Introduction to Photography (short course)

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Why study this course?

This course is an introduction to photography. The aim is to ensure a general all-round knowledge of both analogue and digital photographic techniques, with the objective being to make well-crafted and consistent photographs using a variety of techniques both in the darkroom and digitally. This course will help you become more confident with your picture making and act as an introduction to our other courses on offer. You'll finish with a strong understanding of the main genres of photography and the ability to develop your own personal style and interests.

More about this course

This course prepares you for further study with an essential introduction into understanding all functions of the camera and shooting in manual mode. You'll learn the terms for both analogue and digital modes and be introduced to both the digital and analogue darkroom.

We'll guide you through both black-and-white film, processing film, making contact sheets and making prints learning the necessary darkroom skills. There will also be group discussions and presentations by the tutor, ensuring you understand the mechanics of picture making through both analogue and digital methods.

The Introduction to Photography short course covers areas which are often overlooked, such as how to understand analogue techniques in order to make better digital images. The weekly sessions allow you to experiment and learn in an informal and friendly atmosphere. You'll be introduced to informal discussion and critiques of your work while we also encourage you to explore and play, with an emphasis on the practical production of a range of images.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • produce photographs that demonstrate your technical and theoretical understanding
  • produce visually interesting photographs through simple composition techniques
  • process black and white film and make work prints in a darkroom
  • download photographs to the computer and to learn how to manage digital files
  • make a set of coherent prints produced digitally, in the darkroom or both

This course is taught by David George.

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

This course is suitable for absolute beginners wishing to learn about both analogue and digital photography.

Course structure

Introduction to the camera:

  • exposure and taking light readings
  • shutter speed settings and movement
  • apertures (f-stops) and depth of field
  • practice and guidance, printing out a contact sheet (digital)

Introduction to the analogue camera:

  • creative approaches to photographing different subjects
  • shoot a black-and-white film
  • discuss composition and lighting (natural light and basic studio lighting)
  • studio portraits using digital or analogue, then making a print

Introduction to basic darkroom skills:

  • processing film from the previous week, making a contact sheet
  • setting up a digital camera, processing a raw file, digital printing

Making prints:

  • experiment in the darkroom with photograms
  • sandwiching negatives
  • making your first print

Photography genres:

  • an introduction to work of other artists
  • how might you develop your own work?
  • group discussion of photographers and various genres
  • homework to shoot mini projects using both analogue and digital cameras, for the following week

Mini project development:

  • using the darkroom
  • computers and printers
  • prepare your set of six prints

Project presentation:

  • Group critique of the mini project: this is an informal discussion of how and why you have made the work. Physical prints will be expected in order to discuss and share with your peer group. You'll agree the subject/topic of your final project and your working methods with your peer group and the tutor, including whether the final outcome will be in black-and-white prints or black and white digital prints, etc.

Tutor presentation of other artists' work:

  • you'll use the facilities to work on your personal projects and further discuss ideas with tutor

Prepare and produce your project:

  • work in the darkroom and on computers on your final project

Present your project:

  • prepare your work for a group critique and final discussion of outcomes of this course, and define avenues of further study

What our students say

"I really enjoyed the course. The facilities are outstanding in terms of photography and dark room/studios."

"I really enjoyed the course. I felt we accomplished a lot."

"The course was fantastic – it was nice that the class size was small so we all had time with David individually. I particularly enjoyed working in the dark room. David was an excellent teacher and very enthusiastic about the subject, which really made a difference."

"The course was absolutely fantastic and exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed learning to use a film camera and getting experience of shooting, processing and developing. Shooting with a DSLR in manual rather than auto modes was a really valuable way to feel in control in the camera. Working with RAW files and doing work on photoshop was great. I love the colour and black and white prints that I have taken away and plan to frame them! David was a fantastic tutor – friendly, funny, passionate about photography and teaching and very approachable. The course size was perfect. I have already recommended this course, tutor and department to friends and family."

"I really enjoyed the course with David George. He was very patient and answered any questions we had. The class was a good size. It was a good mix between analogue and digital photography. Very good value for money."

"This was an excellent course that provided superb instruction at a very good pace. I was also surprised at the start of the course when we were presented with analogue cameras and real film to take photos with. I was expecting it to be all digital. My surprise soon turned to delight though as we were shown how to use the cameras, the importance of learning the different elements of the camera and how understanding this allows you to use any type of camera. I really enjoyed taking photos on the camera, learning about processing film, and enlarging my own photos. Overall, this was an excellent course, in a great location with good equipment and and very good tutor. Thank you!"

Course dates

Course dates Course will be rescheduled to Autumn 2020
Length One day a week for five sessions
Day and time Saturday, 11.30am to 5.30pm
Maximum class size 12
Contact hours 25


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

Participants will normally be expected to bring their own cameras but some will be available from the department for use during class times. Please contact us beforehand if you do not have a camera.?

The course fee includes the cost of materials.?

Terms and conditions

Please read our?terms and conditions?before booking.

How to apply

To book on to one of our short courses, click the apply button or visit our eShop.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.