What if I don't know anything about photography?
Absolute beginners are just as welcome as seasoned experts. It doesn't matter what you already know, it only matters that you're enthusiastic about photography. I'll be available to help you prepare before the voyage begins, and talk about your photography and your gear. Once aboard the heritage adventurer you'll be in the company of like minded souls who will enjoy sharing the journey with you.
What if I know absolutely everything about photography?
If you're that accomplished with your photography then maybe you don't need my help, and you can just join any trip with Heritage Expeditions and benefit from their excellent guides and crew. They really are a great company to travel with, so visit their website and tell all your friends!
How Do I Book
There are links on my expeditions page that take you to the Heritage Expeditions website. They ask you to register for a brochure, which has details of the cabin grades and prices for each voyage. You book your place over the phone or email, noting that you want to participate in the photography workshop for that voyage.
Can I use my old camera?
Yes you can. For most photography the choice of camera is largely uninteresting. Most cameras are very good at most things, just not everything. If you want to photograph birds with a Box Brownie, that might not be so easy, but so much of what we photograph is not dependant on gear or technology. If you want to shoot macro or birdlife, a dedicated lens suited to those tasks will be helpful.
Should I upgrade my lenses?
I'm always keen to have a chat with folks before they arrive on the trip and see what gear you plan to bring, and what direction you want to go with photography. I want to be sure you feel prepared for the journey ahead, instead of finding out half-way to Macquarie Island that one small bit of gear could have improved all your shots. We can do this over Zoom, over email, or face to face over a coffee if you want to visit me in Melbourne's CBD. It's always nice to have a new lens to explore new horizons, and it's the lens that does most of the work anyway... not the camera.
What's involved with the workshop sessions?
Each session is designed to focus on a particular aspect of photography. Basic ideas such as "light", "composition" and "curation" will be covered in the sessions. We'll have private space to run our sessions, plus each day I'll be available to review photos with the group and give advice on processing images. If you need time one-on-one during the trip, we'll make sure that happens too. I'm at your service for the duration of the journey.
Should I bring my laptop?
This is highly recommended. Processing RAW files is a powerful part of contemporary photography, and with the right guidance it can be rewarding and streamlined. A good screen and plenty of storage is very helpful on these voyages. The time you spend reviewing photos in the evenings will help you progress with your learning curve the next day.
What is your experience running workshops?
I've been running photo tours and workshops since 2004. Sometimes they are short 4-day events that offer professional development for photographers, sometimes they are adventurous journeys across the Himalayas or The Arctic. I have dedicated my past two decades to helping others find their creative spark, and learn technical skills that will help them be more creative. Mentoring is simply part of who I am. If you want to know more about my style of teaching and photography, take a look at my book called "ReImagine", which encapsulates the lessons I've learned through a decade of journeys.
Why did you pick Japan for an expedition workshop?
Japan is a deeply inspiring destination for anyone with an artistic mind. Inspiration for photography often comes from the other arts, and from an appreciation of other cultures. This voyage allows us to visit so many hard to reach parts of Japan without having to drag your luggage up and down train stations! Each day we get out and about to explore something new, and each night we return to our ship to recharge for the day ahead.
Why did you pick The Kimberley Coast for an expedition workshop?
There are some parts of the world that remain remote and hard to access. This stretch of coastline may as well be on the surface of the moon, if not for an expedition ship such as the Heritage Adventurer. We get to visit some of Australia's most remarkable scenery, then scoot back to the ship for a hot meal and cool air-conditioning. The sunlight in August is amazing, as are the hues and colours. Pink and Ochre sandstone geology meet the teal and aqua waters.
Why did you pick The Sub-Antarctic for an expedition workshop?
Albatross and penguins! This voyage will mostly appeal to anyone who has already been to Antarctica, but is looking for a unique journey rich in wildlife and epic scenery. The weather gets pretty moody down south, and that can lead to stunning moments with sunrise and sunset. Getting ashore we have intimate moments with both albatross and penguins, both of which are often unafraid of us humans.
What's your favourite camera?
I get asked this a lot. Usually followed by "Which camera should I buy?" I've reviewed a lot of camera brands over the past few decades, and in our home we have a modest collection of sentimental favourites. I've come to the conclusion that your choice of camera doesn't matter that much. Not nearly as much as your choice of lens, that's for sure. A lot of advice on the internet tends to exaggerate the differences between cameras based on small technical variances. My advice is to pick the camera you like, for whatever reasons that may be. It feels good in your hand? The menu makes sense to you? It reminds you of your old film camera. There are no bad cameras these days – If you love your camera you're more likely to enjoy getting out and using it!
Is there space to work on my laptop aboard the ship?
Your cabin has a small desk with a power outlet, ideal for working on the laptop. There's also other places to sit and work, such as the library on Level 7, the coffee lounge on Level 6, the main lounge on Level 5 or even poolside on the top deck. There's a couple of smaller decks at the rear of the ship as well if you want some fresh air while you edit photos.
How often do we get off the ship?
Almost every day, sometimes twice a day. There's enough zodiacs aboard the Heritage Adventurer for every traveller to join daily activities. On the Kimberley Coast we might do a zodiac cruise in the morning plus a shore landing in the afternoon. Some days we do just one shore landing. There's one day when we go snorkelling off the zodiacs! Sailing to the Sub-Antarctics does have some long voyage days, but in general we go ashore most days. Weather is a factor. In Japan we don't use the zodiacs very often, but there are places we go ashore by zodiac where the ship can't dock.
Is there internet access on the ship?
Yes. Satellite internet is made available for travellers at a reasonable cost. It's not super fast and you might not enjoy uploading your next YouTube video, but it's very practical to access your email on your phone or laptop. Sailing around Japan you'll have good mobile access at most places we dock if you pre-purchase a travel sim card.
Where else are you thinking of running a workshop?
Heritage have voyages in some amazing places, and I especially want to run some workshops in Micronesia and the Pacific when my schedule allows. I don't like to over-commit myself, and will only do each journey at most once a year. That way it remains extra special for me, and I can be extra enthusiastic for you.
Discover more about my Expedition Workshops on the Heritage Adventurer: