Art & Design: Photography – Sixth Form

What do you most enjoy teaching?

Mr Archer:  I enjoying teaching a creative subject which gives students an outlet to express themselves. Photography is a curious mix of science and art.  I love challenging students perceptions of what photography is and can be, both from the technical and artistic sides. I like to see students develop their work and evolve ideas to produce original and often sophisticated outcomes.

Miss Hamrouge:  Photography has changed so much in the last few years. Technology has evolved and now everyone has access to a camera on their phone, this does not however mean everyone is a photographer.  I love teaching students how to manipulate, alter and change images to create imaginative and sometimes surprising images and making effective use of the technology available.

What are the differences between Photography at GCSE and A-Level?

Photography: GCSE photography is a great introduction to understanding how to use a camera and create photographs. We teach you the formal elements of photography and how you can compose a great picture.

At A-level you will be using Digital SLR cameras and photographic equipment to produce your work. We will teach you how to using lighting set-ups and more advanced technology. Digital manipulation and editing will enhance your work and develop your photographic skills. However, this does not mean you need to have studied photography at GCSE to take it at A-level.

Can you give us a quick summary of each of the units of work you do?

Miss Hamrouge:  In year 12 we take the students through a series of technical workshops to introduce new techniques and equipment. These workshops run alongside a series of lessons exploring aesthetics and its links to art.

Mr Archer:  At the end of year 12 we introduce Unit 1, the personal investigation. This unit accounts for 60% of the final grade. Students must select their own starting point, it could be anything, we have seen such a wide variety for example, identity, body image, texture, abandoned.  This list is endless. It has to be something the student is passionate about.

How is it different to Fine Art?

Fine Art and Photography both come under the Art and design heading and the unit structure is very similar. In Photography you will produce images using a camera. It could also be moving images or animations. In fine Art you will create work using fine art media and techniques, for example: Drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, 3D, even some photography.

The media used to create the artworks is the main difference, though they do support each other and there can be some crossovers in technique and media. Some students decide to study both as they do complement each other.

I’m sure your subject will suit lots of different ‘types’ of student, but are there any characteristics that you think can be useful?

Hardworking. Committed. Imaginative. Creative. Independent. Risk-taker. Organized. Dedicated. Passionate. Talented. Artistic. Analytical, keenness to learn. Curious. An enquiring mind.

Can you show us some examples of the type of work that students do?

Comments from some current students:

I love all of the Photography course but I have particularly enjoyed using the SLR film cameras and developing my own images in the dark room.

I have enjoyed lots of different thing in photography. I love taking photos, printing out my images and present my work in my sketchbook. I have learnt to use my camera and understand all the settings and how to use them.