BA in Photography
“Taking a photograph is to recognize – in a split second – the event itself, as well as the strict organization of the visual forms which give it its meaning. It is like placing someone’s mind, eye and heart on the same axis”
Henri Cartier-Bresson, photographer
Photography, beyond its technical dimension, is recognized as one of the widely spread media of communication of the 21st Century, as well as one of the most multidimensional forms of art. Image, today more than ever, is the most direct way of communication and expression.
Photography studies at AKTO examine image composition and the rules of visual communication, the theory and technique of the medium, as well as its specialized applications. They develop students’ creativity, aesthetic culture and critical thinking, while requiring constant updating and mastering of equipment in contemporary technology and digital media.
AKTO created the first organized School of Photography in Greece, in 1970. Many known contemporary Greek photographers and thousands of other successful professionals of the discipline are graduates of AKTO. Having over 40 years of history, as well as the freshness of the most dynamically developing College in Greece, AKTO continues its creative course, operating a University level programme of studies in Photography, in exemplar facilities.
With advertising and communication, press, fashion, portrait, cinema and television, tourism, publications, as well as certain areas of reportage (social, cultural, sports, war etc) and, of course, the internet, graduates of the Photography programme have a broad spectrum of professional applications. They may also do free lance photography, creating their personal photographic studio or company, be employed in photographic or advertising companies, magazines, newspapers, publications, technological labs, cinema, television etc.
Over and above the full time programme, a flexible mode of study, in the form of Open Learning, is also offered.
Following a personal interview and portfolio demonstration, from previous academic experience, should the work cover a broad spectrum of the syllabus, a student may be admitted to an advanced semester or year of studies and complete his/her studies through the Middlesex University programmes.
*This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.
This is a three year programme leading to a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree by Middlesex University. An Intensive Foundation Course may be required to enable you to enroll for the programme.
The photography course at AKTO aims to create multi-dimensional photography artists and professionals by combining artistic education with an active involvement with photography applications in the various professional fields. It will develop your awareness of the potential of the discipline, as means of artistic expression and communication, in all its aspects, within the broader area of Visual Arts, as well as a field for professional practice with various applications and differentiations in demands. It will enable you to observe, identify and solve problems, make critical and reflective judgements, develop rational and analytical skills, and an ability to generate alternatives.
You will engage with appropriate related theories within global, historical, contemporary and cultural settings and develop your own critical disposition in relation to Photography. By equipping you with the required knowledge and the ability to manipulate a variety of means and techniques, both traditional and contemporary, as well as providing you with theoretical and historical knowledge and conceptual abilities, it will enable you to focus your work and broaden your perspective. Digital photography is also included in the syllabus from the start of the programme, so as to provide you with the necessary knowledge and practice.
The programme combines the conceptual, theoretical and the practical and enhances your experiential activity and enquiry-based learning and enhances your verbal and written communication skills, and your ability to present original solutions based on international practices.
Its goal is to develop graduates with a sound knowledge of subject- related technology, from the very initial principles and its evolution to the very cutting-edge digital equipment of today and its use, able to engage with a variety of issues creatively, systematically and professionally, demand their place in the employment market and develop their own pathway.
MODULE: HISTORY AND THEORY I
This module aims to introduce you to the theory and history of Photography. It will enable you to analyse images and their relation with the message, introduce you to the basic principles of photographic synthesis and develop your own aesthetic perception. The module also provides you with the necessary knowledge, to understand aesthetic and technical developments in Photography.
- Introduction to the birth of Photography and its development during the 19th & 20th Century.
- The development of Photography in Greece until today – Important Greek Photographers.
- The importance and influence of Photographic aesthetics.
- New trends. The development of artistic and commercial Photography.
- Introduction to the principles of image synthesis in photography.
MODULE: APPLIED PHOTOGRAPHY I
This module aims to introduce you to the concept and principles of Commercial Photography. It will introduce you to the basic principles of synthesis, the world of photography applications and the effective use of analogue and digital professional cameras. The main goal of this module is to enable you to undertake your own shootings, while developing both your practical, as well as your time management and research skills.
- Introduction to commercial Photography – Photography as a medium of communication.
- Introduction to real market conditions.
- Basic principles of advertising photography and the role of advertising.
- Studio photography, studio equipment, table top photography.
- Lighting possibilities offered in studio and aesthetic issues.
MODULE: PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLES & TECHNIQUES I
This module aims to provide you with basic knowledge of principles, mechanisms and techniques of shooting/image capture, of both analogue and digital Photography. It will allow you to develop your ability to use a variety of photographic cameras efficiently and create images using a wide range of black and white films under different circumstances, demonstrating an understanding of their basic characteristics and applications. It also aims to explore identity and its representation through photographic portraiture, various approaches and definitions of the term “portrait”, its fundamental concepts, metaphors and manifestations in contemporary photography.
- Introduction to the principles and techniques of Photography and image capturing.
- Types of photographic cameras (analogue and digital) and their development.
- Basic photographic optics and different types of lenses.
- Introduction to Photographic portraiture.
- Cultural and anthropological identities, the symbolic Self, Hybrid Identities.
MODULE: HISTORY & THEORY II
This module aims to develop your knowledge and creativity in the history and theory of the rules of visual communication and enable you to apply this knowledge to your own work. It will acquaint you with the theory and basic tools of photographic composition, introduce you to basic script writing and directing principles, the history and principles of press photography and develop your creativity with reference to various types of Photojournalism. Upon completion of this module you will learn to approach Photography as a multi –signal and open field of visual and conceptual reference.
- The rules and principles of visual communication.
- Introduction to script writing and directing principles and techniques.
- Introduction to the theory and history of Photojournalism & Photojournalism ethics.
- Examples of Illustrated articles, sports photography, street photography, documentary, war photography, photo essay.
MODULE: APPLIED PHOTOGRAPHY II
This module aims to build on knowledge gained in module PH131, and expand your skills on commercial photography applications. It will introduce you to the advertising industry and provide you with the required techniques for the production of advertising material. The module will also acquaint you with photographic portraiture on a theoretical, conceptual as well as practical level. The main goal of this module is to provide you with the required skills to produce your own advertising campaigns and photographic portraits.
- The Advertising industry – Advertising Companies, advertiser relations, production team, target group, budget etc.
- Concept development and advertising campaigns, examples of successful campaigns.
- Commercial photography and Graphic arts (layout, colour, logotypes).
- Photographic portraiture and its historical development.
- Photographic portraits – Practical applications.
MODULE: PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLES & TECHNIQUES II
This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills in black and white photography processing and printing and the relevant darkroom procedures. It will assist you in decoding and differentiating artistic print from commercial and introduce you to the different techniques applied in photographing moving subjects. The module also aims to acquaint you with a large variety of different tools in digital manipulation of the image.
- Continuation on the theory of the photographic principles.
- Freezing, panning etc.
- Development of black & white film.
- Practical applications of printing black and white photographs – Darkroom applications (Contact printing, contrast filters, ruster technique, selective print technique, double exposure technique.
- Toner manipulation on black and white photographs.
- Basic image manipulation tools of software including, analysis and size adjustment of the image, introduction to fields, layers, text creation, filters, file types.
MODULE: HISTORY AND THEORY III
This module is a continuation from level I, and aims at furthering your theoretical and historical background from the early stages of Photography, with reference to contemporary practices. It will provide you with a critical understanding of different approaches for the analysis and critique of photographic cultures, its role as a historical and social document, and its role in the production and reproduction of knowledge. The module also aims to introduce you to contemporary photographic practices and a conceptual exploration of fundamental lens-based media principles, processes and techniques. The main goal of this module is to provide you with the appropriate theoretical background and produce creative projects.
- Key periods in the History of photography in relation to the image and society.
- Trends in relation to philosophy, literature, psychology of the times – Main artists.
- Examples that have shaped the meaning and value of current photographic cultures.
- Introduction to contemporary Photographic practices.
- The relations between image and space within the context of staged photography.
- Visual representations of the interior and outer space in the photographic culture.
- Uses of Photography in public space.
- Research seminar.
MODULE: COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY I
This module aims at furthering your knowledge on commercial photography, gained during the first year of your studies. It will expand your skills on Advertising photography and introduce you to Fashion Photography, from both a technical as well as aesthetic perspective. The main goal of the module is to develop your knowledge and skills to a more advanced level, enabling you to collaborate with other professionals and undertake real life projects in both fields.
- Introduction to field of Fashion Photography and its demands.
- Key events in Fashion photography from the 19th Century until today.
- The social, economical, technological and aesthetic characteristics of each decade.
- Key Fashion photographers and examples of their work.
- Photographic production – Collaborators.
- Editorial production – Editing techniques for photographic narration.
- Continuation of Advertising Photography – Practical applications.
MODULE: ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES I
This module aims to broaden your theoretical understanding and enable you to put various photographic methods and techniques to good effect. Specifically, it will provide you with the required technical skills for the appropriate use of such methods and the practical application of the required techniques. The module will expand your knowledge and skills on colour photography, mixed techniques and digital manipulation of image.
- The theory of colour, colour combinations and development.
- Moving Graphics & Character development.
- Colour toners, multidimensional prints, experimentation with slide films, overcolouring.
- Filters and their applications in analogue and digital photography.
- Landscape photography – Practical applications.
- Digital manipulation of image – Software environment & applications.
MODULE: CONTEMPORARY THEORY & PRACTICE
This module aims at broadening your theoretical and conceptual perspective, enabling you to use your theoretical knowledge to assess contemporary photographic practice. The historical and theoretical analysis of Art and photography is now extended to post Second World War, analysing and comparing the works of key contemporary Artists within the broader socioeconomic and cultural context. The module also explores the use of narrative in the photographic representation and the philosophy of contemporary staged photography and provides you with the required knowledge and skills to enable you engage your creative work with the broader field of contemporary art and photographic image making.
- Post War History of Art.
- Analysis of cultural, social and economic context – Key trends.
- Comparative analysis of contemporary works of Art & photographic representations.
- Photographic image narrative: Conceptual, aesthetic and earlier experimental approaches.
- Narratives in Photographic representation.
- Photographic narratives of time, space and the Self.
- Visual statements: Text narratives into the photographic image.
- Light narratives, Macro & micro photographic narratives.
MODULE: COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY II
This module follows PH223 taught in the previous semester, and aims at continuing on the study of commercial photography. In this semester you will be given the opportunity for practical application of your creative abilities and skills in Advertising and Fashion photography, and you will be able to undertake individual exercises as well as editorial projects in teams, so as to advance your teamwork skills.
- Continuation on Fashion photography: composite photographic productions.
- Editing, the limitations and creative capabilities of layout – Practical experimentation.
- Editorial development based on different thematics.
- Requirements for the development of a professional portfolio.
- Advertising photography – Further practical applications.
MODULE: ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES II
This module follows PH233 taught in the previous semester and aims to continue expanding your understanding on various advanced photographic media, methods and techniques. It continues on colour photography through darkroom experimentation and introduces you to social reporting. The module also advances your technical skills by introducing you to the digital manipulation of Videos as well as various special applications.
- Darkroom for colour photography – Practical experimentation.
- Colour printing techniques.
- Light conditions, colour harmony, colour semeiotics.
- Introduction to colour management – Software environment, operation.
- Photo-sequence, nude, sports photography, photo-collage in time/space.
- Introduction to social documentation – Practical exercises.
- Digital manipulation of video – Software environment, operation.
MODULE: PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH PROJECT
This module aims to enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge gained in previous years, undertake systematic, independent study, apply research, analytical comparative and evaluative skills in the field of Photography, and demonstrate a high level of professional practice. Its aim is to compile a written Research Project (8000 words) of historical and theoretical content, related to your personal interests. As such, you will need to apply research methodology and use bibliographical references, internet data and rich visual material which will lead you to define your own conclusions. You are encouraged to cross reference this module with PH316 in semester 6, aiming to use the results of your research to inform, develop and undertake the Main Project.
- Research and evaluation of the research outcomes.
- Methodology and development of research.
- Substantiation of proposals.
- Development and editing of written text and book form.
MODULE: CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL APPROACHES I
The aim of this module is to further develop your creativity and mastery in combining all previously obtained knowledge, and enable you to adopt challenge and risk when experimenting with contemporary concepts, practices, techniques and technologies. It intends to enable you to further develop an in-depth understanding of visual communication in photography, so as to prepare you for the independent work required in the final semester. You will further develop a professional approach on Advertising photography, Architectural photography, contemporary photographic practices and will be provided a seminar on preservation of photographs and photographic archives.
- Symbolic representations of “reality” in surrealism photography.
- Truth and illusion in Contemporary Photography and Digital Imaging culture.
- Digital interventions, image transformations, distortions, visual metaphors, masquerades, performance.
- Networked photography.
- Advertising photography – Experimentation.
- Architectural photography – Experimentation.
- Colour management.
- Preservation of photographs, preservation methods, photographic archives.
MODULE: MAIN PROJECT
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of your personal design growth, theoretical formation, as well as research, presentational and communicative skills defining a high level of professional practice. It aims at producing a comprehensive body of work that is exhibited and presented by you, consisting of one or a series of works. Supervised by a tutor you may choose any media or combination of media in order to represent aesthetically and conceptually your ideas and field of interests. You are expected to be committed, focused, and determined to pursue an in depth research and exploration of a visual and conceptual statement for this project, with creativity and inventiveness. You have the option to use the results of your research, undertaken in module PH315 in semester 5, to inform the Main Project.
- Methodology of research elaboration.
- Research and analysis of the appropriate media to be used.
- Strategies for developing ideas.
- Substantiation of the process leading to the final proposal.
- Experimentation on techniques.
- Originality of vision.
- Designing and managing an exhibition – Collaboration with peers.
In tertiary education, learning and teaching are distinguished for their gradually increasing attempts for self directed independent learning.
AKTO’s learning and teaching practices aim at developing autonomous personalities who can manage the knowledge produced. In a continuously changing professional environment, this educational commitment is of critical importance so as to secure students’ ability to remain competitive.
Art and Design studies at AKTO are based on a broad teaching and learning design. Amongst some of the teaching methods used are the following: Seminars focusing on the theory, lectures on relative topics, as well as workshops, presentations, educational excursions, competitions etc.
Teaching and Learning strategies are divided into three main categories:
Α. Projects – Seminars – Assignments – Lectures
In seminars and lectures students acquire access to notes, video projections and the required bibliography, in order to enable them to learn about all the different aspects of their discipline. Lectures contribute to absorbing basic knowledge, while seminars cultivate critical thinking and ability for multilateral communication. When necessary, extra lessons are also offered, in order to empower students’ learning.
The project briefs, which vary in number for each module and semester, include a detailed description of the requirements of a topic as well as the assessment criteria for the project.
Students’ progress is monitored through project assessment as well as various tests undertaken during seminars and lectures.
B. Additional teaching and learning methods
Knowledge and skills acquired during lectures, seminars and projects is enriched further through activities, such as visits to exhibitions, museums, factories, educational excursions, as well as participation in competitions, exhibitions of student works etc. These activities assist students in absorbing the basic concepts and experiencing their application in real life conditions.
AKTO has a long relation with the industry and the artistic community. This means that, throughout the course of their studies, they will have the opportunity to acquire updated information on important events and developments in their field.
C. Independent learning with the assistance of a supervisor
Supervisors are of vital importance to the entire programme of studies, especially during the final year leading to the Bachelor degree, during which regular meetings with a supervisor are the main teaching method used. The transition from a traditional form of learning to a more autonomous is in line with the general academic strategy of AKTO.