Note: All course materials are in PDF format. You can download the free reader from the Adobe website.

The RAW Deal 2013

No, not nude photography for seniors but how to use the new file format, RAW. This offers much greater control because the image file is processed in a computer, not in camera. Although many modern software programs will process RAW files, this course concentrates on Adobe Camera Raw (a free plug-in which runs with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 11) and the superior Adobe Lightroom 5.

The RAW Deal 2014

This revision first presented in 2014 concentrates on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom v.5 and uses occasional illustrations from Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Composition in Photography 2014

Composition, or how the various elements are arranged in an image, is basic to several arts, and not least of all, to photography. This course looks at how we fill the space within the frame of the photograph so that the message is optimised for the viewer's understanding.


Where did the Brits come from?

Who were the remote ancestors of the modern British people? Disciplines including archaeology, linguistics and increasingly, genetics are throwing light on the origins of the peoples and their cultures who populated the British Isles in the millennia from Neanderthals to the Normans.

A Short Introduction to Psychology

This is not a 'self-help' course but one which provides an orientation to some areas of this very broad discipline. It covers subjects such as various tests, some kinds of mental illness, a variety of phenomena such as learning and trance, and concepts such as IQ and conformity. To some extent the course will also draw on anthropology as well as clinical and social psychologies. Although there is an emphasis on the historical evolution of these specialities, it will also briefly examine newer concepts such as the plastic brain.

Portugal for the Traveller

A brief but well illustrated excursion through Portugal, its history, language, music, food and wine. The course is designed for both armchair travellers and prospective tourists. No previous experience or - for Aussies - no visa required.

A History of Photography

Starting with the discoveries of Aristotle we follow the evolution of photography up to the Digital Age. On the technical side, we see how the Camera Obscura eventually transformed into the Hassleblad which went to the Moon, and how Oh-so-slow Daguerreotypes eventually led to film which could 'stop' a bullet in full flight. And we look at 'movements' and 'styles', the never-ending fight between those who saw photography as a 'science' and those who wanted it to be an 'art'... And all the way through, we look at photographs, some well known, others obscure and forgotten.

Click here to download the course A History of Photography and summaries.

A Short History of Indonesia - Java Man to Suharto

The many islands of Indonesia became a single nation only in 1945. Before then the archipelago has a rich history from the stone ages and the migrations of the Austronesians, through great medieval empires, Dutch colonial and Japanese wartime occupations and finally nationhood and experiments in 'democracy' (until 1969).

Click here to download A Short History of Indonesia.

Editing with Elements 11

(The course Editing with Elements (which used #6) was replaced in 2013 with the one listed here for Elements #11. I do not plan to run this course again, believing as I do that RAW is the way of the future for photo enthusiasts. The text however is presented here for those who wish to revise or others who might use it as a DIY program).

When the Box Brownie camera was introduced in 1900 it made "snap-shooting" a popular hobby for the masses. Now the digital compact camera is having a similar impact and people who had not been much interested in photography are now snapping away like never before. However, some are not content to remain "happy snappers" but would like to make their photographs more professional, more "artistic". Although this course cannot turn you into an artist, it does show you how to optimise your photographs so that they not only look better but also communicate their "message" more effectively . The course uses Adobe Photoshop Elements #11 (Mac and PC) to demonstrate editing procedures but does not refer to any of the "quick fixes" and other non-editing functions marketed in the program.

A Natural History of Homosexuality

Is there a biological basis for same-sex desire and how have other cultures, ancient and modern, dealt with it? The course examines the role of male-male sex in historic cultures in Asia, Europe and indigenous and colonial Australia as well as some contemporary issues such as 'gay marriage'.

Click here to download the Natural History of Homosexuality course.

Genes, Genealogy
and the Migrations of Man

This course explores some of the ways genetic genealogy can track migrations 'out of Africa' and subsequent populating of Europe (particularly Britain) before and after the Ice Age. Although genetic genealogy can (to a limited extent) help family historians find 'long lost cousins', the emphasis here is on the migrations and pre-historic cultures of our remote ancestors, not on more recent relatives, dead or alive.

Click here to download the Genes, Genealogy and Migrations of Man course.

Symbolists & Décadents

The following is the text of a talk given to a U3A class on French Literature in 2005. The main emphasis is upon the poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud and their short but influential relationship.

Click here to download the lecture [Single download PDF - 1.61 Mb]