College offers course in iPhone photography

College offers course in iPhone photography

Summary: London colleges are planning to offer a first in photography - a course dedicated to the iPhone.


Do smartphones have the capability to rival professional cameras like the DSLR? Perhaps not, but two London colleges are offering courses in support of iPhone photography.

According to the BBC, London's Kensington and Chelsea Colleges will be offering a course in 'iPhoneography', that will be dedicated to showing students how they can create better images with their mobile devices.

It is a London first in terms of courses available to creative students, and is a means of teaching people how to use the wide range of photography applications currently on offer.

Richard Gray, the course tutor, says that students simply need to own an iPhone and display a "passion for photography and a creative mind".

Applications including Camera+ will make a debut on the course -- but what else? Gray says that although the focal point of the evening course is to use the iPhone in photography, he will also be teaching students basic rules of photography -- including composition, colour and light.

The course entails five weekly 3-hour sessions in March and is aimed at beginners. The course syllabus includes:

  • Standard preset filters, such as Camera+ and Snapseed.
  • Manual editing and processing, using apps including PS Express and Filterstorm.
  • Techniques such as blurring and cloning, blending and collages.
  • Experimental app use, such as diptic and decim8.
  • Printing, framing and networking.

Practical exercises and projects, including homework, will be part of the course. It will be taught by rigging an iPad up to a monitor to demonstrate techniques.

To enroll, the iPhoneography course costs £115 ($178 USD). Students require an iPhone and a budget of approximately £20 ($30 USD) in order to purchase apps.

It is possible that this course, if popular, can be extended to Android users in the future. Gray will also be hosting a free workshop at Apple's Regent Street Store later in the year, and plans to do some local promotion close to Kensington Chelsea College.

In terms of current interest, Grey says:

"There’s quite a few weeks before it starts, so I don't know what students I’ll have yet. But it will be really interesting to have a mix of people with and without photography experience. iPhoneography is a great force for democratisation within photography."

My firm favourite is still my DSLR together with a few different lenses and some lighting equipment, but for the times where you don't have a standard camera handy or can't afford expensive equipment, a smartphone does come in useful. Apps available don't yet match the complexity and nature of programs like Adobe Photoshop, but they do contain a variety of quick and useful effects for the amateur photographer.

I'm yet to be convinced that these types of courses can teach the skills required of professionals, but if it generates more interest in photography, then it has its benefits. It may not be popular with photography traditionalists -- but perhaps this is just the next step in the darkroom versus Photoshop debate.

Image credit: C.Osborne


Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • This article is BOUND to stir up some interesting comments:)

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • You mean like this?

      Ed Bott racing up in a chariot with his hair on fire, proclaiming the end of the world as we know it and the need to repent and change the course to a Windows Phone Photography course.

      Anyhow, in case anyone was wondering KCC are similar in nature to what you rebellious colonials would call a junior college. It deals in continuing education mainly.
  • RE: College offers course in iPhone photography

    People can be creative with any kind of imaging device - all you need is light and light sensitive material. (no, you don't even need a lens) It disappoints me that they are concentrating on an iPhone, that's like saying you should have a course in Nikon or Canon photography. I mean, you could do that, but then you're concentrating on how to use the device and not "how to be creative."
    big red one
  • RE: College offers course in iPhone photography

    Just a college trying to look/be "cool" or "hey there's loads of mugs out there with iPhones, lets jump on the gravy train as well"
    • RE: College offers course in iPhone photography

      @deaf_e_kate Well Said.
    • RE: College offers course in iPhone photography

      @deaf_e_kate To be fair, it's not the only goofy class in existence. I had a friend at a community college who I swore to god was just making up the most ridiculous things he could think of, until he showed me his undergrad catalogue.
  • RE: College offers course in iPhone photography

    Very interesting development, Charlie. Phone-based cameras are here to stay and may soon become the norm for even better photography. There's no reason camera phones can't be used artistically ??? just like some people once expressed their art with Polaroids. Doc says bring it on and hopes more academic institutions take on the challenge of teaching artistic expression using modern (and readily accessible) tools.
    DocuMentor (Doc)