Magical light, accessible shoreline and community await prospective tour leaders.
You’re invited on a 10-day tour of Western Ireland with veteran tour leader Ron Rosenstock, September 23 through October 3, 2016. The magical light, sacred sights and after-dinner conversation with fellow artists not only beckon you to expand your portfolio but also your career—perhaps becoming a photo tour leader yourself.
Rosenstock, retired photography instructor from Clark University in Massachusetts, has led more than 200 tours to worldwide destinations since 1967. He was first drawn to Western Ireland because of the light and extensive miles of accessible shoreline. “Being in the northern hemisphere, there are magical cloud formations daily, if not hourly,” he explains. “The light is silvery sifting through layers of cloud and sky.”
The tour is set in County Mayo, often described as “the quiet side of Ireland” and includes tiny villages, hidden beaches, castles and ancient abbeys that you could never locate on your own. It is a landscape of broad peat lowlands and dramatic coastline where soft pastel shades and the warmth of the Irish people have captivated artists for hundreds of years.
But Rosenstock’s tour includes more than just visual points of interest. He also opens his home, providing accommodations at Hillcrest House, renovated specifically to house groups such as this. Most evenings after a traditional Irish dinner, the group moves to the living room to talk about photography and how to become a photo tour leader—because Rosenstock wants others to benefit from his trials and triumphs.
“I’m the luckiest person in the world,” he explains. “In my 70s, I look back and realize I’ve been living my dream. My wish now is to pass on what I have learned, the struggles and benefits of being an international photo tour leader.”
Although Rosenstock can list many traits required of a good photo tour leader, he places the ability to listen and respond honestly and clearly at the top. He says you have to be open to the needs and concerns of all group members and flexible enough to meet them.
Participating photographers from previous tours have noted a sense of communion about the trip. Communion with other photographers, with sacred sights and with nature.
“[Ron’s] talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me, as I have always felt this way about it myself,” said Michael McLaughlin. “It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.”
Past participants have also enjoyed going to town to enjoy traditional Irish music at pubs in Westport.
The tour is limited to eight photographers. NANPA members can attend at a special rate, and a donation will be made to the NANPA Foundation. For more information, visit the NANPA Foundation’s site at www.nanpafoundation.org or www.phototc.com.
Don’t delay your registration—the tour has sold out four years in a row.