Frequently Asked Questions (Education)

How are your live and interactive studio workshops presented?
Our studio workshops are broadcast from our multi-camera virtual studio from 10.00am to 5.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), and everyone is most welcome to login anytime after 9.45am AEST when we open the studio in preparation for our 10.00am start.  The workshops are presented via free Zoom video conferencing software on your Computer, Smart Phone or iPad/Tablet, and across six 60 minute sessions including rest breaks between each session as follows:

Session 1: 10.00am – 10.50am  AEST
Session 2: 11.00am – 11.50am
Session 3: 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Break
Session 4: 2.00pm – 2.50pm
Session 5: 3.00pm – 3.50pm
Session 6: 4.00pm – 5.00pm

A reminder email is sent a fortnight prior to each workshop with login details/passcodes, introductory notes and preparatory recommendations on what to prepare and ‘bring’ on the day, plus an upload link for any files/images/texts/references you’d like us to work on together. While uploading files is not a prerequisite for a workshop, the opportunity is there if you find it helpful.

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. Zoom 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, and many people find they can attend our live workshops. For example a 10.00am to 5.00pm workshop Melbourne AEST runs from 3.00pm to 10.00pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) the previous night (eg. Vancouver), or from 6.00pm to 1.00am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) the previous night (eg, in Montreal or New York), but can also finish as late as 3.00am or 4.00am Brasília Time (BRT) depending on the time of the year  (eg.Rio de Janeiro).  On the other hand when Time Zone differences are too great (eg. UK) we simply schedule a repeat workshop for that specific Time Zone.

What are the advantages of an online workshop?
Our workshops are presented online from our studio therefore all of our resources, equipment, libraries and research is at our finger tips, while those attending are also in the comfort and familiarity of their own working environment, equipment and images. Also no one has to travel so there are no travel or accommodation costs, late comers can enrol at the last minute (when places are available), and enrolments are not constrained by ‘the number of seats around a table’. Our time can then be entirely focused on how the workshop’s content inspires and assists your own workflow, 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 NBN 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 NBN 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 briefly TXT your circumstances to us at +614 38 59 00 93.  Our virtual 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 hold up while we establish a different Internet connection. Typically 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 to the point of having to reschedule it. However if you suffer irrecoverable outages you are always welcome to re attend the workshop at another time.

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/accommodation savings for the 67% of our attendees who are interstate or international visitors. Online delivery can also be problematic, for example Auslan is challenging to incorporate in live non-lecture based delivery, while online can be a distinct advantage for someone who is physically impaired.  Online workshops also 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 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 courses and 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  the structured accumulation of questions and topics addressed in that workshop in recent years. Everyone can also share their reasons for attending, interests and observations before and during the workshop, which ensures the workshop’s content and presentation is as 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 courses and workshops?
A broad range of people enrol in our courses and 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 and appreciation, or who are making the transition to digital processing. 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 workflow.

How are the workshops and courses structured?
There are six sessions a day separated by breaks for refreshments, one-on-one discussion and personal advice. Before the workshop commences, and at the start of each workshop 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 or course 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.  For Master Classes, Weekend Courses and Short Courses there is a maximum enrolment of 12 people, with typical attendances ranging from 8 to 12 people, though this also depends on the course content and hosting venue.  Some workshops are strictly capped due to the amount of  equipment and ‘hands-on’ interaction required, such as our Digital Printing studio workshop. Other courses 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 delivery method.

What support material and resources are provided?
Each workshop has its own resource rich website containing detailed class notes, videos and test forms/images covering the main concepts and processes presented. The websites are updated after each event to best reflect its unique content, and therefore also provides an evolving reference library for those who have attended.

What happens at one of your events?
Our courses and 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, while our 3DLUT Creator – Beyond Photoshop workshop helps you harness the ‘magic’ of Adobe Photoshop while quickly evolving beyond its frustrating and contradictory limitations. We acknowledge and attend to individual needs and integrate them into the overall content of the course. Therefore our workshops are somewhat unique events modified according the needs of those attending. Presentations for larger groups, such as for our major sponsors, tend to be conducted as 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 face-to-face courses everyone is welcome to bring a laptop computer with them, and at our week long residential workshops it is essential to have your own computer with you, as your workflow (capture/processing/editing/printing/publishing) is what the event revolves around. In some workshops, such as our 3DLUT Creator – Beyond Photoshop workshop, you need to have the software already installed and working on your computer as practising with your own images is so critically important. But with other workshops, such as our Digital Printing or Fine Art Reproduction studio workshops it 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 generalised and inefficient for the breadth and intensity of the material we cover, and most importantly, its application and integration with your own workflow and aspirations.

What order should I take your studio workshops in?
Though some people attend our Studio 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 enroll in an ‘introductory level’ course (to fill in ‘the gaps’) after they have attended some of our more ‘advanced’ workshops, while others repeatedly enroll 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 two day/weekend course?
Our studio workshops are small scale one day intensive events broadcast from our Melbourne studio, and are therefore very ‘hands-on’ with state of the art equipment and workflows and direct access to our research archives and online libraries. Our two day/weekend courses cover similar content to our studio workshops, but are mainly presented face to face at interstate venues where the two day format enables more people to attend, and additional questions/topics of interest can be included without compromising the course’s main content and objectives. Our two day/weekend courses have enrolments between 6 and 12 people depending on the venue and facilities, and run from 10.00am to 4.30pm on both days. Studio workshops have average enrolments of 5 people depending on the content, and run from 10.00am to 5.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, though this can be modified according to the time zones people are in.

What are the differences between a weekend course and a short course?
Different people prefer different approaches to learning. A two day/weekend course provides an efficient, productive and cost effective learning experience that can also be presented at a wide range or interstate and country venues. A short course on the other hand will cover the same material and run for the same total duration only spread over many weeks rather than a single intensive weekend. Therefore short courses are really only practical for people living within easy traveling distance of the venue. Short courses therefore extend the incremental learning model of a weekend course but over an even longer duration (eg. six weeks) which can be an advantage for some people, especially those who learn best through extended supervised practice.

What are the differences between a weekend and a residential course?
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 two day/weekend courses and one day studio workshops provide the fundamental distinctions and critical knowledge to support best practice, while our week long residential workshops provide the supervised experience and focused application needed to consolidate and refine those skills in a relatively short period of time. For example, events like our Orpheus Island or Daintree residential workshops combine lectures, demonstrations and field trips in the morning with supervised practice and private consultations in the afternoon and late into the evening.

What happens if I can’t attend a Studio Workshop, a Personal Consultation, or a Weekend Course that I have booked?

Studio Workshops:
Fees for our Studio Workshops are fully refundable.

Personal Consultations:
Personal Consultations can be rescheduled as required because they only involve one person per consultation.

Weekend courses: 
This depends on the hosting organisation’s policy, which we will include in each weekend course’s description.