In association with Bass & Bligh cameras, this course is suitable for beginners and those who already enjoy taking photographs but wish to understand manual exposure controls and to improve their compositional skills.

Bass & Bligh

1-day workshop led by Valerie Mather Photography in association with Bass & Bligh. (Now available as Online tuition).

The day will be a mix of theory and hands-on exercises with your camera, to help you put into practice the theory behind manual exposure settings, plus lots of opportunities to ask questions. Val specialises in teaching in a fun, jargon-free, practical way. Val has been awarded the internationally respected Distinction Associate of the Royal Photography Society (ARPS) which recognises a high standard of both technical and creative skills in photography. A representative from Bass & Bligh cameras will be on hand to help with the practical exercises, and to provide you with a range of cameras and lenses to try on the day, if you wish.

By the end of the day you should be confidently taking control of your camera settings, and ready to demonstrate your own creativity by applying your new-found compositional skills.

This 1-day workshop will focus on three key components of photography:

- Taking control of your camera by switching over to manual/understanding the “Exposure Triangle”.
- Learning the basics of composition.
- Understanding which camera settings will help you achieve your desired look for different scenarios: e.g. portrait, landscape, sports and macro photography.


Price: £99 (no VAT). Payment in full is due at the time of booking.

Group size: maximum of 10 places. 

Location: Harrogate Community House, 46-50 East Parade, Harrogate HG1 5RR. (venue website:

Timing:  10am-4pm. Please note that the six hours does include a break for lunch. Please bring a packed lunch with you.

Facilities: Tea & coffee are provided. There is on-street parking outside the venue (disc parking restrictions do apply other than on Sundays).

Equipment: Please bring with you a digital camera with manual controls, charged battery and memory card. Pen and paper if you wish to take notes. NB: A helpful handout will be provided on the day, summarising what you will have learned during the course, to help you practice your new skills going forward. A representative from Bass & Bligh will be on hand with a range of cameras for you to try on the day, if you wish.

Dates: June 12th 2020, Ocotber 4th 2020, November 1st 2020. NB 1:1 sessions are also available on request.

How to book: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (07968 558795) to book your place. 



  • Kind Words

    "I had the pleasure of having a 1:1 workshop with Val on landscape photography at Fountains Abbey. Key information was provided as a handout like the exposure triangle which could be referred to on the day but more importantly, afterwards so I could remember to apply what I had learnt independently. Val is extremely flexible and patient, catering to what grabbed my interest and giving constant feedback on the pictures I was taking on the day. I now understand aspects of digital photography that are counterintuitive, especially to those to have first learnt photography with film. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Val and am keen to learn from her how to digitally process the photos that I have taken."

    - Monica S

  • Kind Words

    "I have just completed a practical workshop on Black and White photography with Val in York station and around the town. Val is a very calm and careful teacher who intuitively seems to recognise what you need to know. There are many things which I thought I knew but had not fully digested or understood or learnt how to apply fully. She knows how to deepen your understanding in a practical way and gave me many useful tips and advice. After just sculling in the shallows, I now feel ready to embark on my Black and White voyage."

    - Doug Johnson

  • Kind Words

    "Val is an amazing photography tutor and has succeeded in teaching me where others have failed. She has a flexible and adaptable approach to lessons, which suits me perfectly, and we have a giggle to boot! Her patient and thoughtful nature has really helped me progress, with her picking projects that suit my objectives as well as challenge my skills. I am very much looking forward to continuing my photography journey with her. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Val is the best photography tutor I have had the pleasure of being taught by and I would highly recommend her!

    - Mayu Amin"

  • Kind Words

    "Does exactly what it says on the tin! Highly enjoyable and commended. I now know what it means to come off Auto!"

    - Roger Taylor attending a Level 1 Photography Workshop

  • Kind Words

    "A very useful and informative day. Demystified moving off Auto. I feel a lot more confident in getting creative with my camera. The practical exercises and manual playing cards were really useful".

    - Alastair How

  • Kind Words

    "Val broke down the basics into a language all could understand, and she gave plenty of chance for practical moments to cement the theory. Her workshop made me feel very confident to remove the “auto” button".

    - E Womersley

  • Kind Words

    "A really thorough grounding on how to use my camera on manual settings, thanks. I now feel confident to practice myself. It was brilliant to have things simplified and explained in great detail. Good to have practicals to put things together". 

    - Sally How

  • Kind Words

    "Very clear guidance to understanding the 3 elements of the exposure triangle, with lots of opportunities for practice. The quiz and manual playing cards were great".

    - G Fisher

  • Kind Words

    "Done in a really good structure which made bringing things together easier. I enjoyed the practical exercises".

    - Rosie Hester

  • Kind Words

    "Thoroughly enjoyed the course and can now understand the basics of using a camera not on Auto Mode."

    - A Swift

  • Kind Words

    "I had a photo session with Valerie for some new images of myself for my website and various media publications. Valerie had a natural instinct for the style and quality of the photographs needed for my business and took time and patience to get the right setting and positions. The images captured me naturally but with a professional focus and I am delighted with them."

    - Jacquie Cole - Bakewell Travel

  • Kind Words

    "We came into contact with Val when we wanted to organise a family photograph for our 40th wedding anniversary. Val was wonderful to work with, she made sure everyone looked great, was very good with the grandkids, we had a lot of fun, and you can really see that come through in the end results"

    -Nora Thrush

  • Kind Words

    "I thoroughly enjoyed my photo shoot with Valerie . Her sense of humour and attention to detail resulted in the perfect images for my fashion blog and social media accounts . They not only captured the clothes , but also something of my personality - in my experience a rare feat. I could not be more pleased"

    - Katherine M

  • Kind Words

    "I had three sessions with Valerie which I undertook with the sole aim of being able to take photos on my new camera using the manual setting instead of on auto.

    The first session, which was on Zoom, focused on the theory and was well worthwhile and really helped when it came to the second and third sessions. Don’t be tempted to skip it!

    The second and third sessions took place at Breezy Knees Gardens ( a hidden gem) and Fountains Abbey. Valerie knew the best places to carry out the different exercises and put into practice the theory covered in the first session.

    Valerie has the ability to impart information in way that is understandable and she explains things in a way that I have been able to retain. Valerie is extremely patient but also made the whole experience pleasurable - more like spending time with a knowledgeable friend than a tutor.

    I am pleased to report that by the end of the three sessions I felt that I had achieved my objective. I have not taken a single photo on auto. I feel as though I have made real progress over the last few weeks and I am now a lot more confident using my new camera. Thank you Valerie!"

    - Katherine M

Covid19 message response

Message from Valerie Mather

"The safety and well-being of all my workshop participants have and always will be my priority. Due to the UK government lockdown restrictions of non-essential movement of people I have postponed all 1-day workshops and 1:1 sessions up to the end of May 2020. I am reviewing future workshop information on a daily basis and will update it here when necessary and in accordance with government policy.

Please be assured that if you have paid a deposit or full payment for a workshop or a 1:1 session during this period you will not lose it. Your payment will be 100% credited towards a future workshop or 1:1 session booked to start before 30th May 2021."

Book with confidence

If you would like to be a part of any of the workshops or you are interested in 1:1 sessions from June 2020 below please get in touch at any time to make a booking. Please be assured that your deposit will be safe and if the workshop has to be postponed due to government restrictions over Covid-19 you will not lose your money. It may simply be transferred to a future workshop of your choice to start before 30th May 2021, so please book with confidence to secure your place.

Please stay safe!

New Book: Yorkshire Born & Bred

Val's new book, Yorkshire Born & Bred has recently been published find out more here >>>