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Leader Spotlight – Phil Malpas and Clive Minnitt

Posted on 29th May 2015

For our latest Leader Spotlight article we thought we’d showcase one of our best loved duos – Phil Malpas and Clive Minnitt. These two hard-working leaders have just completed tours to Sark and then Tuscany almost immediately afterwards - before jetting off to Santorini next week, Umbria later in June, Slovenia in September, Maine and Vermont in October and Bhutan in November. Now that’s what we call a packed schedule, and 2016 is looking about the same!

It’s clear that Phil and Clive are very popular tutors, with many of their tours booking up almost instantly. And we know from our past guest survey that the quality of our leaders is a key reason why our loyal customers keep coming back time and again – in fact, 91% of those we interviewed scored our leaders as 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 6, which we think says it all . . . So if you’re interested in travelling with Phil and Clive – the next tour for which we still have a few spaces is Slovenia in September 2015. Find out more towards the end of this article, or click the link for further details!

For those of you who may not know, Phil joined Light & Land in 1994, so is now well into his third decade with us, having led over 80 tours and workshops all over the world! But it wasn’t until 2002 that he led his first tour with Clive, creating a partnership which has seen them lead numerous tours together, and also to co-author a book, ‘Finding the Picture’ in 2009. Phil also contributed to our ‘Travel Photography Masterclass’ with many of our other tutors.

                                  Slovenia Copyright Phil Malpas

As a freelance photographer, educator and writer, Phil is experienced in the use of large format, DSLRs and digital compact cameras. He also has a reputation for explaining complicated subjects in simple language, and his passion for photographing almost anything is infectious. Which is probably why he works so well with Clive - who has an enthusiasm for finding and producing great images, coupled with a mischievous sense of humour which our clients love. In his eyes, combining photography and having fun are inextricably linked, and this is clearly something which our clients really appreciate.

Clive is one of our most experienced leaders - and his love of the outdoors, coupled with a never-ending desire to travel and explore the world, makes him ideally suited to leading our tours. As he puts it, “Being a photographer is not like a job, it’s a way of life.” In addition to running over 65 Light & Land tours, he has also published numerous critically-acclaimed books - including ‘Clevedon Pier’, a celebration of England’s finest pier, which he self published in 2008, as well as Isle of Sark and Finding the Picture (both jointly with Phil), Santorini, Folegandros, The Gorillas Have Landed and Bristol Hot-Air Balloons. And like Phil, he also contributed to our ‘Travel Photography Masterclass’ series.

   Images copyright Clive Minnitt

It’s easy to see why Phil and Clive are such popular tutors, with a combination of expertise and enthusiasm which makes them a very unique duo. We’ve received numerous comments about them from our guests over the years (mostly all publishable!) and here are just a few, from some of our more recent tours:

"If I could rate my 'overall satisfaction' with the tour as 'ecstatic,' I would do so. Clive and Phil are superb tour leaders. They were always available to help us make better images, whether it was with technical tips or compositional suggestions. Highly organized but without making anyone feel regimented. The opportunity for critiques of our individual work was wonderful. And they are simply wonderful people to spend time with. Five stars!!"

“This was my first photographic tour and I was mightily impressed. The week was a revelation to me and surpassed anything that I had imagined. I will be back for more next year. You are both masters of what you do - professional photographers, teachers, tour planners, organisers and guides. Superb jobs, well done. Many thanks.”

"Both individually and as a team I found Clive and Phil to be remarkable men. They truly put the group's photography before their own. It was like having a private tutor, if you wanted one. They responded to each person's desires and interests on an individual basis. They are patient, kind, and gifted teachers and the communication between them was a joy to be around. They also like to have fun and we laughed a lot."

“Thank you for an excellent week in Tuscany. I really enjoyed our time together and was very grateful for your input and feedback throughout the week. You had the great gift of giving some hints and tips and then leaving us to it; but sensing when we needed help! You really have got a winning formula in the way you work together and I’d love to join you again on another tour in the future.”

“Thank you for all your care and attention on the trip . You both put in a great deal of hard work into the trip and it showed. Cannot thank you both enough for your help and advice in improving my photography. I very much look forward to travelling with you both again.”

“Clive and Phil are always in close attendance to give help and advice as and when required. That help being directed precisely at one’s own level of ability and experience. I really progressed my photographic knowledge and ability and cannot thank Phil and Clive enough for their patience, care, hard work, attention to detail and good humour - for what was a fabulous week.”

“Thank you both for a great trip. As always you two are great fun and more importantly great teachers. I just hope I can put everything into practice! I'm already looking forward to my next trip.”

“The success of our Tuscany week was due almost overwhelmingly to your organization, hard work, knowledge of places to visit, and leadership skills. You are both, as usual, on top of your games.

"My heartfelt thanks again for making sure we had such an outstanding tour. Can't wait to do it again next February in Myanmar!”

“We really enjoyed ourselves. You are both great teachers . . . experts in your fields, yet able to communicate at many different levels. I think it’s fair to say that we all have learnt a great deal from you both.”

Phil and Clive’s next available tour, for which we still have just a few places at the moment, is to Slovenia in September – for what we’re sure will be an outstanding trip. This is Light & Land’s third tour to this prosperous and exciting country, and Phil and Clive are delighted to be visiting Slovenia again whilst it is still relatively unknown. We will be based just 34 miles to the north west of the capital Ljubijana, and only 22 miles from the international airport in the Julian Alps, where the landscape is wild and beautiful.

Our hotel is close to the centre of the mountain village of Bled, within a stone’s throw of the picturesque Lake Bled in the heart of the Julian Alps. Bled is recognised as the gateway to the best the area has to offer, with mountains, castles, churches and breath-taking waterfalls just a short drive from the hotel. In the centre of the emerald green lake, on Slovenia’s only island, lies an iconic 15th century church. Overlooked by its lofty neighbour Bled Castle, the ‘Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary’, with its 170 foot tower, simply begs to be photographed!

Slovenia has over 10,000 kilometres of signposted hiking trails and over a third of the countryside is protected, which allows us uninhibited access to the best Alpine scenery, without the need for long drives. We will dedicate the daylight hours to exploring the very best that this little known country has to offer, whilst always making the most of the prevailing weather conditions and time of day. Visit our Slovenia Tour page for full details – we do hope you can join us!

And one last thing to mention - Phil and Clive are both doing talks during our Light & Land on The Mall exhibition in August, and will also both be holding one-to-one critique sessions. These are bound to be booked up very quickly, so have a look at our Timetable now, for information on all the session timings and for details of how to book your place!


Tuscany, copyright Phil Malpas                                                   Myanmar, copyright Clive Minnitt

Post By Charlie Waite

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