Photography may be defined as the creative journey through the process of lens- and light-based media. This could include work created using film, video, digital imaging or light sensitive materials. With the developments of new affordable lens-based technologies, students should attempt to use the photographic mediums to explore and create a body of work, which develops and refines both the process and the concept. Students will also understand that Photography practitioners may work to client commissions within a commercial photography studio, or work as freelance photographers. They will need photo manipulation and graphic design skills, and good communication skills in order to liaise with clients and to promote themselves as photographers.
Knowledge, understanding and skills in Photography
Students are required to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills outlined on page 7 when undertaking work in Photography. All knowledge, understanding and skills will be assessed in both components.
There are many skills, techniques, materials, processes and concepts that are essential to all areas of study in Photography. In addition to any specialist requirements listed under the chosen area(s) of study, students should develop a practical knowledge and understanding of:
● the use of formal elements to communicate a variety of approaches
● the camera and its functions, including depth of field, shutter speed, focal points and
● the application of observational skills to record from sources and communicate ideas
● the effects and creative potential of combining and manipulating different
two-dimensional and three-dimensional materials and media
● the use of digital and/or non-digital applications.
Areas of study
Work must demonstrate integrated knowledge, understanding and skills. Work is not limited to one area of study and students could develop work in at least one of the following areas of study:
● The use of the photographic process to provide a narrative of events and/or situations.
● The use of a range of documentary photography materials, tools and techniques such as compositional, proximity to the subject, focal points and the involvement of the photographer with the scene being documented.
● The use of the photographic process to record events as they happen to support the written word.
● The use of a range of photo-journalism materials, tools and techniques such as manipulation of images for artistic effect through depth of field, shutter speed, focal points and viewpoints
● The use of a formal studio setting to control the environment for a variety of subject matters such as portraiture and still life.
● The use of a range of studio photography materials, tools and techniques such as lighting and the use of light, props, posing and the arrangement of objects.
● The use of subject matter found or placed to manipulate the formal elements within an existing environment.
● The use of a range of location photography materials, tools and techniques such as lighting and light metering, developing site-specific shoot plans.
● The control of light and photographic processes to create non-traditional photographic outcomes.
● The use of a range of experimental imagery materials, tools and techniques such as analogue and digital photography, manual manipulation and digital and non-digital processes and outcomes.
● The creation and presentation of photographic artwork for a site-specific space to control and transform viewer perception.
● The use of a range of installation imagery materials, tools and techniques such as location, projection, film, sound, scale and interactivity.
Moving image: film, video and animation
● The recording and use of moving image to communicate a visual narrative
● The use of a range of moving image materials, tools and techniques such as storyboards, scripts, digital, non-digital mixed media methods.
The Photography GCSE is made up of two elements, portfolio work and the final exam.
Portfolio of work completed throughout the course (60%).
Externally set assignment (40%), 10 hour exam.