Photography A Level
Confusingly known as Art and Design but the specification is for Photography
Students study the technical aspects of using cameras, taking photographs, digital editing and effective work presentation. We aim to develop each student’s photographic vision and to encourage them to explore the creative power of the medium. In the first few months of the course, students study a foundation unit of work which teaches essential skills in using cameras, digital editing with Adobe Photoshop and portfolio presentation. We also develop their understanding of what makes a successful photo and how to approach image-making through lighting, viewpoint and composition. They then apply these skills, over the coursework component of the A-level, in the development of a personal photographic journey which is presented in a portfolio of work for assessment. Within this they will experience traditional darkroom photography and document one such practical personal investigation through a written account.
Component 1 Portfolio: Students create a portfolio of work from three units of work built up throughout Year 12 and the start of Year 13. This will demonstrate their skills and creativity using digital and traditional darkroom photography.
Component 2: Externally set assignment in which students are required to select one of several starting points provided by the exam board. They then have several months to develop a body of practical photographic work presented as an exam portfolio and leading to an outcome produced within 15 hours of supervised exam time.
The course is designed to take an absolute beginner in photography to a point where they could access professional practices. While there is no restriction on entry, experience of GCSE Art and Design is beneficial although drawing skills are not necessary. The most essential requirements are enthusiasm, motivation and commitment.
Students will need their own reasonable quality compact digital camera, bridging camera or DSLR. Before purchasing one for the course, we recommended you wait until a few weeks into term when students have some knowledge of the different camera options.