Our A Level students had portraiture tuition from professional photographer Arthur Foster who showed them how to set up and light the shots. The students had two sessions with Mr Foster over recent weeks. During the first he told them about his career, which has included working for national and international publications and picture agencies as well as portrait commissions. On his second visit he demonstrated portrait techniques, but also spoke to students about their use of digital photography and the software they used to manipulate images.
Abbie Smyth, from Year 13, said: ‘Most recently Mr Foster did a portrait workshop with us using studio lights. He taught us techniques such as where to position the lights and different angles to create completely different effects. In the first session he showed us some of his work in newspapers, magazines and advertising and told us about his work in Urbania, Italy, recreating a photographic archive of the time after it got bombed in the second world war. He does traditional styles of photography but he wanted to learn more about some of the techniques that we use in digital photography, such as editing and modifying with Photoshop to give abstract effects. During our sessions lighting was really important and he showed us how to use angles, reflections and shadows to create different moods and tones. I have used some of the techniques I learned in my project work.’
Mr Foster said: ‘The students asked intelligent questions and the quality of their photography was very high. As they are able to manipulate the images digitally they get really striking results. Photography has changed to such an incredible degree that it is no longer the mysterious art that it used to be. I I loved the way the students worked, they were full of enthusiasm.’
Teacher Mrs Strydom said: ‘Mr Foster emailed me after he saw all the artwork on display here and he wanted to learn a bit more about the students’ work. He showed them portrait techniques and lighting and they showed him some of the digital editing effects they use in their work. It is the first time we have had a professional photographer in to talk to the students and I hope it has increased their understanding of a career in this subject. To hear from someone who has made a profession out of photography was inspiring and they gained a wider knowledge from Mr Foster.’