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Photography A Level at Riddlesdown Collegiate

Course description

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world. This is a dynamic A Level option where you will explore the creation of photograms in the darkroom, fast shutter speed photography in the studio and innovative post production using Photoshop. All the techniques covered mirror the fast paced demands of working within the photography industry and our state of the art facilities will contribute towards you creating a thought provoking portfolio. Creative minds come together to innovate and push the boundaries of visual language to leave a lasting impression on anyone who views your work. You will explore the impact photography has had on consumerism, civil rights and contemporary art by referencing practitioners such as Barbara Kruger, Peter Kennard and Alyssa Monks. Trips to The Photographer’s Gallery and Paris Photo will help to inform your choice of course beyond A Level and support you with the first step towards breaking into creative industries.

Course content

Year 12 follows the same structure as what is required by the exam board for Year 13

Component 1: Throughout this unit, you will develop ideas through written analysis of Artists’ work, experiment with lighting, record your thought process and present a final outcome which will be included as part of an exhibition during the Summer Festival in the @RC Gallery. You will aim high to produce a body of work rather than one single piece. Visiting lecturers and students who are currently studying degrees in photography will provide extended feedback and portfolio advice throughout this unit. There will also be the opportunity to visit Paris in November. This component includes a personal study of 1000 words in continuous prose

Component 2: You will produce a second portfolio in response to a given stimuli which is set by the exam board. Previous stimuli titles have included community, tension, composition and Pick and Mix. Stimuli tend to be quite broad to allow for individual development of ideas and a breadth of outcomes. Given a broad theme as a starting point, you are required to prepare your ideas, intentions and a final response. You will produce your final outcome under exam conditions in fifteen hours. This will be completed over three consecutive days. You will also produce a portfolio for unit 3 and unit 4 in Year 13 which includes one academic essay minimum 1000 words.

Entry requirements

A B grade In GCSE English language and / or English Literature is desirable. You will be required to submit a portfolio before being accepted on to the course. Your portfolio must include:

An explanation as to why you want to do Photography 

Fifteen of your best photographs which you have taken showing your ability to explore composition through portraiture, still life and landscapes.

Three famous photographs which are in your opinion, thought provoking. Include a written analysis of your choices

Specific Requirements & Skills Required:

Ability to work independently and as part of a group 

Attention to detail 

Creativity 

Production of a portfolio requires persistence and good time management skills 

An eye for composition 

An ability to work creatively with lighting, models, cameras and Photoshop

Analytical writing 

Think in a perceptive way 

Wider reading of photographic essays 

Willingness to research at exhibitions in Central London 

Ability to write an academic essay using the Harvard referencing system


Component 1 - 60%

Component 2 -  Externally set task, 40%

Future opportunities

Photography degrees (editorial, fine art, travel, journalism, fashion, commercial, documentary), foundation art, fine art, film studies, museum/gallery curator, combined degrees which feature photography modules.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Riddlesdown Collegiate directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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