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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
Learners are required to choose one of more area(s) of study, such as:
- landscape photography
- commercial photography
- still life photography
- documentary photography
- experimental imagery
- editorial photography
- photographic installation
- the photographic process
- moving image
- Learners should be able to explore, research and acquire techniques and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of photographic media.
- Learners should explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to traditional and/or digital photography. Learners may use traditional methods such as photographic film and/or digital techniques to produce images.
- Learners in Photography are expected to demonstrate specialisation in particular media or processes to allow an appropriate depth of study. This can be achieved by working toward the extension and development of particular themes, ideas or issues.
- Drawing skills should be understood and developed as appropriate to the ways of recording and communicating intentions, ideas and emotions in the context of Photography.
Areas of Study
Learners are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below. Combinations of these areas are also possible:
- landscape photography
- commercial photography
- still-life photography
- documentary photography
- experimental imagery
- editorial photography
- photographic installation
- the photographic process
- moving image
The following are some of the techniques available to learners in Photography: traditional darkroom technology; printing and developing films; digital technology; the use of camera equipment and lenses; lighting and exposure techniques; moving image and animation; alternative art-based printing such as screen printing; alternative chemical print processes such as liquid emulsion, toning and types of paper.
- Learners will be expected to demonstrate skills as defined in the Art and Design core content section of this specification, in the context of their chosen area(s) of Photography. In addition, learners will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:
- applying and using composition in Photography
- understanding and application of scale appropriate to the chosen work and direction relevant to learners’ intentions
- understanding and applying formal elements such as colour, tone, texture, shape and form in relation to Photography
- selecting, editing and highlighting photographic images
- using appropriate visual language and terminology within Photography
- manipulating imagery
- understanding and using relevant conventions and genres in Photography.
Knowledge and Understanding
- Learners must use an appropriate range of processes and techniques using traditional and/or digital media, appropriate to the chosen subject area enabling research, exploration and the creation of the final outcome(s).
- Learners will build and evidence an understanding of:
- relevant technologies, materials, processes and resources
- continuity and change in different genres, styles and traditions relevant to Photography and the chosen areas of study within this specialism
- how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts
- how images and artefacts relate to the time and place in which they were made and to their social and cultural context
- a working vocabulary and specialist terminology which are relevant to their chosen area(s) of study.
Students should be encouraged to explore the work of other photographers in order to extend their understanding of the scope of this area of study. This does not need to be pages and pages of biographical details but should lead to an understanding of the breadth of opportunities in photography and an appreciation of the diverse range of outcomes that can be achieved. Focused research should encourage students to make informed connections with a technique or genre that captures the imagination and provides sufficient stimulus for deeper research at an independent level. This exploration should be combined with practical skills workshops and time and space to put these ideas into practice.
Not all centres will have a wide range of resources or equipment but students should have the technical skills and confidence to use the resources they do have available to the best of their ability.
Structured projects with a high level of independent study, either with set starting points or learner-led briefs, could include examples of suggested photographers or related artists to study, plus a level of planning and preparation. Students should also be encouraged to explore, be creative and take risks but document their findings and be analytical about their results. Practical work should have an element of skill building and exploration, allowing for engagement with a range of different aspects of photography. Students should be able to build a broad skills base with opportunities for deeper understanding and development during the personal study. Post-production skills, manipulation, editing, development of ideas could be combined with more traditional methods, e.g. drawing, collage, paint, working into images with mixed media and using a combination of skills and technology to create original works.
Assessment Objectives shouldn’t be seen as separate stages but should relate to each other and are not necessarily linear; research could lead into development of ideas, testing and then back to further research or more focused investigation. Reflection skills should be a thread throughout all the work showing the thought-process and decisions the student has made. This does not need to be extensive written work but relevant and meaningful annotation, showing connections have been made between different aspects of the work. An insightful and personal commentary throughout the work can help demonstrate that students are able to make judgements, edit, select and refine their own work. Discussion about work as it progresses provides opportunities for peer feedback, participating in critiques and developing ideas as a result of feedback.
With the accessibility of camera phones and communication through photographs, students need to have the technical and creative skills that set them apart. Understanding of client needs and working to a brief, working to deadlines and being pushed out of comfort zones can all help to build versatility and flexibility so that students can have a range of skills at their disposal and be quick to adapt and this fluency comes from embedded practice and research.
Cindy Sherman's untitled Film Stills of the late 1970’s explore stereotypes of women by recreating scenes that appear as if from noir films of the 1940’s and 50’s. Sherman carefully composes the images and acts as model, director and photographer.
- Formal elements (line/tone/form)
- Convention and genre
- Visual language
- Comparison to portrait painting and composition, props, artefacts, costume-explore how have these been used to create meaning.
From these investigations, plan and shoot a series of photographs that challenge ideas of appearance and identity.
Research a selection of iconic film stills or portrait paintings. Use props, lighting, costumes and composition to re-create the moments before, during and after the image, reinterpreting the original narrative through location or studio shoots. Consider ways to include contemporary themes or issues into the narrative where relevant.
The creation of dark and fantastical tales that capture the drama and fragility of the human experience preoccupy the work of many contemporary artists. Photographer Alex Stoddard crafts visual metaphors that are uniquely engaging and acutely surreal. His work offers great stimulus for personal responses that involve the collection and selection of props and costume and utilise the local environment, developing skills in outdoor photographic lighting and composition.
Using 'The Human Condition' as a stimulus for research, create a series of digital images that are both staged and digitally manipulated using layering, cutting and repetition. Use studio or location shoots as necessary.
Students can further develop the narrative in their series of images by selecting one or two images to develop further. This could be as an extended collection of images, a short film or animation or by using mark-making and mixed media to create illustrations from their images.
A combination of easy-to-use mobile apps and traditional media in the creative application of conceptual understanding has opened up a whole new genre of manipulated image making. The ability to work across apps and the touch screen nature of a mobile device exploring emerging forms of image creation offers candidates the opportunity to merge the boundaries between photography and digital art.
Sarah Jarrett's enigmatic portraits created on a mobile device hold a unique beauty. Sarah is a leading practitioner in the emerging practice of mobile photography, recently winning the Mobile Photography Awards photographer of the year.
Students explore from a starting point such as 'Decay' to produce multi-layered images applying the experimental use of mobile technologies. Through cutting, merging, layering, smudging and combining portrait elements with photographed and manipulated surface texture, produce a series of evocative portrait outcomes.
Research into relevant artists who use mobile technology to create imagery. Use this research to inform a series of images that use a combination of editing and combining imagery using mobile apps such as Procreate.
Fashionable women shopping and dramatically lit buildings, people on the helpless edges of society, children, the old and the poor were all the subjects of Vivian Maier. Working as a nanny in the USA during the 1950s she amassed nearly 5 decades of images which were really only discovered after her death in 2009. Maier is acknowledged as one of the greatest US street photographers of the 20th century.
Contemporary mobile photographer, Anton Kawasaki, is a storyteller working in New York City focusing on subjects that represent the emotion, character and human condition of the urban environment
Students should explore contextualising images by comparing the work of Maier and Kawasaki. Students should look at the use of technology and how this has changed over time between the two artists and during their respective lifetimes. Include investigations into the development of small portable cameras which would have made photography open to wider audience as the technology became cheaper. Students should also examine the cultural context of the images and explain what they tell us about social conditions at the time, the life of the artists and the differences between commercial and documentary photography.
Students should plan and produce a series of street photo style documentary images that capture the essence of a particular area or event. Explore how accessible mobile image recording has become through social media photo sharing communities and what impact this has on the content and the way in which these images are created and shared.
Januz Miralles explores the beauty and fragility in human form merging photography with experimental layers of drawing and painting. Federico Bebber, with influences of H R Geiger, uses layering of painted, drawn and photographically recorded surfaces and objects to create unnerving images that imbue a real sense of horror. Utilising modern waterproof cameras (or camera housings) to shoot models underwater can provide candidates with the foundation layer to a digital manipulated response, embellished with digital or hand worked textures and surface markings and distorted through warping and liquefying manipulation effects.
From research into the artists in this activity's 'Resources' and other relevant photographers, students should plan and execute a studio shoot of a series of portraits that incorporate objects, text and projected imagery, shot through sheet materials such as net, glass or plastics. These should then be manipulated using post-production techniques such as blurring, multi-layering, liquefying and stitching.
Further develop the images at the production stage by use of projections and developing images onto different surfaces. This could either be achieved by printing directly onto different materials or through the use of liquid emulsions.
The multiple splicing and repetitive layering of photographer Federico Cabrera are a response evolved from a futurist inspired mechanical geometric fragmentation technique.
Students should investigate digital pattern making, incorporating cut and spliced images. The starting point can be open and include natural or man-made starting points. Students should explore different software and post-production techniques available for creating repeat tiles and how this can be applied in an industrial context such as digital fabric printing.
Following on from this investigation, students should plan and shoot a series of images that could be manipulated by geometric splicing and stitching. Work should be developed by exploring prismatic geometric splicing, digital and analogue. Multi-layering and multi-exposure techniques can lead to a broad exploration of experimental image making processes. Students should explore the digital and analogue splicing and collaging of studio shot images.
Imagery evocative of the feelings of vulnerability and fear, preoccupy the dark beauty of the work of contemporary photographer and fine artist Leslie Ann O'Dell. Illustrating with digital devices such as a graphics tablet or touch sensitive stylus for mobile devices, provides students with the opportunity to digitally draw and layer from observation. The ability to create custom brushes from images enables students to build a personal library of digital tools to render their digital responses.
Students should plan and produce a series of images to illustrate a piece of text, creating experimental photographic and digital art images. Combine traditional and illustration with photography through mobile and computer based applications to create a narrative. Students can explore digital fine art approaches to collage and digital mark making or use composition and visual language to create meaning in the images.
Further development could include combining the images with a piece of editorial and exploring layout, text and page set up for a chosen format.
In 1930 Man Ray created his Rayogram, Electricité series; ghost like, highly experimental, mysterious images with much curiosity surrounding his methods.
The possibilities of camera-less image making combine analogue and digital methods to record objects, places and layer images. Examples to research include techniques such as Camera Obscura/photograms/lumen prints/photo emulsion.
Explore creative ways to produce images without the use of traditional or digital cameras. Consider scale, texture, composition and tone in the images. Exploration could include Photograms, pinhole cameras, use of emulsions.
Push the context of camera-less photography by experimenting with projections, lighting and different surfaces in the studio and on location.
Rrrrrrrrroll, an anonymous group of five photographers, produce animated gifs (short animated sequences): a technique that offers candidates mesmerizing possibilities. Recording dancers in movement with long exposure photographic techniques, documenting movement over time, could result in students recording phenomenal sculptural forms to camera.
Nigel Stanford conducts and records audio based scientific experimentations on the effects of sound on matter, from water to sand. The potential to record incredible new discoveries in slow motion video or fast exposure still photography could lead students to investigate specialist camera and lighting set ups to record the effects of sound and gravity on their chosen fluid substances. Projection mapping computer applications and mobile apps offer a way of mapping video and still images onto irregular objects and surfaces to form a digital installations response.
Students respond to a starting point, such as 'Movement', exploring a range of ways of capturing motion in still and moving image. Capturing a motion can be one of the most challenging techniques for a photographer to master. Equally it can lead to experimental unpredictable image creation. From sequencing a sports person amidst movement to creating motion blur, long exposure images of a figure or object in movement, capturing motion offers many possibilities.
Produce a sequence of images or a short animation that responds to a chosen theme based on movement and motion.
Norweigian photographer Sølve Sundsbø embraces new technologies in ethereal creations for leading fashion publications, major brands and fashion houses. Students could respond to stimulus such as 'Reflections and refraction' and discover ways of employing experimental lighting in the studio, including the possible use of coloured gels, and its effect on the selection of costume, make-up and pose of the model.
Alex Box, a lead figure in the field of make-up arts, can add much inspiration in preparation of the model. This could provide the foundations to a group fashion blog or digital fashion magazine, using websites such as www.issuu.com to share a publication.
Investigate contemporary fashion photography with influences from art, literature, digital media, history and popular culture. An industry brief with critical and contextual referencing underpinning a commercial approach to image making in areas such as advertising or magazine editorial could be explored, through both analogue and digital experimentation, and take candidates on a journey from experimental image creation through to commercial output, including fashion blogs, printed and digital publication.
Students could develop this further by working as part of a creative team to produce work for a blog post, magazine or advert. Or students could set a brief that explores a particular theme through the medium of fashion photography. It could be related to modern themes of identity and self-exposure through social media or a purely commercial exercise into advertising a product.
Landscape photographer David Kingham lives the nomadic life of an explorer capturing an emotional connection with beauty of the world to share with his audience. His night-time photographs remind us of the vastness of life beyond our day-to-day activity. Using a camera and tripod to shoot twilight images, moons, planets and constellations offers students a foundation into the techniques involved in Astrophotography. This could lead into exploration of deep sky imaging techniques, including shooting objects like galaxies and nebulae, using telescopes with a camera and tracking equatorial mount to track the stars during an exposure, compensating for the Earth’s rotation.
Time-lapse photography can also be used to explore change and the passage of time through exploring themes such as change and decay. There are opportunities for cross-over with other areas of image making such as motion and animation.
Students should plan and shoot a series of long exposure shots. This could include exploring how to capture lights, motion, water, smoke, time-lapse, light painting. Skills covered should include use of equipment such as tripods, slow motion, high definition cameras.
The extraordinary possibilities of life beyond our universe holds fascinating creative potential. Completion of a project on the night-time filming could lead to exploring the potential of long exposure image making techniques. Shooting images overnight with 10, 20, 30 minute experimental exposures could result in shots that appear like they were taken in the middle of the day but with the intensity of colour that only the night holds. Explore more specialist equipment where appropriate, for example, medium format, telescopic lenses, Lomography and analogue cameras.
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s (Wood) ‘Crying Men’ deliberately challenges our preconceived view of masculinity. Producing imagery that challenges viewpoints in highly emotive subject areas could lead candidates to pursue a client-led brief for an external organisation such as an NHS trust. Working alongside experienced practitioners, candidates could apply specialist critical and contextual awareness in Photographic and moving image outcomes.
Students should start by exploring an issue to raise awareness for. It could be something they have been involved with or something that has a personal connection. Start by planning and creating a set of photographic images exploring representations of the chosen issue - examples could be homelessness, health, equality, freedom of speech. Responses should be developed through critical and contextual understanding of the portrayal of feeling in an image, its symbolic value and the social context in which an image is produced and viewed. Exploration into appropriate convention and genre as well as visual language should support the development of ideas.
Client brief: To raise awareness of the symptoms of psychosis in is early stages in the 16-35 year old age group.
Working with a client, in this case an NHS Early Intervention Team, develop a series of poignant digital images that recreate moments in the story of a sufferer and guide individuals to support. Design responses could include web based, social media and/or a digital flyer.
Capturing images of food for advertising and commercial contexts involves a great deal of technical skill and working to time constraints. Styling and lighting skills will be needed to create an atmosphere or a context for the shots. Composition skills are important as you try to add depth and scale to what can be quite a small scale subject.
Working to a client or centre set brief, explore still life and food photography to create a local cookbook or mobile app. The courses of a set menu or the local/national or international origin of the cuisine could offer students a structure to undertake critical and contextual research and plan their image creation. Experimentation with colour, composition and lighting will offer variation and quality to the images shot. Shooting with two plates, one for setting up the shot and the second, an identical best plate for the final image, will keep the fresh look and help bring out the textures in the food. Exploration of aperture to explore shallow and deep depth of field and angles of shot will add further challenge to the recording.
'Dark' food photography with its origins in Chiaroscuro is usually associated with rustic locations and the seasons of autumn and winter. Creating images for a client's book or app with this aesthetic requirement would involve making decisions on colour and props, toning down a colour scheme, selecting light items with care and, most importantly, exploring qualities of natural light.
Scouring beaches collecting ephemera and discovering the extraordinary in other people's trash, Barry Rosenthal is addicted to collecting. He visits beaches, landfill sites and natural habitats and extracts people's discarded rubbish, returning to his studio to produce carefully arranged photographic records of these unexpected discoveries.
With origins in botanical illustrations and cabinets of curiosities, Emily Blincoe arranges collections of food, plants and sweets, sorting them into groups and gradients for each image.
NAM (Tokyo Graphic/Art collective) build and shoot gravity defying hanging forms of model and props connecting narratives, sophisticatedly utilising image manipulation to create works that transcend belief. Exploring connections between object and owner, building narratives through animation, offers the potential to develop surreal dreamlike film sequences.
Plan and create a series of images that respond to the theme of 'Collections'. Exploration of the theme at a literal and conceptual level should feed into practical work. Careful arrangement of objects with considered lighting and composition should give opportunities for students to create narrative and meaning.
Themes of repetition could be explored of independent working at a more conceptual level to make links between objects and the idea of collecting. Exploration of significant objects and ways of recording and capturing images of small scale could be investigated.
Alexander Bordereau’s digitally manipulated portraits explore the possibility of expressing emotion without seeing a face. Their origins are in Rene Magritte’s surreal portraits such as ‘The Son of Man’ in which faces are obscured by objects or have vanished completely.
The digital collages of Maggie Taylor begin with vintage scanned family portraits of sentimental value, collected from antique shops and flea markets. She creates visual narratives with object associations in which she continually remains open to accidental discovery. Using often more than 100 layers she applies masks and blend modes in edits using digital image manipulation software.
Exploring a conflict between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present, design a series of digitally manipulated studio or location shots that convey the surreal qualities of a dream like fairy tale sequence designed for a digital large format printed stage set.
Re-interpreting or modernizing a fairytale or tale from folklore as a starting point for exploration of the hidden and surreal. Use a combination of studio or location shooting and digital manipulation to produce a set of photographic illustrations based on fairytales and folklore.
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