Young photographers from Macgregor Primary (L-R) Tarek Berjak, 11, Griffin Yates, 12, Emily Van hest, 11 and Kaila Whitford, 12.

Young photographers from Macgregor Primary (L-R) Tarek Berjak, 11, Griffin Yates, 12, Emily Van hest, 11 and Kaila Whitford, 12. Photo: Jay Cronan

Armed with digital cameras and some expert advice, it was the tiny details of the world that attracted the close up attention of a group of budding photographers last week.

A class of 30 students from Macgregor Primary School hosted a day-long workshop with professional photographer Sally Mayman.

On a perfect spring day, the students explored their playground with a new focus and returned with close-ups of dandelions, bees and ladybirds, as well as black and white scenes and portraits.

Photo by Gagan Gahlawat, Year 6. Click for more photos

Moran Prize workshop held at Macgregor Primary school

Photo by Gagan Gahlawat, Year 6.

Ms Mayman, whose visit was supported by the Moran Arts Foundation, which runs the prestigious Moran Prize for portraits, said similar workshops were run throughout the country, as far afield as remot Western Australia.

"We run about 100 workshops, maybe up to 150 a year...it's just so interesting the way they can express themselves through photography. It's a great program, even with [special] needs kids, it's a great leveling ground," she said.

Macgregor principal Lana Read hoped that the workshop would encourage the students and open opportunities for them.

"I hope it inspires them to develop their skills, and the range of possibilities for them. They are really lucky for this opportunity today."

That seemed to be the case for year six student Nathan Horam.

"I like the creativity and the freedom in photography. Like finding objects that would look nice in photos. Sally is a really good teacher," Nathan said.

The best photos will be entered in the Moran Prize, which has a collective prize pool of $130,000. Prizes in the open category prize total $110,000 and the schools category prizes amount to $20,000.

Australia's top 30 students will each receive a digital camera.