On the Caribbean island of St Lucia, Nick Troubetzkoy’s beachfront Anse Chastanet resort sits in a lush 600-acre setting and boasts views of the iconic twin volcanic peaks of the Pitons. Such a picture-perfect location was made to host National Geographic photographer Joe McNally’s advanced photography workshop (from Tuesday October 10, £4,606 per person, including accommodation, breakfast and three dinners, excluding flights), which will focus on techniques such as use of light, stop-action shots and portraiture, and be open to just 16 guests.
As well as the Pitons (designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 2004), the island’s Soufrière fishing port will be the subject of one of McNally’s sessions, with a trip to meet local villagers and firemen and use the surroundings to compose telling individual and group portraits. “A good photographer must be a good storyteller,” McNally says. “That hasn’t changed since the days of Mathew Brady and glass plates. Tell a good story visually, communicate and emotionally move people, make them understand something and show them things they haven’t seen before.”
A boat trip to black-sand beach Anse Mamin will lead to a jungle photoshoot, taking in 12km of tropical trails, and a rendezvous with mountain bikers to explore capturing motion and use of the flash. “There is an itinerary, but we’re also going to be flexible to allow for uncontrived photographic opportunities, which are often the most rewarding,” adds McNally.
Back at Anse Chastanet there will be edit-and-critique sessions, more detailed investigations into the art of photography and lessons in shooting sunsets, while away from the aperture there will be opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving, tennis, yoga, sailing, jungle biking, hiking and bird watching.
“Photography,” McNally says, “is wrapped up in the knowledge and understanding of light. The word derives from a Greek root meaning ‘to write with light’.” There are few better places to do that than St Lucia.