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Digital Photography

Digital Photography

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Brendan Olley, Tim Marshall


This course will help you to explore the creative potential of your camera and develop an understanding of how to see the world with a 'photographer's eye'. It places digital photography within the more universal context of the medium's tradition by teaching the creative possibilities of lens and shutter control common to all types of camera, as well as the technical aspects that are particular to digital cameras.

The aim is to broaden your critical thinking about photography, so the course does not focus exclusively on the technical aspects of digital photography. You may spend some time in the darkroom or use a film camera to give examples of different outcomes. 

Topics covered

  • There will be tuition on using Adobe's Bridge and RAW editor software as well as an introduction to some of the core editing techniques in Adobe Photoshop
  • A small research project is designed to increase your appreciation of the medium’s history and how it can inform and inspire your own work
  • Briefs will explore aperture, shutter, lighting, composition and portraiture. They will conclude with informal group critiques where you will be given formative feedback on your work
  • Students may be asked to make a photo book as part of a photographic project.They are asked to reserve £40 for printing of books should we pursue this on the course. However, we cannot guarantee that this option will be part of the course; it will depend on the level and needs of the group
  • You will be expected to take lots of pictures, some of which will be taken outside the studios.

Who should take this course?

The course is suitable for beginners. It would benefit anyone wishing to explore the creative potential of their photography practice.
More advanced students would benefit from this course in order to refine and practice project based work after an initial recap of the fundamentals.

Entry requirements

  • You will be required to bring your own digital camera along to the course and we don’t object to you also bringing your film cameras. 
  • You are expected to be familiar with your camera operating system prior to starting the course. Please give your manuals a good read prior to course. 

Level: Beginners as well as more experienced students wishing to enhance their skills.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Brendan Olley is a graduate from Central Saint Martins. Specialising in photography he has worked with a number of clients as varied as the BBC to the Fringe Arts Festival. He predominately works within the realm of portraiture within a studio based environment. Along side his editorial work Brendan also shoots larger documentary projects which can span over 1 - 2 years. He practices photography from his studio in East London whilst also maintaining a success platform website for young photographers were he currently helps over 300 emerging photographers.

Tim Marshall teaches photography on BA Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins.


Please bring to the first session:

  • A digital camera*
  • The instruction manual for the digital camera
  • Card reader / Storage device
  • A notebook and pen.

*Students are expected to be familiar with their camera operating system prior to starting the course.

IMPORTANT - Adobe ID Login for Short Course Students

Students will need to create an account with Adobe (unless you already have one) in order to access the Adobe suite at the college – instructions are included below. You will need to use a personal email address to create this. If you already have an account with Adobe, please make sure you bring your login details with you on the first day of the course.

Please note:

  • Creating an Adobe account is free.
  • The software will only be accessible when logged into a UAL networked computer
  • The same account can be used outside of the University, but software will only be accessible through a personal paid subscription that students will need to set up independently
  • You can still create an account on the day but doing this beforehand will save time and avoid delays to the start of the class.
  • If you already have an Adobe ID/ subscription you can use this on your short course rather than setting up a new account.

To create an account students will need to:

  1. Go to Adobe Sign in page.
  2. Select ‘Create an account’
  3. Enter your details and select ‘Create account’

Available dates