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Photographers of the future

22 July 11 08:52
By Phil Coomes
Picture editor

There are many ways to start out on the road to becoming a photographer. Some will pick up a camera, launch a business and dive straight in while others will approach it through study and qualifications.

So what's it like leaving school and taking that first step into photographic education? I went along to City College Brighton and Hove to meet Julia Horbaschk, the course leader of the BTEC Level 3 National Subsidiary Diploma Photography.

I asked her who the course is aimed at? Julia said: "The Subsidiary Diploma is a beginner's photography course for students who have achieved a C grade in a minimum of four GSCEs including English and Maths. It is a vocational qualification, worth the equivalent of one A-level and carries valuable UCAS points.

"The course forms the basis for entry into the BTEC National Diploma and this year 10 of our students have achieved the grade to secure themselves a place to continue studying for another year, one has gone directly to university, something which is unusual, but very pleasing."

"In the past many of our students have used this route to progress to university, however, with the current rise of fees, I expect this trend to change slightly. Both courses have a strong vocational focus and could enable students to become photographers assistants."

Julia has links with the industry but hopes to strengthen these. She said: "What we need is for employers to come forward and work with us on live briefs to give the students a real life experience. This will give them the grounding to decide where they want to go, either pursing a higher academic route or to gain some valuable work experience."

The studios at the college are well equipped with all the usual computer equipment and software, and it was good to see a well stocked wet darkroom on site too. They are also now beginning to build in some element of audio slideshows and moving imagery to ensure the students are aware of current developments in the industry and ready to choose which path to take next.

Here are a few frames from some of the students who have been studying this year.

You can see a more of the students work their Flickr sites, landscapes and portraits.

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