Albany Senior High School/Coursebook/2PHO

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Information icon.svg 2PHO
NCEA Level:
Primary Qualification:
Primary Learning Area:

What is this course about?

In photography this year you will be developing your skills using your own digital camera to visually explore the world. You will research artists by investigating their methods and ideas relating to photography and apply them to your own work. You will generate and develop ideas to produce a body of work based on an individually selected broad theme.

What will I learn?

You will learn technical skills including how to use photographic equipment including cameras, lighting, digital processes and photo manipulation. You will develop your pictorial understanding around composition, colour, form, abstraction and clarity. We will spend time looking at relevant and contemporary photographers, both internationally and in New Zealand. We will look at how to develop visual ideas using photographic procedures, developing processes and your individual methodologies. In this course you will be encouraged to investigate art ideas within the field of Photography as well as concepts and ideas within fine arts, commercial photographic practice other art disciplines. You will be encouraged to view contemporary art exhibitions in galleries to broaden your knowledge and influence your processes and methodologies.

What sorts of things will I do?

The first part of the course involves 2 x 4 credit standards (internal). These standards will be closely linked so that you develop a depth and range of ideas based on a selection of themes given. You will learn to apply knowledge of photography conventions to your practical tasks. You will be encouraged to develop skills using a variety of pictorial issues. The external standard is worth 12 credits and it involves the production of a closely related and systematic body of work. This 12 credit standard is presented on a two board folio and this work will need to show further developments and extensions of ideas evolved out of the previous 2 internal standards. Students may wish to explore a new theme not related to the previous internal standards however this option will have to be discussed in detail with the teacher first. This work must have clear relationships to established photographic practice and show a generation, development and analysis, clarification and resolution of the ideas.

You will be expected to spend a lot of time taking photographs outside class time so homework is essential in this subject choice. There is also a large theoretical component to Level 2 Photography and requires a solid foundation from Level One English.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4










Key Dates / Milestones Due end of term 1 Key Dates / Milestones Due end of term 2 Key Dates / Milestones Due term 4

Key Dates / Milestones

Due late Oct

What standards can I enter?

Summary of standards:
NCEA Level: Standard Number: Name of standard: Version Number: Credits: Assessment:
2 2.2 - 91312
Use drawing methods to apply knowledge of conventions appropriate to Photography
2 2.3 - 91317
Develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established Photography
2 2.4 - 91322
Produce a systematic body of work that shows understanding of art making conventions and ideas within Photography.       1          12 External

No further assessment opportunities attach to this course
Total available credits:       20

Vocational Pathways provide a framework for students to show how their learning and achievement is valued in the workplace by aligning learning to the skills needed for industry.  Follow this link to see the profile for this course.

A merit or excellence course endorsement for Photography may be obtained by completing 14 credits in the above standards at merit or above for merit course endorsement, or 14 credits at excellence for excellence course endorsement. The 14 credits must include at least 3 external credits, and must be completed in the same school year. More information about NCEA course endorsements is available here:

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Is there an extension standard?

A: There is an option of choosing another standard with a 4 credit weighting as an extension assessment but is not part of the level 2 Photography course. If students wish to follow this lead then they will need to talk to the specialist subject leader.

Q: Where might Photography lead?

A: Photographic Design Degree, Fine Arts Degree, Photography Diploma, Film Studies, Graphic Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Designer, Professional Photographer, Journalist, Fashion Photographer, Visual Communications, Art Director, Curator, Artist, Secondary school teacher, film director, illustrator, arts writer, art critic, animator, art gallery director, set designer, Print Designer, Travel Photographer, Magazine Photographer etc.

Q: Should I have taken level 1 visual arts?

A: You are encouraged to have taken Level 1 Visual arts as it is an important foundation for Level 2. If you have not you will need to meet with the Specialist subject Leader for Visual Arts or the Specialist Photography teacher to discuss your course. It is also essential you have a solid foundation from Level 1 English as there is a large theoretical component in the Level 2 course.

Q: What will it cost me to do this subject?

A: A course take home materials and production cost of $120 will be charged. This covers the cost of photo printing paper, a workbook, folio boards and a variety of other materials used during the course.

Q: What sort of camera do I need?

A: You must have your own digital SLR or a camera where you will have a sufficent amount of control to "paint" with light.

When purchasing a digital camera please be aware that it must be at least 10 megapixels or bigger. ASHS has a range of specialist Canon lenses and lighting equipment which work with only Canon DSLR's. Please note: Digital cameras with lower megapixel capacity (the small point and shoot variety) are not appropriate for either Yr 12 or 13 photography courses. Photowarehouse (, Progear ( and Apix (New North Rd are all good suppliers. Alternatively, companies such as Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, and Dick Smith Electronics also sell cameras. They all offer slightly different deals. is a very useful website that compares prices across a range of suppliers. Students must have a camera bag for their camera, a manual, a download cord, and a battery charger for the camera. All these things come with new cameras. (Sometimes the bag is extra) It is really important to have this camera personally insured as ASHS does not take responsibility for the loss or damage of the student’s own gear.
Every student taking Photography must have a USB memory stick (4GB minimum). This is included in the course costs.