Photography and digital image manipulation

Digital photography – a comprehensive guide to the essentials with Roy Matthews

Ref: SSS08956


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About this course

Covering all the essentials, this course will create a solid foundation from which to expand your photographic skills, based at West Dean and travelling to other local locations as your subject matter. Explore the key areas including camera settings, composition, light, subject choice and timing and how they work in practice across various genres, alongside basic editing in Adobe Lightroom.

Course Description

The emphasis of the course is on practical teaching - all aspects are fully demonstrated in a clear and simple way. Whatever your preferred style of photography this course will give you the perfect foundation to expand and the confidence to achieve the best results in the future. The course will also cover basic editing in Adobe Lightroom CC, as well as a series of informal critiques of the work produced via digital media.

The course is ideal for beginners, or those who already have a working knowledge of the technical aspects, including photographic exposure, and the manual settings on your DSLR camera - but wish to brush up on their understanding.

Be prepared for evening photography sessions which may be included, in order to capture the inspiring light a few hours before sunset.

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for your summer school week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

Special Summer School features:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A swap-over session to another course of your choice

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (pre-booked)

• A celebration with dinner, entertainment and music

• Workshop displays of students' work and informal end-of-course group reviews


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • A Digital SLR or mirrorless camera and all the lenses you have, ideally covering from wide angle to telephoto (but bring what you have). 'Bridge' or Advanced compact cameras that have full manual control over exposure settings are fine too.
  • Any lens filters you have
  • A tripod - essential
  • Fully charged and spare camera batteries - and charger (essential)
  • Camera memory cards with plenty of free space
  • Camera to computer USB leads
  • Cable release or remote (can also use self-timer on camera if you don't have these)
  • USB memory stick to save your images
  • Be prepared to work out doors so bring appropriate clothing, including waterproofs, suitable waterproof footwear, sunhat, waterbottle and a day rucksack.

Available to buy

  • USB memory stick

Please note: It is important to note that it is essential that you are familiar with using a PC computer, as while the tutor will give instruction on getting to grips with imaging software, he will not teach basic computer skills.


Roy Matthews

Roy has been a commercial photographer since the mid 1980's having started his career as a studio assistant before becoming freelance in the early 1990's. He has worked in many different genres including studio, reportage, architectural, portraiture, editorial and sport. Always keen to pursue his personal work as a balance to the commercial world he has been widely published and has exhibited in many locations over the years.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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