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Weekend Creative Workshop 9th-11th August 2019

Weekend Creative Workshop 9th-11th August 2019


  • Group size: max 3

  • Location: Clarence Valley NSW (map)

  • Fitness Level: Medium. Some short walking and rock hopping required.

  • Terrain: rocks, beach, dunes.

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What You Can Expect

This weekend workshop is intended to give you an intensive learning and creative experience in the beautiful town of Yamba and the surrounding area.

The format of this weekend workshop will be similar to my regular workshops, with a lot more time for shooting critiquing and processing images. In some ways, you can think of it as two workshops combined, but with some extra goodies to be found within the workshop sandwich.

On Friday night we'll be out for late afternoon and sunset at one or two locations around Yamba. Saturday morning we will get up for sunrise at another location before coming back to my home studio for a critique and processing session. We'll break around lunchtime for everyone to go back to their accomodation, get some food and rest before we meet again at another location for another sunset session. As you'd expect, we'll be out again for sunrise and then we'll come  

As you'd expect, we'll be out again for sunrise on Sunday and then we'll come back to the studio for a further review and processing session, this time focusing on maximising the potential of our images in the Develop module. We'll review and collate each attendees images, creating a small portfolio of work from the weekend as well as a printed image to take with you to hang in your home.

So that's 4 in-the-field sessions, 4-8 locations, 2 review and processing sessions, as well as a few short talks by myself and some creative exercises to help you along the way.

It's quite to be intense, but it's also going to be a wonderful experience to immerse yourself in your photography and help uncover your vision, or rediscover your photographic mojo ('phojo' as I call it!). 

I'm restricting this workshop to three attendees so that I can maximise my focus on your needs and give you as much direction as focus. I'll also chauffeur us around. 

We'll cover all of the below and heaps more:

  • the ‘Exposure Triangle’: ISO, aperture, shutter speed and their relationships

  • your camera’s different modes: Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual mode explained

  • exposure: how to make and assess a good exposure, including filter usage

  • focusing: how to get your images sharply in focus

  • composition: understanding what makes good composition, learning to see how the camera sees

  • lighting: making the most of available light, dealing with ‘difficult’ light

  • location planning: using available tools to decide where and when to photograph

  • creative approaches: understand the many available options to use your camera to achieve a more artistic result.

  • personal vision and style: what it is, how to find it, how to combine your vision, fieldwork and digital darkroom skills to realise a consistent personal vision and image workflow.

  • …and more.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Before we meet I will speak to you about your specific photographic needs so that I can focus on those. Throughout the day I’ll share advice and suggestions on these and other topics. I am fully at your disposal during our time together so feel free to bombard me with all of those questions you’ve never had adequately answered elsewhere. As I always say “there are no stupid questions”. Sometimes all it takes is for one particular concept to be explained well for everything else to fall into place, so don’t be shy!This workshop offers something for all skill levels and experience. For beginners we’ll likely spend most of our time on the topics above, in particular familiarisation with the camera, key concepts and skills. For intermediate and advanced photographers we will spend more on advanced techniques and the creative process.

This workshop is split into two sessions. The first session is during the Saturday afternoon and sunset. This gives plenty of time to learn and practice camera skills as the light continues to improve towards sunset.

The second session starts at dawn the following morning where, with an easterly aspect, we will concentrate on the rising sun out to sea and the beautiful orange glow on the landscape around us.

Each session is typically 4 hours long, but can be longer or shorter depending on the weather and quality of light.

I’m a firm believer that post-processing is a fundamental part of the image making process. As such spending time in the field with the camera feels like only telling half of the story. For this reason I offer a special 4 hour post-processing session at a special upgrade price of $100. This session will take place on Sunday morning following the sunrise session at my home studio, and is something of a lightweight version of my ‘Introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop’ workshop that I run at other times (see an example here).

My services remain available even once the workshop has ended. Once home I will discuss your results with you via email, offering post processing help and suggestions, image critique, or any lingering questions you may have. If there’s anything else I can help you with, just ping me an email and I’ll be happy to advise.

When you leave this workshop you will have a much better understanding of your camera and how to use it to create beautiful photographs. My goal is to make sure you go home at least one image that you can share with your friends and proudly hang on your wall.


A great workshop in a great location at a great price. What’s not to love?

Still not sure? Here’s what some past attendees had to say about the experience:

“I’d thoroughly recommend Duncan’s workshops – our trip was a memorable experience. Duncan has a great knowledge of the areas he takes you to and an infectious enthusiasm for his chosen location.”

“He is patient and encouraging and his experience of capturing the detail in moving water/cascades/falls helped us to see what he looked for and how it could make a great image.”

“Small groups ensure that everyone gets quality time and guidance – we each came back with images we were very pleased with… and a hankering to go somewhere again soon to try out the techniques and observations.”