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iTraining | Teaching Photography

nicoleponsford | Wednesday November 16, 2011

Categories: Hot Entries, Photography, An Introduction to Digital Cameras


For WJEC Film Studies, you may initially think you need only to teach film. The internal assessment does allow you to do this, but for example with the tasks for GCSE only one is a moving image piece specifically - the rest you can choose to create digital still images aka photography.

You will find some helpful activities for this already on the site:

Producing Printed Image Texts

Digital Cameras and Photography

This an excellent guide for using cameras and the appropriate language / techniques.

The question is really how do you teach students how to take photographs? I would include an extra word on the end of this - well. Students today will be used to snapping pictures on their phones and small digital cameras, maybe even on their tablets or laptops. We need to be able to teach them how to craft a photograph. There are a few things you need to be able to include in this. Here are some basic rules to get you started:

Technical Codes and Symbols

Link: FilmEdu | Technical & Symbolic Codes

It is important that students understand the semiotics of both still and moving images. Luckily many of these are the same, as we look at moving images as single frames for analysis at times. Students need to be confident with the denotations / signs and their connotations / signified meanings.


Denotation / sign / micro features are the basic, literal meaning of what is in the picture, frame, cell or scene.


Connotation / signified meaning / macro features are the different interpretations suggested by the text, often associated with additional meaning, values, or ideology.

Representation is key for their work to show that they are able to both construct and deconstruct the meaning. The mise en scene of their photographs will let them show the moderator ( and you) that they know how to do both. Students who get the higher grades will do this with confidence, subtly and sophistication.

  • Representation
  • Meaning in...

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