Creative photography – making captivating photographs with David Clapp

Ref: SSS31589

About this course

In this immersive creative photography course, all manner of photographic disciplines are covered to help you create and refine your photographic potential. Better your camera skills and sharpen your judgment behind the camera in a series of excursions.

Course Description

Do you want to take your photography to the next level? Do you struggle with making meaningful images, even have difficulty when the right conditions present themselves? You are not alone when it comes to this issue. This six-day course will look into the elements that make and define an excellent photograph, and help you to identify and capture images with a variety of different subject matters and styles.

The course will be based at West Dean College with excursions to local areas and beauty spots to help explore what is needed to take a good photograph. There will be a number of different subjects and styles offered:

Landscape – by visiting a variety of interesting landscape locations, we can understand how to identify, frame and capture a good landscape photograph. Views and vistas can be expansive, so we will identify how to ‘see’ and frame landscape images. We will also visit more intimate locations: tangled forests, gardens and the coast, experimenting with details, all without the use of specialist lenses.

Architecture – the surrounding areas have some great architectural subjects, with Chichester Cathedral being a wonderful way to understand the mindset of how to capture buildings and structures. By using this fabulous resource, we can explore how to create exciting architectural images. We will also explore nearby towns and villages.

Macro and flowers – learn to shoot evocative and sensual flower images using macro and long lenses. Experiment with multiple exposures and learn to concentrate on camera position and perspective, and experiment with out of focus techniques.

Extensive Photo Processing – with use of computers, we will learn extensive post processing techniques to enhance photography to create more immersive and sensual images. These regular sessions will help you improve as we go. Take away post processing videos, so the learning continues after the course has ended.

The College’s computer suite will be the base for the course, where you can review and discuss photographs and support your photography, with an introduction into photo processing. On location sessions may include dawn and/or dusk photography excursions, so please be prepared for this, and other adjustments with some flexible timetabling outside the normal core teaching hours of the courses to take advantage of the light and weather conditions in the week for your photography, as advised by the tutor during the week. It is expected that all participants are prepared and able to walk up to five miles with their photographic kit to some locations.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

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

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully.

Course Materials


  • Supporting notes and photocopies
  • All video support created over the week

What students need to bring

  • Camera, suitable lenses (24-105mm, 70-200mm or equivalent will work well)
  • SD cards, battery charger
  • Laptop, iPad (if you feel this is necessary)
  • Waterproof outdoor clothing, walking shoes, suitable outdoor footwear, day rucksack
  • Water bottle
  • Sun cream, sun hat (as necessary)
  • A note of your Adobe login if you have one

Additional information

It is essential that you bring appropriate clothing for outdoors, sun cream if necessary and carry a water bottle. Although we will not be enduring pouring rain, please bring appropriate outdoor clothing (as listed above) as five to six hours of your day will be spent outdoors photographing. The weather can be changeable, so best to be prepared. You are also expected to have awareness of traffic and general outdoor safety when photographing on location during the course.


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 until 9pm, 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.

General Information


David Clapp

David Clapp is one of the UK's most successful landscape, travel and architectural photographers. A jack of all trades, he began working as a writer, contributing imagery and words for photography magazines. This lead to a career as a full-time professional in 2009, amassing a strong position as a global stock photographer


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

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.