Subject Intent: Why Photography?

Photography offers students a diverse and in depth range of skills from learning how to use DSLRs manually to an in depth experience in the black and white darkroom. Students gain a broad knowledge in critical analysis developing thoughtful and conceptual ideas, expressed in still images. The curriculum is designed to encourage, practice and develop their technical skillset to develop as photographers and to bridge the gap between technical understanding and creativity. Students are taught professional practices to aid them in further education and employment/ self-employment. 

What will I study?

The course will include:
  • Composition: how to frame an image and create visually exciting photographs
  • Digital photography: the functions of a digital camera
  • Digital manipulation: use of Adobe applications to correct and alter images
  • Studio and location photography
  • Darkroom photography: how to use a traditional 35mm film camera and how to develop and print photographs
  • How to present your work creatively in both digital and hand-made sketchbooks
  • How to critique your work and that of others
  • How to best communicate concepts and meanings to your viewer


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

Photography lessons vary in teaching and learning methods and include a combination of practical workshops, 1:1 tutorials and independent project work. In Year 12 the course is structured to develop fundamental photographic skills which include; composition, exposure, traditional darkroom procedures, studio lighting techniques and digital editing using Adobe software. Practical work is informed by contextual research and critical analysis of other photographers work and recorded digitally and in physical sketchbooks. Students progressively explore their own independent photographic interests, selecting themes appropriate for their future career aspirations. The Visual Arts department boasts professional standard studio spaces with Apple Macs, Adobe Creative Suite software, a darkroom and a photography lighting studio. It also has a wide range of other arts-based specialist tools and equipment to encourage students to explore multidisciplinary techniques. We operate an ‘open door’ policy to allow students to use the equipment and studio spaces independently outside of their lessons. 

What our


I think personally the creative freedom given as well as encouragement to be totally yourself, experiment, to find ways of beautiful and unconventional means of expression in the work we create as well as learning pieces of history, technology and knowledge along the way.

Umar Goreja, Carlton Bolling

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