Frequently Asked Questions (Courses)

How are your live and interactive 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
Session 4: 2.00pm – 2.50pm
Session 5: 3.00pm – 3.50pm
Session 6: 4.00pm – 5.00pm

A reminder email is sent in the week prior to a workshop with login details/passcodes, introductory notes and preparatory recommendations on what to ‘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?
Our experience of working with overseas guests has been utterly wonderful despite the challenges of Time Zone differences for live interactive events. But it is indeed possible for people to attend our live workshops from very different Time Zones. There are two approaches; we can reschedule workshops for specific Time Zones, but to be viable this also requires at least four attendees from those Time Zones. On the other hand, some international guests are in a Time Zone where they are able to commence the workshop and then when they need to sign off we record the remainder of the workshop for them. 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).  Of course this approach also means there will be follow up questions which we are more than happy to answer at a later time.

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 our standard recording of each event can always be made available so that anything you missed can be somewhat made up for.

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 37% 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.

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 courses and workshops structured?
There are six sessions a day separated by generous breaks for refreshments, one-on-one discussion and personal advice. At the start of each course, 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 script’ to best accommodate the needs of the individual within the group, which is an ongoing conversation that continues throughout the course. Therefore every time we present a 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 is five people to ensure an intimate and personalised learning environment.  For Weekend Courses and Short Courses there is a maximum enrolment of 12 people per course, 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 which is capped at a maximum of five people. Some 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, and are equally important irrespective of the delivery method.

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 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 studio 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, both face-to-face and online is innovative, engaging and accessible across a wide demographic.  But we don’t present any of our courses in a traditional ‘computer lab’ environment’ where everyone sits at an identical computer and ‘builds an identical widget’. Personally I find this approach far too generalised and inefficient for the breadth and intensity of the material we cover, and most importantly, its application to your own workflow and aspirations.

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 enrolments between 3 and 6 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 practice 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 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, at The Digital Print 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 large scale event.

What resources/support material is 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 also updated after each event to best reflect its unique content, and therefore also provides an evolving reference library for those who have attended.

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 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. Often refunds can only be given for withdrawals made at least 4 working days prior to the course commencement and sometimes a withdrawal fee will also be charged as a percentage or the course fee. For withdrawals with less than 4 working days notice, the hosting organisation will normally not issue refunds. Transfers between weekend courses are usually possible with at least 4 working days notice before the course commences, and there is often a 12 month limit on transfers. Please note that transfers will be subject to course price increases, and some hosting organisations will also charge a course transfer fee.

Last updated 12 January 2021