Photographing Historic Buildings

Course details

From £450.00

Thu 28 Feb 2019 - Fri 01 Mar 2019
9.00am - 5.00pm both days

Photographing Historic Buildings


Digital cameras have greatly changed the way we record our architectural history, simplifying the process and reducing the cost of image capture thereby, encouraging a scatter-gun method of photography. This course will look at ways of taking a more considered approach to the use of our cameras and what we seek to capture.

The course is aimed at those who are not professional photographers but have an interest in or need to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end of the course students will be expected to know how to choose the right viewpoint, the right lighting conditions, correctly set up their own cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software so that they will create images ready for the archive.

Places are limited to 12, so early booking is strongly advised.  Please bring your own camera.


National Occupational Standards for Town Planning/Conservation/Building Control:  Contributes to the performance requirements for COSTPCBC56.1-B5.2 Analyse, research and report on historic and heritage assets in conservation.

National Occupational Standards for Archaeology: this course contributes to the Knowledge Requirements for

AB1      Propose and plan a research project


Programme details

Thursday 28 February 2019

9.00am            Registration and coffee

9.30am            Welcome and introduction, followed by the first session 

                        discussing the nature and use of light. How the digital

                        camera works, Choosing and using digital cameras and

                        adjusting the settings to produce suitable images.

                        Understanding the histogram

11.30am          Coffee/tea

12.00pm          Second session.   Making the image. What to record.

                        Viewpoint, timing, lighting and controlling perspective.

12.30pm          Lunch

1.15pm            Afternoon on location in Oxford City. Demonstrations on

                        composition and lighting techniques. Followed by a practical

                        session where students are able to use their own cameras

                        to capture images for use in the post-production sessions.

4.45pm            Return to Rewley House

5.00pm            End of first day

Friday 1 March 2019

8.00am            Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am            First session. Post production techniques demonstrating

                        how set up the editing program, how to make adjustments to

                        contrast, colour, cropping the image, controlling tonal range,

                        removing unwanted objects, correcting verticals and other

                        distortions in the image and resizing the image. Using the

                        RAW file converter

11.30am          Coffee/tea

12.00pm          Second session. Saving the image, file types, Metadata and

                        storage media.

1.00pm            Lunch

2.00pm            Practical session using Adobe software to post- produce

                        images captured on day one practical session

3.00pm            Tea/coffee

3.45pm            Continue post-production session

4.30pm            View images and final discussion and round up.

5.00pm            Course concludes


Recommended reading

Langford's Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers, Paperback – 8 Dec 2015, by Anna Fox (Editor), Richard Sawdon Smith (Editor)

Photographing Historic Buildings with a Digital Camera, By Steve Cole, Historic England (Due early 2017)


Accommodation for this course is at Rewley House for Wednesday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.



Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £450.00
Baguette Lunch Thursday & Friday: £9.40
Hot Lunch Thursday & Friday: £27.00
Single B&B Thursday Night: £75.85


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:


Mr Steve Cole

Course Director

Steve Cole, is a professional freelance photographer specialising in architectural photography. He worked for English Heritage for many years and is the author of Photographing Historic Buildings with a Digital Camera (Historic England, 2017)

Derek Kendall


has spent over 40 years guiding his cameras towards a diverse and fascinating variety of architectural and fine art subjects. His images have illustrated over 100 publications. Most recently London Hidden Interiors (Atlantic Publishing.)

Course aims

The course aims to demonstrate the standards and good practice used in the photographic recording of historic buildings using digital cameras. Participants will be shown the techniques and equipment used capturing architectural exteriors, interiors and architectural details. In addition basic post production techniques to correct image faults will be shown and practised along with the suitable storage standards for images to make them suitable for archive records.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to: know how to choose the right viewpoint, the right lighting conditions, correctly set up their own cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software so that they will create images ready for the archive.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.