A Potted History Of Cotswold Photography Tours
Cotswold Photography Tours is a small independent business run by Andrew and Ann Moseley-Packer. We are based in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England and pretty much central to the whole Cotswold Area. We have lived in the region all our lives and have acquired, during this time, a very good local knowledge of the Cotswolds, the places, people and history. These days, of course, people can explore virtually every region of the planet with relative ease but I always remember the T S Eliot line: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time". There is something magical and enlightening about exploring your own back yard, so to speak, and really coming to appreciate where you live. To be able to share that appreciation is a bonus and this is really what Cotswold Photography Tours is all about - sharing the magic that is the Cotswolds.
What makes us unique is the fact that our tours have an emphasis on the photographic aspects of visiting different parts of the Cotswolds and ensuring you obtain the very best images of the area. Because of this, we offer completely bespoke tours to individuals and small groups that take account of the photographer's needs. Our tours can be booked for early morning starts to catch a sunrise and the peace and tranquility of that time, daytime tours to capture a flavour of daily Cotswold life as well as the unparalleled countryside, sunset tours to watch the changing landscape at the "golden hour" or even nighttime tours to capture Moonlit or starry sky landscapes!
We live in a time of great challenge and huge change both from a human perspective and a more general global perspective. So it is something special to be able to associate with an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), as the Cotswolds is. It is even more special to know that there are places within that area that are truly timeless and that are, largely, unaffected by the great changes in land use and urbanisation going on all around us. It is also incredible that it is possible to visit villages containing houses that date back centuries and still find buildings, parts of which may date back to the Domesday Book in 1066.
Photography provides a window to the past and a doorway to the future. I have been wandering round, and photographing, the Cotswolds for over 30 years and I never get tired of visiting and seeing places that are essentially unchanged in all that time. To see images of places 30+ years ago and realise that only camera technology (and hopefully better photography technique!) have changed in that time is just very satisfying. Our aim through Cotswold Photography Tours is to share these kinds of experiences and offer our customers the opportunity to capture not just superb physical images of the region but also experience a connection with the Cotswolds that comes from an appreciation of the history of the place. That's why we have created a range of tours, each one specifically and carefully chosen to provide not only a wealth of photographic opportunity but also a chance to engage with, and experience, the spirit of the Cotswolds.
The Origin Of Cotswold Photography Tours
Way back down the track in the very early '80s I became interested in photography largely through an interest in astronomy and a desire to want to capture the beauty of the night sky with my SLR camera. Back then everything was film (or slide) of course and I spent many hours outside on freezing winter nights taking long time exposure pictures of the Moon, the stars, and the galaxies. Well you know what the UK weather is like - 60 clear nights a year if you’re lucky is all you get - which kind of narrows down the opportunities to take photographs. So naturally I started using my camera for “normal” photography as well. I shot mainly black and white film and colour slide (Kodachrome 25 and 64, for those of you who can remember such gems), spending hours in a make-shift darkroom developing the film and printing up pictures (I had Kodak process the slides though......). I would take my camera when I went hiking (another passion of mine), travelling and on family holidays snapping scenes and new places. I have kept an interest in photography ever since and when Ann and I met in 1994 one of the things we had in common was our interest in photography.......
Roll forward a few years to 2006 and the arrival of sensibly priced, high quality digital SLRs. After a bit of a lull in my photography in the late 90s / early 2000s, this digital “black box” revolution was an immediate draw and it catapulted me back in to the world of photography with a renewed interest and vigour.
I dabbled with earning a bit of cash from various genres of photography over a period of 5 or 6 years but was never completely satisfied by what I was doing. One day sometime in 2014 it occurred to me that perhaps it might be possible to combine two of my interests - photography and walking - into a new business venture offering folks an opportunity to experience, photographically, the Cotswolds in a way that I had been fortunate enough to have done over the years. After several evolutions of this idea, Ann and myself eventually set up “Cotswold Photography Tours” in 2016.
Over the subsequent years we have been privileged to take people from both the UK and abroad on our Photography Tours, helping them to capture great images of the Cotswolds and also experience a little bit of the history of this wonderful area of the UK. We are grateful to them for seeking us out and trusting in us to provide an experience that they can now treasure. Regardless of when during the year you are visiting the Cotswolds, if you want to see and photograph the area as it should be seen then our Cotswold Photography Tours will provide you with a day you will remember forever!
"Life is short, the Art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgement difficult"