Why take GCSE Photography?
Students will be given the opportunity to:
- Take photographs using a digital SLR camera;
- Find out how to use photographic equipment;
- Find out about photography related careers like advertising, graphic design, and scientific photography;
- Find out how to change and improve photographs using digital manipulation software such as Photoshop.
The emphasis will be placed on the student to be independent and take responsibility for their learning and creative practice. This, coupled with the practical and theoretical skills they will gain during the course, will provide students with a solid base for any future pathway within photography.
In year 10 students will be introduced to the Rules of Composition and the powerful effect that elements such as symmetry, rule of thirds, leading lines and space can have on creating a successfully composed photograph. The thought provoking and often humorous photographer Slinkachu will be studied with outcomes produced which demonstrate an understanding of how to use aperture and shutter speed effectively, whilst delving in to the creation of stop-motion animation and flip-books. Students will also connect their work to street, documentary and composite photography.
The second project will involve experimentation within a darkroom setting to produce outcomes inspired by Op Art (optical illusions), and the use of rayograph techniques in the style of Man Ray. Portraiture will follow as a third project, experimenting with a variety of approaches to, and styles of, portrait photography, leading to the development of creative ideas for a magazine cover incorporating a striking portrait image.
In year 11 students will further develop their dark room knowledge and skills with a mixed media focus. Images will be altered and manipulated both digitally and manually using a variety of techniques including painting, tearing, layering and stitching.
The externally set examination will begin in the Spring term of year 11.
How is it assessed/examined?
- Unit 1: Personal Portfolio (Coursework unit) – 60% of the final grade.
For this you will complete Slinkachu, Op Art, Making a Statement and Mixed Media projects which will comprise of a sketchbook and other supporting studies leading to one or more final outcomes.
- Unit 2: Externally set Assignment (Controlled test) – 40% of the final grade.
The theme of this unit is set by the exam board. Students have a minimum of 20 hours preparation time followed by an unaided 10 hour exam on a final piece. This follows a similar format to coursework but over a considerably shorter time.
In both cases your work will be assessed against four assessment objectives as follows:
- Assessment Objective 1: Developing ideas;
- Assessment Objective 2: Using resources, media and materials;
- Assessment Objective 3: Recording ideas and observations;
- Assessment Objective 4: Making a personal, informed, and meaningful response.
Your work will be internally assessed by teachers of the photography department. A sample will then be selected by the exam board which will be assessed by an external moderator.
What can I do once I have completed the course?
You may wish to go on to study an AS or A-Level in Photography or BTEC Art qualification. Following on from this you could complete an Art Foundation course before embarking on a university degree.
Photography is used in a variety of different professions where good visual communication is vital. Newspapers, magazines, film, television, books and the internet use photography as do industry, medicine, business and research.
“Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham