Co-founder of The Travel Photographer Of The Year Awards, Chris Coe is a hugely experienced professional travel photographer, writer and photographic tutor, who has shot over 40 travel, photography and coffee table books. He has led many photographic tours in the UK and internationally, including South Africa, Ireland, Morocco and Svalbard.
In April 2020, Chris has agreed to run a Photography Masterclass Safari In Namibia with Wildfoot Travel
Ahead of that amazing trip, we ask Chris a few questions about his love of Namibia and his unique approach to photography courses.
What do you feel makes Namibia so special for photographers?
Photography is my passion. It’s all about light and time, and how you capture and use both creatively to give your images impact. The light in Namibia is fantastic. Also, of course, the stunning diversity of wildlife – large and small – unique landscapes and welcoming people all combine to create an incredible environment for photographers.
What’s your approach to photography tuition?
Photography is akin to playing a musical instrument like a saxophone. When you first pick up a camera, anyone can snap a photograph, when you first pick up a sax you may get a sound out of it but you certainly won’t be playing a melody, that comes with time and practice. Photography itself is actually simple, but it’s made complicated by today’s sophisticated cameras and their confusing menus. My approach to teaching is to simplify and demystify the camera first, then use this knowledge to stimulate your creativity, try new techniques and develop your style and photographic eye for an image which goes beyond the ordinary. My tuition is challenging, at times, but also confidence-building. We won’t get mired too deeply in the technical stuff – although I always ensure that the key technical elements required are covered so that the participants are comfortable and can then move forward as we focus on the creative aspects of the craft.
It’s a group trip, albeit a small one, does that mean all the photo tuition will be as a group?
Not at all! Naturally there will be some group tuition but I will also focus on each participant separately, helping them with specific aspects of their photography which they find difficult as well as techniques, composition and ways of seeing which will take their photography to the next level. At 11 days, this trip gives us masses of time for everyone to make progress in an unhurried way and at a pace that works for them as individuals. And rest assured, we’ll be having creative fun with the camera as well!
What if you have varying levels of photographic skill amongst the participants?
That’s not a problem; it’s something I’d expect. I’m used to dealing with groups that cover everything from raw beginners to what I’d call ‘serious’ amateurs, and even professional photographers.
What do you aim for all participants to have achieved by the end of the trip?
To feel that their photography has taken a major step forward, to feel more confident technically and creatively, to have learnt how to ‘see’ an image within a landscape or subject, and to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves, coming away with memories and photographic skills to last a lifetime. It’s a fabulous trip to a glorious country; I can’t wait!
Testimonials From Chris’s Tuition
“Clear, honest and impartial tuition with passion and motivation – liberating, stimulating, informative, digestible and confidence-building.”
Andrew Boddington, course participant
“Despite the many courses I’ve been on, your course was the one from which I learnt the most. What you taught me about composition is now almost intuitive and applied every time I compose or edit an image!”
Adrian Hollister, course participant
“Chris’s expert tuition, both general and tailored to each individual, meant I got the most out of every photo opportunity. Feedback and discussion on the images I had taken, both from the composition and technical viewpoint, meant I have come away with a new and refreshed approach to making images. Highly recommended.”
“Chris provided expert tuition, tailored to our individual needs throughout the course, often continuing late into the evening if we wanted it. Nothing was too much trouble.”
“Very many thanks to Chris for a really good day’s training in London yesterday. It was a cold day and a few showers, but I learnt a lot even though I thought my knowledge of photography was fairly good! The group was friendly and we all benefited from the day – and of course the location was stunning. This is the second time i have met Chris and certainly find his training really easy to follow. He takes everything a step at a time and goes over points until he’s sure that we have understood and can put them into practise.”