Photograph of a woman

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

At a Glance

  • Live online course
  • 2 hours a week
  • Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 20 weeks: October to March
  • Tutor: Honey Salvadori
  • Fees from £220 to £410
  • Imperial College Attendance Certificate (T&Cs apply)
  • Book from 15 August
Booking link

Photography: Practice and Theory is a practical photography course, delivered online, 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.

The course comprises a mixture of online lectures delivered with Zoom and practical assignments that are designed to give you experience of the ideas and techniques discussed in the classroom lectures.

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’.

Whilst you are working on your assignments during the week, you will be able to receive one to one tuition via the Printspace Hub file sharing facility (instructions for signing up for this will be provided in the first online session). You will then upload your finished assignments to the Photography: Practice Theory Facebook Group (or a Microsoft Teams folder) ready for a group tutorial in the following online lecture session.

Our aim is that you will end the course with a portfolio of photographic images that can form the foundation of your ongoing individual photography practice.

Course delivery

This is a live-taught online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course delivery'. You will also need your own camera and photo editing software, options for editing software will be discussed in the first session.

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 after the lecture.
  • 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 by considering basic editing in Lightroom.

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 by considering basic editing in Affinity.

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 (within your home and garden!). 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 home 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:

  • We will begin the session with a group tutorial on the pictures that you have produced during the 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.
  • We will continue to add to our knowledge of photo editing.

Week 9:

  • In this session we will look at how you can get your photographs seen on the web and in social media. We will also set up individual blogs for you to showcase your work that you have created this term and to use for idea development in the following term.

*** 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 begin the session with a group tutorial on your art direction assignment. This will be followed by a lecture: Portraits and Lighting
  • This week will include a discussion of lighting and portraiture and how you can create similar effects within your home. We will also consider formal portraiture and self-portraits. We will consider the practicalities of creating visual impact with your subjects or just with yourself.
  • We will then have a practical session during which we photograph each other remotely using the available technology. You will also be given an assignment to assist you to further explore remote portraiture.

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 begin the session with a group tutorial on your art direction assignment. 
  • This week we will continue with the remote portraiture by producing a group series of portraits using the visual theme that we created last week.

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:

  • 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: Post Documentary Photography
  • This week’s discussion will focus on the genre that has been called Post Documentary. We will consider the creative potential of mixing fiction and documentary and also how it questions the notion of truth.
  • You will then be given an assignment to create your own post documentary report.

Week 18:

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 Mythologies

This week’s lecture will focus on Semiotic theory and how we ‘read’ visual images. We will analyse visual language and how cultures create visual mythologies and you will be asked to write your own analysis of the images we will viewing.

This week’s practical assignment will ask you to use some of the concepts discussed in class to create your own visual myths.

Week 19:

  • 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: Copyright and the Internet
  • In this session we will discuss copyright and related media issues.

Week 20:

  • In this session we will set up a shared website portfolio to showcase the work that you have created on the course.

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

All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.

All times stated are British Standard Time.

To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.

Zoom

This course will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and you do not need to set up a Zoom account to use it. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. This is called the Course Link. All you need do is click on the Course Link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class.

Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.

We have also produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use it.

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

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 40  20  £410    (Early Bird Rate: £370*)
£240    (Early Bird Rate: £220*) £320    (Early Bird Rate: £290*) 
* 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

  • Applies to 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).
  • 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 email evening eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form.

Associate Rate

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

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  before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer termSummer School
 40  20 19 Oct - 18 Dec 2020 (9 weeks)*  PLUS 11 Jan - 26 Mar 2021 (11 weeks) n/a n/a
* Followed by the Christmas break

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 15 August

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.