Masterclass for the Creative Photographic Mind

First Masterclass of 2011 – Benedictine Monastery, New Norcia.

Denis Glennon AO, Member AIPP and Tony Hewitt, Hon Fellow AIPP and AIPP Grand Master of Photography have again combined their respective expertise to present a series of four Masterclasses, in Western Australia, during 2011.

Tony is one of Australia’s most awarded photographers and the youngest Grand Master of Photographer in the country. Details of his stunning work and impressive list of credentials as a professional photographer may be found on his website. Do visit, you will not be disappointed; just click on: Tony Hewitt

The venue for the first of these Masterclasses in 2011, is in the midst of one of Australia’s most significant contemporary collections of art   – The Benedictine Monastery,  New Norcia, Western Australia.

Founded in 1846, seventeen years after the Swan River Colony was established, the rich history of New Norcia can be read through the lens of the developing history of Western Australia.

This Masterclass affords participants splendid opportunities to capture through the lens of a camera New Norcia’s architecture of predominantly ecclesiastical buildings, its impressive collection of collages showing Gothic and Byzantine architectural influences and less ornate but equally photogenic colonial style buildings, cottages, sheds and farm implements of a bygone age.

Dates: Friday evening, Saturday & Sunday 15, 16 & 17th April 2011.
Four Special Aspects: There are four aspects of this Masterclass that are indeed special:
  • The kind permission granted by the New Norcia Benedictine Community to conduct a private tour for our group during which we will be permitted to photograph inside three of the most ornate buildings. These splendid settings will test the most experienced photographers at both the micro and macro levels.
  • A private lecture to our group by the monk who oversees the art collection, drawing strong connections between the work of early artists and that of the more modern exhibitions at New Norcia.
  • A private lecture by a Benedictine monk on “The Quiet Mind” – an imperative for creative photography. 
  • An invitation to the private “Reflection Repast” after dinner on Saturday evening (of which further mention is made below)

Underlying Theme of Masterclass: The underlying theme for the Masterclass will be the concept of creativity.

 During the weekend we will:

  • Explore the power of imagination and its role in producing images that move hearts and minds
  • Come to know and appreciate the necessity and benefits of a clear and quiet mind in the creative process
  • Discuss the more sure-footed way of a free thinking photographer
  • Learn to see simple compositions in complicated landscapes
  • Untangle the challenges of photographing the wide dynamic ranges and large scales we will find inside the chapels 
  • Explore environmental portraiture in sacred settings
  • Look over the shoulder of a Grand Master Photographer as he weaves his magic with Photoshop to help create award-winning images
  • Partake in ‘Walk and Talk’ sessions led by Tony through the photogenically rich environs of the monastery town.
  • Have permission to participate in the Benedictine monks’ daily lauds, vespers, compline, prayers and other services (this is totally voluntary and it is possible there may also be other visitors present).

Arrival Time: We plan to arrive in New Norcia at around 5.30pm on Friday, in time to ‘settle in’, become acquainted with the geography of the town, ease into the ‘flow’ of the monastery, enjoy dinner after which we will have a short informal discussion about the program for the following two days. More complete details on procedures for arrival, and what to take, will be provided to registrants. We plan to finish around 3.00pm on Sunday, so that participants can avoid driving home in the dark.

Accommodation: Accommodation is either on a double occupancy/shared basis in the guest house rooms of the monastery. These rooms are very pleasant, six of which have private ensuite facilities whilst the other single rooms have shared facilities.

Cost: $1200.00 per person, payable on registration. This cost includes:

  • Attendance at all Masterclass sessions and private tours
  • Two nights accommodation
  • Dinner on Fri
  • Breakfast/lunch/dinner on Sat
  • Breakfast/lunch on Sun
  • Morning/afternoon teas & coffee during the Masterclass. 
  • Invitation to the private “Reflection Repast” following dinner on Saturday evening

We will partake of the same menus as prepared for the monks and dine at the same times. Entering into the atmosphere and timetable of the monastery adds to the occasion and gives a rich insight into the core values, aims, interests and dedication of the Benedictine Community, and its ability to improvise over 160 years of life in New Norcia.

In keeping with the Benedictine monastic principle of hospitality, wines are included.

Invitation: The fourth delightful aspect incorporated in this Masterclass is your invitation to the private post-dinner “Reflection Repast”on Saturday evening during which participants will have the opportunity to sample and enjoy the wonderful products of New Norcia. The New Norcia nut cake, liqueur muscat and vintage port are especially tempting.

We only ask participants to make their own way safely to and from New Norcia. It may be possible to share transport, depending on home location of participants. We will facilitate this as well as preferences for sharing rooms, as far as possible, when registrations are received.

Please note registrations will be accepted strictly in the order received.


Further Information: Should you require further information prior to registering, please do not hesitate to contact Denis Glennon on 0418923103 or or Tony Hewitt on 0411555508 or

Testimonials: If you would like to read the testimonials written by participants in the Rottnest Island Masterclass we conducted in November 2010 please click: Testimonials and scroll down toward the end.

Terms & Provisions: Should you wish to read the standard Terms & Provisions of Registration for registration on this Masterclass, please click: Masterclass Terms and Provisions of Registration