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Monday, 18 September 2017

Back to School...

It's September, so of course school's back and for those of us who work in education it's a whole new sea of fresh faces eager to learn. I always look forward to welcoming my new group of part-time evening class enthusiasts on the Level 2 and Level 3 photography course, which I've been running now for 14 years.

Now that we are under the UAL (University of the Arts, London) umbrella, the course has so much more scope for students to develop their own personal photography projects and get their teeth into more creative projects. But what should a personal photography look like?

Let's take travel photography for example. Most of us love to travel with our camera and try and shoot something better than a holiday snapshot. We'd like to think we can communicate a sense of place, create some atmosphere or capture a more realistic sense of real life and community on our travels. That can be hard when you're competing with the demands of family and friends and the next round of ice creams on the beach. Everyone will find their own solution; for me it's taking an hour out to roam free and explore the back alleys and quieter places, away from the crowds.

My aim is to do "Street" photography, just as I would at home, to try and avoid the cliche postcard views. By setting myself a genre and a theme, I hope to stay focused and produce a set of images that say something a little different about where I've been and what I've seen. Essentially, that's what I'm going to teach my students. Set yourself a project theme, in a genre of photography that you enjoy or want to be challenged by, and stay focused on the subject, don't get too sidetracked by "pretty" pictures. Photography should be be about communicating
something real, not just for decoration.

If you live in the South Lakes area of Cumbria and you fancy coming along to one of our photography courses at Kendal College, check out the college website part time courses at

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