Dawn and dusk landscape photography with Benjamin Graham

Ref: SWE13198

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About this course

Take your images to another level by learning about lighting and timing, the two elusive fundamentals of all successful landscape studies. For DSLR and advanced compact users.

Course Description

Become creatively inspired in the magical moments of twilight and dawn. Take your images to another level by learning about lighting and timing, the two elusive fundamentals of all successful landscape studies. Compositional theory, image interpretation with Adobe software, and portfolio review are covered in the studio.

The word photography is derived from the Greek, photo-graphia – which means painting, drawing, or designing with light. The aims of the course, with studio-based tuition and practical instruction on location, are to show you how to plan for and react to the best light; how to prepare for and recognise the decisive moment; and how to strengthen your landscape photography with the immensely powerful triumvirate of composition, lighting and timing.

Extensive compositional and technical coaching in the studio, demonstrating how you can use the light, the textures and the focal points of a given scene at specific times to more compelling effect, is combined with applied field work in the beautiful West Sussex countryside and/or on the stunning south coast. You will learn on location how to control and compose pre-dawn (you need to be prepared for a pre-5am departure to locations on each of Saturday and Sunday mornings), dusk and golden hour scenes to maximum creative effect, producing beautifully-lit, dynamic and captivating results.

You will also cover preparation for your shoots by familiarising yourself with some invaluable IT resources that will help you to plan accurately for your image outcomes. Learning how to co-ordinate the information in prediction tables and interactive web apps that forecast tidal movements, the weather, the passage and position of the sun, the stars and the moon in its evolving phases will contribute significantly to your shot-planning skillset.

Using Adobe image interpretation software in the digital photography studio at the College, we will apply apposite enhancements to the images that you acquire during the course.

It is essential that you arrive prepared for some reasonable walking over country paths, moderate inclines and on shingly or wet sand beaches, with very early (4.45am) morning starts.

Non-resident students may like to book in for breakfast on return to the college after early morning starts, with the rest of the group for both Saturday and Sunday mornings. You can do this in advance via the bookings office. Dinner on Saturday evening can also be booked, if required.

If you are interested in learning more about the localised modifications possible with digital editing to take your images to the next level – you may like to consider booking the additional one-day course arranged with Benjamin Graham on 24 March for students who have attended his weekend courses.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please submit one landscape study that you have recently shot to the tutor by emailing: [email protected]. Please ensure you include your name as well as your tutor’s name, course title, and dates. Submitted images will form part of a PowerPoint presentation after dinner on the first evening.
  • Ensure you pack sensible, appropriate clothing and footwear (walking boots/wellingtons) for the time of year and be prepared for some reasonable walking over country paths, moderate inclines and on wet sand/shingly beaches. A head torch with a red bulb option is very useful in the dim twilight when your eyes are adjusted to low ambient light levels.
  • A DSLR/mirrorless or similar camera with manual control over its primary settings, with clear memory cards and lenses, a tripod, a remote shutter-release, an ND 10-stopper and a polariser (These are all essential.)
  • Have plenty of space available on your memory cards and bring spare batteries and a charger and the camera to computer leads. Ensure all equipment is clean and ready to use.
  • Your camera instruction manual (if available)
  • A notebook and pen
  • A note of your Adobe ID login, if you have one
  • A USB memory stick/portable hard drive via which images can be transferred to your own computer at the end of the course, or for saving work in progress
  • Please note: The course is for up to 7 participants. While each will be allocated a PC to work at in the studio.

Additional information

You need to be familiar with using a computer. A core understanding of Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is preferable, but not essential.


Benjamin Graham portrait

Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham is an award-winning internationally-published landscape photographer with over forty years' photography experience. He has been a category finalist several times in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year and, with a local image of West Wittering beach, was awarded the prestigious title of Overall Winner of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2017. A private tutor and group leader, dedicated to celebrating the beauty of the UK's coast and countryside, his work regularly appears in the UK and across the globe in major newspapers, magazines and on-line editorial galleries.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.