Being a Creative Photographer
with Dr Les Walkling
This weekend workshop is dedicated to insightful and expressive photographic practice. Being a creative photographer is much more than saying ‘yes or no’ to presets, filters, recipes and clichés. Creative photography is about knowing what is possible, learning to do it yourself, and then playing with that knowledge. In this course we borrow from four genres of photography: the natural world (Landscape/Natural History), inhabited places (Events/Travel), the built environment (Architecture), and ourselves (Portraiture). Each genre is categorised in terms of technical proficiency, historical perspectives, theoretical foundations, and post processing/finishing skills. The aim is to incorporate and refine aspects of these different approaches into your own photographic practice, significantly enhancing your creative outcomes.
Specific topics include:
Photographing the Natural World:
Through the lens of contemporary landscape photography, natural history photography, and the photograph as a document, the following elements will be explored:
• Technical: Depth of field/movement calculations
• Post Production: Stacking and combining images
• Historical: Photographing spaces versus photographing things
• Theoretical: Land matters
Focussing on portrait compositions, posing, lighting and staging strategies, environmental portraiture, and the photograph as a diary, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of portraiture techniques.
• Technical: Understanding lighting/working with light
• Post production: Rendering skin tones
• Historical: Photographing what can’t be seen
• Theoretical: Intimate lives
Photographing the Built Environment:
By examining architectural photography, including its objects and spaces, and the photograph as a spatial narrative, participants will consider:
• Technical: Perspective and tilt/shift lenses
• Post Production: Correcting lens distortions
• Historical: The 2D representation of space and volume
• Theoretical: The deadpan aesthetic
The Photography of inhabited places:
This session investigates travel and lifestyle photography, event photography, reportage, and the photograph as witness:
• Technical: Low light/high contrast lighting
• Post Production: High volume workflows and batch processing
• Historical: Representation versus identification
• Theoretical: Moments found/moments created
The only prerequisite for this workshop is that photographers have a basic understanding of their camera, its controls and capabilities, and are interested in refining their practice.
In addition to questions, attendees are also encouraged to bring any files, prints, and photo books along with their camera and lenses, as every session prioritises feedback and support of participants' aims. This weekend course is devoted to helping photographers in a supportive and encouraging environment, within a contemporary art setting, to become better informed, more assured, and more skilful as a creative photographer.
The workshop is also supported by a resource rich website including detailed course notes, videos, and images.
About Dr Les Walkling
Les Walkling is a renowned artist, educator and art consultant. Les holds a special place in the history of CCP (formerly Victorian Centre for Photography), having been among a group of leading teachers and practitioners who originally established the centre in 1986. He has been teaching specialised workshops since 1977, and was the Program Director of Media Arts (1993 – 2005) and a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Art (2006-2010) at RMIT University. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, and also serves on museum boards/committees of management and cultural and technical advisory groups. As an artist, his work is exhibited and represented in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Australia. In recent years his practice has expanded to include major collaborative projects with other artists including Peter Kennedy, Polixeni Papapetrou, Peta Clancy, Siri Hayes, and Bill Henson.