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Photography: Essential Skills and Creative Approaches

Photography Essential Skills Mx
  • Level(s) of study: Short course
  • Study mode(s): Short course
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: 14 June 2021; 26 July 2021
  • Course duration: Mondays and Wednesdays 6 - 8:30 pm, five weeks or Monday to Thursday 10 am - 5 pm, four days


This course is responding to the huge growth in ownership of digital SLR (DSLR) cameras.

It's designed to take you through the basic science, technology, craft and art of photography, and to develop your knowledge and skills so that you can create technically sound, interesting, professional images.

This course is ideal for the enthusiastic amateur photographer.

You will move away from shooting with the camera in automatic mode, and start using the various camera functions that will enable you to take control of your photographs, creating work that is more personal.

Topics will include:

  • what is a photograph and why do we take them?
  • constructed versus captured photography
  • making images: looking and seeing
  • composition
  • exposure
  • focus
  • aperture
  • shutter and shutter speed
  • subject lighting
  • digital developing and printing
  • choosing and buying your equipment
  • outlets for your finished photograph such as sales or exhibiting.

The course will be a mixture of theory and practice.

There will projects that explore artistic expression, reportage, commerciality, nature, people and community.

Further reading will also be suggested to further enhance your knowledge, reinforcing the practical assignments.

These practical assignments will be critiqued regularly, and an online learning community will be set up to help share your work with fellow students.

Secure your place with a deposit

If you're booking two months or more before the course starts, we can accept a £100 deposit to secure your place.

The balance is due one month before the course starts.

Our standard booking terms and conditions apply.

Email us to find out how:

What will you gain?

You will leave this course with the skills and knowledge to continue creating great photographs, either for your hobby or maybe as a gateway to further study or employment.

“This course gave me impetus I needed to get out of a rut and think about the full capabilities of my camera. I especially enjoyed being part of a group and being inspired by its members, as well as having the support and expertise of our tutor. I feel much more confident about my skills and I now enjoy photography even more.” AS

"This course is pitched at a good level - challenging but achievable. It has given me the confidence to progress further." LT

"A great tutor, who set a good atmosphere for learning whilst helping and encouraging each other." DD

"Fantastic!!!" FC

'Excellent - most enjoyed the field trips' SH

'Really enjoyed the course. It was well paces and kept interesting with variation in portraits, night time sessions, models, indoors and outdoors, post-production, etc, which kept it interesting. Enjoyed the outdoors, long exposures and night time shots the most.' T

'I really enjoyed this course, thank you Paul! Will keep an eye out for the next stage! I'm a happy student! Enjoyed taking photos outside!’

'Loved every second and learnt so much - huge thank you to Paul for being such a fantastic tutor! Enjoyed absolutely everything, it really was such a well-rounded course, and we packed it all in! Even the technical parts that I found challenging were well explained by Paul.’ CB

Tutor Profile: Paul Carroll graduated from NTU with a First in Photography.

He then spent two years working on the UK's best-selling photography magazine ‘Digital Photo’ where he was responsible for planning, writing and illustrating articles regarding general camera skills and editing RAW files.

Paul now works as a full-time freelance photographer and tutor in Nottingham.

Indicative maximum class size: 10

Need accommodation for a summer course?

You can book a self-catered, single room with private bathroom on our city campus, right next door to our studios and classrooms. Find out more at:

Any questions?

Contact the short course team:


Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 2813

What you'll study

On this course, you will:

  • learn about contemporary digital photography and current technology
  • identify successful digital images
  • discuss the aesthetic qualities of your work and that of others
  • plan a photograph, from composition to digital printing
  • work in different light situations
  • manually adjust focus, shutter speeds and exposure to produce effects
  • create unique images on location and in the studio environment
  • edit images using basic Photoshop functions
  • promote your images online to others.

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No experience is required.

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No experience is required.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £595.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

The fee for this course is £595.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418