Frequently Asked Questions (Education)

Updated 08 November 2023

How are your studio workshops presented?
Our workshops are broadcast from our multi-camera studio in Melbourne, Australia (AEST/AEDT). You attend and participate via free ZOOM video conferencing software on your Computer, Smart Phone or iPad/Tablet. Each workshop comprises six sessions spread over two sequential days (i.e. a weekend), including generous breaks for rest, refreshment, consolidation, research and practice as follows:

SATURDAY – AEST/AEDT                         SUNDAY – AEST/AEDT
Session 1:   9.30am – 10.30am                Session 4:  9.30am – 10.30am
Session 2: 10.45am – 11.45am                Session 5: 10.45am – 11.45am
Session 3: 12.00pm –  1.00pm                Session 6: 12.00pm –  1.00pm

A reminder email is sent ten days prior to each workshop with login details/passcodes, introductory notes/videos and preparatory recommendations on what to prepare and ‘bring’ on the day, plus an upload link for any files, images, texts, or references you’d like us to work on together. While uploading content is not a prerequisite for a workshop, many people take advantage of it.

What equipment is required to attend a workshop?
You will need a laptop or desktop computer, or a smartphone or tablet, an internet connection, speakers/headphones, a microphone, and a webcam either built-in or attached to your computer or mobile device. For example, if your main workstation doesn’t have a webcam or audio, you can also simultaneously logon via a phone or tablet and use that device for audio and/or webcam while also being able to view and work on your workstation’s larger monitor. ZOOM also runs on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iOS and Android and we have a commercial license so there are no restrictions. Full system requirements can be found at ZOOM’s Help Centre.

I don’t live in Australia – can I still attend a workshop?
You most certainly can. Our experience of working with overseas guests has been utterly wonderful despite the challenges of Time Zone differences for live interactive events. For example 9.30am to 1.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight time (AEDT) runs from 2.30pm to 6.00pm Pacific Standard Time (PST) the previous day (eg. Los Angeles or Vancouver), or from 5.30pm to 9.00pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) the previous night (eg, Montreal or New York), but can also finish as late as 3.00am Central European Time (CET) (eg. Vienna, Austria). On the other hand time zones like Hong Kong (HKT) are only two hours earlier. But when Time Zone differences are simply too great we time-shift the workshop by recording in HD our Saturday sessions for watching on Saturday morning in the local time zone, and any questions are addressed on the Sunday which is also recorded in HD with follow up questions separately addressed after the workshop. There is also a hybrid approach where an international guest attends up to the point they need to sleep, and we then send the HD recording(s) of the session(s) they missed, and so on.

I can’t attend on the days the workshop is scheduled – what can I do?
You can still ‘attend’ the workshop in the sense that we can Time-Shift it for you. That is, following the workshop you will be able to view our edited 2.5K HD recordings of the workshop with access to our extensive workshop resources (notes, videos, images, test forms). And you can submit images and questions to be included in the workshop, and following the workshop contact us with any additional questions or topics. So while missing out on the interaction and spontaneous engagements from attending live, you still have access to all of the workshop’s content, support and outcomes.

I completely missed a recent workshop – what can I do?
We can still Time-Shift it for you via the Workshop’s resource rich website (notes, test forms, videos etc.) plus the 2.5K HD video recordings with studio quality audio (in English) of the workshop’s six sessions (minus our attendees’ camera feeds for privacy considerations). So while missing out on the opportunity of participating ‘live’ and having your own images included as case studies, you still have access to all of the workshop’s content and support.

What are the advantages of an online workshop?
Our workshops are presented from our studio therefore all of our resources, equipment, state-of-the-art workflows, libraries and research archives are easily accessible, while those attending are also in the comfort and familiarity of their own working environment, with their own equipment and images. Also there are no travel or accommodation costs, while late comers can enrol at the last minute (when places are available), and enrolments are not constrained by ‘the number of seats around the table’. Also ‘everyone’ enjoys the same POV and the same access and opportunities. Our time can then be entirely focused on how the workshop’s content inspires and assists your individual needs and ambitions, while attendees from all over the world extend and greatly enrich everyone’s experience.

What to do if there is an outage?
If we experience an Internet outage stay online as it can take us up to a minute to resume our ZOOM meeting via mobile data over the 5G network. If we experience a power outage our UPS will instantly take-over so our studio won’t shut down but we’ll most likely lose our internet connection so stay online while we resume our consultation or workshop via 5G. If you lose either your Internet connection and/or power, but still have cellular phone coverage, please TXT your circumstances to us. Our broadcast studio is almost entirely battery powered, where laptops, iPads and cameras, let alone our UPS back up batteries can run without compromise for more than six hours. Therefore any online outages will only be a momentary disruption while we establish a different Internet connection. Such outages represent less than 0.01% of our total uptime, so it is extremely unlikely that a consultation or workshop will be adversely compromised, let alone to the point of having to reschedule it. However if you suffer an irrecoverable outage you are always welcome to re attend the workshop at another time, plus you will have full access to our local HD recordings of any sessions you missed out on.

What is the difference between workshop content presented online compared with face-to-face?
There is no difference in the content, because our attendees’ interests and questions are always at the heart of the workshop.  Of course each approach offers unique advantages, such as screen sharing and file transfers during live interactive broadcasts. Online teaching is also vastly more efficient, and not the least of which are the time, travel, and accommodation savings for the 87% of our attendees who are interstate or international visitors. However online workshops require an internet connection and reasonable bandwidth which is still not equitably available in all countries or regions. Overall, a range of delivery methods from online consulting to face-to-face residential workshops are needed to support everyone, but the content doesn’t need to change.

How experienced do I need to be?
It depends on what you are looking to achieve. Our workshops are intense affairs, covering a lot of information with often surprisingly new or alternative forms of practice for most people. On the other hand we try very hard to ensure our courses and workshops are mostly ‘stand alone’ events in the sense that we do not assume you have attended any of our other events, nor in any particular order. Our only assumption is that you are working at the level the course is presented at, or aspire to work at that level. Any familiarity with the relevant applications and processes is a bonus, but not essential. Most important is the desire to learn and understand more about what you are doing and to become better at it.

What does introductory-intermediate-advanced mean?
What we are trying to indicate are the expectations and interests of those who have attended that workshop in recent years. Of course we start each workshop with a syllabus, but this is just the structured accumulation of questions and topics addressed in that workshop in recent years. Everyone can also share their interests, observations and reasons for attending at the start and during the workshop to ensure the workshop’s content and presentation is as focussed and relevant as can be for those attending. In this sense every workshop we present is a somewhat unique experience, and the ‘level’ it is presented at reflects those considerations.

Who attends your consultations and workshops?
A broad range of people enrol in our workshops and book consultations for all sorts of reasons. Approximately a third are professional artists who want to seriously refine their technique, and/or want to know what is required to significantly expand their understanding, appreciation, and practice. Some are making the transition to digital processing or from basic to advanced digital processes. Approximately a third are enthusiasts supporting their interests and passion for all things photographic. And approximately a third are professional photographers seeking inspiration and/or wanting to up-skill or consolidate their technique, and/or more efficiently integrate and facilitate their daily workflows.

How are the workshops structured?
There are six sessions evenly spread across two sequential days, with generous breaks for rest, refreshment, one-on-one discussion, consolidation and practice, and personal advice. Before the workshop commences, and at the start of each day following our welcome and introduction, everyone has the opportunity to introduce themselves, and share their interests and reasons for attending. We use this feedback to modify ‘our syllabus’ to best accommodate the needs of each individual within the group, which is an ongoing conversation that continues throughout the workshop. Therefore every time we present a workshop it invariably ends up being a somewhat unique experience.

How many people are in the course?
Our studio workshop enrolments vary depending on the workshop content, but in most workshops the average enrolment is five people to ensure an intimate and personalised learning environment. Some workshops are strictly capped due to the amount of equipment and ‘hands-on’ interaction required, such as our Digital Printing studio workshop. Other workshops can be successfully presented to both large and small groups, however too many attendees also ensures not enough individual attention, while too small a number reduces the group dynamic and interaction, both of which we value equally irrespective of the content being presented.

What support material and resources are provided?
Each workshop has its own resource rich website containing detailed class notes, videos, presets/actions/macros and test forms/images covering the main concepts and processes presented. Each website is updated after the workshop to best reflect its unique content, and therefore also provides an evolving reference library for those who have attended. Attendees’ images that have been featured as ‘case studies’ are returned with all adjustments intact, and where appropriate, key sections of the workshop can be  recorded and made available as well.

What happens at one of your events?
Our workshops are live, interactive ‘hands-on’ events where we work with you and your images, interests and aspirations. For example, in our Digital Printing workshop we are collaborating with you in the preparation and printing of your images to the highest imaginable standard. Our priority is to acknowledge and attend to your individual needs and integrate them into the overall content of the workshop. Therefore our workshops are somewhat unique events modified according the aims and ambitions of those attending. Presentations for larger groups, such as for our major sponsors, tend to be conducted as online seminars and webinars with detailed exposition, analysis and discussion supported by real world demonstrations and case studies. The exceptions are our residential workshops where two thirds of our time together is devoted to practice and consolidation, therefore combining the best of our intimate studio workshop format with the collaboration, diversity and community of a larger scale event.

Do I work on a computer?
To participate in our online events you’ll need a Computer or Smart Phone or iPad/Tablet with internet access and reasonable bandwidth. Our studio workshops are delivered via ZOOM video conferencing software with DropBox facilitating our direct File Request uploads/downloads, and if needed Team Viewer Remote Desktop software. In our residential face-to-face workshops it is essential to have your own computer with you, as your entire workflow from capture to processing, editing, printing and publishing is what the event revolves around. In some workshops, such as our 3DLUT Creator workshop, you need to have the software already installed and working on your computer as practising and problem solving with your own images is critically important. But with other workshops, such as our Digital Printing or Fine Art Reproduction studio workshops this is less critical, though using a web cam to explore and analyse your working and viewing environment can be particularly helpful in the implementation of relevant ISO standards and workflow refinements. In all cases our mode of presentation, whether online or face-to-face is innovative, engaging and accessible across a wide demographic. We also never present any of our workshops or courses in a traditional ‘computer lab’ environment’ where everyone sits at an identical computer and ‘builds an identical widget’. Pedagogically we find this approach far too limiting and inefficient for the breadth and intensity of the material we cover, and most importantly, your application, integration, and creative aspirations.

What order should I take your studio workshops in?
Though some people attend our workshops in the order in which they are presented throughout the year, just as many attend on a ‘need to know basis’. It is also not unusual for someone to enrol in an ‘introductory level’ workshop (to fill in ‘the gaps’) after they have attended some of our more ‘advanced’ workshops, while others repeatedly enrol in the same workshops over a number of years in order to keep abreast of the latest developments in that field.

What are the differences between a studio workshop and a photography retreat?
The range of abilities required by the contemporary digital artist are extensive and cover both intellectual skills and practical skills. The critical intellectual skills can be acquired rather quickly, over a weekend for example, but their consolidation into an efficient practice normally takes a great deal longer to perfect. Our studio workshops are the most efficient, cost effective and convenient way of accessing the critical distinctions and essential knowledge to ensure best practice. Like us, you are also working in your own environment, with your own equipment and images and are able to immediately apply the workshop outcomes, and without additional costs or time and resource compromises. On the other hand, our eight day photography retreats in addition to covering similar content provide the face-to-face supervision, creative experience and artistic lifestyle of an ‘Art School’. For example, our Orpheus Island or Daintree photography retreats combine lectures, demonstrations and field trips each morning with supervised practice, focussed research, and private consultations all afternoon and late into every evening.

What if I can’t attend a workshop or consultation that I have booked?
• Studio workshop fees are fully refundable at anytime.
• Personal consultations can be cancelled or rescheduled as required.