Insight into Photography Bronze Stage by Lauren Summers

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We had a fantastic bronze stage photography workshop at Churchill Community College! Unusually, the school offers photography at GCSE. The photography room is styled up as a dark room, decorated with giant Polaroids and old school cameras. We met the TICE group of year 9s and 10s and Katie Lee began the session by talking about photography as a career. For Katie, the flexibility of being self employed is really important so that she can combine work and family life well. Throughout her career, she has worked on loads of different projects for companies bug and small, but the lasting part of the work has been the interesting connections that she’s made. She explained that she was called up by someone she’d not spoken to for years to do a shoot for Ideal Home magazine, giving her the chance to visit some amazing places…and get some interior design ideas for her own home at the same time!

Moving on, the groups first searched for some photographs that they really like from Instagram, search engines and their own photos, and started to think more into what makes ‘good’ imagery. Is it the lighting, the colours, the story a photo tells? We discussed how it’s not just about what’s in the image, but how it’s presented. So next to embark upon our mission for the workshop: to make something ordinary extraordinary. We went around the school to take some photographs in the playground and corridors of things we thought could be interesting. These became the ‘before’ shots. To look at how we could enhance the creative aspects of the photos, we went through a number of relatively simple but powerful photography skills, including the rule of thirds, something photographers are constantly aware of, symmetry and perspective, then out again to get trigger happy, with some new skills under our belts!

It was interesting to see what new ideas people had come up with as a result of looking at the creative techniques, including shots of the spiral staircases from the top looking down, and using symmetry to make even a boring old school corridor look cool! We even dabbled in a bit of post production editing considering, would this photo work in black and white? Would cropping the image give it more focus? Presenting the work at the end of the day, it was clear that everyone had given loads of thought to their work. I have no doubt that even the groups’ selfies will have a creative twist to them…roll on Silver stage!