Photography and other lens-based media are integral to many top contemporary artists' practices both nationally and internationally. The Photography major at Whitecliffe College focuses on both technical and conceptual learning in order that students can fully engage with this challenging medium. The program is committed to an understanding of both analogue and digital media as well as an engagement with photographic art history and contemporary critical thinking.
What to expect
The photography course focuses on contemporary fine art photographic practice, its formal visual language and the theory and debate surrounding photography today.
The course is underpinned by teaching the necessary skills, techniques, and methodologies to foster students' creative, practical, and contextual development. The emergence of an artistic practice through a variety of creative media is an integral part of the photography major at Whitecliffe and students develop their creative potential while gaining skills and an understanding of professional practice applicable to the photographic industry.
The delivery of technical instruction and an understanding of professional practices in areas such as intellectual copyright ensure graduating students have currency in the commercial environment.
Each student is provided with his or her own studio space and is encouraged to develop a practice that utilises this facility effectively. At the end of each semester, students must stage exhibitions for formal assessment within their studio spaces. These exhibitions provide opportunities for showcasing work and are essential for resolving existing ideas and considering new directions.
The course has strong ties with the Fine Arts major, and from Year 3 onwards students work alongside Fine Arts majors at the St Georges Bay Road campus.
A darkroom and lighting studio are located at the Balfour Rd campus. The College is constantly upgrading and resourcing to ensure that students have access to current digital and lighting technology. Students have access to several computer suites and relevant imaging software as well as DSLR cameras and lighting equipment.
Core studies include research into both analogue and digital media, colour management and an advanced understanding of lighting techniques. Workshops and electives are offered throughout each year and focus on specialist areas including moving image and larger formats of photography.
In addition to direction from Whitecliffe lecturers who have established professional profiles, students come into contact with specialist photography professionals via workshops and guest lectures and through completing an industry internship. Collaborations are instigated with Graphic Design students to simulate real-life work experiences; these include a shared assignment at Year 3 level, as well as collaborations around exhibition material and documentation for shows at Whitecliffe's Pearce gallery and at off-site venues.
Career opportunities present themselves in the form of creative and technical roles in a variety of commercial industries. These include fashion, editorial and fine art photography, photographic production and postproduction positions such as styling and digital retouching. For those students considering further study, our BFA degree is both nationally and internationally recognised with many of our top students entering into postgraduate programs.
Click here to see work by Photography students.