Centre for Contemporary Photography





Being a Creative Photographer with Dr Les Walkling – Semester I




Being a Creative Photographer
with Dr Les Walkling

Semester I
Weekend Intensive
Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 2019, 10am–4.30pm

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

Portrait Photography:
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 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.

Image: Les Walkling, Note to a friend

*In registering to participate in this event, you acknowledge you will enter an area where photography, audio, and video recording may occur.

By entering the event premises, you consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for news, web casts, promotional purposes, telecasts, advertising, inclusion on websites, social media, or any other purpose by CCP and its affiliates and representatives. Images, photos and/or videos may be used to promote similar CCP events in the future, highlight the event and exhibit the capabilities of CCP. You release CCP, its officers and employees, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitising, or publication and use of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or or sound recordings.

By entering the event premises, you waive all rights you may have to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with any use, exhibition, streaming, web casting, televising, or other publication of these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring of such use, exhibiting, broadcasting, web casting, or other publication irrespective of whether a fee for admission or sponsorship is charged. You also waive any right to inspect or approve any photo, video, or audio recording taken by CCP or the person or entity designated to do so by CCP.

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