I have been privileged in my photographic journey to learn from the experience and expertise of others. As a result, I enjoy sharing something of my experiences with others. This is partly through my blog and eBooks, but also via presentations and workshops in camera clubs and with other organisations in Northern Ireland.

My presentation style is relaxed and interactive. Through the use of examples, stories and technical tips, I aim to share the things I have learned in my own photographic journey so far. Here are the various presentations I offer (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the booking form).

5 reasons why you shouldn’t be a landscape photographer

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With my tongue firmly in my cheek, I'll try to persuade you not to be a landscape photographer as I take you to the scary Giant's Causeway in the middle of the night, the snowy Mournes in the middle of a blizzard, and the blowy Faroe Islands at the top of some really, really steep cliffs. Quite honestly, you'll struggle to see why I bother leaving my sofa at all...

This, one of my most popular presentations, is designed more as a motivational talk. If you’d like a breath of fresh air in your group, a presentation designed to get people enthused again about photography - or if you’d just like a good night’s craic and fun, with stories and anecdotes about the highs and lows of being out in the landscape in all sorts of conditions - then this presentation is for you!

Don't be afraid of the dark

An introduction to astro photography

This is an introduction to low light photography. In this presentation, I cover the basic camera settings you will need for shooting low light photography, briefly starting with urban areas before moving on to astrophotoraphy. I will be trying not only to give you tips about how to use your camera in the dark, but also to comminucate something of the thrill of being out under the stars, and why you should leave the warmth and comfort of your sofa behind for the cold chills of night! 

There are four basic sections to it:

  • My journey to the dark side... - how I got interested in low light photography in the first place

  • Night photography in urban areas - how to begin to develop your low light photography skills in an environment where there is still some light

  • Astrophotography - how to extend your skills by photographing some of the amazing astronomical phenomena on view above us, from some very dark skies locations. This section gives you ideas about various astro projects you could try, including: chasing the Milky Way, various aspects of Lunar photography, night lightning photography, star trails photography, moonbows and more. It is desgned to inspire you with ideas that you might to try out for yourself.

  • Aurora photography - a brief introduction into photographing one of nature's most beautiful night sky features, the Northern Lights. This is an excerpt from my Aurora Chasing talk, and covers what it's like to actually witness this stunning night display for yourself.

Not so dark after all

Taking your astro photography to the next level

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This presentation builds from my introduction presentation, 'Don't be afraid of the dark'. After recapping on some of the basics of astro photography from that talk, I take you on a journey to some of the more advanced aspects of photographing the stars including the use of the tracker, image stacking, deep space objects, and my trip to Tenerife last summer to photograph the stars! In this talk, I will open your eyes to just how much light there is to be captured in the night sky - and how much of it you can image using the camera gear you probably already have in your camera back

The second part of it is a photoshop tutorial where I show you some of the techniques I've mastered to get the most out of your astro photos. Post production is a big part of successful astro photography, but it can be hard to know how to get the best from your shots. In this second half, I’ll let you into the magicians circle of trust and reveal some of my most guarded secrets - as long as you promise to keep them to yourself…!!

A Beginner's Guide to Aurora Chasing

In this presentation, I use photographs and multimedia content to share some of the secrets that I have taught myself on how to forecast the aurora, so that you too will have more of a chance of being able to witness this incredible natural phenomenon for yourself. The presentation is divided into three sections:

  • Forecasting the aurora - all you need to know about the science of forecasting, broken down into easily digestible form

  • Observing the aurora - what you can expect to see when out aurora chasing

  • Photographing the aurora - how to capture the beauty of the lights with your own camera

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Vision: light & form

The art of landscape photography

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others," said Jonathan Swift. And vision lies at the heart of what turns a snap shot - simply a record of you having been somewhere - into a photograph - a picture that will cause others to pause, to look carefully and to enjoy as a piece of artwork in its own right. Being able to see how the elements available to you in a landscape may be arranged and composed; being able to see how best to use the light the is available to you to bring that magic atmosphere to your compositions. These are the key ingredients to lift your photography to that next level.

This talk is suitable for beginners in landscape photography, but also has something for those more experienced. In it, I aim to unpack why the various 'rules' for landscape photography work, so you can know how to use them better - and when to ignore them completely. Using many key quotations from famous photographers and a series of key questions from myself, I will guide you on a self-reflective journey that will allow you to consider your own photographic vision and how you can extend and develop it.

  • Form: thinking compositionally about landscapes

  • Light: creating mood and atmosphere in your landscapes

  • Vision: how you can begin to develop your eye to increasingly see the world around you through the prisms of composition and light

Through a series of practical tips, illustrated with my photos and stories behind the shots, this presentation will help you expand your photographic vision, whether you shoot with an expensive DSLR - or your iPhone is your camera of choice. 

Over the hill…?

Why it’s never too late to start photographing mountains

For some reason that I can't for the life of me fathom, I waited till my mid forties before I ventured up into the unparalleled wonders that lie beyond the Mourne Wall. And since then, I've been more than making up for lost time! Through the use of personal stories and anecdotes, I will take you on a journey of discovery into the heart of the magical Kingdom of Mourne. We will travel there both day and night, winter and summer, under bright blazing sun and under menacing dark skies. I'll not only share some of the many amazing locations you could visit, but I'll also give you tips on mountain photography, including compositional and lighting advice that will help you capture something of the stunning beauty in front of you when you next venture up somewhere high up. 

But our journey will not confine us to Co Down, amazing a location as it is. For we will journey a bit further afield as I take you to some of the other mountains I've photogaphed, including Benbulbin in Co. Sligo,  Snowdownia in Wales, and even the exotic mountains of the Faroe Islands. Pull on your metaphorical hiking boots and join me as we head for the hills!

Testimonials & reviews

What an amazing night and a genuine, down to earth guy. Superb balance of wit, science and photography.
— Dave
You could hear a pin drop tonight. Great enthusiasm from Alistair. Now, where did I leave those thermals?
— Matthew
Excellent night! Fantastic speaker - lots of excellent information conveyed in a totally engaging way.
— Kate

Check out this write up on one of my presentations in Focus Camera Club, Craigavon.

Arrange a presentation

If you are interested in inviting my along to do a presentation at your club or organisation, please complete the following form and I will get back in touch with you.

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