A beginners guide to photography – mastering the basics with Roy Matthews

Ref: SWE32967

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Embark on a captivating journey into the world of photography with an immersive two-day beginner's course. Designed for individuals who are new to photography or those seeking a comprehensive refresher, this course provides a solid foundation for future image making.

Course Description

In this course, we will cover the fundamentals of photography, from understanding your camera

settings to exploring the many secrets of successful image making.

Through a combination of interactive presentations, practical exercises, and hands-on shooting

opportunities, you will gain a deep understanding of your camera, essential techniques, and

compositional principles that will elevate your photography skills to a new level. The course will

also cover an introduction to using Adobe Lightroom as an editing tool and conclude with a

group critique of the images shot during the weekend. By the end of this course, you will have a solid foundation in photography.

Techniques covered:

Camera Settings – exposure/depth of field/ shutter speed/focus

Understanding light – type/direction/colour


Lightroom Editing


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. 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 for residential students).

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 are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • A DSLR or mirrorless camera and all the lenses you have, ideally covering from wide angle to
  • telephoto. Camera instruction manual (if available).
  • Fully charged and spare camera batteries - and charger
  • Camera memory cards
  • Camera to computer USB leads
  • Laptop (optional)
  • USB (large storage capacity) or portable hard drive storage device (plus connecting leads)
  • Be prepared to work outdoors so bring appropriate clothing, including waterproofs and suitable
  • waterproof footwear
  • Pen and paper
  • Bring a note of your own Adobe ID login. If you don’t already have one, please register for a free account at www.adobe.com prior to the course, and remember to bring the details with you.

Additional information

Please note: It is essential that you have computer skills for this course. The course is for up to eight participants. Each student will be allocated a PC in the College's digital computer suite. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


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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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.