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Photography A Level at Helston Community College

Course description

Are you excited about learning a brand new skill? For nearly every student starting this course it will be the fi rst time they have worked in a darkroom or taken photographs in a studio with a fi lm camera. You will discover a new medium to create fantastic permanent and original images. Alongside this you will be able to develop your digital skills in colour photography, become visually and critically aware and learn about the history of photography. Good subject combinations, Art, Technology, Media Studies, English, IT, Geography. Photography is fun and will provide a breath of fresh air to any subject combination.

Course content

The course is divided into the following three areas.

Practical investigation: Understanding and use of equipment and processes. Camera, light meter, studio lighting, fi lm processing, darkroom, enlarger and chemical processes. Use of digital cameras, Photoshop and Indesign. Health and safety.

Personal study: This involves an extended essay off ering an opportunity to study your favourite genre of photography in depth. This may include gathering information from a practising photographer as well as from written sources.

Externally set task: A practical test, 15 hours at the end of the second year. A chance to demonstrate your planning, critical, technical and creative skills.

This is essentially a practical course and students will be expected to become skilled in all aspects of the techniques of photography including the processing of black and white images traditionally and in the manipulation of digital images using Photoshop. Students will develop visual and critical skills, study the history of photography and become familiar with the work of established photographers. The main emphasis of this course is CREATIVITY.

Entry requirements

No previous knowledge of photography is required. Grade A-C in Art and Design or Design Technology and English is useful but not essential. The most important qualifi cation is enthusiasm for the subject.


Component 1 Personal Investigation

Element 1:Practical Portfolio A practical research project investigating many aspects and genres of black and white and colour photography, mostly darkroom based in year one. Contextual studies and history, including the illustrated study of a well-known photographer.

Element 2: Related Study Undertaken in year 2 involving a greater depth of study and lead by the student’s particular area of interest. Introduction of digital skills, Photoshop, Indesign, Studio fl ash with digital SLR cameras, leading to an illustrated essay about photographers/artists working in a style or genre that inspire the student. You will create a great set of your own images informed by the study.

Component 2: Externally set task: A 15 hour practical task.

Future opportunities

  • Become a Professional Photographer
  • Students may wish to continue their education in Photography, Media Studies or Art and Design.
  • This qualifi cation would further a career in fi lmmaking, television, journalism, website design and any media based employment.

Further information

OCR Art and Design: Photography (H603)

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Helston Community College directly.

Last updated date: 20 July 2016

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