Frequently Asked Questions
How experienced do I need to be?
It depends on what you are looking to take away. Our courses are generally intense affairs, covering a lot of information with often surprisingly new or alternative forms of practice for many people. We try very hard to guarantee our courses are 'stand alone' events in the sense that we do not assume you have attended any of our other courses, nor in any particular order. Our only assumption is that you are working at the level the course is presented at, or aspire to. Any familiarity with the relevant applications and processes is a bonus, but not essential. Most important is the desire to learn and understand more about what you are doing and to become better at it.
How are the courses presented?
At the start of each course, following our welcome and introduction, everyone has the opportunity to introduce themselves, including their interests and reasons for attending. We use this feedback to modify 'our syllabus' to best accommodate the needs of the individual within the group. This is an ongoing conversation that continues throughout the course. Therefore every time we present a course it invariably ends up being a somewhat unique experience.
Who attends the courses?
A broad range of people enroll in the courses for all sorts of reasons. Approximately a third are professional artists who want to refine their technique, or are making the transition to digital processing, and/or want to know what is available and what is required to significantly expand their understanding and application. Approximately a third are professional photographers seeking inspiration or wanting to up-skill or consolidate their technique, and/or more efficiently integrate digital processes into their daily workflow. Approximately a third are non-professionals supporting their interests and passion for all things photographic. Over 20% of those attending are from interstate or country Victoria.
What happens during a course?
The courses are organised along the lines of a University program with detailed presentations, analysis, discussion of the available options and supported by best practice demonstrations, creative solutions and a 'first principles' approach to teaching and learning. Numerous case studies and examples illustrate the critical distinctions in a real-world context. Individual needs are acknowledged and attended to within the overall content of the course.
How are the courses structured?
There are a range of skills required by the contemporary digital artist, both intellectual skills and practical skills. The intellectual skills can be acquired rather quickly, but the practical skills take much longer to attain and consolidate. Our courses are designed to balance the intellectual skills with the practical skills, while acknowledging that the course must also put in place the groundwork so that your post-course practice is as informed, productive and meaningful as it can be.
How many people are enrolled in a course?
It depends on the course content. In general we aim for an enrolment of 13 people per Short course and 12 people per weekend workshop to ensure an intimate and personalised learning environment. Too many attendees can result in not enough individual attention, while too small a number may reduce the group dynamic and interaction. We equally value the individual attention we can provide along with the support and interaction among those attending.
Where are the courses held?
The courses are presented at the CCP, 404 George Street Fitzroy in the purpose built Visy Education space. This is positioned at the heart of the CCP surrounded by the four galleries, the night projection space, and the CCP shop. It has the highest quality projection, comfortable individual seats with writing tablets, air conditioning, sound proofing, and gallery lighting. Specialist equipment and facilities are incorporated as required by the course content.
Are course notes provided?
Each course is supported with detailed and fully illustrated course notes that cover the main concepts and processes presented, and also act as comprehensive reference material after the course. The notes are in the PDF format and presented on a CD along with other material relevant to that particular course. The cost of the notes are included in the course fee, and many people print and bind each set of course notes into a stand alone document, typically from 50 to 100 pages in length depending on the course. A detailed course syllabus listing the main topics presented in each session is also provided.
Do I work on a computer at the CCP?
Though not a course requirement, everyone is welcome to bring a laptop computer with them, and a limited number of power outlets are available to facilitate this. We don't present our courses in a traditional 'computer lab' environment' where everyone sits at a computer and 'builds the same widget'. This approach is too generalized and inefficient for the breadth and intensity of the material covered. Therefore no one is disadvantaged if they do not have their own computer.
What order should I take the courses in?
Though many people attend all of our courses in the order in which they are presented, just as many attend our courses on a 'needs basis'. It is also not unusual for someone to enroll in an 'introductory' course (to 'fill in the gaps') after they have attended some of our more 'advanced' courses, while others repeatedly enroll in the same courses over a number of years in order to keep abreast of the latest developments in that field.