“There are almost too many possibilities. Photography is in direct proportion with our time: multiple, faster, instant. Because it is so easy, it will be more difficult.” Ernst Haas
The study of Photography is a visual journey of exploration, through ‘lens and light based media’ - our aim is to undertake projects that stretch the appreciation and understanding of the place of photography culturally as well as globally. Photography pervades our lives at all levels and we explore through technical and conceptual projects the many possibilities that this exciting subject can offer.
GCSE Years 10 and 11
What will I learn?
Photography GCSE is an exciting and demanding subject that presupposes interest and talent. The Art Department houses a broad range of facilities, all supervised by staff with a thorough working knowledge of each specialist area.
Students are given every opportunity to learn about numerous technical processes such as 35mm film, digital image-making, Photoshop, Illustrator, black and white darkroom development, pinholes, solargraphy, cyanotypes, cellphones, moving image and Lomography. It must be emphasised that this is a demanding yet extremely rewarding course that is in no way exclusively intended for those students with natural flair and ability towards the subject or exclusively for those intending to pursue art to A Level.
The Department aims to provide a course available to any student who demonstrates enthusiasm and interest towards the subject. Such a course can provide the student with a stronger sense of self-confidence and a greater sense of visual awareness. Each student will be expected to provide their own digital and film camera and a digital storage device.
How is the course structured and assessed?
The course involves two parts; a portfolio and externally set assignment, which will involve work from all areas of the Photography curriculum. The Portfolio is completed by the end of the Michaelmas Term in Year 11. It will include a variety of these areas: portraiture, studio photography, experimental imagery, installation, documentary, photojournalism and moving image; film, video and animation. The ESA usually takes place in early May, with the exam starting points given to students at the beginning of January. At the end of the course a student is expected to present a portfolio of project work, which accounts for 60% of their final mark. The remaining 40% is for the ESA project and final piece.
A Level Years 12 and 13
The course covers darkroom and digital work, with the full Adobe Creative Suite available to all students. The large darkroom can print all black and white films, with pinholes, cyanotypes and other experimental processes readily available. There is also a lighting studio with a green screen with digital filmmaking equipment.
What do I need before starting this course?
Photography is offered to students who show an aptitude in the subject. An Art and Photography GCSE is recommended with at least a grade 5 (but it is not a prerequisite). You will need a digital SLR camera and a SLR film camera, although initially any good mobile phone will get you a long way.
What will I learn?
The emphasis of the first year course is the learning and practice of investigative skills - the process. In the second year, while the process is still important, the quality of the product has greater emphasis. In Year 13 students you will work on an individual project, “creating visual meaning through lens based media by an expressive response to a personal context or social issue”.
How is the course structured?
Work is assessed internally throughout the year, with weekly or twice weekly assignments. Final work is marked internally, then moderated by an external examiner in June at the end of Year 13. There will be a termly charge for extra materials with this course.
What careers do students go on to?
Students have gone on to study at the top universities in the country, and abroad. They have studied photojournalism, forensic photography, portrait and wedding photography, nature and natural filmmaking, digital filmmaking, animation, film special effects, fashion photography and many others.
Previous pupils work