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Welcome to BA (Hons) Commercial Photography
This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you in October.
A message from your team
It's with great pleasure that the staff and students of the course look forward to welcoming you in October, as you start this exciting part of your journey in photographic education.
I know it’s been a strange summer for us all, due to the pandemic, but I hope you and your friends and family have been able to stay safe and well, and that you're now looking forward to joining us at AUB on the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course, and the exciting challenges this will bring.
During your first week, you'll have the opportunity to learn about your course and the environment at AUB and get to know your new colleagues and the Course Team. You'll also get the opportunity to discover Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
During your first term, you'll have the opportunity to use our fantastic facilities, spending time in our studios, darkrooms and digital facilities, and getting used to our professional standard of equipment.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
- Conrad Tracy, Course Leader
Before you join us
Our level 4 year leader, Dr David Ellison, sat down with awarding winning photographers; Montana Lowery, Jo Paterson, Rob Payne and Mark Leary (all AUB graduates) to ask; what are the most rewarding lessons a photographer can learn? The overwhelming response was…LEARN TO BE RESOURCEFUL! Therefore, we've set you a brief that encourages resourcefulness to produce this summer.
This project is designed to tie in with ‘Principles and Practices’ which is the first unit you'll be doing in the first term at university! Each brief is a challenge to you all and will make you think creatively with the limited resources you have to hand. This will test creativity and resourcefulness!
When you all finally graduate and get that first commission, you'll need to produce something on a shoe-string and that is the ultimate test of a truly great photographer! Essentially, we're asking you now to make the ordinary…extraordinary. Good luck!
We want three images. One image from each brief. Each image needs to be crafted and considered. One image for each brief.
1. Brief One ‘Object’
Choose a maximum of six objects and produce a still life. Be creative. Try building a sculpture?
Try using light creatively? Avoid cliché and any desire to produce a ‘product’ shot!
2. Brief Two ‘Person Interior’
Produce an image of a person indoors. In this case, use family or friends. Use light creatively. This can be a self-portrait. Think ‘Portrait using window light’.
3. Brief Three ‘Person Exterior’
Produce an image of someone outdoors. i.e. close to home. Think of someone as a ‘figure in a landscape’ in an urban or rural place and/or think about making the image black and white. Again, avoid clichés. We want something fresh and new.
How to submit your summer project
You'll need to bring your portfolio with you on the Wednesday of the first week.
The Library at AUB is extremely well resourced and includes all key texts that you'll need. The list below indicates the key texts that will be useful throughout your studies. All of these are available from the Library at AUB. You might want to borrow a copy from your local library to look at before you arrive. When you arrive at AUB you will receive your Course Handbook, which will include a comprehensive reading list.
The texts below offer a good foundation of knowledge to support our curriculum, so you may wish to consider buying copies prior to commencing your studies (or making sure you get to the front of the queue in the library!):
- Bate, D. (2009). Photography: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg.
- London, B., Upton, J., and Stone, J. (2016). Photography. Pearson
- Bull, B. (2009). Photography. Routledge: Introductions to Media and Communication.
- Wells, L. (ed.) (2015). Photography: A Critical Introduction (5th edn). London: Routledge.
If you read one thing before you arrive, we recommend...
Current student work
Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be making on our course.
Although you may already have the photographic equipment necessary to start your course, you may find it useful to read through the list of essential and useful equipment to help support your studies during the following three years.
- DSLR camera (24 megapixels or above, preferably Nikon or Canon) capable of manual aperture and shutter speed control.
- Sketchbooks – A4 and A5.
- Three memory sticks for submitting work – 8 GB+.
- A4 ring binder for course handouts etc.
- Portable hard drive (preferably 1 TB SSD).
- Card reader.
- 35 mm film SLR camera capable of manual aperture and shutter speed control (borrow rather than buy if you don’t have one).
- Cable release.
- Standard blower brush.
- Tripod (portable, but heavy enough for medium format cameras and DSLRs with telephoto/zoom lenses).
What to bring on your first day
All you need to bring on your first day is a smile, an academic diary, notebook and a pen.