Subject Overview

Photography in all its forms is more popular today than it has ever been. However, the photography course encourages creative approaches which go beyond just observation and recording of events or situations. It provides the opportunity to develop visual perception through the development of creative, imaginative and practical skills in photography. Visual literacy and appreciation are developed through looking at the work of leading photographers and making critical and contextual responses. The Photography courses are concerned with making a personal enquiry and expression involving the selection and manipulation of images.



Coursework: Students create a portfolio of work consisting of 2 extended projects. The course content will cover lens based and light based media. Students will explore experimental photography such as, Pin Hole photography, photograms, chemograms and solargrams, and digital photography -including photo manipulation with Photoshop, using the studio and work with a professional photographer. Project titles can be selected from a range of areas such as portrait, landscape, still life or documentary photography.

Students respond to set themes producing a sketchbook showing contextual links, they develop ideas through experimentation with different media and Photoshop. Each project culminates with students creating a personal and meaningful response, making connections with the work of other photographers.

Coursework is worth 60% of the final mark.

Exam: A controlled test is undertaken at the end of the course when candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to respond independently to a theme set by the Exam board. They have a ten week period to research and develop their own ideas in response to their chosen theme. Students are required to complete their final pieces during a 10 hour controlled period. Exam work is worth 40% of the final mark.



Component 1: During the first term all students will use the themes of Portraits, Structures and Still Life as starting points to develop foundation camera skills, Photoshop, darkroom,  studio and experimental work. This first unit enables students to understand the process of researching and developing an idea. During the Spring term students select a theme or concept of their own choice to develop as a ‘personal investigation’. They explore critical and contextual studies, recording through a variety of shoots and developing ideas through further exploration of Photoshop, darkroom and mixed media approaches. At the end of this unit students produce final pieces as a conclusion to their research and experimentation. Students are required to write a supporting essay of 1000-3000 words showing their analytical and contextual understanding.

Coursework is worth 60% of the final mark.

Component 2: Students research and develop ideas in response to an AQA set task and produce a finished piece. During the unit they have to produce a final piece of work under exam conditions within a 15 hour time period.

Exam work is worth 40% of the final mark.


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