photography workshops auto to manual in one day

Auto to Manual in 1 day

Photography Workshops for Beginners

Got yourself a camera but don’t know how to use it?

We’ll teach you how in just one day.

1-to-1 Class | By Zoom | £150

Your camera is really easy to use when you know how. Join one of our 1-to-1 live photography workshops with one of our professional photographers to learn in simple, non-technical language exactly how to operate your camera on Manual setting. That way you can take full advantage of your camera, and start shooting images you can be proud of.

We’ve been teaching people how to use their cameras for over a decade, on our award-winning photography holidays, so we know a thing or two about improving your camera skills. In fact, we’re so confident we can get you off Auto setting, we’ll guarantee you’ll use your Manual setting before you finish the session.

So, come join us on our jargon-free day, learn how to create the pictures you want to make and take control of your camera.

"Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner."

- Marius Vieth

What you'll learn ...

We’ve all been there. You plough through the manual that comes with the camera for a while, but it’s about as clear as mud. You know that Auto setting isn’t really making full use of all the functions on the camera. And you’re keen to create exactly the pictures you want to take. But how do you get there?

On our 1-day photography workshops, we’ll give you simple, clear instruction on how your camera works. Then we’ll try out a range of different shots – portraits, still life, landscapes and more. To really see what your equipment will do.

Between 10am to 3pm, we’ll guide you slowly through only the essential switches and buttons – all in non-technical language – so it’s easy to understand. You’ll get 1-on-1 tuition at a pace that suits you. In no time you’ll be using your camera ready to take any type of shot – in any situation. And once you’ve grasped it, we’ll try out a range of professional styled shots on location to really show you what your camera can do.

In summary, you’ll get,
  • Non-technical tuition from Auto to Manual setting, at a pace that suits you
  • Guarantee you’ll be on Manual by the end of the day
  • Get 1-to-1 guidance from a professional photographer
  • Try out a range of professional-styled shots on location, so you can start to shoot images that you love
  • Have your shots reviewed at the end of the day

"You don't take a photograph. You make it."

— Ansel Adams

How to book a place ...

If you want to join us, simply click the ‘BOOK NOW’ button below – or if you have a question, click the ‘MAKE ENQUIRY’  – or drop us a line to and we’ll get straight back to you.

For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson

A little bit about us ...

At Creative Escapes, we’ve been running our award-winning photography holidays & photography workshops since 2007, and have taken hundreds of clients from Beginner to competent photographers in next-to-no time.  

Recommended by The Sunday TelegraphThe GuardianWall Street Journal and many more, our hand-built luxury photography holidays combine boutique accommodation, off-the-beaten track activities, low-tech tuition and small group sizes.

We’re well known for our tuition style – very informal, lots of fun and definitely non-techy. So why not come along, meet the team, and finally get to grips with your camera.

Retouch Header

Learn retouching from a pro

Got lots of pictures … (but need a tweak?)

We’ve teamed up with a top professional retoucher, who’ll reveal all his Lightroom secrets, 1-to-1.


Half Day Workshop | By Zoom | £100


We’ve all surfed the web, watched a few ‘How To’ videos, bought magazines, books, downloaded free eBooks …. but ended up none the wiser. Retouching tips are either too complicated, too fast or simply teach something that looks in the end, well, not that great.

Sadly, there’s not much time during our fabulous photography holidays to learn the deeper art of retouching, so … we’ve teamed up with Ryan Davies, top professional advertising retoucher for the likes of Puma, BBC, FatFace, Snow & Rock, Conde Nast and Endemol, who’ll show you how, 1-to-1.

He’ll show you all the tricks he uses on all his advertising jobs, whether that’s from his recent assignment for Puma shooting Lewis Hamilton, or on location this year in Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, and South Africa.

As you might imagine, retouchers of this calibre are £££, but thankfully he’s agreed to a hugely discounted rate of £100 per session.

So, come join us, learn retouching – live – guided – and turn those images sleeping on your PC into trophies!

"Today there is too much retouching, and I don't like it, except on me."

- Carine Roitfeld

What you'll learn ...

Each image needs it’s own recipe to shine, not a few generic styles or plug-ins.

How about actually improving your images, with a 1-to-1 tutor, a program customised exactly to you, at your own pace? Using your images as examples.

On our half-day 1-to-1 retouching workshop, we’ll give you simple, clear instruction at each stage of the process. (There’s no-one else there, so you can tailor the program to suit your exact needs). We’ll try out a range of different styles, and use only your images, so half the job is already done.

At a date and time that suits you both, Ryan will guide you live (even showing you remotely on your own PC) every trick, tip and contemporary style he’s used in 20 years retouching advertising images. He’ll start at a level that suits you best – helping you gently enhance your work so it retains the essence of each picture.

In summary, you’ll get,
  • A half-day live workshop 1-to-1 with a top advertising retoucher
  • Remote access to your PC to show you each technique in detail
  • Using your own images so you end up with a collection with more punch
  • Suitable for all levels of tech skill

"Please don't touch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them."

— Anna Magnani

How to book a place ...

Since Ryan is mostly off shooting jobs on location,  we can only take limited numbers – so places are strictly limited and first come, first served. If you want to sign up, simply click the ‘BOOK NOW’ button below – or if you have a question, click the button next to it  – or email us as normal to – and we’ll get straight back to you.

trainride in sri lanka

Photography Tours Sri Lanka - August 2017

Ahh Sri Lanka. A country of lush jungle and paddy fields. Of misty hill country carpeted with the vivid green manicured tea gardens. Of white beaches and impossibly blue sea. It’s really rather perfect.

From enjoying one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys across lush carpeted plantations, to scouting leopards by fast Jeep, interiors in thousand year old caves, and more than one delicious curry, we weaved our way through country and beach to shoot the highlights of this wonderful place.

 Thanks again for all of you who came on our Sri Lanka photography tours – Rebecca truly had an amazing time with you all.

Creative Escapes Sri Lanka
photo tours sri lanka
Perahera 2017
Temple of the Tooth
sri lanka photography tours
sri lanka photography tours 2017

If you’re after variation, this is the trip for you. We start with the basics in Colombo, the garden city of the east, and quickly get up to speed with our apertures and shutter speeds – it’s easy when you know how.

We toured some local villages, then headed up to hill country, to Kandy, the cultural centre, and in time for Perahera, one of the most famous Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. Once there, we got behind the scenes and shot some candid portraits of the performers, took some stunning low light shots of the party procession, even got some interiors of a thousand year old UNESCO Heritage site.

Then it was onto the incredible train journey, weaving our way across the spine of the island, observing endless undulating tea carpeted landscapes, meeting local monks travelling between stops, and into some fabulous weather. We hit the jeeps in Yala National Park, drank the world’s most expensive tea and of course, shot the famous stilt fishermen at sunset.

Here our are shots of the week from our Sri Lanka Photography Tours …

Shot of the Week – Rebecca

Our nicknamed ‘2.8’ photographer! Having shot for a while and a previous Creative Escapes traveller – Rebecca had a natural eye for light and story! Always finding the perfect angle and shooting with such clarity, this image was taken (at f2.8) on our day at the local fish market in Negombo! Magnificent image!

rebecca danby creative escapes

Shot of the Week – Felicity

Felicity captured this gorgeous image of a tea picker working at a tea plantation, as they work and move very fast through the tea plants. Felicity did a good job to capture her portrait with such pose. Great composition, strong narrative and capturing colours!

Tea Picker Photography Tour Sri Lanka

Shot of the Week – Jane

Jane was grinning so much when she showed this one to the group! A magical Shot taken on the amazing train ride from Kandy to Ella, We were lucky enough to be surrounded by young monks on the last few stops of the trip, his calm stare, composition and eye-catching glowing light makes this one a real winner! Well done Jane!

Jane Savage Creative Escapes

Shot of the Week – John

Wanting to explore Black and white imagery during his trip in Sri Lanka, John spent time mixing natural and flash light in his work. A truly clever social documentary photographer always ready for that moment, the decisive moment! This image was part of 3 black and white images presented to the group on our final evening. John portrayal of Sri Lankan people and their connection with the ocean was a stunner. So energetic and striking! You should be very proud!

Photography tours sri lanka

Shot of the Week – Julie

After proclaiming her husband was the real photographer and she just set it to Auto – Julie really excelled from beginner to full manual confident portrait photographer in only 10 days. Always finding stories and connecting with her subjects – and was nicknamed by the group our ‘emotional’ photographer. This photograph was taken at a local food market in Colombo. Beautiful.

Creative Escapes Sri Lanka 2017

Shot of the Week – Louise

After conquering her fear of taking portraits of strangers, Louise found this gentlemen down the backstreets of Galle, he told her his story and she created this superb image. Such a strong Portrait with atmospheric light. Awesome shot and great story to tell along with it!

sri lanka photo tours creative escapes

Shot of the Week – Varsha

Our very own abstract photographer, always taking one step back to view the situation before finding her unusual angle and perspective. Varsha always shoots with a strong narrative that’s isn’t always obvious at first. This shot was taken on our safari day in Yala national park. An impactful black and white shot that fills the screen with beautiful detail.

sri lanka tourism photos

So which one was your favourite. Let us know below!

cuba creative escapes header

Cuba Photography Tour June 2017 Highlights

Timeworn yet magnificent, dilapidated but dignified, fun and full of energy – our fifth year in Cuba – and still a country of indefinable magic.

We chose early June to land, with fewer tourists, great weather and no hurricanes in sight.  We based ourselves in a 5* hotel overlooking the sea, and slowly worked our way behind the scenes far from tourists to get a unique insight into what makes this country tick.

We shot sunsets from the back of a 50’s Buick, got private access to the Ballet, rolled up some passable cigars in a place Arnie buys his, even stopped in for tea to see Roberto Salas, Fidel’s personal photographer. In sleepy Trinidad, we shot classic B&W street photography in this UNESCO-listed site, had more mojitos than we should have, and ate some of the most delicious food in Cuba.

Thanks again for all of you who participated, it was one to remember.

Cuba photographic workshop june 2017
Our collective spending power can make real change to the people at the destinations we go to. By incorporating them in the process we not only benefit from unique experiences but genuinely help them. Creative Escapes are proud to support chosen NGOs, Art organizations, and remote community initiatives on every trip.
photographic tours of cuba
Client Image : Sanjay
photo tours cuba
Client image : Sanjay

We began where every great trip should start. At the bar. And not just any bar, one where Al Capone used to meet all the mafia bosses in the twenties, still with comfy leather club chairs, a rum selection to die for and a cigar room haunted by celebs.

Steering clear of the few tourists that were around in this low season, we ducked through the graffiti-laced backstreets to see the real Cuba, heading west in old Buicks to see Roberto Salas, and shot scapes of the city from our private teaching space. A quick detour out to the tobacco fields of Vinales, shoot some candid portraits of farmers (and roll a few) plus enjoy a spectacular lunch of organic food with jaw dropping views of the valley.

Then honey cocktails in Trinidad (yum), got very tanned, and discovered perfect conditions aboard our bar/train out to Valle de los Ingenios. A quick portrait shoot with some horses, we were back in Havana at the ballet, shooting graffiti, boxers in training, and candids inside locals houses. We shot in a school, a nearby artists community, and even more portraits inside houses. A stunning, lively, and 100% fun 11 days in the tropics!

Here our are shots of the week from our Cuba Photography Tour

Shot of the Week – Mette

Like all Creative Escapers, Mette loves to travel. She wanted to become more proficient as a photographer so she can enjoy making pictures when exploring the globe. Mette had little experience shooting manually, but got to grips with the technical aspects of photography quickly – which gave her plenty of time to make more creative work. 

Mette is very a considerate photographer and responded really well to our recommended approach of of shooting fewer images of higher quality. Mette had no interest in shooting cliche and as we kept shooting, we realised she had a particular interest in photographing how women and children fit into Cuban culture. Feeling relaxed about her technical skills, she took some very strong portraits in Trinidad – like this one – and on our return to Havana, nailed it at the ballet and the boxing gym. Great fun to be with, top time and lovely work. Super well done!

cuba photography workshop june 2017

Shot of the Week – Ian

Ian was a complete newcomer to manual photography and used the Escape to firmly get to grips with his camera. With guided tuition was making consistently accurate manual exposures within a day. And, although he didn’t realise it at first, he also has a good instinct for composition and this together with observations of colour and light, his confidence grew quickly.

On the first day Ian was less sure about what to photograph, but it the aid of a variety of practical briefs, he quickly got his eye in and used each photographic assignment to explore and experience Cuba further. Initially less interested in photographing people, Ian got great results when shooting the portraiture, in both Havana and Trinidad, where he shot this cracker of a boy playing in the street. Well done you. 

cuba photography tour june 2017 highlights

Shot of the Week – Søren

Søren is a Cuba regular and has been making images for some time – but enjoyed getting back to basics and refreshing his technical skills before being set loose to make pictures. 

He set himself some tough challenges, such as making his own location backdrop and hanging it in the town square! Shoot after shoot, he started to see a marked development in his approach to documentary, street and portrait photography and came back with an amazing portfolio of work. In fact, come the end, he began to collate an emerging body of work exploring his passion about Cuba – which we hope to see as a book in the near future. Good luck Søren. 

photography holidays cuba

Shot of the Week – Sanjay

Sanjay is passionate about photography, with a particular interest in portraiture. He is pretty confident approaching people – and probably photographed half the population of Trinidad and visited most of them at home! 

Although having already developed an approach to making a successful photographs, he was less experienced at making images containing narrative and also needed guidance building photographs into a series. During the holiday, we worked on broadening his stylistic repertoire, and considered different approaches to working in series. Sanjay has the ability to be a bit of a chameleon aesthetically so we also worked on strengthening his ‘visual voice’ as a photographer by shooting around a concise theme. And from that, some lovely images flowed.

photography tour cuba june 2017

So which one was your favourite. Let us know below!