Level 4 Student Work
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MORE THAN A DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE?
If you your aim is to have a career as a professional photographer or to work in related media professions, having a photography degree can be a real advantage.
IDI's online Photography course has been specifically designed to prepare you for employment in a range of photographic professions. These include commercial, client led practices such as advertising and editorial photography, through to documentary photography and personally defined fine art photography, as well as related fields of employment such as production, picture editing, curating and gallery management.
Of course you'll have the opportunity to learn all there is to know about digital photography, but this is much more than just a digital photography course. By working through a sequence of practical projects and activities, you'll gain a wide range of technical photography skills and professional knowledge.
This is a fully accredited Photography course which leads to a BA (Hons) Photography Degree from the University of Hertfordshire; studying photography by distance learning with IDI offers you a flexible and affordable way to achieve a degree in Photography from one of the UK’s leading modern universities. Contact one of our photography course advisors for further details.
The emphasis on our online photography degree programme is on professionalism and industry relevance. Experimentation and risk-taking feature strongly and they are actively encouraged, together with the critical study of photographic histories, theories and contemporary practices.
As an IDI photography student you’ll have access to your own, secure online studio and comprehensive study materials. As you work through practical, project based activities, you’ll benefit from the unlimited expert advice, feedback and guidance provided by specialist photography tutors who are all fully qualified specialists in Photography. Their job is to support you every step of the way, from enrolment to graduation. Apply now and we'll let you know the next simple steps.
In contrast to other digital photography courses, or courses in digital photography online, IDI enables you to study for a photography degree by distance learning, encouraging you to explore and evolve your own photographic vision and practice whilst gaining an internationally recognised qualification.
We offer discounts and flexible payment options. You can save £400 on your course fees if you pay for one level in full by 31st May 2013. If you are resident in England you may also be eligible for a tuition fee loan. Contact us for more information.
This programme specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the course and the intended learning outcomes that you might be expected to achieve.
Module Descriptions Level 4 (Year 1 of Degree) click here
The Digital Environment module introduces you to processes of digital photographic image manipulation and management together with associated research related to appropriation and debates on concepts of truth and reality and photographic truth.
You will develop and explore technical skills and associated cognitive skills to formulate and realise responses to given thematic assignments. You will gain understanding of the cultural resonances and legal obligations inherent within contemporary photographic practices.
This module provides you with materials designed to develop your skills in digital photography, digital manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, scanning, image analysis and concept development.
These skills will allow you to complete the set Brief which will involve two projects. Part one, ‘Street People’, provides you with the opportunity to get out onto the streets and use your surrounding as inspiration. While the brief is essentially open to interpretation, you will be required to display evidence of your research, analytical thinking and problem solving through the narrative of your composition.
The second part of your brief, ‘Digital and Analogue Landscape’, aims to develop your awareness and understanding of the theoretical and critical decisions that other practitioners, both past and present, have made in the production and selection of their photographs. You will then explore a personal response to landscape photography through a digital or combined analogue and digital photographic series.
This module introduces analogue photography with both black and white and colour film as a foundation for an understanding of the photographic medium and its creative possibilities. Photography Practices presents concepts and processes of still photographic and digital imagery, together with associated research, selection and evaluation techniques that can support studio and location practice.
Throughout this module you will develop skills across a broad range of traditional photographic technologies.
You will be introduced to a variety of genres and practitioners of photography and will be encouraged to use this knowledge to optimise, edit and select your own images.
Throughout this module there will be a particular emphasis on competent and professional use of photographic equipment and the fundamentals of creative camera handling. Learning materials will introduce you to a selection of key equipment, materials and techniques used in analogue photography. This will include using a 35mm analogue SLR film camera, working with a variety of film types, an introduction to darkroom work, exploring film processing and considering printing and presentation. You will then be encouraged to use such equipment for a variety of technical and aesthetic purposes.
Your Brief will be to create a ‘one day’ visual diary using both Black and White and Colour images. Your final outcome must have a sense of continuity and a display a clear progression of ideas.
In this module, you will be introduced to the technical and creative still-imaging skills involved in film-based and digital SLR photography through a series of practical projects. You will be asked to produce work in response to a series of set thematic briefs, both studio and location based; the nature of these projects will vary in length and expected outcome. You will begin to develop an understanding of the process of research, selection and evaluation in relation to photographic processes, and begin to consider the placing of your own practice in a current professional and artistic context.
Media Histories and Culture
The Media Histories and Culture module aims to establish and then develop an understanding of the contexts and conditions for the development of media in Western culture.
Both traditional media and new media are shaped by a number of processes and contexts. Understanding the key concepts and theories for examining media culture and its artefacts will enable you to locate your own work within broader cultural and professional structures.
In addition to applying key media theories and concepts you will also explore the impact of social and political events and technical innovations on the development of media texts and artefacts.
The theoretical study provided by this module will benefit your practical work in addition to providing you will a range of skills including research, evaluation of ideas and sources and critical analysis.
Module Descriptions Level 5 (Year 2 of Degree) click here
Traditions and Locations
This module is designed to develop an understanding of your own work in context with both a wider cultural aesthetic and within contemporary practice and histories of photography, art and design. You will explore both the contemporary and historical relationship between photography, art, science, technology and visual culture by examining their interplay within an area relevant to your own photographic interests.
Particular attention is given to the analysis of ideas that specifically relate to your work which will be achieved through a range of critical and theoretical activities combining written, visual and practice-led research and reflection. Assessment is typically based around the submission of an extended study of a particular photographic practitioner, genre, group, form, theme, theoretical perspective or cultural issue.
Professional Development and developing your approach to professional practice in photography is an integral part of the success you will have in securing commissions or employed work as a photographer.
In this module, you will be required to research and investigate areas of photographic professional practice relevant to your own interests, and produce a report on contemporary professional practice within the photography and photo-media industries, giving you the opportunity to explore future career prospects You will also work on a career pack or portfolio, cv and presentations.
You will learn about developing business strategies as well as marketing and self-promotion concepts that will prepare you for working as a high quality professional photographer within your chosen career path within the industry., This module will cover business practice issues as well as encouraging you to start to identify an audience, commissioners and clients for your photography work.
In this module, you will develop more advanced levels of technical, conceptual and creative skills in response to a series of set briefs, which may include photojournalism, portraiture, fashion shoots, advertising photography, photo-illustration projects or an editorial project. The module will also develop your abilities in creative problem solving, selection, editing, analysis and evaluation of your own photography in relation to the professional demands of a set creative brief. You will be required to demonstrate an awareness of your own practice in the context of a broad range of relevant practical, professional, historical and critical discourses. Additionally, you will develop and demonstrate a critical awareness of a variety of factors concerning potential audiences, clients and users of your work.
Negotiated Photography Projects
In this module, you will consolidate your working approach to Photography through the development of a self-generated body of negotiated project work, and communicate a rationale for your own practice in the context of a broad range of relevant practical, professional, historical and critical discourses. You will be required to produce a proposal for an individual body of photographic work, outlining your methodology and creative process from planning, visual research and development, to selection and resolved outcome. The final portfolio of work will show refinement and development of selected photography and media skills in execution, realisation and presentation. You will also critically evaluate your own work, as well as that of other practices and practitioners in relevant areas. You will be supported in developing your individual proposal and portfolio of project work in negotiation with your tutor, as well as through group forum discussion.
Module Descriptions Level 6 (Year 3 of Degree) click here
Concepts and Planning
This module offers you a period of enquiry to define an area of your personal interest in photography, in preparation for your final major degree project. A body of visual research, experimental creative practice and study of practical feasibility culminates in the formal presentation of the 'Individual Proposal' document, and a log book.
During this module you will be required to compile a formal 'Individual Proposal' document for your Degree Major Project. . This document allows you the opportunity to reflect on your own individual interests, goals and directions in photography. Through support materials, your own creative practice-led visual research and forum discussion students will revisit some of the debates around contemporary photography aesthetics in order to underpin the development of an informed personal aesthetic. This is to support you in the critical analysis of your project proposal, its realisation and its integration of theory and creative practice.
You are required to keep evidence of your practice-led research and idea development in a logbook which supports the integration of practice and theory.
Degree Major Project
This module is an opportunity to pursue a sustained programme of photography practice as defined in your degree proposal. It represents the culmination of study for each student, and requires the self-directed management of practical, conceptual and professional issues. The outcomes from this module constitute a significant proportion of the final year portfolio of work.
In this module you have the opportunity to display the extent of your knowledge and understanding of photography. You can engage in a period of sustained creative activity, offering a primary platform upon which to demonstrate your abilities and potential to a professional audience.
This module provides you with the opportunity to develop a sustained body of practice which can demonstrate the synthesis of practical, conceptual and professional knowledge and skills. Outcomes will include your professionally oriented photography practice (which normally forms the basis of the final year portfolio of work, detailed and critically engaged research and a written evaluation of the relationship between your practice and identified professional applications.
Enterprise and Employability
The creative industries employment sector has seen a huge growth in the number of graduates leaving with the appropriate qualifications and as such it has to be expected that employment may not happen instantly upon graduation. Therefore a solid, realistic and forward looking strategy underpinning an approach to employment is essential
This module addresses creative enterprise, entrepreneurship and its development, with an emphasis on preparing you for photography and photo-media freelance work and business practice within the creative industries.
Throughout the module you will consider the role of the photographic freelancer and the character of enterprise and innovation in the media business. You will be required to reflect on questions such as what is entrepreneurial behaviour and leadership within the photo-media and creative industries; how are they understood and represented, and in what ways can creative business survival and growth be managed?
Your studies will include a wind range of issues including the creation of opportunities and innovation.
You will consider a range of entrepreneurial business models, as well as approaches to setting up a photography business. In doing so you will study the contribution made by business plans and creative enterprise advice agencies.
To further prepare you for work in the creative industries you will reflect on aspects of special relevance to contemporary photography freelance work with respect to marketing, self-promotion, networking, sales, collaborative working, as well as the broader social, economic and technological contexts.
It is essential that you develop the skills to market yourself to potential employers and clients.
In this module you will engage in well-targeted research into best practice examples of professional portfolios within your chosen Photography specialist areas. You will present and discuss these examples through forum participation, case histories and portfolio review with fellow students and tutors. You will seek to create your own individual style of portfolio presentation and produce high quality samples of work displaying your conceptual and technical skills in order to form a memorable and coherent body of work.
On completion of this module you will produce a body of photographic work which demonstrates versatility and your ability to respond effectively to a series of diverse professional client briefs. This will be new work which compliments, but is distinct from, work undertaken within the Final Major Project.
Your research project will be aimed specifically at intended audiences and clients. This will provide you with opportunities to explore a wide range of modes of exhibition and distribution of contemporary professional photography imagery. Portfolio imagery will be created with a range of distribution opportunities in mind for example websites, on-line galleries and image-banks as well as hard-copy display or exhibition pieces.
Elective Module Options click here
Level 4 (Year 1 of Degree) Certificate of Higher Education
Your study of Photography at Level 4 will cover many core areas of both analogue and digital photography in addition to a range of digital image processes. This will include lighting, shooting in a studio and on location, technical theory and the use of a darkroom.
Set Briefs will require you to develop skills using alternative equipment and media to create, generate, manipulate and process visual images. In addition you will develop skills in research gathering and analytical thinking.
The learning materials will also introduce you to the processes of digital photographic image manipulation through the use of Adobe Photoshop and familiarise you with the associated debates within the field of photography concerning concepts of veracity, reality and photographic truth.
The theoretical module will enable you to explore key theories and concepts concerning media in Western culture and assist you in locating your own work within broader cultural and professional structures.
On completing your studies at Level 4 you will have developed your own independent photography practice within the field of contemporary professional photography.
Level 5 (Year 2 of Degree) Diploma of Higher Education
Your studies at Level 5 will enable you to begin defining who you are as a photography practitioner and in doing so help you to identify your professional goals. In addition to covering skills in advanced photography and digital imaging you will also be required to consider professional concerns when responding to your briefs. This will require you to become familiar with professional factors such as markets, audiences, clients and users of the photography industry.
Furthermore, you will develop your professional awareness and you will be provided with an opportunity to experience a ‘live’ working environment through contact with influential professional photographers through the IDI blog and forums.
Level 6 (Year 3 of Degree) BA
Level 6 is the 'portfolio level' with the emphasis being on building a portfolio of work as a preparation to entering the design profession. This level will provide a framework for your development towards becoming a professional photographer. Learning materials will include preparation for employment in the Photography industries, covering aspects such as creating your own business plan and collaborating with those in operating within different creative fields. Study at Level 6 also includes the Degree Major Project which is an opportunity for you to display the extent of your knowledge and understanding of photography. You will be able to engage in a period of sustained creative activity, offering a primary platform upon which to demonstrate your abilities and potential to a professional audience.
Photographers are usually categorised according to the subject or type of illustrative work they undertake, although a clear-cut division between each area of work is difficult to define. Successful photographers are versatile and tend not to limit themselves to one particular area.
Consequently, photographers are employed by newspapers, magazines and other media, fashion houses, design studios, advertising companies, hospitals and government departments. However, many photographers work on a freelance basis.
The following gives an overview of some of the types of photography available to the professional:
Studio photographers take pictures of a general nature, namely taking photographs of people for a specific purposes such as a passport, identity documents, graduation ceremony, portrait studies, weddings, engagements and other important events.
Advertising photography is mainly suited to the more experienced and creative photographer. Advertising photographers are almost always work to a specific brief, but their work must also be original.
Fashion photographers must know how to create lively, original and interesting images while showing garment detail. A flair for clothes and a good working relationship with the models are essential.
News pictures are highly topical. This area usually places great demands on the photographer’s ability to meet deadlines and produce usable images under often difficult circumstances.
Photo journalism requires a good eye, rapid reactions and a thorough knowledge of all the photographer’s equipment and materials. An ability to write journalistic copy can also be useful in this area.
Research institutes and hospitals require photography to record operations and experiments. Medical and scientific photography requires a scientific or medical background and knowledge of photographic theory. Photographers in this field have to be able to use specialised cameras and a variety of electronic flash equipment. The work is usually done under laboratory conditions and creative opportunity will be of a technical nature.
Professional photographers must have organisational and business skills in order to be successful. Other essential qualities include creativity, originality and good eyesight.
Salaries vary according to the type of work and the experience of the photographer. While a photographer’s assistant may earn as little as £10,500 per annum, more established photographers can expect to earn from around £25,000 to £65,000 per annum and beyond.
Shutter Speed Setting
We have established that there are two primary variables that regulate the amount of light entering through the lens into the camera body – the shutter and aperture.
Inside the camera body a mirror sits at 45 degrees in front of the shutter, to reflect onto the focusing screen and then on up through a pentaprism towards the viewfinder. In analogue photography the shutter is positioned in front of the film plane, while in digital photography the shutter is positioned in front of the image sensor. You may ask the questions:
Do digital SLR cameras need shutters?
As the sensor is electronic can it not be turned on/off for the length of time determined by the shutter speed?
On most digital SLR cameras a mechanical shutter controls the amount of charge accumulated on the sensor. The pixels on the sensor remain “charged” during the exposure and if the shutter remained open, light would continue to alter the charge accumulated by each pixel, which could result in blur or ghosting. We will cover sensors in more detail later in this chapter.