Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog


with 2 comments

An Orpheus sunset

An Orpheus sunset


We came to Orpheus to share our knowledge, skills and experience of photography and the book. We were ready to assist and encourage – motivate and create with the participants… We had plotted and planned for months – but nothing could have prepared us for the Orpheus experience we were to have!


We were amazed with the boundless energy and enthusiasm for all things photography. In particular:
• Everyone’s participation in the lecture presentations
• The amazing camera obscura that John de Rooy & Spyder Displays had made
• The fun everyone had with pinhole imaging, lumen printing and other ‘photo play’ projects
• The playful and the deeply considered work made by everyone
• The individual creative development towards making books
• The joy that everyone expressed from making and crafting fine images and books



With Les in the lecture room

Our Spyder Camera Obscura

Our Spyder Camera Obscura

A DUO View of the scene and the Camera Obscura image

A DUO View of the scene and the Camera Obscura image

We appreciated the special access to the incredible equipment from Kayell, Hasselblad, Nikon, Epson and ProPhoto.
The support workers and organisers were photo experts, construction workers and logistical whizzes while always with a smile and good humour. So much happens behind the scenes of the great Orpheus Drama. But there was another endless creative space – the kitchen. And it was those that worked from dawn to well after we all had dined that we owe our sustained creative energy, fed our bodies and delighted our taste buds.

The lecturing team – D+V and Les

The lecture team – D+V and Les

All this made the working environment possible as we, with the amazing Les Walkling, worked together to share our knowledge, passion and inspiration for photography. It was inspiring for us working with Les – his dedication to sharing his great knowledge and experience. He is truly unique in Australian photography. Thank you also for your words about our contribution to the Orpheus Photo Workshop …

… I loved every minute of the ‘Doug & Vicky Roadshow’, and I even ‘re-named’ the main lecture theatre the ‘Doug and Vicky Studio’. What memorable times were had in and around that space. Every aspect of Doug and Vicky’s presentations were informative and entertaining, and I don’t think I have ever loved photo books so much, nor ‘played’ so joyfully with my photography. What a difference it makes working with skilled presenters who are at the top of their field and not afraid to share their love and devotion to what we all adore; our photography. I can’t thank them enough for their contribution to Orpheus 2016, their generosity and tireless expansiveness, and the difference they have made to our photographic lives.


Our photobook workarea

The Doug and Vicky studio



Light painted “Orpheus” on Orpheus Island

Light painted ‘Orpheus’ on Orpheus Island

A 'millpond crossing' they said...!

A ‘millpond crossing’ they said…!

Heading towards Orpheus Island

But it did smooth out – heading towards Orpheus Island

The arrival --- unloading the boat

The arrival — unloading the boat

A Photoshop power session with Les

A Photoshop power session with Les

The Doug and Vicky 'White Gloves Event' showing a range of our artists' books and photobooks

The Doug and Vicky ‘White Gloves Event’ showing a range of our artists’ books and photobooks


The order of the day

A photobook narrative development exercise

A photobook narrative development exercise

The D+V Roadshow....

The D+V Roadshow….

An early evening conversation

An early evening conversation

'I made a photobook!!!' Sarah show her bookwork

‘I made a photobook!!!’ Sarah shows her bookwork

An exhibition of student work at the end of the workshop

An exhibition of student work at the end of the workshop

Orpheus Group Shot_2016

Orpheus Group Shot 2016

Saying goodbye to the participants...

Saying goodbye to the participants…

The ‘staff’ take a break in a pinhole time-lapse movie made by Ross Eason…

Les takes a last look as we leave the island behind...

Les takes a last look as we leave the island behind…


Special thank you to:

John and Pam de Rooy our hosts and organisers – the rocks that underpin Orpheus
Tutors Murray, Ross and Rod for their ever-present support
Brenda, Dave and Nikolaj – an amazing Chef team
Marta and Jimmy from the JCU Research Facility – where would we be without their support?
Libby and Geoff from MomentoPro for their enthusiasm and collaboration in the book projects
Epson, Kayell and Canson for the fabulous papers and printers
William from Hasselblad and John from Kayell for the exceptional access to the gear
Nikon and the wonderful range of quality professional camera equipment.

AND… A very special thank you to all the photographers, now new friends, with whom we shared the experience of Orpheus 2016 …





Cyanotype in rice paper, Broadsheet artists book

Cyanotype in rice paper, Broadsheet artists book

We are now getting ready for our next island workshop: on the Greek island of SKOPELOS

May 2017 for 2 weeks of art photography about ‘place’ making cyanotypes and photobooks + Greek culture, wine and food.   SEE HERE FOR MORE INFO



2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Oh wow! It all looked amazing…& it could not have been anything but with the location, the quality & commitment of lecturers, & the total team dedication you guys apply. Sorry I missed it! And the Greek Islands next year!!! How exciting….. What an amazing adventure coming up! What an experience you will have!!! Congratulations to you all 🍾🍾


    October 28, 2016 at 8:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: