What is the course about?
Using a wide range of both traditional and digital techniques you will explore commercial and experimental approaches to photography in our fully equipped photographic studios. You will work through a series of projects and industry software sessions facilitated by experts in the field. You will be exploring traditional and digital photography, lighting, history, and genres including people, documentary, street, portraiture and commercial practice. This course will be held in City Lit's dedicated central London (Covent Garden) photographic studio equipped with studio lighting, Apple Mac computers, scanners, high quality A2 digital printers and professional software - Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture 1 and PtGui (panorama stitching software).
This course will be delivered online and onsite, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.
What will we cover?
- Manual camera skills and exposure control
- Lighting techniques including studio lighting
- Digital image manipulation and editing
- Project development and creative ideas
- Exploring genres: including street/documentary; photographing people; landscape and panoramic photography
- Traditional techniques including pinhole photography
- History of photography
- Digital and silver based printing
- Creating print and web portfolios.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Produce photographs to a high level of technical proficiency
- Confidently apply exposure settings and lighting techniques
- Digitally manipulate and retouch images
- Apply relevant photographic techniques to realise creative ideas
- Create projects exploring different genres of photography (e.g. landscape, people etc.)
- Produce a diverse portfolio of high-quality photographs.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for beginners to photography, though it is an intensive course requiring students to demonstrate a high level of commitment throughout. You will be expected to have time management skills and be able to work independently in conducting research, practising skills and developing projects outside the course. You should have a basic knowledge and competence in using computers, including creating, saving and retrieving files. You will be encouraged to have an online presence and can gain support for this on web courses offered throughout the term.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be happy using numbers and able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through workshops, short lectures, handouts, practical exercises, individual assistance, group presentations and critiques. The course puts equal emphasis on technical skills and ideas-based thinking. You will need to allow about 6 hours per week for practice and study in addition to the taught hours. You will be expected to develop photographic projects and assignments independently outside the course, and will be encouraged to maintain a web presence of your images for informal critiques.
Please note we will be using Apple Mac computers.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You must have access to a camera that allows full manual control (e.g. any digital SLR camera). If you intend to use film be prepared for the substantial film and processing costs, although the course will actually emphasise digital techniques as film is now primarily the domain of art photography. City Lit has a range of digital SLR cameras, tripods and lenses which you are welcome to use during the hours of the class. You will need a high-capacity memory stick or a portable hard drive for the course – please note PC-formatted hard drives can be read by Apple Macs, but not written to.
You will be using some computer software on this course. We have Adobe Creative Cloud (which includes Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom) on some machines in the Student Centre at City Lit. If you wish to buy your own copy to work at home, you might be eligible for a discount from Adobe: adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/buy/students
An alternative, cheaper image editing software is Affinity Photo Affinity Photo
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at www.cassart.co.uk. *Terms and conditions apply, visit www.cassart.co.uk/students
Please note this course is exempt from our refunds and transfers policy.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit has a wide range of practical and theoretical photography courses. One natural extension would be VY600 Documentary photography.