Creative Courses

Creatively re-set your photography with Colin and Adam

Our short, residential photography courses on Easdale island in 2022:

Practical Storytelling

30 July – 2 August, 2022
10 – 13 September 2022

Develop Your Narrative

3 – 6 August 2022
14 – 17 September 2022

Three-nights accommodation, two full days practical, hands-on, supported photography tuition – and delicious, home-prepared food in a unique island environment.

***Watch our short promotional film about Easdale island and the courses.***

Pick up your camera and come to Easdale island.

For the last five years, professional photographers Colin McPherson and Adam Lee have welcomed participants to two distinctive and rewarding short, residential courses. It is your opportunity to visit the island, to work with us creatively and develop your photography skills whilst enjoying the stunning scenery, comfortable accommodation and delicious home-cooked food.

We have two separate courses and both are hands-on and fully supported, with participants guided in how to take and edit a series of photographs to create a visual story. These short courses are aimed at people who love photography and want to take their practice to a new level. Colin and Adam will help you explore what makes a great photograph and how to take one. Our aim is to share our knowledge and experience with you, to spark your creativity and to give you the confidence to explore new ways of seeing and making photographic images. The courses are run over two full days (three nights), and allows you time and space to explore and photograph. You will be given one-on-one support and the opportunity to share and discuss your work with others in the group.

Practical Storytelling: This course is more technical, in the sense that we try to enhance the practical skills of our participants. On the first day we deconstruct what a photograph is, looking at composition, lighting and how to make the best use of the environment you find yourself in to make impactful, interesting and creative images. There’s lots of technical hands-on help so you can develop new skills such as long exposures, silhouettes and portraits. We then move on to looking how this can be built into a series of images which tells a basic story, by thinking through ideas and then going out and illustrating them. The second day is very much about developing and delivering the idea and we look at editing and sequencing, all building towards presenting your photo story to the group. Everything is totally supported and participants can benefit from both Colin’s and Adam’s years of experience and knowledge in practical and hands-on teaching.

Develop Your Narrative: This course, although more theoretical in its foundation, also arrives at the same point as Practical Storytelling: participants will shoot a short visual story, however, we are looking for something more narrative-based for this outcome. On the first day, we look at the way narrative is used in art and photography and we will also examine the idea of what representation means in images. These can be used as the building blocks for participants to put together an idea and illustrate it. Again, we aspire to produce technically good work, therefore you will be advised and supported in areas where we think you could strengthen your practice. At the end of the two days, you will have a story to show and tell.

Please get in touch for a more detailed description of what we can offer on each respective course and how to book on.

We are delighted to offer places on the courses for a fee of £395.00*. All we require is an initial small deposit to secure your place, with the balance due two months prior to the commencement of your course. 

*Price if paying by bank transfer. If paying by debit/credit card, the fee is £415.00

We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, wish to know more about the island, the course or the teachers, please get in touch via the enquiry form below.

Payment can be made by bank transfer, credit/debit card or PayPal.

We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, wish to know more about the island, the course or the teachers, please get in touch via the enquiry form below.

“I’m so happy I attended the weekend photography course on Easdale island. In addition to their wealth of technical experience both Colin and Adam are patient and supportive instructors. They made sure everyone felt comfortable regardless of their experience level.” 

AE, Edinburgh

The course is hosted and run by professional photographers Colin McPherson and Adam Lee, both of whom have distinguished careers and a wealth of experience in teaching and running practical photography workshops. Participant numbers will be between five and six per course and you will be accommodated in one of two beautiful cottages (Chattan and An Rubha) which look out over the Firth of Lorne to the neighbouring island of Mull. Each participant will have her/his own separate bedroom.

We welcome anyone on to the course who has an interest in taking photographs, even if your chosen camera is a Smartphone. Although there will not enough time to teach individuals about the basics of cameras, we can offer to guide you in many of the basic rules of image making which will help you create stunning pictures.

“I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed the course, a truly inspiring experience… I’ve been doing lots of reflecting about what we covered and trying to put it into practice!”

SM, Argyll

Each participant will have plenty of time each day to put what they have learned into practice and you will be encouraged to make and share your work with the other participants at the end of each day. Adam and Colin will always be on hand to offer advice, guidance and cups of tea. There will also be plenty of down time – an opportunity to socialise and share stories and experiences – and to ask lots of questions. We’ll talk about what inspires us to take photographs, how we can turn ideas into stories and how to undertake and complete projects. You will have the chance to have your portfolio reviewed by both Adam and Colin, so please bring some examples of your work with you if you wish.

You will stay on the island for three nights and departure will be on the morning after day two of the course.

What is included:

All teaching, guidance and encouragement to take great photographs. We have a large communal lounge with big screen for looking at and reviewing work. Theory and practice will take place both inside and outside, so come prepared to be on the move.

Your accommodation. For your three-night stay we have accommodation in two traditionally designed, modern cottages, Chattan and An Rubha. We have six bedrooms for participants (Adam and Colin will stay in separate accommodation on the island). Each cottage has its own well-equipped kitchen, generously-sized bathroom and communal area for socialising. Both cottages have gardens, with Chattan also having a patio to the rear.

All your meals. The following will be offered as part of the course fee: continental breakfasts on the four mornings of your stay, including day of departure. A freshly-prepared lunch, consisting of soup, sandwiches and salad on each of two full days of the course. Home cooked evening meals, which will be served in one of the cottages to allow everyone to eat together. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be provided.  On the last evening, we recommend the short trip to the island’s award-winning Puffer restaurant to sample some of the finest local seafood and other produce from Argyll. This will be at your discretion but it’s well worth it and we encourage all the participants to join us for the meal.

We can arrange free travel to-and-from Oban, the nearest major town to Easdale island (15 miles by road). Oban has railway and bus stations and is a two-and-a-half hours drive from Glasgow airport.

What is not included:

Travel to and from Easdale island. You will be asked to make your own way to either Oban or down to the island and to time your arrival for the late afternoon before the day the course commences.

Cameras and other equipment for your use. We recommend you bring your own camera, with a small selection of lenses if appropriate, a tripod or stabiliser, flashlight and suitable clothing for all weathers, including robust footwear. Either a laptop or external hard-drive to store images is essential.

Your personal insurance. Easdale Experiences, who are facilitating the courses, have all the necessary insurance policies in place for your protection, however, we recommend you have your own travel and personal insurance in the event that you are unable to attend the course after booking, are delayed in your arrival/departure or that your equipment becomes faulty or damaged.

“Thank you for organising such an enjoyable and stimulating trip, and for all the patient teaching and encouragement that you and Adam offered.” 

MD, Manchester

“This was a fantastically engaging course which I couldn’t recommend enough for a person of any level of experience to do. Colin and Adam were excellent hosts and teachers.” 

EC, East Lothian

Meet the tutors…

Born in Edinburgh, Colin McPherson has been photographing at home and abroad for a three decades. He undertakes long-term projects alongside commissions and assignments for a number of newspapers and magazines and is represented by the Getty agency. He was a major contributor to the The Independent and was the official photographer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay. In 2012, he was a founder member of the Document Scotland photography collective. His work is published internationally and held in archives and collections such as the Scottish national photographic archive. His photography has been featured in more than 30 solo and group exhibitions including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and Impressions Gallery, Bradford. His latest exhibition of work made on Easdale island was shown at five venues across Scotland and England in 2019. Like fellow tutor Adam Lee, he is a member of the SixBySix photography collective, based on Merseyside.

Adam is a freelance photographer and photography facilitator based in Liverpool. His work has been published in a number of national newspapers including the Observer, the Independent on Sunday as well as commissions for other magazines such as Aeon and Earthlines and clients such as Granta. Aside from commissioned work, Adam also undertakes personal projects, which have been exhibited across the North West of England. As a facilitator Adam works with a wide range of groups including adult and young people. His clients include Blackpool Museum, Liverpool City Council, Preston City Council, The Library of Birmingham, Redeye the Photography Network, Halton Borough Council and Halton CGG amongst others. Much of this work involve teaching photography skills to groups so that they can tell their own stories and advocate for the issues that affect them. Adam has received Art Council England funding for a number of these projects. Recently, Adam has started undertaking long distance walks, which included walking 600 miles along the Pamir Highway in Central Asia. During 2018, he walked the length of Britain with his companion, Martin the Donkey. Adam has written extensively about his adventures.

Join the conversation

On our Easdale Island Photography Courses Facebook page.

Participant portfolios

Check out some of the work made on our courses

Enquiry Form