Photography A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Why study this subject:
Students will be introduced to a range of stimulating photographic opportunities that will explore how lighting, lens, camera functions, digital and traditional techniques are used to manipulate imagery.
Photography is more than documenting and recording. Students are required to develop personal, meaningful, conceptual ideas, technically accomplished and individual approaches that reflect their creative styles and visual interests.
Personal skills that will be challenged and developed:
- Critical, analytical and practical problem solving
- Risk taking
- Rigorous self-evaluation and critical reflection
- Organisation skills, planning and time management
- Working independently and collaboratively
- Presentation skills and public speaking
- Literacy communication through technical descriptions, reports, essays and a mini dissertation
All components are created on PowerPoint, supported by a professional portfolio. Students are required to pay for the costing of final outcome prints.
Project 1: Foundation Skills 96 marks (60% of A-level), September – October
Project 1 workshops explore, develop and fine-tune fundamental camera skills and functions. Students will be exploring the following topics within this project:
- Composition techniques
- Aperture / depth of field
- Fast and slow shutter speed - Danson fire work trip
- Post editing with Photoshop.
Project 2: Movement November – December
Students will further their knowledge of shutters speed and focus using long or fast exposures. They will take inspirations from contextual artists, working independently and developing their own path of exploration.
Project 3: January – April
Subject teachers will provide five topics from which pupils will choose a topic of choice to conduct a sustained project. Pupils will decide their own choice of medium and postproduction.
Project 3 incorporates two elements: practical work and a written investigation (500 – 1000-word essay).
Project 4: Personal Investigation June – January
Students are required to conduct a practical investigation, into an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by written material. (1000–3000-word essay).
The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.
Areas of study: Students are required to work in one of the areas of photography, such as those listed below.
- Landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment)
- Still life photography
- Documentary photography,
- Fashion photography
- Experimental imagery
- Photographic installation
- Moving image (video, film, animation).
- Micro photography
- Fast/slow shutter speed COMPONENT 2
External Set Paper February year 13
Students will choose one topic out of five thematic titles set from AQA and explore that concept with their choice of media and postproduction. evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.
Students will undertake a 15-hour exam in a controlled environment, under the standards and conditions set by the AQA exam board.
• Preparatory period 14 weeks + 15 hours supervised time
• 96 marks
• 40% of A-level
Future course and possible careers:
Art and photography degrees teach problem solving, teamwork, independence and self-motivation qualities that every employer is looking for. In fact, the Telegraph recently listed Art/ photography graduates in the top 10 most employable.
This course can lead to a college or foundation course leading to careers in Art:
- Graphic designer
- Magazine features editor
- Medical illustrator/ photographer
- Press photographer
- Television camera operator
- Advertising art director
- Digital marketer
- Film director
- Film/video editor
- Media planner
- Multimedia specialist
- Visual merchandiser
- Web content manager
- Web designer
- Crime scene/ forensic photographer
- Media photography
- Journalistic photography or art-based media