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Photography is a very creative course. You will develop the technical skills necessary to enable you to express your ideas using photographs as your medium.

We start with film techniques and move forward into digital photography and we work both in black and white and in colour. We work to set themes and then you take them in individual unique directions.

In your first year you will explore the potential of location and studio work, digital technology, darkroom processes, and the moving image. In the second year you will apply the skills and experiences of year 1 to create a Personal Investigation.

View our Visual Arts Showcase 2020.

To someone who is thinking about taking the course, I think they need to have a interest in photography both in and outside of lessons to fully develop their skills. Furthermore they must be open to new ways of working due to the broad range of topics and styles covered in the course.

Charlotte Humm, Photography student

On this course you will study the following topics:

  • Digital camera skills and techniques
  • Film camera and dark room techniques
  • Studio lighting techniques
  • Digital image processing and manipulation (Photoshop/Lightroom)
  • Critical writing skills
  • Project development and presentation
  • Portfolio presentation
  • A wide range of photographic genre; portrait, street, still life, commercial, fashion

What equipment do I need and what will it cost?

This can be quite a costly subject and it is important to consider this when choosing the course. You will need a 35 mm Digital SLR camera. It must have the following features:

  • Ability to shoot in FULLY manual mode, allowing shutter speed, Apertures and ISO to be changed independently of each other
  • Minimum of 12 MP
  • Interchangeable lens(es)
  • Hotshoe – for attaching flash accessories.

Please get in touch with us if you aren’t sure if your camera is suitable. We don’t recommend particular makes but we do advise that you buy second-hand, preferably from an outlet that offers guarantees!

You may also wish to use a 35mm SLR film camera.

You will be expected to buy film and photographic paper as well as paying for digital printing, sketchbooks, mounting materials and so on. We sell a kit in September that includes core materials required. This costs £60 and is avaliable in week one of the course.

What can I do with Photography?

Well, you might become a Photographer, perhaps specialising in portraiture, fashion, sports etc! However, there is a continual demand from employers for people who are visually articulate, self-motivated, adaptable, excellent project managers and innovative thinkers. You could go on to higher education to develop your photographic skills further. What you take with you from this course will be highly valued in a number of career areas. These include art direction, graphic and web design, media production, journalism, illustration and many more.

Are there any exams?

There are no traditional, written, exams. At the end of Year 2 you will create your final piece of work in 15 hours of exam conditions after 8 weeks of independently, exploring and developing ideas in a practical portfolio.

Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English Language or Literature.

It is recommended you have a GCSE in a creative subject but not essential.