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Avon Valley Masterclass – May 2017

<em>Avon Valley from Above</em> by Tony Hewitt

Avon Valley from Above by Tony Hewitt

UPDATE – 22 July 2016: No further registrations are being accepted for this Masterclass.

“A photographer who wants to see, a photographer who wants to make fine images, must recognise the value of the familiar”.   [Freeman Patterson]

Tony Hewitt, AIPP Grand Master Photographer & Australian Professional Photographer of the Year and Denis Glennon AO, intrepid travel photographer, present the first in their 2016 Masterclass series.

This Masterclass runs over four days – Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon – 16th, 17th, 18th & 19th September 2016.

We invite you to join us, at the best time of the year, in the magnificent Avon Valley for The Travelling Eye.

The Travelling Eye

All travel photographers are at the mercy of conditions thrown their way. They have to be masters of light, whether they find themselves at a stunning seascape and a howling wind arrives out of nowhere, or because of horrendous traffic congestion they find themselves photographing the Holi festival in Varanasi, in the harshest noon light.

The better travel photographers tend not to just photograph what they literally see in their viewfinder but also use what they see as as possibilities for creative interpretations.

This kind of photography is also about photographing how you feel about what you see. It is the creative process of interpreting what you see.Slow-Motion-Penguins This creativity has much to do with the human experience of emotion. It’s not enough to have an image that’s technically perfect anymore. Sometimes it’s the “imperfections” you introduce that give the image the humanity, and what distinguishes your style or signature. How to do this is the constant challenge.

Getting inside the heads of talented and experienced photographers remains one of the more effective ways for people to learn the art and craft of travel photography. Seeing what they see, knowing what they think and feel before they press the shutter button and understanding what they hoped to achieve in their photographs is a compelling way of improving your own photography.

On this Masterclass you to learn from real-life, practical examples and go behind the scenes of actual photo shoots by Tony & Denis. A series of their photo shoots are broken down and analysed bringing a myriad of photographic and life lessons that are inextricably linked to the creation of captivating images.

What you will learn is not only specific to the particular shoots but will help give you insights into what it takes to create a body of work that includes award winners and magazine cover shots.

For each of their selected photo shoots, Tony & Denis will tell you about:

  • their objectives for the shoot, which in many cases developed and evolved when shooting.thewitt-shkbay-red-coast-230px
  • the practical and technical challenges that different light scenarios brought as well as their solutions.
  • deciding the moment when they pressed the shutter button.
  • their practical and aesthetic reasoning behind compositional choices.
  • the ‘biggest challenge’ and ‘how they managed it’ in each shoot.
  • the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of post processing they thought about before taking the shot.
  • the part the “inner eye” plays in the process of selecting subjects for photographic art.
  • the value of both narrative and illustrative picture making.
  • strengthening the connection between unbridled imagination, child-like curiosity, self-confidence and capture (or discerning when not to press the shutter).
  • how to seek and find the elusive veil in which great photographs come cloaked, whether they be portraits, landscapes, seascapes, or aerial images.
  • the concept and practice of contemplative photography – when our eye, mind, and heart are unified and engaged in the present moment, we see the world as it manifests to us and we express the experience of seeing in this way, with our camera.

In addition to the above, you will participate in sunrise and sunset shoots as together we discover the unique beauty and moods of the town of York and the Avon Valley.

Overcoming Challenges of Travel Photography

Last year, Denis spent over five months travelling and photographing in remote parts of the world (including the Okavango Delta, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Norway, Ireland, South America, the Arctic, Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica). Similarly in 2015, Tony travelled and photographed in many parts of Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, Fiji, Iceland and the USA.

Learn how two seasoned photographers overcome the constant challenges of travel, yet arrive in distant overseas locations, composed and calm, with the correct gear to start shooting immediately they arrive, every time?

  • what kind of packing lists do they use?
  • what’s in their individual camera bags when travelling?thewitt-shkbay-salt-lake-blue-230px
  • what gear choices do they make when packing?
  • what are their preferred lenses for aerial photography?
  • what about insurance of camera gear?
  • what do they do in the field to ensure they come home with the very best images possible from each trip?
  • what local resources do they use in sometimes very remote overseas locations?
  • how do they find and screen local ‘specialists’ (if they are needed)?
  • what is their approach to leading small groups of photographers?
  • health issues in remote destinations?

So much planning, so many things to prepare, so many questions!

In formal and informal sessions Tony & Denis will generously share with you the reservoirs of experience they have accumulated over the years.

Your Images – how to improve them

There will be a number of sessions where Tony & Denis will provide gentle and constructive comments on your images.

The Masterclass is confined to a maximum of twelve (12) participants and we require a minimum of eight (8) participants for it to proceed.

Two Helicopter Shoots Included

“The inexpressible is the only thing that is worthwhile expressing”.  [Fredrick Franck, The Zen of Seeing]

AS350 300px wide

An additional component of this Masterclass is the inclusion of two helicopter flights with doors removed of approximately 20 mins duration, for you to capture some special images of the valley at a prime time of the year.

Aerial photography offers a decidedly different perspective compared to shooting at ground level. It is a rewarding, challenging and enriching experience as it can produce spectacular images that look quite different to any other photography you have ever done. Put simply, things look different from above! Increasingly, options of aerial photography are offered to photographers, e.g. hot air balloon flights, fixed wing aircraft, microlight aircraft (with conditions) and helicopters. The information and techniques you will learn during the Masterclass and the two helicopter flights will equip you to come home with sharp and well composed images from the Avon Valley and for any future aerial photography you undertake.

Before flying you will be provided with detailed guidance on optimum camera settings and shooting techniques. Also before flying, Tony & Denis will present a series of images they have taken from the air and will take you through the process, including the equipment and settings they used to capture these images.

But this Masterclass is about more than shooting from the air. It is about developing what Tony & I call The Travelling Eye

What’s Included?

It is a “total package” Masterclass and includes:

  • Single occupancy/unshared accommodation at Faversham House, on Fri, Sat & Sun nights, 16th, 17th & 18th Sept 2016.
  • All meals, (excluding alcohol) – including BBQ at Faversham House on Fri, dinner at York Palace Hotel or Faversham House on Sat & Sun evenings, breakfast on Sat, Sun & Mon mornings, light lunch/food platter on Sat, Sun & Mon and morning & afternoon tea/coffee, at Faversham House.
  • Two helicopter flights of around 20 mins duration to photograph, with the doors removed. Precise timing of flights will be determined with the assistance of the pilot, selecting the best light and weather to maximize photography of the Avon Valley. Please note each helicopter flight will be subject to weather conditions and a final decision by the helicopter pilot. Whilst the current schedule is to fly on the Sat & Sun, this may change if more favourable weather conditions prevail whilst we are there.
  • Sunrise and sunset shoots – the final selection of locations will be influenced by the prevailing weather and light on that weekend. [Tony & Denis will have pre-selected the most photogenic locations in and adjacent to York].
  • Possibly a session of star photography subject to cloud cover when we are there.
  • Attendance at all Masterclass tutorials.

Faversham House, York – Our Venue

Faversham House is one of Australia’s oldest privately owned grand colonial mansions, now in the safekeeping of Richard and Nola Bliss since 2003.

It is the most recognized historic guest manor in Western Australia, listed with the National Trust and registered on the National Estate of the Australian Heritage Commission.

Established by the pioneering Monger family in 1840, it has been superbly restored, with Georgian, Victorian and country styled décor.Faversham House

It provides pleasure and comfort, peace and tranquility – absolutely the ideal location to complement the contemplative theme of this Masterclass.

Set on 5 acres of heritage parkland gardens and vineyards overlooking Mt Brown, in the heart of the historic Town of York, Faversham House is less than 75 minutes from Perth.

So much more than just a room, or even a house – it is an experience!

The attention to detail will ensure your soul will be nourished with the peaceful surroundings and a wonderful country environment.

Dates & Times

Fri 16th, Sat 17th, Sun 18th & Mon 19th September 2016.

Participants are requested to book into Faversham House between 2.00 – 2.30 pm on Fri 16th Sept.

The first presentation will commence at 3.00 pm at which a detailed timetable for presentations, shoots and helicopter flights will be provided.

The last presentation will commence at 2.00 pm on Mon 19th Sept and the group will depart Faversham House around 3.30 pm allowing a comfortable drive back to Perth in daylight.

Cost, How to Register & More Details


The cost is $3,750.00 per person, payable in full at the time of registration.

This cost includes the two aerial photography shoots in a Eurocopter Squirrel AS350 or similar helicopter.

You will automatically receive a receipt upon registration and payment.

This receipt is your confirmation of registration; please retain it in a safe place and take it with you to York.

You may use Visa or MasterCard, or PayPal when registering.

How to Register

To register, click the “Buy Now” button below, and follow the prompts.

The Masterclass is confined to a maximum of twelve (12) participants and we require a minimum of eight (8) participants for it to proceed.

Should you wish to read the Terms & Provisions of Registration, please click: Terms & Provisions of Registration

If You Would Like More Details

If you have any queries before registering, please drop an email to: denis@denisglennon.com or call me on 0418 923 103 or to tony@tonyhewitt.com or call Tony on 0411 555 508

Tony & I look forward to you joining us for what promises to be a great and different weekend of photography during which we hope to teach you how to express your visual perceptions exactly as you experience them.

If this Masterclass is not for you, perhaps you might consider forwarding the information to a friend, who may like to know about it.

What Equipment Do I Need?

There is no necessity to purchase special camera equipment for this Masterclass.


We suggest you take along the following items of gear:

  • the camera(s) you normally use – including camera strap(s) for safety in the helicopter.
  • the manual(s) for your camera(s), either a hard copy or an electronic copy on your tablet or laptop.
  • a few spare memory cards for your camera(s).
  • a wide-angle lens (prime or zoom in the following ranges: 16-35mm, 18-55mm, 24-70mm or 24-105mm).
  • a medium telephoto lens (prime or zoom in the following ranges: 18-300mm, 55-200mm, 70-200mm, 100-400mm).
  • lens cleaning cloths.
  • blower brush (in case dust/sand gets into the camera when changing lenses)
  • circular Polarizer filters (if you already own them).
  • graduated ND Filters and holder (if you normally use them and already own them).
  • a solid tripod (for landscape and low light photography).
  • a ball head for your tripod.
  • remote control – manual or electronic (if you already own one).
  • laptop loaded with a working copy of Lightroom or Photoshop or other image post-processing software. [We emphasize this is not a Masterclass on either Lightroom or Photoshop]
  • the card reader and associated cable you normally use for downloading images to your laptop.
  • external hard drive (the one you normally use for backing up images).
  • chargers and associated power leads for laptop and camera battery charger(s).
  • A USB stick/flash drive (for transferring images from one laptop to another).

In addition to the camera gear, ensure you take along:

  • a warm top or jumper.
  • camera vest (if you already own one).
  • good pair of walking shoes (for sunrise & sunset shoots).
  • sun cream.
  • sun glasses.
  • wide-brimmed hat.
  • insect repellent.
  • reading glasses (if you normally wear them).
  • personal medications (if normally used).

Some Sample Images

If you would like to see some of Tony’s photographic work, please click: Tony Hewitt

To see some of Denis’ latest images, please click: Denis’ Images

To see a few of Denis’ aerial images taken in various countries, some from planes and some from balloons, click: Aerial Images by Denis.

View Larger Map

Avon Valley


If you have any queries before registering, please drop an email to: denis@denisglennon.com or call me on 0418 923 103 or to tony@tonyhewitt.com or call Tony on 0411 555 508

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