Photographers of the future

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."

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image captionFelix Cockell: "This was taken as part of our environmental project and titled The Hot Pipe. I decided to photograph the pipe because it’s where all the waste steam/water from the power station goes. It has a dramatic effect on the sea life as the water around it is heated fish are attracted to the area, making it a popular point for fishing."

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."

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image captionLucyamie Towner-Hibbered: "'She seems dressed in all the rings of past fatalities so fragile yet so devious.' - Lyrics from Slipknot-Vermillion. This photo was a spur of the moment shoot as me and Jaz (my model and best friend) were working and had a break to take some photographs and this is what happened, I have no idea what I was aiming for but I think this works well."

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.

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image captionMomo Werner: "This was part of my London Road-fashion project. We were all in a group waiting to leave for our walk, and I noticed my feet were almost lined up to the tiles on the ground. I arranged my feet to go in line with the squares to make the image more symmetrical."
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image captionJack Heffernan: "This photo was taken at Henfield Skate Park and the skateboarder in the photo is George Terry. I took this photo because I am passionate about skateboarding and like to capture tricks. I used an off camera flash coming from the top left of the photo."
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image captionJennifer Payne: "This photograph is in loving memory of her beloved dogs. When she spoke to me about them I felt the love she had and still has for them, never will they be forgotten."
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image captionAlex Gill: "I took this photograph for a college project about the theme of chaos. It was taken from a bridge above the by-pass around Uckfield."
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image captionAndrew Bates: "I did this because the money coming out of the tin represents the true value of rubbish."
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image captionMichael Addison: "This was one of those rare moments where something just happens in front of your eyes and you happen to have a camera on you at the right time. I used this photo for my fresh and wild nature photography brief in September last year."
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image captionGeorge Terry: "This photograph was taken as part of a project I did on fences. I wanted to show how even the wild places in England have fences cutting through them and are not truly wild. I have used a very geometrical composition to show the rigidity of manmade things holding back the chaotic nature behind."
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image captionTom Wilson Keller: "Rannoch moor, Highlands, taken just after Sunset. The whole moor was once forest; this gnarled, dead tree is one of the only ones left standing."
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image captionHelena Burrough: "I took this at Devil's Dyke for my environmental project to show that the environment is being locked away from the public."

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