Photography has grown in popularity over the years and there are after-school clubs providing specialist tuition in this subject. These are for all years within the school, with courses specifically designed for each Key Stage. Those in KS3 access a Level 1 course, those in KS4 a Level 2 and finally for the Sixth Form a more advanced Level 3 course.
There are 20 places per Photography Club but we do provide five clubs in all: a Beginners’ and an Intermediate Club at KS3, KS4 also have two clubs one for Beginners and one for those who are more advanced, while there is a single club for Sixth Formers.
The aim of the Photography Club is to teach pupils how to be photographers, not how to take pictures. This may appear to some to be the same thing but anyone can take a snap, it takes skill, knowledge and practice to take a good photograph.
The King’s School does provide some equipment, but we do encourage pupils to work with and learn how to use their own cameras. There are obvious benefits to this, as on holiday or at weekends a pupil will always have access to their own camera but may not have borrowed one from school.
“The best camera there is? It’s the one you have with you.”
What do you need to take successful photographs? A camera is always a good start though the most important element and frequently the most overlooked are the optics – megapixels count for nothing, if you have a cheap and nasty lens. Then you have all of “the stuff” – spare SD cards, tripod, gorilla pod, beanbag, filters, air blower, spare batteries, flash gun, spare lenses, card reader, remote trigger, pen and notepad (essential) and a bag to carry it all in!
There is an annual membership fee dependent upon the course attended, as lunch-time clubs are shorter than those held after school. There are also fees associated with the Photography Qualifications should this option be chosen and these change, year on year, though current details can be found here: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.
We run free trips to Peterborough Cathedral that include a roof-top tour, so photography students visit those places never seen during an ordinary visit. This provides particular difficulties – overcoming vertigo, low light, restricted passages….
There are a number of competitions that the photographers are encouraged to enter, with Tom White being named Young Photographer of the Year 2012 and Katherine Rowlinson being The Royal Entomological Society’s under-18 Photography Competition Winner 2012 (biennial competition). In 2014 Fiona Leishman was a Finalist in The Warehouse Fashion Shooters Competition 2014, Tom White won a regional competition organised by a local college and Hannah Brigham is a finalist in the Young Photographer of the Year 2014.