Macro Masterclass

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Macro Masterclass

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

  • Photograph insects and plants to reveal tiny details.
  • Create high impact compositions.
  • Use off-camera flash for creative lighting.
  • Use focus stacking to gain extended depth of field.
  • Use white background or ‘field studio’ photography for intimate insect portraits.

During this workshop in the heart of the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, the focus is all about learning. Not only will you go away with new and exciting images, but the skill and knowhow to tap into the unseen miniature world wherever you live.

Award-winning professional wildlife photographer Alex Hyde, will guide you through an array of different photographic techniques that will allow you to capture amazing close-up natural details. During this Masterclass you will be provided with a range of fascinating insect and plant subjects to hone your skills in the comfort of our country lodge accommodation, as well as exploring local sites which will prove that compelling images can be made everywhere in the world of macro.


During these short workshops we focus on a particular photographic technique or speciality and using the best exponents around, explain how to secure images that stand out from the crowd.


Dates: 16-20 Sep 2017

Cost: £845

Deposit: £250

Single Supplement: £0

Group Size: 8

Guide: Alex Hyde and James Shooter

Principal Subjects: Captive and wild insects; plants in both controlled and natural environments; patterns and textures.

Cost Includes: Accommodation; all meals; transfers to/from Kingussie; tuition and transport during the workshop.

Cost Excludes: Insurance and personal items.


Alex Hyde

Alex Hyde

Often working with moving creatures smaller than a grain of rice, Alex has established himself as an expert in macro photography. By understanding the behaviour of his subjects, he is able to capture intimate portraits of spiders, insects and other invertebrates in their natural habitats. An experienced tutor, Alex regularly delivers workshops and seminars on macro photography and has taught at venues such as the University of Nottingham and the Wild Photos photography festival in London. In 2015 Alex won the Hidden Britain category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards.

James Shooter

James Shooter

James is an established photographer and filmmaker with a passion for conservation communication. He has spent several years at Northshots developing an acute knowledge of Scottish wildlife and has led tours both in Scotland and overseas. A personable and engaging character, James will ensure you get the very best from your time spent with us. 



Our accommodation is a lovely converted steading at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains. The Steading is comfortable and full of character - specially designed for photographic house parties. There are wonderful views from the two-tier lounge where we enjoy evening presentations over coffee. We all eat together around our huge farmhouse dining table, where a glass (or two) of wine can be enjoyed with a superb dinner. We have a range of single, double and twin rooms, all with private facilities *. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home! 

*Two of our single rooms share a bathroom. Rooms will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Meals are informal and are taken together at our huge dining table. If we are out for the day we shall take a packed lunch, otherwise we shall eat at The Steading. We can almost always accommodate to specific dietary requirements – just tell us on the booking form and we’ll make sure you get what you want. 


We will not be walking long distances and most photography will be in the very immediate area. Some ground may be boggy and damp. 


Weather is very changeable in Scotland and although it is often warm and sunny, rain and strong winds are possible. Temperatures are likely to range from 10C to 20C. 


At this time of year, midges can be active, although they are much less abundant here than in other parts of Scotland. The most challenging times are when it’s calm and still and at worst, they can be an irritation. We have the option to work indoors if their presence becomes annoying but it would be a good idea to bring midge repellent and/or a headnet.

Meeting up and saying goodbye

Your accommodation will be ready at 5pm on arrival day. Cars can be safely parked at Ballintean throughout the workshop. We say goodbye after breakfast on the final day of the workshop. 


For those who would like assistance, our guides for this tour, Alex Hyde and James Shooter, will take you through both technical and practical aspects of this type of photography and will be on hand to help you get the most from your time spent with us.

Giving Back

We take our responsibility as a tour operator very seriously and are conscious of our impact on the environment. Not only do we strive to minimise this impact in a variety of ways, we donate a proportion of our income to a select number of conservation initiatives.

See our Giving Back page for details ›