Picture: A photograph from the portfolio of photographer Lucy Shaw, who passed the NCE for Press Photographers and Photojournalists taken at the annual Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne in February 2010.
Eight trainee press photographers and photojournalists sat the National Certificate Examination in May with six candidates demonstrating the gold standard of work needed to achieve the qualification.
The NCE was held on Tuesday 25 May at Sheffield College’s Norton Centre. The pass rate was 75 per cent, a jump from the 67 per cent pass rate in November 2009 and May 2009.
Chief examiner Steve Phillips said: “The overall performance of candidates at the May NCE was very good with some excellent work submitted.”
In the Video examination three out of four candidates were successful – a pass rate of 75 per cent.
For the first time in the photography NCE it was compulsory for candidates to shoot a video for publication on a news website. The video had to be entirely self-contained including at least one interview with a subject where audio is recorded to a professional standard.
The chief examiner said: “A good standard of video reports were submitted, with an improvement on the optional submissions last year.”
The pass rate for the Practical exam, made of the action section and feature section, was 100 per cent, with all five candidates achieving success.
The scenario for the action section of the Practical exam was a politician being assaulted as he attended a rally of supporters and candidates had to capture action shots for a newspaper and a website. Performing arts students from Sheffield College, Norton Centre gave up their time to act in the scenario.
The chief examiner said: “All candidates passed this section with a couple of excellent shots capturing just the right moment.”
In the feature section of the Practical exam, photographers had to take a picture of a green-fingered young person who had just won a gardening competition.
The chief examiner said: “We were pleased with the initiative used by most of the students in finding extra props to make their photographs more successful.”
The Portfolio section of the NCE also saw a 100 per cent pass rate with all five candidates achieving success.
The Portfolio calls for ten pictures, five of which must come from published assignments.
The chief examiner said: “The photography board were very pleased with the overall quality of Portfolio pictures. There were several excellent images which have been put forward for consideration for awards in November.”
The Advance Project section of the NCE saw five out of six candidates pass – a pass rate of 83 per cent.
Candidates had four weeks to prepare a double-page spread or single-page broadsheet for the Advance Project.
The chief examiner said: “The board was pleased with the continued emphasis by students on using pictures that have impact as their main image.”
In the Logbook all five candidates achieved success – a 100 per cent pass rate.
The chief examiner reported that the majority of the logbooks for the NCE were completed to a very high standard.
The following candidates, listed in alphabetical order by surname, have now gained the National Certificate Examination for Press Photographers and Photojournalists.
Catherine Booker, South Wales Argus
Paul Johnson, West Cumberland Times & Star
Laura Jones, Western Gazette
Georgina Mabee, Peterborough Evening Telegraph
Jacob Oakley, Dewsbury Reporter
Lucy Shaw, Derby Telegraph
Catherine, Paul, Georgina and Jacob all completed the academic year press photography course at Sheffield College, Norton Centre. Laura completed the academic year course in photojournalism at Sheffield College, Norton Centre, and Lucy completed her preliminary training as a direct entrant at the Derby Evening Telegraph.