By , March 29, 2010 1:00 pm

The ‘new look’ Photographers’ Place workshops have obviously hit the right note because the April weekend filled up very quickly. So a second one has been arranged from 4 to 6 JUNE at Ilam Hall on the Derbyshire-Staffordshire border, this time with a guest – John Davies, the renowned fine art landscape photographer. Although landscape-themed, the workshop will be primarily about ideas and aesthetics as well as processes and methods.

The fabled Photographers’ Place in Derbyshire’s Peak District, which was Britain’s first permanent photography workshop and study centre, originally started in the 1970s and ran for twenty years.

But now the legend lives again with a series of photography weekends run by Martin Shakeshaft, Nick Lockett, and The Photographers’ Place founder, Professor Paul Hill.

The second of the new workshops takes place at the impressive Ilam Hall, near Ashbourne on 4-6 June. As in the original Photographers’ Place, the weekend workshop appeals to those who have gone beyond the beginners’ stage and want  a chance to immerse themselves in photography and explore making landscape photographs from an aesthetic as well as from a technical point of view.

It will also be an opportunity to hear from our guest, John Davies, on how he creates his narrative landscapes and his wonderfully-crafted prints, and how he approaches exhibitions, commissions and book publishing,

And a third workshop is planned for September 17 – 19 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire on environmental portraiture with Brian Griffin who has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and BT to work on a series of portraits for the lead up to the 2012 Olympics.

Over its 20 year history, The Place taught a whole generation of photographers and inspired many to also set up independent photography groups (e.g. London Independent Photography), galleries (e.g. Street Level, Glasgow), and festivals (e.g. Derby International Festival of Photography, now format).

Amongst those who led workshops during its previous existence were: Martin Parr, Thomas Joshua Cooper, John Blakemore, Brian Griffin, Raymond Moore, Lewis Baltz, Bill Jay, Hamish Fulton, Andy Earl, Aaron Siskind, Paul Caponigro, Jo Spence, Cole Weston and Ralph Gibson.

Workshop attendees included Fay Godwin, then improving her photography and Paul Graham, getting his early education in art photography at that time..

The new 2010 phase of workshops will feature Professor Paul Hill , who now teaches at De Montfort University in Leicester.  He will be joined by two experienced photographers, Martin Shakeshaft and Nick Lockett, who are both photography practitioners and professional teachers.

There will be field trips in the Peak District countryside around Ilam, which includes one of Lord Byron’s favourite beauty spots, Dovedale. The area is also one of the backdrops for the new Robin Hood movie, starring Russell Crowe, which comes out in May.

A feature of The Photographers’ Place weekends is guidance on using digital photography and digital post-production as well as the mysteries of large format photography. On the aesthetics of photography, feedback sessions are offered on the images made by the group during the weekend, and participants are invited to bring their portfolios of earlier work for critiquing.

The workshop weekend 4-6 June will cost  £300 including full board, accommodation and tuition. Participants will be able to eat, drink and sleep photography in a warm, friendly unpretentious environment with like-minded enthusiasts and renowned tutors. For more details and how to book a place, contact Gill Lockett at The Photographer’s Place on 01335 370183. Or see the web site at

Biography of JOHN DAVIES

John Davies (born in Sedgefield, County Durham, England,1949 and now living in Liverpool) is internationally known for the lucidity with which he has tackled the rural and urban landscape through his refined B&W photographs. He is very much a narrative landscape photographer, interested, even in his ‘purest’ landscapes in telling visual stories about process, change, transformation.

Davies began in the mid-Seventies with a prolonged analysis of the “wild and natural” landscapes of the British Isles ( Mist Mountain Water Wind, 1985 & Skylines, 1993 ). In 1981 he began an articulate documentation of urban Britain, concentrating on the changes provoked by the industrial and post-industrial landscape ( A Green & Pleasant Land, 1986 ). These photographs were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Pompidou Centre, Paris and in London at the Royal Academy of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

During the mid-Eighties he started working in Western Europe on a variety of architectural and environmental projects (Cross Currents, 1992 ). With three monographs commissioned and published in France (Temps et Paysage, 2000; Le retour de la nature, 2001 and  Seine Valley, 2002).

In 2006 his monograph of The British Landscape was published by Chris Boot with a major retrospective of this work at PhotoEspaña in Madrid and the National Media Museum in Bradford. This work was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008. Also in 2008 he organised and curated the exhibition”Cities on the Edge” and edited the book of same title.

Biographies of the course leaders


Paul is professor of photography at De Montfort University, Leicester, where he established the successful MA in Photography course in 1996.

After a career in journalism, Paul Hill became a full-time lecturer in photography at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in 1974 where he was later appointed head of the trend-setting Creative Photography course. In the seventies he also set up, with his late wife, Angela, The Photographers’ Place – the UK’s first residential photography workshop – at their Peak District home.

He has exhibited regularly since 1970 throughout the British Isles, Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia and is co- author (with Thomas J. Cooper) of Dialogue with Photography (1979/2005), followed by Approaching Photography (1982/2004), and White Peak Dark Peak (1990). His work is in the art collections of, amongst others, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London;  National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford;  Arts Council England;  Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris;  Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and  Cleveland Museum of Art in the USA.

In 1994 he was awarded an MBE by The Queen for services to photography.


Martin Shakeshaft is a documentary photographer based in the Peak District. He combines working on editorial projects with teaching digital imaging.

A particular area of interest is developing opportunities that the internet and new media offer the contemporary photographer.

Editorial clients have included, BBC; Channel 4 Television; S4C; The Economist; The Daily Mirror; The Independent; Newsweek Magazine and many others.  A selection of his work is housed in the National Museum of Wales’s permanent collection.

He has recently concluded a 25 year project, looking at the long term effects of the closure of the coal industry on the people and landscape of South Wales. This has been widely published both in this country and abroad.


Nick Lockett lectures in photography at De Montfort University, and also works as a busy freelance editorial photographer. Much of his personal landscape photography is concerned with ancient sites and trackways near his home in the Peak District. He works digitally and has a passion too for large format photography, often making pictures at night. His work has been exhibited in the UK and abroad.

For twenty years he was Chief Photographer and Head of Pictures for Carlton Television in London, producing still images and picture publicity on TV programmes as diverse as INSPECTOR MORSE, SPITTING IMAGE and POP IDOL.


If you would like further information, quotes or interviews with the workshop leaders and/or Professor Paul Hill, I would be very happy to help set them up.

Please contact me, Gill Lockett on

01335 370183 or

07787 141797 or contact me through the web site


  1. Great to hear the Photographers Place is inspiring photographers once again. Good to see Paul and Martin are busy too. Best wishes. Hope to visit soon. Put me on your mailing list.

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy