Uploaded by Louis T. HK

Written Resources for GCSE A Level Photography

Written Resources for GCSE/ A
Level Photography
Finding ideas for projects can be difficult, always make a visual mind map to help you think creatively.
Finding ideas for projects can be difficult, always make a visual mind map
to help you think creatively.
For Photography
think about ………..
What does the project title mean? Research words you don’t understand, use dictionary
definitions as starting points
Include quotes linked to topic
Which photographers/ designers/ artists and art movements can you look at for inspiration?
Which wider contextual links can you think of? How can your other subjects, hobbies and
passions inform your ideas?
What techniques might you use? darkroom/ studio/ digital/ drawing with light/ alternative
processes/ mixed media etc
What genre are you interested in?
Do you need to consider lighting and setup? Indoor /outdoor/ models/ props/ lighting/backdrops
Planning/ time/ preparation.
Creating a word mind map.
Use:- https://worditout.com/word-cloud/create
Mood board example
Surrealism Photography
Mood board
Key websites for researching photographers work
Great start points here:https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/photographs
Paris gallery websites:http://www.jeudepaume.org/index.php?lang=en
British National Media Museum:https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/
Photo Agency. great for searching with a keyword such as 'football':https://www.magnumphotos.com/
Key London Galleries:https://www.npg.org.uk/
List of some popular photographers with images, resources and links:https://www.masters-of-photography.com/
Writing about artists/ photographers and their
Including informed and personal opinion about the work of others is essential to developing an independent and
personal project. Making clear links with your work and the work of others will help you to refine and develop
sophisticated ideas. Sophisticated ideas will enable you to produce independent work and this will significantly
help you to achieve good marks.
Make sure you always write about the following:●
You will need to write a minimum of five sentences to explain:
○ What inspires their work?
○ What equipment, materials and props do they uses to create photographs?
○ What genre could you describe their work to be and explain why ?
○ Include an image from one of their projects and give three reasons why you like this piece. Use
specialist vocabulary to analyse this piece using the keywords from the next slide. Include the title
and date of the photograph.
○ Explain what ideas you could borrow from their work to create artwork or photographs in a similar
In addition, to develop greater understanding of the work of others and to achieve more marks use the questions
on the next slide to expand your ideas and understanding.
Analysing an Image/ Photograph Writing Frame
What do you see, what is the style, what is in the image? Describe it literally and in detail (as if you are describing the photograph to someone who
cannot see it)
What does it make you think of, feel, or realise?
What so you think the artist/ photographer is trying to communicate?
How does the image communicate this message?
What emotions are represented?
What would you like to know about it?
What do you like and dislike about the image/ piece? Why?
How do you think it may have been achieved?
What ideas can you take from this artwork? And what would you like to use in your own practical work?
Visual Language (the top ten things to talk and write about)
Word Bank (Important words to use for analysing the work of others)
Blend, Bright, Clashing, Cold
Complimentary, Deep, Dull
Glowing, Harmonious, Intense
Luminous, Mixed, Opaque
Pale, Pastel, Pure, Secondary
Translucent, Transparent
Vibrant, Warm
Asymmetry, Background
Blurred, Complex, Confused
Distance, Depth of field, Eye line
Focus, Foreground, Form
Golden Mean, Juxtaposition
Leading lines, Middleground
Pattern, Perspective
Proportions, Rule of thirds
Scale, Shape, Symmetry
Awe, Alive, Atmospheric, Chilling
Cautious, Delicate, Dignified,
Disturbing, Expressive
Humorous, Imposing
Intimidating, Joyful
Jubilant, Limitless, Nostalgic
Sad, Sentimental, Sublime
Terrified, Tremendous
Vexed, Volatile, Wary
Welcoming, Warm
Abstract, Conceptual, Derivative
Distorted, Documentary, Editorial
Emotional, exaggerated, Exterior
Fantasy, Fashion, Figurative
Impressionistic, Landscape
Portraiture, Religious, Reportage
Representational, Still life
Surreal. Symbolic
Artificial, Chiaroscuro, Dark
Diffused, Evening, Flash
Fierce, Gentle, Harsh
Hazy, Highlight, High key
Intense, Low Key, Natural
Shady, Shadow, Strobe
Tungsten, Zone system
An example of how to annotate a photograph
Include title, photographer, date = Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath, W Eugene Smith, 1971
This is a black and white photograph
of two people; a mother and child.
She is holding the child in a
nurturing position because she is
looking down on the child and
cradling the child and there is eye
contact between the two of them.
The background is black, the people
are in the middleground and the light
is shining on them from a window
which is above and behind them on
the right - this can be seen because
of the shadows which fall on their
faces and the reflection on the
child’s hand in the water. The two
are sitting in a bathtub and the
shape suggests that it is a Japanese
bath. The photographer has
photographed the rectangular bath
from one corner this makes it look
like a diamond, this suggests that
this is a precious situation and a
tender moment. The camera angle
is looking down on them suggesting
that what we see in front of us is a
vulnerable situation.
Annotating your development work
Annotations do not have to be long essays. Short notes or even bullet points can help to get ideas across. Use the following questions
to help you and write some answers to these alongside your work as it evolves….
How did you create this piece? What media / materials did you use?
Were the materials you used successful? Why / why not?
What were your experiences making this piece of work? Was it difficult / easy?
How might you change your approach if you used this technique again?
Why did you try making this piece in this way? What were you aiming for and did you achieve it?
What do you like about this work? Why do you like it?
What do you dislike about the work? Why do you dislike it?
Has this piece changed your ideas? If so how / why?
How could this piece have been improved?
Most importantly of all – what have you learnt from doing this? How are you going to move forwards as a result?
Is there a deeper meaning developing in your work? Students who get the highest marks look for deeper interpretations in
their work and try to communicate richer ideas.
Using the correct vocabulary is also important. Think about using the words on the previous slide when describing your work…….
Please use this
handout to help
you with your
contact sheet
When making notes on your
contact sheets you should
highlight strengths and
weaknesses as well as
choices that you have
intentionally made. Use the
following to help structure
your notes:
Writing a shoot plan
It is important to manage your time effectively to ensure that you are able to
achieve the visual results that you want. Good plan = good marks
What will you photograph and why?
What links are there to the work of others?
Explain the visual, compositional and technical links that you will experiment with
What camera techniques will you focus on? (consider the skills you learnt from the
Introduction Project)
What equipment will you need?
What Health and safety considerations will you need to be aware of?
Explain what you will do if you have constraints because of weather, timing and/or light
conditions (do you have a plan B?)
Writing a Shoot Review for Photography
● Did you meet all your aims?
● How well did you plan? Was there anything that you needed to change?
● How do the images link back to the photographers/ artists and research that
you have explored?
● Did your technical experimentations work out? If so how? If not what
happened and how do you think you could have improved your practice?
● Did you visually achieve what you wanted? If so how? If not what do you
think was the difficulty and what would you do next time to improve your
● Which were your best images? And why?
● How will this shoot help you to plan for your next photoshoot? And why?
Example :- Shoot Review Inspired By Mood Board
As this was my first proper experience with expressive portraiture photography, I wanted to practice and get a proper feel
for what it was like. As this was my first time doing it I didn’t really know what to expect, so I decided to research different
types of portrait photography, however the photographs that really stood out to me were the ones where you could see
the clear emotions on the models faces, I thought it was so interesting how the photographer managed to capture exactly
what the model was feeling. I spent ages searching the Internet and came across a photographer called Edward
Honaker. He uses his photography to document his own depression in powerful self portraits. He has a whole series of
photographs in black and white which illustrates his experience with depression and anxiety, indicating that his mental
illness sucked all the colour out of his life. However I have noticed that in a lot of his photography Edward Honaker
doesn’t use people's faces it’s generally the body and the face is blurred out, although when I attempt to produce my
portraits I want to focus mainly on the model's facial expression.
I practiced taking photographs of my friends and family in many different locations and with different lighting, I also tried
to include some props in order to really enhance my models specific characteristics. For example for my first shoot, my
friend and I went to the park, following Edward Honaker I wanted to try and do something along the lines of sadness, as
normally people associate the park as a happy fun place. My aim was to create and display a contrast between
happiness and sadness. As for the props I instructed my model to use different parts of the park to add to the shoot, e.g
the swing, I had my model sit on it then look back and face the camera, this worked really well as sitting on the swing with
her hair blowing suggests that she is happy however her facial expression shows she is not.
After the shoot I edited some of my pictures into black and white, this was because the whole theme of my shoot was
originally based on sadness and depression. I took my inspiration from Honaker in this shoot as I too wanted to
demonstrate the emotion sadness and give the sense that this mood sucked the colour and joy out of my models life.
At the end of the shoot I felt accomplished in what I had managed to shoot and in a sense created my own version of
Honakers work which was my original goal.
Reviewing and Evaluating your Final Project
What Worked Well (WWW) and Even Better IF (EBI)
To develop your project and demonstrate a confident understanding of a range of techniques and processes it is important
that you evaluate your work explaining what your aim was and how successful you feel your outcome to the task was.
To do this you need to include your opinion of what you think your successes and areas for develop are.
To do this you always need to justify your thoughts and opinions. Often you will need to use the word ‘because’ to explain
the statement you have written.
Try these sentence starters:WWW
● This is my most successful photograph because ..............
● In my opinion this photograph is a good example of ……… because ………….
● This photograph makes strong links to the work of …………. because ………..
● I am particularly pleased with………...and now I intend to……………. because………
● My subject matter of …..….. reflects my interest in……..... because………..
Be Kind to
yourself - you
have learnt so
much already
Try writing two
positives and one
key area for
This photograph could be developed further by …………… because in this image I think …………………
To improve this photograph I would …………………… because………….
The [INSERT:- top/bottom/foreground/middleground/background] of my image works well because………..however I would
like to change…………………..because………..
To improve my work I need to…………because……..
Next time I need to focus on……….because…..
Final Evaluation for the Abstraction and Photography Project
Through the abstraction hands in the picture and the cropping of the picture, it is impossible to see the original
appearance of the hand, which is the abstraction of the original picture. In addition, I used my hand to grab the photo, so
that the hands inside and outside of the photo were superimposed, making the whole photo look more abstract, but not
lacking in richness. And different photos are captured by different hands and postures.
I took advantage of the different directions of the light to shoot, making the light appear more contrast in the photo,
just like in the photos I took, I focused on taking photos that tend to be bright and dark. Let the exposure of the picture
mainly focus on the left, while the right is used as a part of the background to make the left look brighter. And using the
contrast of light can also see the contrast between the real hand and the photo hand.
In these pictures, if I make it the same way again, I feel that I can have a more accurate contrast in the light and dark
ratio. And when shooting with more angles and different intensity lighting. Let's start with the picture. I wanted to take all
the hands and pictures together, but I found that if I put all the pictures together, it was very crowded and confusing. In
the end I still took pictures separately. The effect will be more beautiful than before. Each picture has its own focus, and
the composition will be more compact.
In these pictures, if I do it the same way again, I feel that I can get a more accurate correction in terms of light and dark
ratio. And when shooting with more angle and light of different intensity. Let's start with the picture. I wanted to put all my
hands and photos together, but I found it very crowded and confusing to put all the photos together. Finally, I'm still
taking pictures alone. The effect will be more beautiful than before. Each picture has its own focus, and the composition is
more accurate.
The model I found had a slim hand, and in some of the photos, I would show my wrists, and the model's hands would be
whiter. Contrast with the dark parts of the picture. In order to make the picture look more uniform, has the same
characteristics. I changed the background to the same black depth. And I'm using a simpler method of printing out the
photos, sticking them to the board, and then cutting them. Because I like hands very much, I put them in my whole project.
it's the main element of my project. And holding the photo is just that I used a different way to show the presence of the
In this holistic project, I learned how to use light from different angles to form different shadows to shoot. And use
different angles of the hand, with different postures. The photos that come out, the feeling is not the same. the colour gel
is also used very often in the project. Different colors and different color gels can also form different colors. And in this
project, I can learn a lot of different photo formation methods in the dark room.
Final Project Review
When I first started this project, I knew I wanted to prove that makeup was worn for strength rather than to be sexualised,
however I did not realise the discoveries that I would make during it. The most influential person through my research I believe
has been Elizabeth Arden and the creation of Lipstick Feminism. I never thought that something as simple as red lipstick had such
an important history behind it, especially one that had such a large influence on the second wave of feminism. As well as this,
although red lipstick arguably does hold sexual connotations within today’s society, it is still a symbol of strength and
independence. In regard to the impact of makeup itself, Rankin’s shoot, Alive: In the face of Death made a profound impact on the
rest of my project. It was a direct example, proving that makeup gives people strength. This, along various articles found online
consolidates the view that makeup should, and is, worn as a result of personal choice and something to build confidence, not a tool
for sexualisation.
The shoots themselves were also a really interesting way to learn about makeup in general. Through the project, I have
experimented with many different looks and used different techniques to get the image I wanted. For example, the stylised
Elizabethan shoot took me two attempts before I realised that less is definitely more, and I could create a look which was just as
I am so pleased with how my final piece has turned out. After researching zines themselves, I discovered that although my original
aim was to simply do a magazine, a zine was going to fit my project much more; giving me a wider range of layout to choose from
without having the editorial restrictions presented by mainstream media. After editing the zine itself to make sure that it included
photos which would best present the purpose of my project, I think that it really resembles the entire message I wanted to get
across. The fact that makeup is not simply something to be sexualised, or to be looked down upon as submitting to a patriarchal
society, it is something to be enjoyed and celebrated for giving people confidence within themselves.