Photography at Wyke is aimed at anyone with a keen interest in photography and lens based media. A wide range of facilities exist that will allow an in depth exploration of processes and techniques. Photography is often studied alongside courses such as Media Studies and Graphic Design, but can also serve as a complementary study route, offering an element of variety to an intense academic programme.
Students with a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Art or similar can automatically enrol onto a visual art A Level. Alternatively students will have successfully completed practical work at Wyke Start for the department. An interest in photography is absolutely essential and prior creative study is considered an advantage.
The course is delivered as four distinct units of study, which test the skills of observation, media handling, ideas development, contextual research and visual realisation. Quality of written expression is especially important in the second year of study.
A first body of coursework is internally set and marked and is concerned with the construction of a portfolio of studio and location based images that shows a wide variety of techniques, methods, outcomes and subject matter.
An internally set project is released in February offering a choice of themes for independently researched visual development and contextual work. The culmination of this body of work will be assessed in April and will influence and inform the personal investigation undertaken in the second year of study.
A personal investigation is undertaken in the first period of second year study; the theme for this work is agreed via negotiation between the individual student and the course team. This component of the course also requires the undertaking of an illustrated essay related in theme to the nature of the personal investigation.
An externally set exam paper is released in February offering a choice of themes for independently researched visual development and contextual work. The culmination of this body of work is a fifteen-hour exam undertaken in April in which a summative piece of visual work relating to the exam question is undertaken.
How the course is delivered
Each student will be encouraged to produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including:
- Landscape photography
- Still-life photography
- Documentary photography
- Experimental imagery
- Photographic installation
- Video, television and film.
In the second year of study students will be encouraged to develop their own starting points with an emphasis on individual outcomes.
Extra support is offered throughout the course with lunchtime and twilight sessions regularly available, a high level of pastoral care assists individual students through the both course and wider college activity.
External visits to galleries and exhibitions are organised to support coursework development and exam preparation.
Individual tutorials are incorporated into the structure of the course with extra one to one tuition available on request.
The Photography Department at Wyke Sixth Form College
The Photography department has a well-equipped purposed built studio with Bowens flash equipment and a computer suite that uses the latest digital software. A darkroom and film processing facilities also exist and the combination of traditional and digital techniques is viewed as central to the course.
What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?
The best preparation for this course would be to establish the habit of carrying a camera every-where and using it daily to establish visual themes referring to the work of other photographers or artists for ideas and inspiration. Photography has many aspects and uses but visits to galleries especially those exhibiting photography as well as fine art would help form an understanding of the subject.
Inspirational photographers would include:
- Mark Power
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Don McCullin
- Dorothea Lang
- Faye Godwin
- Bill Brandt
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