Portuguese Tour – Photo Tutorials

One of the things I’ll be doing on this Portuguese Camino tour is holding daily photographic tutorials.

As many of you might know, I’ve been taking photos professionally since I was 17 years old – at that time I was freelancing to magazines, and at the age of 20 I became a contributing editor to the country’s largest selling photographic magazine at the time – Australian Camera and Cine. 

From the age of 19-24 my brother and I were Queensland photographers for Surfing World magazine. This was in the early to mid 70’s, when Australia was revolutionising surfing. 

Surfing World

I am an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers, as well as a member of the Directors Guild of America (for my movie work.)

All that said, every day I learn something new about photography, and every day I’m humbled when I see a great photograph, or the work of a great photographer.

The photographers who have influenced me are:

W. Eugene Smith
Bill Brandt
Henri Cartier Bresson
Alfred Eisenstadt
Walker Evans
Lee Friedlander
William Eggleston
Sabastio Salgado
Stephen Shore
Gregory Crewdson

Perhaps the biggest influence has been Eggleston –

Eggleston.2 Eggleston.1

If you’re interested in the work of great photographers, here’s a website to check them out – MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

The tutorials during the tour will be held both informally during the day – during the walk – and in the evenings. The tutorials will be broken down into these subjects –

  1. Camera settings / how a camera works
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Focus / DOF (Depth of Field)
  4. Lighting
  5. Composition
  6. Composition
  7. Cropping
  8. Post production
  9. B&W
  10. The Decisive Moment – telling a story through a photo
  11. Making a good shot great
  12. The best yellow arrow

I’ll hold a competition for the best “yellow arrow” shot of the tour, and the winner will get a framed photo as a prize at the end.

A lot of the photo tutorial stuff though will happen informally – chatting and shooting as we walk, looking at photos at the end of the day and talking about what works, what doesn’t, how the shot could have been better, etc.

And while we’ll discuss the technical aspects of photography in the tutorials – because you do need to have a basic understanding of the technical aspects of photography to get good pictures – there will also be tutorials on the aesthetic and philosophical aspects of photography.

I’ve been given a brand new Fujifilm X-T1 camera for this tour along with a cracker telephoto lens – the 55-200mm Fujinon lens. It’s a loaner, supplied by Fujifilm Australia.

Fuji XT1

I’m thrilled about this. I’ve been a fan of Fujifilm cameras for many years – and as a film director I used Fuji film stock on many of my movies. They’ve been pushing boundaries with their sensor technology, and this new X-T1 is a weather-sealed camera, so it’s perfect for this tour. I’m very excited!

So I hope that I’ll be able to impart some of my photographic knowledge to those of you coming on the tour. I’m looking forward to it!

(here’s a shot of me very young, with my brother and mother. I’m the one with the camera!)

Me & Bob on running board of car

23 thoughts on “Portuguese Tour – Photo Tutorials

  1. Bill,
    As you know, I am ready to learn!!! I’ve been wanting to bring my artwork into this medium for a while now, but simply didn’t have the knowledge or guidance to get me there.

    Because of your help and suggestions on camera, lenses and literature, I believe I now have the equipment, and I’m hungry for the knowledge. So I am ready, Bill. Just a few short weeks to go, yippee!



    • Dear Arlene – I noticed this got stuck in my spam folder!!! I can’t understand WP sometimes! I notice a post from Steve got stuck there too! Yes, I’m looking forward to the photo tutes! I’ll learn as much as you though!!


    • Hi Anne – haha, yes, it’s funny. My mother was so pretty. And that car – I remember we used to hand crank it to start. The camera was a very early Kodak Instamatic!


        • Life is simple now Steve – you’re born, you laugh, you suffer, and you die, and along the way you pay taxes. What could be simpler than that? 😀


          • Yeah, you make it sound simple.

            Camera. I view going to school with you as a great opportunity to learn. So, i will get what you suggest since i am a blank canvas for learning my way around a camera and lens. You tell me what you prefer me to have and i will get it. Any reason for D3300 over D3200 like Arlene has. Being a rank novice would i know the difference? Lead me on oh Master.


          • haha – hardly a master Steve! And sorry for the late reply but I noticed there were 147 posts in my spam folder, and most of them were for viagra and car insurance. Not quite sure of the link between the two – there must be some connection – but anyway to answer your question – the D3300 is the newer model, that’s all. They are very good cameras. I will be taking a Fuji, because Fujifilm Australia have given me a freebie to test – but I love that Nikon. and I can talk you and Arlene through it, how to use it effectively.


  2. Hi Bill, Oh hearing about the photographic side of the trip is just too exciting, that adds a whole other area that I will need to dream about all of you doing out there on the Camino. My 17 year old surfing son, is really going to love that you did the surf photo stuff. Collin is thinking of Film/photo and graphic arts after high school. I am excited to share your masters list with him.

    That picture is so classic of you boys, you look like twins, what is the age difference?


    • Hi Kathryn, yes the photo tutorials will be fun. And as I know from being an Adjunct Professor, I will learn as much, if not more, from the others. Jen and I will probably do another tour – maybe later this year, or same time next year.


      • OK! keep us in tuned in we are Hooley Dooley on the idea, its just timing. I wanted to tell you to check out my son’s little You tube videos that he put together for our Bali work. He didn’t have too much to work with, but I thought he did Ok. if you have 8 minutes Youtube Bali Childrens project part 3. (you can also watch the older ones, part 1 and 2 that he and m daughter did when he was in 8th grade.!! i think my daughter is a good spokesperson, but he was the film man) Maybe I will send him on a Camino with you when he graduates from High School. That would be a great gift, since he is the one interested in Film/Photo/graphic design. He is a cool kid, quiet, kind, respectful, always been an old soul.


        • I’ll take a look at it Kathryn, thanks. Traveling today, and have to leave shortly, but will do so on the weekend and get back to you. One thing I know, if you love it, and can’t think that your life will be complete without an expression in this form, then you have to do it. Bill


    • By the way, of your son is interested in film or arts, and he wants any advice or just someone to talk to, get him to get in touch. I’d be happy to speak to him.

      The age diff with my brother is 18 months. We’re very close.


      • My older two sons are now 28 and 27 but 18 months apart. They were a hoot growing up, always together. But they are very different from each other. The older one just married, went into Law, the other is the artist in New York.


      • I would love to get your opinion on schools for all this. Is 4 year college the way to go or to one of the more specialized art/design schools or other??


  3. So now I have some more to be envious about: not being able to walk with you all, not getting the tutorials (will have a look at my odd 800 photos from my walk to see if I can find an arrow to add to the collection!) and d… it, I DO have to cook for those weeks back here in Aussieland! 🙂

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