Joy of Seeing – Manzac d’en Bas
A Mindful Photography Week at Manzac d’en Bas
Manzac d’en Bas is run by Giles and Louise Nevill, who have been offering painting holidays and artists retreats since 2008. In 2014 they have incorporated photography holidays, and we are thrilled to be among the first to run our courses there.
Manzac d’en Bas is blessed with a wide variety of locations within easy reach, including mediaeval french villages with their markets, Cathar castles, mountain lakes and views of the Pyrenees.
Rediscover the Joy of Seeing
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera” – Dorothea Lange
This photography week with a difference is a wonderful way to bring ourselves into the present moment, to experience fully and to rediscover the beauty in everyday things around us. By being mindful and immersing ourselves in our surroundings, photographs will flow to us naturally.
We will learn to notice when we see something, to ask “what stopped me” and to REALLY see what is there for what it is, without judgement. Making the photograph is just the final step.
The practice of photography can be a joyful and therapeutic pastime in itself, allowing us to express ourselves and ideas in new and individual ways.
Some of the ideas we work with include:
- putting aside our preconceptions about what makes for “good” photography
- being mindful and in the moment
- letting go – learning to see without judgement
- understanding core principles of visual design, which help us to arrange our subject matter
- taking part in exercises and assignments, some as a group and others designed uniquely for you as an individual
- uncovering blocks and unhelpful self-talk that prevent us from expressing ourselves fully
- sharing, talking, laughing, relaxing: creating the right conditions for good creative flow
Manzac d’en Bas
Everything you need to know about Manzac d’en Bas can be found on this special page below:
Do be aware that we are trying to do something different here. This workshop is a mix of a relaxing holiday, seeing and experiencing the place, and being mindful in seeing and making photographs. By coming on our workshop you are investing in your approach to our wonderful artform of photography.
Nothing is off limits except being closed to possibilities – your willingness to come with an open mind, both for images you will make and for appreciating those that your companions will make.
If it is your wish to “do better” in competitions and to gain distinctions, we believe that the individual expression we encourage is the best and most fulfilling way to achieve those aims. Having the confidence to express how you see and respond to the world in your own unique way is perhaps the final test of an artist.
If you are competitive, then we hope it is only be a better and more complete photographer when you leave than when you came.
These workshops are suitable for photographers of all levels of experience.
If you are a beginner then it will be very helpful to be familiar with the important features of your camera camera and to have some knowledge of the core principles of exposure, and depth of field.
If you are a seasoned enthusiast, then maybe a change of scenery and a fresh outlook could be the catalyst for a whole new phase in your creative work. Our “ rediscover the joy of seeing” approach could be just the perfect creative tonic.
We will be encouraging spontaneity and lightness, and learning how to perfect your hand-holding. To that end you may find that a compact camera gives you the freedom to travel and work light.
If you bring an SLR camera, prime or zoom lenses in the 18-55mm (28-70mm) range will be most useful. The more you are weighed down by equipment and choices, the less mindful your photography is likely to be.
You are very welcome to use a camera-phone too, but we will be encouraging you to see directly rather than through apps, and it would be beneficial if the phone is not your only option.
- Storage cards and spare batteries
- Your camera manual – !Important
- Your charger and plug adapters
- Tripod – but see above re spontaneity
In order that we can share work with each other, it would be very helpful to bring a laptop or tablet device with you, including the means to transfer images from your camera to your device.
Please note, however, this is not a course in post production using Adobe Photoshop or other editors. Our main concern is good camerawork, so you should expect to share work that is straight out of camera.
If you need further advice, please get in touch with us.
We will not be mountaineering! More information will follow about the local area, but we do not expect to be making walks of more than 5 miles.
Do bring walking shoes and a day rucksack that will hold your photography kit and a few essentials.
The back streets in hill villages can often be very steep if you explore away from the village centre. Please do ask if you you have any mobility difficulties.
Manzac d’en Bas provides a minibus seating up to eight passengers for airport transfers and transportation during the week. This is included in the holiday.
Please come back for information regarding local climate and recommended clothing.
Other than that, you will know what you like to take away with you. Again more information and advice is available on the Manzac d’en Bas website.
£300£200 per photographer per week plus accommodation and flights
- Accommodation at Manzac: €795 per person single / €715 sharing
Please contact us with all enquiries about this holiday. We will arrange for booking forms to be sent to you.
For full details of accommodation, please see Manzac d’en Bas website.
- 6 nights’ accommodation
- All meals at Manzac d’en Bas
- Photography coaching on five days
- Airport transfers
- Transportation during the week
- Flights / travel to Ariège
- Two meals out locally
- Your personal travel and liability insurances (compulsory)