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Portmeirion & Photography

Posted by admin on October 2, 2015



Guest Blog by Joe Wainwright Photography

Residential Photography Course at Rivercatcher 4 – 6 November 2015

I’m delighted to be working with the very talented photographer and trainer Jane Burkinshaw, on a new residential photographic training course at Rivercatcher, later this autumn.

Called ‘Get creative with your camera - How to unlock the potential of your D-SLR’, the three day, two night course takes place from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th November 2015.

It’s aimed at people with DSLRs or Compact System Cameras (with interchangeable lenses) who want to move away from the automatic camera settings and explore more creative forms of photography.

Photographers who attend the course will discover the best settings for taking photographs in different light conditions, including indoors, outdoors, daytime and sunset (if the weather allows). They will also have the opportunity to explore various types of photography, including portraits, landscape, architecture, still life and close up.

I’m a professional, freelance garden and travel photographer – and as part of the course, we will be visiting one of my favourite places, the Italianate village of Portmeirion, where course members will be able to unleash their new-found skills.  

In many ways the village couldn’t be more Welsh. It’s located in the ancient county of Gwynedd, in the village and community of Penrhyndeudraeth, and on the estuary of the River Dwyryd.

Yet when you enter Portmeirion you are transported to the Mediterranean.  There are brightly coloured buildings; winding streets; a picturesque Bell Tower (or Campanile); and the great dome of The Pantheon, dominating everything below.

This Italianate village was the work of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.  He built Portmeirion between 1925 and 1976 on the coast of Snowdonia.  His aim was to show that, through the use of excellent architecture, a site can be developed in harmony with its naturally beautiful surroundings. He did a fantastic job – the village crowns a lovely wooded hillside, which descends to a golden beach and the waters of the estuary. 

We chose Portmeirion for our visit because it has such great potential for photography. When I visit I concentrate on capturing images of the beautiful coastline – and I then follow the footpath that skirts the beach as it ascends into woodlands, which boast vibrant autumnal colours.

In the village itself, I not only photograph the stunning buildings, such as the Bristol Collonade, Pantheon and Campanile, I also focus on the richly planted gardens located, in part, around the Central Piazza.  And I always take pictures of the architectural detail, such as statues and murals, and capture the winding cobbled streets that pass through richly painted arches into other, undiscovered corners of the village.

If you want a taster of what this fabulous place has to offer, you can see more photos in the Portmeirion Gallery on my website at  To find out more about my work, you can visit my website’s About page.

The course costs £450 per person, or £350 per person if sharing a room – with a discount of £50 available for those booking before Sunday, 4th October. Twin beds and doubles are available.  The course fee includes three days photography tuition; digital copies of all course materials as well as transport to and from Portmeirion, and entry to the village.

It also covers two nights’ ensuite accommodation with breakfast, lunch at Rivercatcher on Tuesday and Wednesday, evening meals and light refreshments.

The beginning of November brings with it rich autumn colours, mists, frosts and magical light – and Jane and I are looking forward to providing a memorable and informative experience for all those who attend our course in this beautiful corner of Wales, at that most atmospheric time of year.