A Level Photography Lens-based and Light-based Media
This is a two-year qualification. Throughout the course, students will explore, research and acquire techniques and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of photographic media. Students will work toward particular themes, ideas or issues and are encouraged to be experimental, innovative and enquiring in their approach. The course enjoys very high achievement rates and the quality of the work produced has been recognised by external moderators. A recent report states that the students produce “high quality, exciting and lively work that is extremely personal, mature and travels beyond the normal expectations and boundaries of traditional photography”.
Learners can work in one or more areas of Photography, such as those listed below:
Combinations of these areas are also possible:
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 alternative art-based printing such as cyanotype prints, liquid emulsion and transfer techniques onto different types of paper. Students work in a variety of media and can incorporate skills gained in other subjects such as Textiles, Fine Art, 3D Design and Graphics.
All materials and equipment needed to complete the course will be provided and cameras, tripods, lenses etc. can be loaned.
Component 1: Personal Investigation
Learners should produce two elements:
120 marks (60% total A Level) non exam assessment
Component 2: Externally Set Task
80 marks (40% of total A Level) 15 hours non exam assessment
We would recommend that candidates should have acquired the skills and knowledge associated with achieving a grade C or above at GCSE art and design or equivalent course, such as GCSE Photography. It must be emphasised that this is not a requirement but is desirable. Students wishing to apply for the course without this qualification will be considered, but must bring a portfolio of photographic work demonstrating a visual awareness, to their interview and be seen by the head of department.
Photography is not to be confused with either Film Studies or Media Studies as it has a much more practical and creative emphasis. Photography is an art-based subject. It has cross-curricular links with other arts subjects, such as Art, Craft and Design, Graphic Communication, Three Dimensional Design and Textile Design.
“It allows you to be flexible with your creativity and express your own ideas”
“It’s enjoyable but also challenging. It’s a chance to be creative and use new skills”
“It’s a fun practical lesson to do and you do a lot of independent work”