Photograph of a woman

“The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?” – Edward Weston

At a Glance

  • Classroom course
  • 2 hours a week
  • Thursdays 18:30 - 20:30
  • 20 weeks: October to March
  • Tutor: Honey Salvadori
  • Fees from £230 to £420
  • Imperial College attendance certificate (T&Cs apply)
Booking link

Photography: Practice and Theory is a practical photography course, delivered in person in the classroom and on site visits, for people who want to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of photography and visual communication. The course is aimed at all levels of experience, so if you've only just started taking photographs, or already have some knowledge of photography, this course will help you to develop your practice.

In the first term we will look at how to get the best from your cameras. We will study the different genres of photography such as portrait, landscape and reportage through which you will develop your technical knowledge and photographic technique. You will also learn how to use photo-editing software to enhance and edit your photographs.

In the second term we will focus on developing your individual practice. You will be introduced to visual communication ideas and how those ideas are expressed in the work of contemporary practitioners. The photography assignments in this term are designed to challenge you to investigate visual language and to develop your own ‘visual voice’. You will upload your finished assignments to the Photography: Practice Theory Facebook Group (or a Microsoft Teams folder) ready for a group tutorial in the following lecture session.

You will end the course with a portfolio of pictures that will form the foundation of your individual photography practice and there will also be an exhibition of students’ work.

Attendance certificate

Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.

Course Information

Course Programme

AUTUMN TERM

Week 1

  • This will be an introduction to the course in which we will discuss the technical and practical content of the course and what individuals hope to gain from the course. You will sign up to the course social media and will be given your first photography assignment.
  • We will also discuss Photo Editing software and the choices available to you.

Week 2:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week.
  • This week we will focus on the technical development of cameras and how technology affects the visual representation of our world. We will look at the technology of digital cameras in detail. We will then look at the exposure triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO and you will be given a practical task to gain experience of adapting your camera settings to different lighting conditions.
  • We will begin photo editing by considering basic editing in Photoshop.

Week 3:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week. 
  • This week will be the next step in understanding your cameras. In this lecture we will consider camera lenses and depth of field. We will look at the optics of camera lenses and how lenses work with aperture settings to produce depth of field. We will also consider how the choice of lenses affects the overall photograph. You will be given a practical task to help you explore the classroom teaching.
  • We will continue photo editing in Photoshop.

Week 4:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week.
  • This week we will consider the genre of Portraits. We will look at the work of several leading practitioners of portrait photography and we will analyse how they go about photographing their subjects. The practical assignment will then challenge you to consider the best technical solutions for portraiture and also to explore the dynamic between you and the people you are photographing. 
  • We will continue Photo editing in Photoshop and alternative editing apps.

Week 5:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week.
  • This week is focused on Landscape Photography. We will be considering a wide definition of landscape images and looking at the work of leading practitioners that have used the genre of landscape for creative innovation. We will also be considering the best technique for landscape and how composition is a fundamental element. You will be introduced to composition concepts and will then be asked to use these in a practical photography task. 
  • We will continue to add to our knowledge of photo editing.

Week 6:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week.
  • This week is about Reportage and how you can use reportage techniques to create a record of your life and experiences. We will be discussing concepts that define reportage and considering how leading practitioners use this in their work. You will then be given a practical task that will challenge your observation and quick thinking!
  • We will continue to add to our knowledge of photo editing.

Week 7:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week.
  • This session will consider how photography can manipulate light by using flash and exposure settings and also photo-editing. We will look at how leading practitioners use these elements. You will then be given a practical task that explores the creative use of flash and exposure.
  • We will continue to add to our knowledge of photo editing.

Week 8:

  • This week we will be going out on a Photowalk to practice all that you have learned. Location TBC.

Week 9:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you produced last week.
  • In this session we will consider how photographs and video can be used to develop visual storytelling.  We will consider how visual language works to create narrative and you will be given an assignment to explore the themes that you have been introduced to over the Christmas break.
  • We will continue to add to our knowledge of photo editing.

*** Christmas break ***

SPRING TERM

Week 10:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the Christmas break. This will be followed by a lecture: Portraits, History and Visual Language
  • We will consider how portraits communicate a message about their subjects and also a message about their photographers. We will consider how the conventions of portraiture have changed since the invention of photography and digital media and how contemporary practitioners create their images. You will be given an assignment to gain practical experience of the concepts that we will have discussed.
  • We will then begin preparations for the practical work that follows next week.

Week 11:

  • We will be working in the Imperial College Photo Studio on lighting and portraits. TBC.

Week 12:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week. This will be followed by a lecture: Visual Research and Developing a Concept
  • We will discuss visual research and art direction in photography. We will look at how ideas are communicated visually in photography and how you can use visual research to develop concepts for your photographs. 
  • This week’s assignment will ask you to create a visual theme for the next week’s assignment.

Week 13:

  • We will return to the Photo Studio to shoot portraits based on your art direction concepts. TBC.

Week 14:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week. This will be followed by a lecture: Reading the News: A History of Alternative Facts and Reporting Reality
  • This week we will move onto a new genre of photography: Photojournalism and Documentary. We will discuss the challenges of visual journalism and how news photographers negotiate the ethical issues around their work. We will also consider semiotic theory that offers a framework to ‘read’ the photographs that we see in the media.
  • This week’s assignment will challenge you to create a visual document.

Week 15:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week. This will be followed by a lecture: Travel and Tourism
  • This week we will move on to discuss the genre of travel photography. We will consider the relationship of photography to tourism and we will contrast these images to the photography of travelers. We will also be adding to the discussion of semiotics that we began in week 5 by looking at how images communicate a message.
  • This week’s practical assignment will ask you to use some of the concepts discussed in class to create a travel project close to home.

Week 16:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the week. This will be followed by a lecture: Street Photography
  • This week we will discuss the creative and legal aspects of photographing in public streets. We will look at the history of this popular genre and how it has come to be considered a unique combination of documentary and art. We will then add to our discussion of semiotics by analysing how street photographs communicate with their audience.
  • We will also look at the law as it relates to street photography. 
  • This week’s assignment will ask you to try some of the ideas discussed in class to create your own project about your own street.

Week 17:

  • This week we will go on a Photowalk to try out the ideas that we have discussed about street photography and travel photography.

Week 18:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you produced during the Photowalk.  This will be followed by a lecture: Copyright and the Internet
  • In this session we will discuss copyright and related media issues. 

Week 19:

  • This week we will be preparing your final exhibition and will have a workshop on post-production and preparing for print in Photoshop.  We will also discuss other ways that you can promote your photographs online and in social media.

Week 20:

  • This week we will be mounting the Exhibition in the gallery or online (TBC). We will also set up a shared website for your course.

Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.

Your Tutor

Photograph of Honey Salvatori

After leaving Art School, Honey Salvadori began her career in editorial and commercial photography by working for several press offices, including the London Film Festival, and contributed to magazines including the Face and Time Out.

In the late 1980s she began working for Q magazine which led to a five year long phase of documenting bands on tour with her trademark satirical eye, including Bros, Joe Strummer and the Pogues, Texas (in Texas), the Beautiful South and L7 amongst many others.  She also worked for Vox magazine, the Telegraph and Sunday Times magazine during this time.  

Honey then went on to spend a decade as a photographer at Channel 4 and the BBC producing promotional photographs for series like the BBC’s Airport and Jailbirds and Channel 4’s Cutting Edge and the Girlie Show.  At the same time she contributed documentary features to magazines including Elle, Marie Claire and Italian Moda.

Honey is represented in numerous collections, including the National Portrait Gallery.


Course Delivery: Classroom Taught Courses

Courses delivered in-person in a classroom*

This course takes place at our South Kensington Campus and will be classroom taught.

All courses lasting two hours have a 10-minute break in the middle. For one hour courses there is no break.

Covid-19 and Safe Distancing for Classroom-based Courses

Please be aware of covid-19 safe-distancing requirements and adhere to them. We ask if possible that participants on this course take a home swab test (lateral flow test) before joining each session of the class. Swab tests can be ordered free of charge prior to the start of the course from https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or obtained free of charge from many pharmacists.

* In the event of the government or Public Health England requiring further lockdown measures the class will transfer online and any remaining sessions will be taught entirely online.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 40  20  £420    (Early Bird Rate: £380*)
£250    (Early Bird Rate: £230*) £330    (Early Bird Rate: £300*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October only  |   All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course.


Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer termSummer School
 40  20 18 Oct - 18 Dec 2021 (9 weeks)*  PLUS 10 Jan - 26 Mar 2022 (11 weeks) n/a n/a
* Followed by the Christmas break

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 2nd August 2021

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
  • The following email notifications are sent:
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working daysPlease treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.