The aim of this course is to explore the many aspects of photographic practice, allowing you to find your own personal and professional approach to photography.
This hands-on, practical photography course will give you the skills and knowledge to gain work in the photographic industries or to progress onto a degree-level course either here at Walsall College or other top level university.
You will explore photography as a medium for communication and personal expression. During this course you will build and extend your existing photography skills, and hone these to produce a portfolio of highly-focused images. This portfolio will be used to facilitate progression.
You will undertake 'live' photography briefs for internal and external clients, providing you with experience of working in the photographic industry. You will also undertake a range of projects and assignments that will explore a variety of photographic genres including fashion, portrait, landscape and advertising photography.
The course is supported by a dedicated historical and contemporary contextual studies programme that will help to support your practical work.
You will learn a variety of skills to support location and studio practice, lighting techniques, portrait and product shooting techniques, darkroom skills, digital post production image manipulation and printing skills.
You will have access to 35mm SLR and medium format cameras, large format cameras and DSLR cameras
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4 GCSEs at grades C/GCSE grade 4 or above including Art, English Language and/or maths.
Many students successfully gain entry to the most popular and competitive Degree courses across the UK, such as Falmouth, Westminster, Leeds, Derby, Coventry and Brighton.
Walsall College also delivers a suite of well-regarded and successful Higher-Education programmes within the Photography area: Level 4 Higher National Certificate, Level 5 Higher National Diploma and Level 6 BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Photography) in partnership with Birmingham City University.
Alternatively, many students seek employment within the photographic industry (Advertising, Press, Wedding, Sport, Wildlife, Portrait, Fine Art and so on).
Tobie Loates, Joint Course Leader
Tobie is the joint course leader for the Extended Diploma in Photography and an experienced commercial photographer, specialising in weddings and portraiture. Along side this he pursues his interest in landscape photography, regularly photographing the Devon and Cornish coastline. A recent body of work titled ‘Watervisions’ - exploring dispersed energy and the interaction of water and land - has exhibited in several major exhibitions and featured in local press such as Devon Art magazine.
His teaching experience is vast and includes secondary, TEFL and further/higher education and he has worked and taught in London, Taiwan and Plymouth. His primary objective on the Extended Diploma is to support the needs of his learners through a dynamic course that encourages creativity and professionalism, at the same time as taking students on a journey that is both fun and self-fulfilling. He has been lecturing at Plymouth College of Art since 2004.
Chris Smith, Joint Course Leader
Chris is the Extended Diploma Photography Joint Subject Leader and a practising artist and freelance photographer. As an artist, his work is mostly concerned with landscapes and environmental issues.
As an educator, Chris has spent many years finding innovative ways to enhance curricula by embedding sustainability and environmental awareness. As a result of this the Extended Diploma in Photography at Plymouth College of Art has featured an assignment on environmental issues for a number of years, which has been run in collaboration with various external organisations, such as Devon Wildlife Trust, The National Marine Aquarium, Regen South West and The National Trust.
During the past two years Chris has devised and overseen a project that brings together sustainability and employability for all the Extended Diploma courses, called ‘The Future’. This project combined a creative assignment with live client project briefs from a range of local businesses and community groups involved with sustainability through the college’s collaboration with Regen South West and the Devon Wildlife Trust.
Chris is also an active campaigner for sustainability in education and has delivered papers at numerous conferences on the subject.
Chris is passionate about his teaching work and particularly enjoys teaching the diverse range of skills and subject matter that the Extended Diploma Photography course covers. Course leadership is enabling him to craft a course that is exciting, dynamic and dedicated to helping our student’s skills blossom. He has taught at Plymouth College of Art since 2004 and has been a course leader for 13 years.
In addition to his teaching role at Plymouth College of Art, Chris is also a fully qualified and practicing counsellor and a tutor at Heartwood, a counselling and psychotherapy training organisation based at Dartington Hall. Chris teaches at Plymouth College of Art three days a week, and teaches counselling for Heartwood for two days a week. Chris is a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists).
The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).