Index of FAQ Questions

Who are you?
Jonathan Worth has been a practicing editorial portrait photographer working out of New York and London since 1998, prior to that he studied under John Blakemore and Steve Edwards before going on to assist photographers Juergen Teller and Steve Pyke MBE.His client list includes a wide range of publications from Vogue and GQ to Popular Science, The New York Times and The Guardian. He has shot campaigns for Levis, Swiss Army Watches, Sony and Paul Smith and his work is on permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2009 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce and in 2013 he was made an HEA Nation Teaching Fellow.
Matt Johnston is a freelance photographer who also works closely with photographers and other creatives such as Elinor Carucci, Steve Pyke and Simon Roberts to engage with their audiences and leverage support through social media and web platforms. Recently Matt launched the Photo Book Club to promote and engender discussion around old and rare photography books.
Why are you doing this ?
In short, because the book is yet to be written of what it means to be a 21st century photographer and because we certainly don’t have all the answers, the old broadcast-lecture model doesn’t work.
We propose that by drawing on the cumulative knowledge of our entire class-community we can come to a better understanding together.

What will we be studying?

The syllabus is designed to introduce a complex problem at the outset which we chip away at through combination of the guest lectures, seminars and tasks. By the final task you should be ready to grapple with that initial issue.We will be investigating notions of ‘trans-media’ and how this can be applied to modern photographic practices. We will be drawing on the expertise of a wide range of practitioners which will be by no means restricted to traditional photographers.

Who should take this class ?

Previous students range from undergraduates and postgraduate photography students to hobbyists and practicing professionals. Amongst our registered attendees we’ve had hobbyists, pros, undergrad. and post-grad. students, architects, writers, sound engineers, journalists, librarians, musicians, printers and more than one chicken farmer.Photography is by it’s very nature a singular occupation. This class enables us to connect with people also trying to reconcile how to do what they do better. The problems for the class are contrived, but they’re intended to address broader issues we’re all facing. Hopefully, anyone interested in  21st century storytelling might find something of interest herein.
How will the classes work ?
Lectures, seminars and workshops will take place on location at Coventry University each week according to the schedule. Versions of these will be shared online via the #Phonar site.
A series of weekly tasks will also be set over the course of the class, these are designed to build on each other though any can be taken up singly at any time.
I have a full-time job, will I be able to download the classes I miss?
Yes, we will upload as much of the class material as possible for you to download whatever your time-zone and if you leave a link to your blog/site/sketchbook then we’ll bring the class to you (well to your blog 🙂 ).

Will I get feedback?
Unfortunately it is unfeasible for us to guarantee everyone individual feedback though we do look at work and try to engage as often as is possible.

A note on feedback :we hope that members of our community will share positive, constructive peer-feedback and support through the various environments (twitter, forum, flickr, vimeo etc).

Can I have tutorials if I pay for them?
Yes – head over to  20420

What equipment will I need?

  • You will need access to a means of capturing images and transferring them onto a computer. This could be anything from a high end digital camera, a smart phone or a Holga,  it’s up to you.
  • You will need access to a means of capturing sound and transferring that data onto a computer, it could be a dedicated piece of hardware or a smartphone – it’s your call.
  • You will need access to a computer which in turn will need access to the internet.
What if I can’t get access to equipment ?
You are going to need access to the internet – but you can still engage even without access to image/sound-capture devices. Much of the class is about curating and editing content already available so dive in.

Will I be taught how to use my new camera?
No. There may some tips along the way, but there are better places than this class to get dedicated technical instruction on your new camera. This class has a specific role within Coventry University’s three year photography degree programme,  it is aimed at stimulating the students for ten weeks before they embark on their final major projects (graduation shows).

What technical instruction will there be?
For many of our attending students this will be the first time they have been asked to capture and post-produce audio so there will be some technical workshops in this area – we will put these online. Photo-technical instruction is not covered at this point in our degree structure.

Where can I get more or specific technical instruction on ….?
This would be a good question to put to the broader #phonar community via Twitter where we can share links to other open resources.What software will I need?
You will need access to both image and sound editing software.

Free image editing:

Paid for image editing:

Free audio editing:

Paid for audio editing:

Instructional tutorials:

Why do you use Creative Commons Licenses?
We use CC licensing for this site and class because a traditional ‘All Rights Reserved’ license would prohibit members of our community (you), who have contributed to building and gathering the class’s content, from using/ building on and sharing that content further (without our express permission).As professional photographers, Matt and I use CC licensing because it enables us to choose from a range of usage licenses according to the different sorts of work that we do. We still rely on the ‘teeth’ of traditional copyright law but CC licenses sit on top of that and act as what Joi Ito refers to as: “a user interface”. For more information on copyright and CC licenses please follow this linkwhere you will find the following FAQs and much more:

Do I need to register my copyright?
In most jurisdictions, registration is not required. However, for creators in the United States registration can be obtained and is advisable so that you can enforce your copyright in court. For US-based creators, you should check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘Copyright Basics’ page, which explains more about copyright registration.

How do I register my copyright?
If you are based in the US, to find out more about how to register your copyright, check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘Copyright Basics’ document.
Is applying a Creative Commons license to my work the same or an alternative to registering the copyright to my work?
No. Applying a Creative Commons license to your work does not give you the same, similar or alternate protection to registering your copyright. Creative Commons licenses apply in addition to and on top of an existing copyright
Will I be able to ask the lecturers questions?
This will depend on the volume of questions we receive, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to email everyone individually , but we will aggregate them all and try to answer the top questions openly on the forum. We use the #phonar hashtag so that all members of the community can ask and answer questions, so drawing on all of our combined knowledge.

Can I come to the class in Person?

No, sorry, not unless you pay attendee fees, we just don’t have enough chairs. You can book a 20-4-20 (20 mins for £20) with a whole bunch of the stars but you need to go here.

Can I use other facilities at the University ?

No, but nice try. However we are working on opening other classes.

Will I get credits that I can use elsewhere?

We wish. Unfortunately we’re not allowed to do this right now, but we are looking into alternative accreditation methods, if you’ve got ideas then please chip in.

3 comments to FAQs

  • Tee

    Hi I would love to do this course, is it too late to register?

    • admin

      Hi there, all the classes are open so you can join in for the tasks and listen to the course material such as interviews anytime!
      Chantal R.

    • admin

      No registering necessary, just listen to the lecture/conversations (Wednesday 09:00-13:00 GMT) if you want to do it at the same time as us, then tweet your notes and comments using the hashtag #phonar. Likewise try any of the tasks and leave a link to your response in the comments section – but don’t forget to comment on other people’s too or else you might get missed! Cheers, jw

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Phonar - [fo-'när] is a free and open undergraduate photography class run by Jonathan Worth

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