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Our Podcast Interview with the Daring Michael Coyne

Michael Coyne in Pakistan - Crumpler Blog

Michael Coyne in Pakistan – Crumpler Blog

Dr Michael Coyne is a multi-award winning photographer, who has covered significant events in places as diverse as The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. His work has been featured in magazines such as: Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic. Michael’s extensive work has been featured in a number of solo exhibitions around the world. He spent eight years in the Middle East documenting the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. He covered the Iranian revolution and the Iran/Iraq war, for his work he received a number of awards such as the the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for Service to Photography and the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography)  Honorary Fellowship, the highest award for a photographer in Australia.

As a PSC Senior Fellow, our students get to glean from his experiences. Our first year Bachelor of Photography students were lucky to have had him talk to them this week, for their folio class, where he gave them great advice on breaking into the photojournalism industry. Michael mentors final year photojournalism students.

Hear our interview with the high profile photographer, as he sheds light on the importance of making contacts and networking, how Australians are doing exceptionally well in the international industry and his experiences with almost getting kidnapped while on assignment!

Click the image below to read more about him through the Crumpler blog article, where he was featured this year:

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To know more about how you can learn photojournalism from the best in the industry, check out our Full Time Studies Page.

A Day with the PSC Photojournalism Class

Creative lighting on location was theme-of-the-month for Advanced Diploma Photojournalism majors in August.

Bianca Chisari and Ashleigh Wong photograph volunteer model Jacinta Revell at Southbank with assistance from tutor Nico Bernardi.


On Thursday August 20 Scott McNaughton served up some of the creative environmental portraits he produces day in and out for The Weekly Review and other Fairfax suburban publications. Age features specialist Simon Schluter followed with a slide show that included portraits lit with everything from seven speedlights to a data projector, car headlights and a burning rope soaked in kerosene.

Both photographers also conducted a show-and-tell with their location lighting kits. Simon Schluter’s most useful accessory? Gaffer tape, and plenty of it. Scott’s current addiction? Coloured gels. Best home-made snoot for a speedlight? Cut the bottom out of a neoprene stubby holder.

The entire PJ class then got a taste of press life during a full-day location flash workshop on Aug 22, in which they carried out a variety of editorial assignments in the Southbank area, working to mock briefs similar to those carried out by news and feature photographers on a daily basis.

Simon Schluter 1

Simon Schluter 2



Simon Schluter 3

A number of L2FT and L4FT students, along with several other volunteers, came along to be photographed in the roles of various professionals. Working in pairs, PJ students were given two assignments to complete in three hours, with specific instructions as to location, subject/s and the kind of photographs needed. In all cases the use of off-camera flash was mandatory.

Peter Williams and Amanda Shackleton with “street artists” Aisha Deoliveira and Ellyn Chang (both L2FT) in Hosier Lane.


PJ flash workshop version 3

After editing back at PSC, a slide show of the best work followed the 3:30pm filing deadline, with lively feedback focusing on the quality and creativity of the images and how well they addressed the brief.

[Written by Photojournalism Teacher, Bill Bachman]

For more information about our courses and subject outlines visit our Full Time Studies Page.

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The Week That Was: PSC and the MSFW

PSC had a thrilling week presenting events in collaboration with the Melbourne Spring Fashion week, on 30th August and 2nd September. It was a special occasion where we got to sponsor high profile names in the arts industry, truly making us stand out as a stellar institute where our staff and students are exposed happenings in the industry.

Commencing with the high-energy fashion photography master class, Ed Purnomo stepped in as our guest instructor, with his amazing team and received many keen photographers to workshop shots and styles with.Our guests learnt different poses and lighting styles for three fashion genres which encompassed shooting a “beach” scene (outside) using natural lighting and modifiers (diffusers & reflectors), as well as a full length studio portrait utilizing modifiers to sophisticate the light. Other techniques covered in the master class played with the effects of using strobes and flash lighting, whereby different coloured backdrops brought out certain qualities and degrees of illumination. Closer portraits were also touched upon, where a mix of flash, store and unconventional lights such as fluro tubing, phones and other reflective surfaces (such as sequinned dresses and compact disks) were all experimented with.



Ed Purnomo himself had a fun experience and we are so glad to have had such a talented and exclusive photographer amongst us. Learning how to work with models and practicing lighting techniques, were priorities in the master class, allowing those who attended to walk away with a whole new set of skills up their sleeves.

Following the hands-on master class event was our Image Makers Seminar, that spurred questions and conversations about the styles and intentions of legendary fashion photographer, Guy Bourdin. The event opened with a sneak preview of the documentary ‘When the Sky Fell Down : The Myth of Guy Bourdin’, which featured many of the fashion industry’s finest names (Edmonde Charles Roux, Jean Paul Goode and Jerry Hall), directed by Sean Brandt (producer, photographer). Susan Van Wyk (senior curator, NGV) was also present, giving an in depth summary of Guy Bourdin’s background and talking about characteristics of his work.

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Having worked with Guy Bourdin for 7 years as an assistant, Sean provided many personal anecdotes that added to the visuals presented in his raw and intimate documentary. Sean described Guy as an ‘anarchist’ in the world of photography, breaking all the rules and forming his own distinct style of the ‘allusive narrative’, expressing his awe at the same time by stating that ‘before Guy arrived, people were capturing moments – Guy created moments.’

Susan van Wyk too reminisced about the golden period of fashion photography, as she looked back on how showcasing such powerful artists of the yesteryears, still remains successful with young audiences today. Taking the example of the first Guy Bourdin exhibition unveiled in Australia, with the reopening of the NGV in 2003, Susan relayed how impressive it was to finally let his work be seen by the general public.

The Q&A session made the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week at PSC culminate into a thought provoking celebration of fashion and its incredible photographers. We had a great tie-up with the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and were extremely proud to give our guests the complete experience of being part of the fashion world. We hope to see many of you again for our other upcoming events, as PSC has definitely paved the way for ourselves as the frontrunner of everything scintillating in the culture capital; Melbourne city.

The Who’s Who of the PSC Symposium


Welcoming the second PSC Symposium at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, are highly famous figures in the arts circuit. Our speakers are united in their interests in subject matters pertaining to ‘culture’, which is what our main point of discussion will be for the event. The concept of ‘Borderless Futures – Reimaging the Citizen’ points to a very crucial issue that affects everyone in our present day society, as populations shift about, lending a majority of people to live in places disconnected to their ethnic roots. Moreover, the role of photography and visual imagery today is more powerful than ever, as the individual now has total control over how he or she is represented. We look at the way visuals in the past have taught us to learn about our own histories, and question the protrayal of certain cultures by those who were given the power to capture identities.

At the PSC Symposium, the experts will take the floor, talking about their work and the question of what it means to be a ‘global citizen’ today.

Here’s our list of some people to watch out for:

Daniel Boetker-Smith


  • Co founder of Photobook Melbourne, Director of Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Writes for Vault Magazine, Photoeye and Photofile
  • Winner of Bowness Photography Prize, Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography Award (documentary) and the Substation Art Prize
  • Curated two international photobook events for NGV (Victoria) and MCA (New South Wales)
  • Has been on the jury list for the Kassel Photobook Award in Germany

Anat Cossen

Anat Cossen

  • Born in Israel, where she exhibited work at the Tel Hai Museum of Photography
  • Certified in fine arts (she’s highly skilled in pencil sketching and interior design) receiving her MFA in Fine Art Photography from RMIT
  • She’s a professional commercial portrait photographer
  • Exhibited work at the Linden Gallery, Edmund Pearce Gallery and Open Space Gallery
  • Influenced by themes of ‘identity’ in her work

Philippa (Pip) Kelly


  • Creative producer for Asialink Artists in Residency Project Exhibition
  • Worked for ABC, SBS, Lonely Planet TV as producer/writer
  • Has a background in Anthropology (University of Western Australia)
  • Directed community on-screen projects for The Queensland Museum and Oxfam
  • Apart fro freelancing, she works as a filmmaker for The State Library of Queensland

Sanja Pahoki

VCA & MCM staff

  • Croatian born Australian photographer
  • Winner of 9 grants-awards including The Helsinki Studio Residency (Australian Council for the Arts), The Ian Potter Cultural Grant, The Australian Postgraduate award and the award for Critical Merit from the George Paton Gallery (University of Melbourne)
  • Her work has been exhibited more than 80 times, at venues such as Project Space (Melbourne), Sarah Scout Gallery, The Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and at Centre Place (Melbourne) and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre
  • Her work observes elements concerning the idea of ‘self’, identity and anxiety
  • Currently is a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts and The University of Melbourne


Les Horvat

  • Commercial photographer with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry
  • Winner of the Kodak Professional Achievement Award, the Ilford Trophy for Black and White excellence and various Silver Awards at The APPA’s
  • Established ‘Twilight Zone Studios’ as the centre of commercial photography in the professional world
  • Has had his work exhibited in Korea
  • Is currently a Senior Fellow at PSC


Alasdair Foster


  • Was Founding Director of Fotofeis (Scotland)
  • Former Director of Australian Centre for Photography
  • Has worked on various media projects as artist, curator, writer, editor, policy advisor, researcher and photographer
  • Current ambassador for the Asia Pacific Photo forum
  • Founding Member of the International Network of Photography Centres


Kristian Häggblom


  • Senior lecturer at La trobe University
  • Exhibited his work in more than 30 venues across the world; Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia and Los Angeles
  • Winner of 11 photography awards from The Nomura Cultural Foundation, The Leica Documentary Photography award (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and the Swiss Arts Council
  • Established and curated the RoomSpace gallery in Japan (Shinjuku)
  • Currently researching the role of photography in surveillance and its socio-political effects


Hugh Hudson


  • Lecturer and Information-Research Development Coordinator for PSC and Honorary research Fellow for The University of Melbourne
  • Writer of the 1800 edition electric catalogue for publications in the Autograph Collection (15th – 20th Centuries) for The State Library of Victoria
  • He has been published 36 times in Art magazines, journals and books concerning Renaissance and Medieval art (Antiques and Art, Paregon, Arth Monthly)
  • Specialist in Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in The State Library of Victoria, writing 11 records for the department’s research repository
  • A distinguished scholar, graduating with a Double Major, Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Art History, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Curatorship.
  • Researcher in subject matter pertaining to visual arts and culture in society, especially in issues regarding ‘cultural management’

Rita Lazaukas


  • Winner of 5 art awards including the Wodonga Hume Acquisitive Contemporary Award, The Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive and the Tallangatta Arts festival. She was also a finalist for 12 art prizes, for names like Citigroup Photographic Portrait Prize, Dominique Segan Drawing Prize, Hutchins Works on Paper and the Dobell Drawing Prize
  • She has exhibited work at Birds Gallery, Monash University Switchback Gallery, Beechworth, ArtSpace (Wodonga), The Art Gallery of NSW, The Bendigo Art Gallery, Maudespace and the Westpac Gallery (The Victorian Arts’ Centre)
  • She is currently the General Manager of the ‘Amazigh Cultural Tours’ program in Morocco, as a custodian of the arts-culture of Morocco.
  • She has had 20 years of experience working as a curator for well renowned galleries around the country
  • She is a visual artist who focuses on fine arts; her work is inspired by landscapes, cityscapes and architecture.


Bella Capezio

Isabella Capezio

  • Teaches at The Photography Studies College and co-runs the Ruffian Gallery (Footscray)
  • Designed and ran the Footscray Foto Focus intensive photography workshop
  • Organiser of workshops and competitions for the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Her work adheres to cultural influences of Mexico, questioning spiritual practices and traditions.
  • She has published 7 photobooks which span her journeys to various countries (Cambodia and Ethiopia)


Claire Monneraye


  • Curator of Exhibitions as well as the International and Satellite Projects at the Australian Centre for Photography
  • Previously worked at the Centre Pompiduo and Reunion de Musees Nationaux (Paris)
  • Recently curated a collaborative exhibition with curators based in Berlin and Budapest, titled ‘Ex & Post – Eastern Europe Under the Lens’
  • Graduated in literature, philosophy, history with a Masters in Cultural Heritage Studies
  • The themes she likes to work with are representations of culture in society and the female identity

We’re sure to have piqued your interest and know that coming along to the Symposium will be an eye opening event! Read more about it here: https://www.psc.edu.au/symposium/ and don’t forget to book your spot:  http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=148035

Our Own Emma Rose on Being Selected for the BIFB

Emma Rose, our talented graduate of PSC who has returned to extend her journey with us through the Pathways Program, speaks about her experience in getting selected for the Projections Program at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale this year:
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

There have been 45 artists chosen, from 16 countries around the world.
My series, Fish Tank, includes 20 photographs exploring today’s rapidly shifting landscapes: the humdrum of daily routines, rise of solo lifestyles and the overall ease with which people are interacting with largely artificial spaces. As government surveillance heightens, there’s a looming presence and an overriding sense of isolation of the individual in an indifferent world.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

I’m an Advanced Diploma graduate from last year’s fine-art major, with a background in journalism and theatre. My work has been significantly influenced by Melbourne’s distinct brand of architecture. I have a passion for people-watching and capturing fleeting everyday moments — particularly the dynamic between humans and inanimate objects and the modern landscapes they inhabit.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs from August 22nd to Sept 20th, and the Projections Program loops on a big screen at the Ballarat Mining Exchange from 10am to 5pm daily throughout the festival.

PSC is delighted to present …

A Spotlight on Fashion Photography at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

A Kaleidoscope of talented artists from our wonderful city will be showcasing their hard work and eclectic styles during the week of 28th August to 4th September. While the fashionistas and models get set to note the various who’s-who of the fashion industry, we know that the main character of the show is the ‘fashion photographer’; the one who captures the magic and keeps the memories alive, forever.

Being Melbourne’s foremost centre of photography education, PSC students collaborated in the 2014 Melbourne Spring Fashion Week on a unique exhibition with Nixi Killik  to create striking new images of her work in an urban inner city environment – see our earlier blog post for further details here and watch the behind the scenes video.

This year we’re proud to announce an even greater role by hosting 3 events as part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, thanks to the recognition given by The City of Melbourne to carry this event forward.

On Sunday 30 August, we celebrate the amazing efforts of fashion photographers, by sharing high-level industry knowledge and professional expertise to the public, with our fashion photography masterclass (session limited to 10 people only) taught by the talented and extremely sought-after photographer, Ed Purnomo.  You can book your place for this workshop here.


Image: Ed Purnomo

Following this, on Wednesday 2 September, is ‘When the Sky Fell Down: The Myth of Guy Bourdin’, a tribute to French fashion photographer, Guy Bourdin; a preview of a documentary about the photographer who worked for names like Chanel, Bloomingdales and Gianni Versace and made waves with his fresh and daring approach to fashion photography. The director-producer of the documentary (from which the event is titled), Sean Brandt, will walk us through the journey of the brilliant artist, with rare footage and exclusive interviews, accompanied by senior curator of NGV, Susan Van Wyk and PSC Bachelor course director Daniel Boetker-Smith. Sean Brandt, who worked with Guy Bourdin during 1982 – 1985, was accepted as an exclusive director of Sundance Institute. His profiles include shooting editorials for GQ, Vogue (starring Pharrel Williams), L’Oreal and Harpers Bazaar.

Sean brandt

Image Sean Brandt

Finally, on Thursday 3 September, we present the third event in the PSC-MSFW series ‘Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next’ seminar by Magda Keaney; artistic director of Glassworks (Canberra). Magda will be presenting her upcoming publication ‘Fashion Photography Next’, which was exhibited at the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam) amongst other venues around the world. Her experience working at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, as well as the Fashion Space Gallery (as creative director) in London, truly makes her book an authentic account of the goings-on in the fashion world, as it highlights the current practices and economy of the industry, in the light of photography.


Images Magda Keaney

Seats are filling fast for these events; if you’d like to be part of it then don’t miss out, click the banner below to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there.


2015 Bowness Photography Prize Finalists Announced

Congratulations to PSC student David Bibby who has been announced as a finalist in this years Bowness Photography Prize!

The Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation and was established in 2006 to promote excellence in Australian photography. It has become one of the highest awards for photography in the country and receives hundreds of entries from renowned and up and coming photographers.

David’s image is from a folio series he produced as part of his Bachelor of Photography studies. Another image in this series received a gold award at the Victorian AIPP awards earlier this year. David was thrilled to hear the news,  ‘I’m amazed and very excited that this series has been received so well. This will be my first gallery appearance, and of course the next challenge is perfecting the print’.

Well done David!

Check out his stunning image and read his artist statement below.


Image & artist statement (below) by David Bibby

Fear of dark places gave our ancient ancestors an evolutionary advantage, by priming brains and bodies for a fight-or-flight response when faced with the threat of danger or the unknown. These primal fears also had a strong influence on our cultures. Our fear of darkness and of forests, as dark places that conceal the unknown, has placed them at the centre of many of our myths, legends and folktales. 

Despite, or perhaps because of our fear, we seem to have an attraction to the darkness and there is something intrinsically beautiful in many dark images. Maybe the darkness has become a refuge in the modern world for those things we can’t control, including mystery and imagination.

The Image Makers – Paul Batt

Photography Studies College
65 City Road
Friday 31 July 2015 
6:00 – 7:30pm 

We are pleased to invite PSC students, graduates and the general public to attend our Image Makers seminar with Paul Batt.

Paul Batt

Image by Paul Batt: Untitled Hostel Series 1999

Paul Batt is a graduate of both the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) photography departments and is currently a PhD candidate in Fine Art (Photography) at Monash University.

Paul’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Australia and overseas in both solo and group exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Australian Centre For Photography (ACP) and The Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) as well as receiving numerous national photography prizes and awards. Batt’s work has featured in a number of national and international publications and his works is held in significant public collections such as the La Trobe University Museum of Art (LUMA) and Monash Gallery of Art (MGA).

This is a free event however numbers are strictly limited. Bookings are required and can be made online via Eventbrite.

Meet the teacher: Scott McNaughton

Scott 2

Whilst undertaking the Advanced Diploma at PSC, Scott began his career as a freelance photographer in community newspapers. Having graduated from PSC in 1999, Scott decided to put his new skills to the test by working on photographic projects in New York.

Later, upon his return to Melbourne, Scott joined Fairfax Media as a photojournalist … where he still works today. He has worked through the reinvention of photography with ever evolving technology and, after over 11 years with Fairfax, continues to thrive on the pace and stimulation of the industry.

These days, Scott shoots full time for Fairfax Media and of an evening he returns to PSC to share his vast experience and skills with our part time students. Scott’s key role at PSC is delivering the part time creative camera and capture unit – the essential key to building strong technique and professional practice – along with the location lighting and people photography units. Drawing from his years of industry experience, Scott provides guidance and feedback helping students to explore their photography further, creating a dynamic portfolio of images.

We asked Scott what his favourite part of teaching was and he replied “I love working with the students on location where we go out and put into practice everything we’ve talked about in class. There’s this epiphany where it just clicks – that’s awesome … There’s also the sense of community you get when studying with like-minded people. The team I work with at Fairfax all happen to have studied at PSC, it’s like a hub of PSC graduates! It’s so true that those networks and connections you make in class carry through to the working environment.”

Scott believes photography is a craft and it needs to be taught face to face so that mastering of skills can be passed on, for it to remain a craft.

When not shooting for Fairfax or teaching at PSC, you’ll find Scott trawling the streets of Melbourne with his trusty black and white film camera in hand, looking for those decisive moments. Scott’s personal work focuses on communicating stories through a visual medium, creating a strong storyline and distinctive body of work.

He finds that “whether it’s shooting a political funding announcement or avoiding flying golf balls at an underworld funeral, everyday is as challenging as it is rewarding.”

Selection of Scott’s images below – you can see more of Scott’s photography at: scottmcnaughton.com

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Graduate Update – Amy Paton

An integral part of our students learning at PSC is developing the skills needed for real work opportunities and creating networks within the photography industry. It’s great to be able to share their stories and see them rewarded for their efforts out there in the industry!

Photojournalism graduate Amy Paton has just started working for the Warrnambool Standard and shares her experiences below.

Amy Paton

My name is Amy Paton, a 2015 graduate of PSC having just completed the Advanced Diploma of Photography, Photojournalism Specialisation.

I found out about the jobs at Fairfax through my Photojournalism teacher Bill Bachman and another photojournalist (who happens to also be a former graduate of PSC) who was good enough to pass on that Fairfax Regional had positions available. I immediately applied, was lucky enough to go along to an interview and got the job!

I started at the Warrnambool Standard Newspaper in June, having moved down from Melbourne and into a share house just off the main street, very close to the office. So, a tree and sea change plus a new job all together!

I’ll eventually be one of three photographers at the paper. As part of my job, I get a new iPhone 6 and a laptop for work purposes!

It’s a 0.8 of a full time position, perfect for me. I will be working four days a week, including two weekends on and then one weekend off.

Every day at 9am we have a staff meeting to bounce ideas around for that day and assign tasks. Apparently I’m welcome to contribute to that meeting, but I may just watch for the first few until I settle in.

After the meeting I go out, shoot a few different jobs, come back to the office to edit and file… then I can head home.   Sometimes I edit and file on location instead of going back to the office – the convenience of technology.

There’s a lot of editorial work, so environmental portraits, light on location and such – glad I learnt all about that at PSC! They asked me in the interview if I was okay with seeing death and other disturbing scenes, so it’s likely I’ll eventually be sent out to cover the breaking news.  

As part of my role, I also have the opportunity to write some articles to go with my photography. The Write for Publication unit we did last year as part of the Photojournalism Specialisation will come in handy!

There will be a lot of sport to cover with the Warrnambool Standard so I’m grateful for the experience I gained with my folio on Northern Blues VFL football club! [Amy’s 2014 Photojournalism folio was about a suburban VFL football club]

Future plans are to try to pitch a review of a big music festival I’m attending in a month, see if I can get a media pass and some photos I can use too!  Otherwise… watch this space!