About the course

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Why choose this course?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are monitoring the situation and will update our short courses when we have further information.

Exploring Your Camera

Course dates

This course runs on a Monday evening from 19.00 to 21.30 on the following dates:

  • 10 August to 17 August 2020
  • 05 October to 12 October 2020
  • 02 February and 09 February 2021
  • 19 April to 26 April 2021

Course length

2 weeks

Course cost

£65 for each 2 week course

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to get to grips with digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and understand basic photography techniques. It will help you to get the best out of your camera through a thorough investigation if its capabilities, including an introduction to common camera controls, and how to use manual settings as well as pre-set modes.

Through tailored exercises, you will explore key concepts in photography and develop a better understanding of how different types of cameras work. Fir instance, you will learn how to manually adjust the camera settings so that you can always frame and capture the image you are aiming for, regardless of the shooting conditions (light/weather etc.). You will learn more about your own camera, pick up new skills and develop your existing knowledge about subjects such as:

  • ISO settings
  • White balance
  • Metering
  • Aperture
  • Shutter speed

Photography - Lighting and Composition

Course dates

This course runs on a Tuesday evening from 19.00 to 21.30 on the following dates:

  • 15 September to 27 October 2020
  • 03 November to 15 December 2020
  • 12 January to 23 February 2021
  • 02 March to 27 April 2021 (excluding 30 March and 05 April 2021, Easter break)

Course length

7 weeks

Course cost

£205 for each 7 week course

This course will enable you to explore your camera’s full potential and to  develop the skills necessary to use our camera creatively. It’s designed for those who already have a working knowledge of their camera, and want hands-on support to further their skills in photography, learning new techniques and understanding how to take photographs in specific and difficult conditions.  It is an ideal follow-up for those who have attended the course Exploring your Camera, as it will enable you to build on your knowledge of camera functions and increase your personal skills.

You will be encouraged to explore experimental forms of photography as well as developing your own projects and ideas. You will complete the course with a thorough understanding of the principles of digital photography and a portfolio of work which you can use to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

NB If you are not familiar with using a DSLR’s manual controls, we recommend that you attend the Exploring Your Camera course first.

The course will cover the following:

Week 1 - Recap of camera functions, afterwards moving onto colour and composition.

Firstly you will look at colour relationships, then select and mix colours and create compositions to give you an understanding of the dimensions of colour. Then you will take part in a discussion of the photographic frame and subject placement before delving into more specific forms of proportion and composition such as balance, the rule of thirds, the golden ratio and their variants.  

Week 2 - Learning how to set up the studio.

This session develops skills that enable you to be more confident when using a DSLR camera and will introduce you to the specific techniques of photography using studio lighting. 

Weeks 3 and 4 - Studio portraits with a professional model.

Over two evenings in our photography studio, you will work with a model to develop your skills in composition and to experience working with a live subject. You will consider how to provide the best lighting for mood and atmosphere, as well as gaining an understanding of and learning techniques for how to get the best from a portrait photo shoot.

Week 5 - Adobe Lightroom/Camera Raw.

Once you have captured your studio-lit images, we will move into the editing suite to show you how to transform your photos. You will be introduced to some basic editing techniques using Adobe Lightroom/Camera Raw and will learn how to import photos and make adjustments to colour, tone and composition.

Week 6 - Night photography in St Albans.

For this session your classroom will be the city of St Albans, where you will explore the capabilities of your camera under night-time conditions. You will be given tasks according to a choice of themes or topics. Your tutor will start off the session with an introductory talk which will include an outline of the themes, as well as tips on how to take interesting shots on location. Themes will include architecture, the urban landscape and historic buildings.

Week 7 - Still Life.

During this last session you will be shown the basic principles of still life photography. This will include techniques to help increase your confidence when dealing with product photography or taking photographs of fine art work.

Course Expert

Dave Willis

If you wish to discuss this or any other creative art short course please contact the short course team on 01707 285327 or


Please note; you will need to bring your own camera for this course as well as using university equipment. 

Booking Deadlines

Bookings for all Creative Arts Short Courses will be reviewed 2 weeks before the start date of each course. This will allow the Short Course team to determine whether a course has met the minimum number of students needed for the class to run. If a class has failed to recruit, the class will be re-scheduled and you will be informed. Where relevant you will be offered an alternative class. If the course has met minimum numbers, bookings will stay open to the course start date or until it has met maximum numbers. 

We encourage you to book early before the deadline to avoid disappointment.

Bookings for all short courses need to be made online through the Universities’ online booking system, before a course commences. You cannot enrol or attend a class on the day the course starts, without prior arrangement. 

Where to find us

Our address is The School of Creative Arts, College Lane Campus, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB.

For Maps and Directions please visit our helpful ‘Where to Find Us’ page. Further details are sent by email when you have booked.


If for any reason you change your mind about joining us after you have accepted the offer, you have a legal right to cancel your contract to study with us within 14 days. This cancellation period therefore ends at the end of 14 days after the day on which you accepted our offer.  For further details of cancellation terms, please see the following link



Start DateEnd DateDay and TimeCostLink
10/08/202017/08/2020Mondays 19:00 - 21:30£65Apply online
15/09/202027/10/2020Tuesdays 19:00 - 21:30£205Apply online
05/10/202012/10/2020Mondays 19:00 - 21:30£65Apply online
03/11/202015/12/2020Tuesdays 19:00 - 21:30£205Apply online
12/01/202123/02/2021Tuesdays 19:00 - 21:30£205Apply online
02/02/202109/02/2021Mondays 19:00 - 21:30£65Apply online
02/03/202127/04/2021Tuesdays 19:00 - 21:30£205Apply online
19/04/202126/04/2021Mondays 19:00 - 21:30£65Apply online