouched hills with wildflowers before dipping to pristine beaches otherwise only reachable by boat – your cameras in hand to shoot these stunning landscapes in majestic light.

We’ll hit the markets en route to grab some fresh fruits, cheeses, meats and local wine, and our team are on hand to help you complete your masterpiece. To close our travel photography masterclass, we’ll head back early evening to the airport and catch our flight back home, complete with a bag of brilliant photos, fun memories and a newfound passion in photography. Once the dust is settled, we’ll then review your final piece, help with the sequencing, and share the series amongst your peers to celebrate all of our hard work.

Sicily Travel Photography Masterclass : Details.

6 – 10 May, 2020
Two spaces left.

7 – 11 October, 2020
Available.

5 days. 4 nights. Starts in Catania and ends in Palermo, Sicily.

£1375 / £195 single supplement

Price includes 
4 nights accommodation at listed hotels (or similar), including breakfast
5 full days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
All airport transfers, plus all transportation around the island
Guided tours of Ortigia, Palermo, Cefalu and Scopello
Cable car and 4X4 Jeep to the summit of Etna
Welcome aperos on the first night
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions

Price excludes flights, lunch and dinner.

 

EasyJet and Ryanair fly to Catania and Palermo direct from London, with prices starting at £45 each way.

"Thank you for an amazing adventure! I learnt so much and had such an incredible time! Creative Escapes is a fantastic company, the whole experience was excellent - from initial queries about the trip, throughout the booking process, and of course - the days away. Great balance of photography, learning, and having fun!"


Sophie Bradley, Southampton