Some Background


Paul HD began his work by tutoring young people in Maths and Physics whilst tackling a PhD and subsequently taught for many years at levels from junior school to university classes in photography. So, what you get is a very highly experienced tutor with a long track record who has frequently been described as inspirational. He is someone who takes his role as a communicator and facilitator very seriously whatever the medium used.

..."My philosophy has always been that all complex ideas can and should be explained accessibly - my passion for the natural world began in childhood and has never dulled. I cannot imagine a worthwhile life without it."

He led his first tour in 1984 for (Town & Gown Travel)as the guest botanical lecturer and many others followed: for the Field Studies Council, Jules Verne and ATG Oxford. In 1994 Paul began running his own trips as Hidden Worlds using an unrivalled knowledge of Mediterranean flora and fauna and the best places to find them.

Lois Ferguson a musician by training(violinist)began work for ATG (Alternative Travel Group) in 1990 as a tour manager. She manages archaeological tours for Andante, is an Inspector for Alistair Sawday's Special places to stay and has run Hidden Worlds with Paul HD since addition, she is a photographer and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things and places Italian

…’there are few photographers who can begin to match his (PHD) detailed technical knowledge of the subject and the science behind it... added to this is an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural world and the sheer joy he seems to get from being there.

I have been on other workshops but with Paul you get clarity and information - he has a knack for getting to the nub of the problem and working out solutions from first principles so you do not forget them. Above all he is accessible - no airs and graces and a bit of a bon viveur...

One-to-one tuition/ Small group workshops:

Podere Montecucco, the Italian farmhouse we have renovated ourselves, is set in a wild garden and within easy reach of an amazing range of habitats from coastal to lake and river, Mediterranean scrub (with numerous orchids), ancient beechwood and alpine heights. So, at virtually any time of the year (except february when we are usually under snow) there is a range of subjects small and large on which to practice the art and science of close-up and macro photography as well as more general nature photography.

We can offer course short or long for small groups based at our home where we have two large en suite double bedrooms and a fully-equipped macro studio plus extensive library. Here you can work with me learning and honing your techniques - I will quickly get to know your interests and your strengths and any weaknesses, whatever the level.

You will leave equipped to produce winning images in wide angle macro, macro, ultra close-up and come to grips with lighting and the art of composition...days are concentrated but fun. We breakfast on fresh fruit and home-made breads and yoghurt. there is a lunchtime picnic and, in the evening, we feed you (we are both very keen cooks!), you drink local wines and will sample our homemade liqueurs (walnut, fennel.. peach).

This is something you can slot into a more general Italian holiday - between us we offer an unrivalled local knowledge and of the very best places to go for photographers throughout Italy.

  • April/May - for orchids and early insects
    May/June - for later orchids, flower filled landscapes (poppies, cornflowers.. also tulips and gentians on an easy day-trip to Sibillini)
    June /July - into the mountains for flowers, vistas, butterflies and other insects.
    July- August we suggest you join one of our trips to the Dolomites or the Abruzzi where we get up high and the air is cooler
    September/October for landscapes, incredible quality of light, woods and fungi….


Through his books, articles Paul HD is internationally known as one of the very best macro photographers around...he builds a lot of his own rigs and is full of ideas for solving problems without throwing money at them. He also has a great sense of the absurd and never takes himself seriously in spite of his knowledge.