Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

PHOTOBOOK Workshop: Wanaka Autumn Art School

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For the last 5 days we have been working with 13 participants in a Photobook workshop in Wanaka, New Zealand. The idea of the workshop was to enable the development of concepts and techniques for the presentation of personal photo-stories in the form of the self-published photobook. Two key aspects for the workshop were the photo-narrative and the form that a photobook can take beyond the traditional ‘pictures-in-a-book’ format.

The students were put through a steep learning curve engaging with the computer technology and software required, as many had never used Adobe Photoshop before. Sessions of intense computer activity were punctuated by practical book construction exercises.

Each student worked to develop a major personal book project during the workshop and, as tutors, we supported the conceptual and technical progress to make it happen.

Students @ our Photobook workshop – Wanaka Autumn Art School

They were an amazing bunch of people with varied interests and backgrounds. They all shared a great sense of humour and enthusiasm to get into the process of applying acquired knowledge—some doing ‘homework’ into the wee hours.

Coordinator of the Wanaka Autumn Art School is fabric artist (quilter), Robyn van Reenen who was supported by a motivated and energetic team including her husband Gilbert the photographer of Clean Green Images fame. Robyn and her team provided the tutors, many from Australia, with a great experience and opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with the participating students and artists.

We had a great learning experience as well and ended up probably as worn out as the students by the end of the workshop.

The group shot tells the story . . .

Worn out students and tutors @ Wanaka Autumn Art School

SEE a collaborative book that was made with contributions from the students;


Cheers  Doug + Vicky

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