Why study Photography?

Photography is a popular subject that requires a keen interest in observing and recording the world we live in. A good photographer will explore themes and issues through their use of images and will experiment with a range of techniques, both in the planning and taking of photoshoots as well as editing to communicate their ideas. Photography, like all the arts, promotes problem solving, experimentation, creativity, image analysis and Art History but also an understanding of the science and technology of how cameras and software work.

What does the study of Photography involve?

The College follows the OCR examining board specification, where students are expected to develop their own ideas, through skilful recording, experimentation with of techniques and materials leading to the presentation of final outcomes that are clearly inspired by the photography of other practitioners. We provide you with the facilities and support necessary to develop your skills to produce high quality, creative and individual pieces of work. The course will involve classroom study and practical work as well as gallery and museum visits. Students are encouraged to undertake independent research and photoshoots, using various sources of information to help them develop their own style and to create their own portfolio of work

Why at Salesian College?

This is a new course for the college, but not for the teachers delivering the subject. Our experience allows students to choose personal projects and develop independent styles as they explore the breadth of photographic techniques and approaches. A-Level students have their own Art/Photography room at the College, which is available, with its subject specific resources, to all at any time.

What does the course involve?

Year 1. You will develop your own ideas through a project theme of your choice. This will encompass classroom work which will be workshop based where you can explore and experiment with different ideas, materials and techniques. You will be expected to conduct individual research analysis of other photographer’s styles and show an understanding of how to apply this to your own work. At the end of the year you will need to submit a portfolio which will demonstrate the breadth and depth of study, selecting your best work as well as showing the ability to develop a project from an idea to a finished final piece.

Year 2. Unit 1. This is a practical unit that includes written elements, in which you are expected to develop investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme, leading to a finished piece or pieces. It involves contextual studies which relate your work to other artists and includes preparatory work as well as a written study of no more than 3,000 words. The practical work in your project (60% of your final grade) should demonstrate confident skill and understanding of manipulating a variety of approaches to photography.

Year 2. Unit 2. This is an externally set assignment (40% of your final grade) which will require you to undertake preparatory work, in the format of a practical project, which leads to a 15 hour, examination final piece.

If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr Stuart Bannister, Head of Art and Design at