Location: Island School & various locations around Hong Kong.
Target Years Groups: Y9 to Y13.
Maximum number of students: 15
Approximate cost: HK$2,100 to HK$4,000 dependent on numbers.
Please find below the itinerary for 2017.

Option Leader: Ms Emily Norton

Course provided by Nick Gleitzman, professional photographer.

Nick  was born in London but at a young age his family moved to Australia. Following High School in Sydney he studied photography at Sydney Technical College, where he graduated with honours. He worked as a commercial and advertising photographer for more than twenty years before concentrating on landscape and fine art photography. He came to Hong Kong in 2007, fell in love with the place and had his first exhibition here in 2008.

This exhibition was called Palimpsest and was a collection of nearly 60 images all taken during Nick’s first week in Hong Kong. They recorded his first impressions of the transience, the impermanence, that exists at the fringes of the development of the modern city.

He found and photographed fragmentary evidence of past stories, suggestions of layered information and produced a series of powerful graphic images that provide his personal insight into the recent – and not-so-recent – history of the city and its people.

Since then, Nick has continued working, adding a series of stunning panoramic photos of Hong Kong as well as an ever growing collection of images of Hong Kong, Macau, China, Cambodia and Australia to his range of quality photographic prints.

You can see his work on www.nickgleitzman.com


This message is from Nick, himself:

Photography is a medium of communication. In the right hands, it’s every bit as evocative as the written word. Think about these popular sayings…

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

“Every picture tells a story…”

While these statements are essentially true, I’m afraid that these days, when taking photographs is so easy and so common, very few of the 1.5 billion photos posted to social media every day come remotely close to doing what they could in terms of conveying an idea or a story worth telling. Photography has largely become a disposable medium, and that makes me very sad.

Gleitzman harbour 1

During Quest Week 2017, I’ll be working with a small group of students who seriously want to to learn more about how to use photography as a medium of powerful communication: of self-expression, to make beautiful works of art – or to tell stories in pictures, to convey ideas. We’ll explore how you can see the world as your camera sees it, and how to distill your images down to their essence. You’ll learn how to take creative control of your camera, instead of using it on automatic, and how to use post-processing software to make your images sparkle. Most importantly, you’ll learn about light and how to best use it for stunning results. After all, the word ‘photography’ means ‘painting with light’. You’ll learn how to make photographs, instead of just taking them.


You don’t have to wait until November – you can start right now. There are photographs everywhere you look; in books and magazines, on the internet and TV, in shops and in the street. Every single one was taken – or made – by someone. Start practicing how to look at photographs more critically. Is your response ‘wow!’ or just ‘meh…’? Why? Also, is your response to the content of the photo, or the photo itself – how it was made – or both? Does the photo successfully communicate its intended message? What’s the difference between a good photo and a bad one?  And what makes a photo not just good … but GREAT?!

The photos that you will be making after our time together may not be world class (although who knows?); photography, like any mental or physical discipline, takes years of practice to master. But if you come prepared to listen, and to work, you’ll be starting on a journey that could last your whole life.

Photographs have the power to change lives. They have the power to change how people think. For those of you who choose to join me for your Quest Week this year – prepare to be challenged: I’ll be sending out homework before we even start! And I’ll look forward to meeting you, and to working together in November.