Cancon Photography Retreat Q&A

Q1.         I am new to photography, will this course suit?

A.           Yes, this is a course designed for beginners and those already with an interest in photography.  If you are a complete beginner we would ask that get up to speed with your camera settings and bring along its manual.  As an example we might do a session in ‘Aperture priority’ mode – whilst you may not have used that mode before, it would be useful if you knew that setting on your camera; how you then use that mode is what we will look to teach you.

Q2.         I have taken lots of photographs and am fairly OK with my settings, will this course be any good for me?

A.           Absolutely – having a knowledge of the different settings may put you slightly ahead – however the real magic, the real learning, comes from not just the ‘doing’ part, but also practicing in different locations, and crucially with different people.  Each and every one of us will bring a different perspective and a different way of looking at things.  There is an old saying that if many people take a picture of the same scene, each will be vastly different.  This is the massive value that you will gain from this course, being part of a group of photographers taking pictures of the same thing, but each one giving a different view, we will all learn from this experience.  Fundamentally this is not something that you can achieve alone.

Q3.         Why are there so few places?

A.           Simply put, we are a group of three hand picked photographers, the numbers equate to around 3 students per tutor – this allows us to keep the price as low as possible without diluting the ‘one to one’ tuition that we look to give.  Our aim is always to give each student as much of our time as possible.

Q4.         What camera equipment do I need?

A.           There is no wrong or right answer here – the important thing is that we will not be focusing on equipment (no pun intended!)  We want to give you a new way of looking at things, confidence to try new things and above all the motivation to go out and try.  One of our instructors’ favourite cameras is a 16 yr old 5D Mki, which he bought 3rd hand for £200 on Ebay and he still swears it gives him some of his best ever pictures.  Bottom line, bring as little or as much as you want to – however if that is just one basic DSLR with a single 50mm lens, then that is genuinely just finr!  Another factor to consider is that the course takes you to a few various locations (both via transport and on foot) so generally less gear is better!  Together we will get some awesome pictures!  At the end of each day we will collectively look over some of your best pictures (it is not compulsory to take part in this) and in order to do this we ask that you transfer your pictures from your camera to us – this can be done via your camera SD card or IF you bring a laptop then you could email at the end of each session.  The other essential items are batteries for your camera and the ability to recharge them, a travel adaptor for your charger will be useful.

Q5.         Where will I be accommodated?

A.           All students are accommodated at the Lac du Cancon see website here for full details ( We have used these chalets many times for our delegates; they allow our students time away from the venue to relax and absorb the learning from the day.  Students are normally paired up (we generally match age and sex) so each student has their own private bedroom with a shared kitchen/lounge.  However the retreat price includes lunch and dinner for the three main tuition days, therefore you will only use the facilities for breakfast and on the arrival/departure days for other meals.  In addition, the retreat price includes transport to and from the accommodation each day, alternatively many students choose to take the 20 minute walk and enjoy the glorious views – either way it is your choice.

Q6.         Can I be collected from an airport other than Bergerac?

A.           The retreat dates have been organised around the best flight times and dates, so unfortunately, to keep costs down, we are only able to collect you from Bergerac.  There are other flights available from Bordeaux which has bus/train connections of around 4 hours.  Other students often drive to the venue, giving you the freedom of having your own vehicle whilst attending the retreat, although of course that is completely optional.

Q7.         How much payment is required and by when?

A.           There is a £500 deposit to pay to secure your place.  This is non-refundable as places are so limited, we will inevitably be turning students away once your place is secured.  The full balance is due by Mon 30 Jan 2023.

Q8.         What other ‘stuff’ should I bring?

We propose the emphasis should be on comfort and practicality – during our many little visits/trips you want to be as comfortable as possible, so that you have no distractions from your photography.  So generally the ability to wear layers that you can add remove as required, a good waterproof top layer is also essential, and finally from a clothing perspective, a good comfortable pair of walking boots or comfortable shoes – again we will spend quite a bit of time on our feet so this is really important.  Aside from clothing you will of course need toiletries and a towel, although there is a small (but well stocked) supermarket about 5 minutes walk from the venue.