Have you ever wondered what constitutes an education in photography? What are the topics and facts that examination boards and educationalists consider to be important? One way to find out is to look at the resources that teachers share amongst themselves via the TES (Time Education Supplement) website at www.tes.co.uk.
Education is an interesting profession in that many of its practitioners are eager to share their resources and ideas with others. So whereas many other areas of work are shrouded in secrecy to protect commercial advantages, teachers often make their materials available to other teachers either freely or at very nominal cost. Many of these materials are openly posted on the Times Education Supplement website, much of which is accessible to the general public (once a log-in has been created).
To browse the materials for photography go to http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6086380&s_cid=RESads_photography, where June’s focus has been on education resources created by former photographer turned teacher Chris Monaghan. If the link above changes after the end of June then Chris Monaghan’s resources are also permanently available on the Times Education Supplement’s website at http://www.tes.co.uk/mypublicprofile.aspx?uc=1080806.
Topics covered range from Depth-of-Field and Photographic Genres via Border Techniques to Surveillance Photography and Image Resolution.
If you look at the Image Resolution resource (a Powerpoint presentation) then you may be surprised about the relatively general level of knowledge conveyed. At the same time, however, the important learning points are clearly identified and students should have no difficulty working out what they need to know!
A different outcome is intended from the resource covering Photography Genres, which distinguishes between genres and styles before presenting a very varied compilation of images that viewers are invited to categorise. In a classroom situation this resource should provoke lively debate but even when viewed alone the presentation is quite thought-provoking.
Other resources include step-by-step “how to” explanations, including the use of Photoshop’s Levels tool and various options for adding borders to images. These presentations and PDFs are particularly worth viewing as they are likely to be useful to many amateur photographers as well as teachers and students.
In short, even if you aren’t in education it’s worth looking to see what materials and resources are available to help you improve your own photography.
And a big “thank you” to Chris Monaghan for releasing his resources into the world. We could do with more people with this generosity of heart!