Photography: Contexts of Practice - ART523

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR J Friday







This is a practice-based module exploring the photographic medium and the contexts of its use through the production of photographs in response to a project brief and group-based critical discussion of the work produced. Students investigate how the context in which photographs are made affect how the world is represented, and how in turn these images shape perception. Students choose three practical project briefs that are designed to enable them to explore the medium creatively and through informed and reflective practice. The emphasis of the module is upon this creative practice rather than the acquisition of specific technical skills, and as such students are at liberty to use any photographic production and post-production technologies they wish to experiment with or find appropriate. A camera phone and access to a computer and printer are all that is needed for this module, though students who wish to make use of digital image processing or analogue processes, including use of a darkroom, are encouraged to do so. Each of the practical project briefs will be supported through a series of lectures closely examining various genres, styles and other contexts of photographic production through the work of those who have shaped them. In addition students will present the work they have produced in response to their project briefs, and engage in a broad critical discussion or their own and other's work.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours: 48
Private Study Hours: 252
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Three photographic assignments, each consisting of three elements:
(i) A portfolios of between 12 and 25 photographs produced in response to a brief (50% of the mark for each assignment)
(ii) A 1500 word written statement (40% of the mark for each assignment)
(iii) A presentation to the class of the photographic work (10% of the mark for each assignment)

Indicative reading

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Effectively use photographic equipment and materials to produce technically sophisticated images that are clearly situated within a context of photographic production, such as a particular genre or style.
- Creatively respond to a photographic project brief.
- Employ relevant theoretical and critical concepts drawn from photographic and media theory to discuss their own and others' photographic practice and outputs.
- Make and explain relevant connections between historic photographic practices, genres and styles and the images they have made in response to a project brief.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history of photography as an art and as a broader media form.

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