Success for NCTJ photography trainees

Thursday 25th November 2010

Five trainee press photographers and photojournalists sat the National Certificate Examination in November with three candidates achieving the gold standard qualification.

This latest NCE was held on Tuesday 16 November at The Sheffield College, Norton College and recorded a pass rate of 60 per cent.

Chief examiner Steve Phillips said:

"Although there were only four candidates and one re-sit at this November’s examinations the standard of work submitted was on the whole very high. We were presented with some excellent advance projects and a number of the images submitted for the portfolio section were top class shots. One video submission in particular was excellent raising the bar for future candidates. It is particularly pleasing that the quality of work submitted for the video section has increased steadily over the last two NCEs.”

The photography NCE is made up of five sections.

A practical exam of two parts – action and front page/supplement sections:

The action section requires candidates to follow a tip-off and capture an exclusive picture. This year’s subject was the resignation of a high-profile government minister that the candidates were sent to photograph. Candidates were taken to a location to shoot the best picture which they would then caption.

The front page/supplement section requires candidates to produce a front page picture, plus three related images for the inside of a newspaper’s sports supplement, using available models and props. Each photograph must be captioned and combined with 100 words of copy. This year’s theme was the call-up of a young football player to the U-18 England squad.

Three candidates passed the practical exams.

A video exam:

This section was based on the theme of Armed Forces Britain. Candidates had to provide a 60-90 second video shot entirely by themselves and containing at least one interview.

The video exam was passed by all four candidates that took it.

An Advance Project:

This year’s Advance Project required trainees to design a picture spread on the theme of ‘Armed Forces Britain’. Each entry was allowed to use a maximum of six images that had to be combined with a 200 word article for press photographers or 500 words for photojournalists.

Four candidates passed the Advance Project.

A Portfolio:

The Portfolio has to comprise ten photographs from a selection of categories – news, sport, character study, award picture, exterior night shot, fashion picture, flash and weather picture. Each image must be accompanied by a short caption, a minimum of five must be in colour and at least five must come from published assignments.

Three candidates who submitted a portfolio all passed.

 All candidates also have to submit a logbook. The logbook records details of the photographer’s training progress, including evidence of regular in-house assessments and a selection of cuttings demonstrating that the trainee has satisfactorily covered a range of key tasks.

All candidates achieved success in the logbook.

The following candidates, listed in alphabetical order by surname, have now gained the National Certificate Examination for Press Photographers or Photojournalists.

Matthew Harrison, Derby Evening Telegraph

Amy Husband, South Wales Evening Post

Sally Loram, Courier Newspapers