The Gold Stage of TICE Photography was pretty memorable this year, as students from Longbenton Community College, St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy and Monkseaton High School came to face the camera for the final time in their TICE experience.

Photography Gold 1

As always, Day 1 sets the mood of what’s to come – the calm before the storm, if you want to follow clichés. One thing that Day 1 does entail, is brainstorming with the intention of being creative and innovative. It is noticeable that those who are only taught by the curriculum assume that they have to do things a certain way, with specific boundaries and criteria’s. In this instance, TICE encourages young people to use their creative energy on their work. Katie Lee, our TICE Photography mentor, stressed the importance of being daring and thinking beyond what people expect in a photo. She consulted each project group on what was expected throughout the day, whilst research began and relationships were building in preparation for Day 2. Northumbria University were kind enough to let TICE Photography begin their Gold Stage journey on their campus!

Photography Gold 6

The options they had been given to explore this year was endless and remarkably high in quality and benefits. The first project (see Photography Urban Landscapes) was entitled ‘Landscapes and the Decisive Moment’, sponsored by Phil Ryott Photography, focusing on shooting in an Urban Environment and in result, creating a series of 3 landscapes/street photography images, much like artists including Henri Cartier Bresson. They were expected to be in the form of triptychs which could tell a story about that day and that decisive moment – simply being inspired by their surroundings and everyday life. Students travelled to Sunderland University for this project, as they wandered around the local area to take some simple yet powerful shots of everyday life. It was interesting to see our photographers evaluate what was going on around them and look at it in an artistic way. There were many hesitations towards asking permission to take photos of civilians but after a few words of encouragement from Katie, it gave them the confidence boost they needed to be confident in what they were aiming to capture. This project was most definitely a test of independence and determination, which our photographers certainly took in their stride.

Photography Gold 12 Photography Gold 11 Photography Gold 10 Photography Gold 3

The second project, (see brief; Photography Fashion Shoot) ‘Magazine Shoot for a Location Fashion/Editorial Feature’, mainly involved taking inspiration and support from the talk with Paul Santos (from Paul Santos Photography) and Caroline Briggs (from The Twins) in the Silver Stage of the programme. They were expected to shoot a series of images that would be published on the cover of a magazine.  It would involve working with new faces models from Tyne Tees Models, make-up artist Josephine Birkett, producing some fashion portraits and also some details shots illustrating the location, Belsay Hall and the beautiful clothing collections supplied by Study 34 and Cotilda’s Fashion. It was a beautiful day. The photographers and models communicated exceptionally well and they faced the day like they would face an academic assessment. Simply wonderful. (See full blog post about the day here)

Photography Gold 7 Photography Gold 9 Photography Gold 8

Last but not least,Studio Portraiture’ (See project brief: Photography Studio). They were expected to work in the studio at Newcastle College, shooting a series of portraits alongside make up artist F.A.C.E Makeup Artistry. They would be using all the knowledge they previously gained about lighting and use that to create 3 different styles of lighting in the final shots.  They would tackle this by photographing each other and reflecting the different sides to a person’s character through the use of styling and lighting. If this day was a human being, it wouldn’t have breathed for the entire day – there was intensity, excitement and a constant creative discussion on how they could change or improve the photo they had taken before. They didn’t want to pause or walk away from what they were doing – they were completely immersed in what they wanted to express to the audience. With the help of a wonderful makeup artist Sarah, many props, costumes and fantastic facilities, their imagination was being reflected through the camera lens.

Photography Gold 5 Photography Gold 4 Photography Gold 2

After 3 very eventful days, it was eventually time to finalise their work. TICE Photography were back in their Headquarters at Northumbria to edit their photos on Photoshop, generously provided by the University. This was the moment which determined if their work had paid off and by no surprise, the students excelled in the quality of their photos. “Being able to shoot in the studios using different lighting and props” was a standout opportunity for many of the Gold Stage students, which made the end result of their project extra special. They were regularly supported throughout the day by Katie and the teachers in understanding the basics (and a few sneaky hidden gems) on Photoshop. Every student was showing resilience at this point, attempting to make the photos how they envisioned it. They were paying attention to detail and allowing themselves to be expressive in the process.

‘Beforehand I assumed you take a photo, edit it and that will look good. But now I know there’s a lot more to it than a click of a button.’ – Paige Cowton

Overall, 3 days of TICE Photography Gold Stage resulted in the following images:

Photography Gold Stage Work 2016 - St Joseph's Catholic Academy Students
Photography Gold Stage 2016 - Longbenton Community College

Photography Gold Stage 2016 - Monkseaton High School

As evidently shown above, our TICE Photography Class of 2016 have set the stakes high for future students. We thoroughly trust that the enthusiasm, creativity and professionalism of our students will continue to embed in their work, academically and creatively, in years to come. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Here’s a few more snaps of the Photography Gold Stage:

Photography Gold Stage 2016