FET Certificate in Photography


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Program Description

The FET Certificate course in Photography introduces students to essential elements of photography. This course emphasises the mastery of technical skills that are applied in practical projects. The focus on photography related software applied to photographic genres such as portraiture, architectural photography and product photography provides students with relevant industry skills. Practical skills acquired culminate in a portfolio with which students can enter the job market.

Minimum entry requirements: Pass on National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) and basic computer literacy

Adobe Photoshop (Basic)
This module serves as an introduction to the use of the Photoshop CS6 interface as a digital workflow solution to students specialising in most visual communication avenues. The module covers the essential tools and workflow most commonly used in both photographic and design practices, such as the Adobe Photoshop toolbox, options bar and applications panel; using Adobe Bridge; using smart objects and filters; understanding file types and file preparation for output.

Adobe Photoshop (Intermediate)
During this module, the student builds on existing skills of the Adobe Photoshop course and explores more of the advanced techniques available to ensure seamless operation and application of tools, workflows and processes involved in editing. The course content is designed with the most current version of the Creative Suite in mind, although learners may use older versions of the Suite from CS4 onwards.

Photoshop Post-Production (Basic)
This module specialises in Adobe Photoshop specifically for photographic editing. It introducing the student to basic non-destructive post-production skills using the Adobe Photoshop CC interface. Core components pertaining to the image editing workflow include managing images in Adobe Bridge CC, colour correction, tone mapping, contrast control, corrective editing, image sharpening and file output.

Photoshop Post-Production (Intermediate)
This module extends the student’s knowledge of post-production by introducing intermediate image correction techniques applicable to the workflow of commercial photography genres. This module elaborates techniques applicable in image editing, image editing software and printing practice, and places emphasis on corrective editing for beauty and product photography. In addition, the student will be introduced to various techniques focusing on non-destructive corrective editing, as well as intermediate large volume editing, retouching practice and creative techniques applied correctively.

Camera Foundation
This module introduces the student to the terminologies and functionality of the 35mm digital single-lens reflex camera from basic to advanced camera settings, and will focus on aspects such as exposure control, white balance and the colour temperature of various light sources. Emphasis is also placed on the use of light meters and the correct interpretation of the light meter reading in order to refine exposure control.

Creative Lighting (Basic)
This module introduces the student to the fundamental principles and behaviour of light, and how light can be modified and controlled in order to model lighting on various subject matter in an appropriate and creative fashion. The component furthermore instructs the student how to control natural light and creatively problem-solve lighting solutions covering a variety of subject matter, including portraiture, food and outdoor-based events. The student will be instructed on how to use light modifiers optimally, such as diffusers and reflectors in natural light conditions.

Creative Lighting (Intermediate)
This module introduces the student to daylight-balanced flash lighting using flashgun and strobist equipment and accessories. In addition, the module will instruct the student on how to use flash equipment to model lighting on subject matter in mixed lighting conditions using a flashgun on- and off-camera, and to control the light ratio of the light setup.

Elements and Principles of Design
During this module, the student will be introduced to the formal elements of design and will be guided to implement design principles in the photographic frame correlating with composition and frame division. Students must showcase proficiency in compositional skills and apply the elements of design successfully in the range of practical assignments.

Lenses & Perspective
This module extends the student’s knowledge gained in the Camera Foundation course, broadening the student’s understanding of the anatomy of the camera lens and furthermore introduces technical aspects, such as lens aberrations, lens perspective, and the control over depth-of-focus. Students must therefore understand the anatomy of camera optics and must be able to identify lens aberrations. Students must also showcase proficiency in the practical control of lens perspective and depth-of-focus through the execution of a series of practical assignments.

Studio Portraiture
During this module, students are introduced to the process of taking portraits in the studio environment. This process includes mastery of technical aspects such as working with controlled lighting set-ups and exposure control for the studio environment. The student should understand and use camera angels optimally, and place the sitter in a dynamic composition. Creative aspects such as developing a concept and styling to communicate the sitter’s personality successfully are delved into.

Architectural Photography
This module introduces the student to the documentation of architectural subject matter focusing on both interior as well as exterior architectural structures. Emphasis is placed on the application of lighting, the appropriate application of composition and the practical control of lens perspective to achieve the desired effect.

Product Photography
This module introduces the student to still life and desktop photography revolving around commercial application, photographed using both natural ambient light as well as using daylight-balanced flash lighting through the use of strobes (flashguns). A range of transparent, translucent and opaque subject matter is chosen and students will be instructed how to appropriately provide lighting solutions and photograph in a manner that contextualises the subject matter adequately.

During this module, the work completed throughout the FET Certificate in Photography is presented in a portfolio, under the guidance of the subject expert. This portfolio is extremely important when showcasing your body of work to potential employers. The portfolio component consolidates the skills acquired during the programme.

Last updated Apr 2019

About the School

The Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences is a leader in South African tertiary education for innovation and creativity in the fields of visual communication, film, animation and interac ... Read More

The Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences is a leader in South African tertiary education for innovation and creativity in the fields of visual communication, film, animation and interaction design. We are accredited with the Council of Higher Education and offer bachelor degrees in Visual Communication and Film Arts. Read less
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