My name is Kevin Gater and I’m originally from the UK and have worked and taught within Photography, Film and Graphic design for over 15 years. The camera is at the core of everything I do. The camera’s ability to tell a story, capture a moment and stir emotion has always captivated me.
In the UK I studied Art and Theatre, followed by Media and Journalism. At university I received a degree in Film. During my education, I learnt how to handle a variety of cameras, mostly analogue.
In my last years of study, the first digital cameras arrived and I was liberated. The digital world opened up many new ways to communicate visually. Since then I have joined the dots between my education and experience to apply that knowledge within the visual arts and within my teaching.
How would you describe the courses?
Our Photography courses are focused on developing visual literacy, by which we mean how to understand the images we consume, create and transmit. Many of us create and publish photographs daily, making photography an accessible entry point for learning visual communication. Traditionally… photography has been regarded as an exclusive art form reserved for a select few, today people are using photography in ways that we never would have imagined. We want to invite people who might already use photography in their daily work and want to improve their knowledge or skills.
Do you need any special prerequisites?
Our assumption is that many people have some experience of taking a picture already, even if it’s with their phone. We are striving to make our courses as inclusive as possible regardless of profession, age, gender or nationality. As we may have a mixture of language in the class the only pre-requisite is the standard English level that anyone would need to fulfil for university level education.
Do you think it is important to have knowledge about photography in your work life?
If you are in a position where you have a responsibility to create or publish images, regardless of whether it’s for documentation or commercial use. Then there is also a responsibility for understanding how photographic images can be interpreted. How might those images be more considerate, meaningful or impactful.
How do you think visual communication will develop?
With the development of visual communication comes a need to develop our visual awareness. We see dramatic shifts in the industry where jobs that would have been reserved for professionals are being fulfilled in-house. I think we will see a continuing increase of multi-tasking individuals taking on a variety of roles due to the accessibility of digital image capturing and publishing. The real question is ‘we have the tools, do we have the knowledge?’
Why is it important to be able to communicate with pictures?
Everyone sees differently. The subject of Photography is really about understanding the different ways of seeing. When we begin to understand how to read images we can begin to apply that knowledge to how we ourselves are using images to communicate. Are we communicating what we intend to communicate?
Why should one apple for the courses in photography?
Nothing beats learning alongside others that you can share experiences with and be inspired by. Not to mention that you will be under the guidance of passionate and professional image makers with many years experience of teaching and practicing the visual arts.