The Photography Department opened in September 2015, and is housed on the top floor of the state-of-the-art John Turner building, alongside the Art Department. This means that the classrooms benefit from natural light and an inspirational space, encouraging the creativity of those studying the subject. The study of Photography develops a considered viewpoint when looking at the world around us. As such, it is a subject that continually documents the aesthetic characteristics of life such as nature, the environment and the people within it. This exciting A Level subject promises to be enjoyable for those who are keen to pursue a creative career.
Pupils will be given access to photographic equipment, such as lenses and lights, used in a studio environment. It is expected that they should have their own digital SLR camera with manual control, with an 18-55mm kit lens, and a laptop computer running the latest version of Photoshop CC. The A Level will offer students the chance to work with a variety of post-production software, such as Photoshop, becoming familiar with cropping, editing, evaluating and printing their own images.
Photography is only taught in the Sixth Form, and no previous experience of Photography is required. Those who have enthusiasm, creativity and the discipline to master the technical aspects of the subject will be well-suited to this course. A strong performance in English at GCSE is beneficial, particularly when doing written analysis and essays for coursework. Pupils will be introduced to the technical aspects of Photography, including manual control, exposure, shutter speed, lens focal length and aperture. Pupils are also expected to conduct research and take photographs on school trips and in their own time, by visiting galleries and exhibitions.
Assessment throughout the course is split between coursework and externally set assignments. Internal assessments take place in Year 12. The coursework element is completed between September and February in Year 13 and is worth 60% of the final A Level mark. The external examination is completed between February and May and is worth 40%.
An A Level in Photography with an accomplished portfolio will open the door to further studies in architecture, journalism, fashion, advertising, graphic design, film and television. Once completed, you will have a substantial portfolio of work, and can progress into an Art Foundation course, a Photography based degree course or employment.