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
  • Relax and soak in the atmosphere of our own country lodge

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 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: 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2018

Cost: £875

Deposit: £300

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 in single rooms; All meals; Transport during tour; Tuition and presentations; Transfers to/from Kingussie train station

Cost Excludes: Travel to/from the tour; Travel/cancellation insurance; Alcoholic drinks (wine is served with dinner); Personal expenses


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. 

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.



Our accommodation is a lovely converted steading at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains. Ballintean Mountain Lodge is comfortable and full of character - specially designed for photographic house parties. 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. 


Cars can be safely parked at our lodge. Directions can be sent, as Satnav is not always reliable. Our postcode is PH21 1NX.

Train travel is generally reliable and we can offer free transfers to/from Kingussie station (7 miles).

Our nearest airport is Inverness (45 miles) and we can offer transfers but we charge £40 per transfer, which can be shared if other members of the group are travelling by air. We collect at 4pm on arrival day and drop off at 10am on departure day


Meals are informal and will be taken within our accommodation. We offer home-cooked, wholesome food prepared with local ingredients. Breakfast, packed lunch, evening meal and home-baked shortbread provide the fuel to keep you going! We can almost always accommodate 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 can be changeable at this time of year and although often settled, you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wintry squalls. Temperatures are likely to range from 5c to 20c. 

Giving Back

Northshots is a strong supporter of nature-based tourism contributing to rural economies to demonstrate the value of wild animals and wild places. We also believe that “taking” from the natural world obliges us to “give back” so we adapt our business practices to that end. We also contribute 2% of the revenue from this workshop to help local rewilding initiatives establish native woodland corridors.