Summer garden photography with Kevin Dutton

Ref: SWE31839

Book now

Places available

About this course

Learn about garden photography in the beautiful setting of West Dean Gardens, exploring composition and natural light. Suitable for photographers with all kinds of digital cameras.

Course Description

This course is an ideal introduction to garden photography in the grounds and gardens at West Dean in midsummer. Over the weekend, you will learn how to create a well-composed image and the importance of understanding light in photography. The gardens will provide a wealth of potential for all kinds of horticultural subject matter: plants, flowers, fruits, trees, shrubs, grasses, cacti, succulents, etc. The majority of the time will be spent in the gardens with your camera, but you will also be able to download, discuss and edit images on desktop computers in the Estate Boardroom. It is suitable for students using all kinds of digital cameras.

The aims of the course are:

To learn and improve garden photography skills

To gain a greater understanding of how to frame subjects in the garden

To make the most of available light

To enjoy photography and discussion with fellow students

As it is primarily a practical course, most of the time will be spent photographing in West Dean Gardens, working on technical and aesthetic aspects of photography:

General landscape garden composition

Close-up shots of flowers and plants

Using a tripod in the garden

Understanding colour relationships in the garden

There will be ample time for discussion and this flexible course will, to a degree, be tailored to your individual interests.

Please note that weather and temperature may vary. A certain amount of walking is involved on this course carrying your camera equipment, so please come prepared for this. Good footwear and some waterproof clothing are recommended.


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


  • No materials (apart from students’ equipment) required.

What students need to bring

  • Camera (any kind of digital camera)
  • Lenses (optional)
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Memory Card
  • Tripod (optional)
  • Laptop (optional)
  • Bring a note of your own Adobe ID login. If you don’t already have one, please register for a free account at prior to the course, and remember to bring the details with you.
  • Good footwear and some waterproof clothing are recommended.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Kevin Dutton

Kevin Dutton studied at Bretton Hall College in Yorkshire and has over 20 years' experience as a professional photographer. He has worked in the UK and abroad for a variety of editorial, design and business clients including the RHS, The Sunday Times, BBC, HarperCollins and as a tutor at the Victoria and Albert Museum.


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

Courses of interest

Creating a drought tolerant garden

4 Jul 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Tom Brown |

Macro and close-up photography

23 to 25 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Tracy Calder |
Suitable for all

Wet-plate collodion photography

18 to 21 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Peter Renn |

An introduction to propagation

31 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Benjamin Pope |
Suitable for all

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.