Complete WAEC Syllabus for Photography 2023, Text Books, and Topics

You must prepare for the exam by studying the WAEC photography syllabus. It includes the goals and benchmarks, study materials, and format for the photography test.

You must study the topic of photography in order to be prepared for your exam. You can use it as a guide to help you decide which topics to read about. Additionally, there are notes on ideas that you ought to learn carefully.

Exam preparation without the use of a camera is like going to the farm without your farm equipment. You won’t be effective in the end.

Make sure to use the syllabus when you start your exam preparations.

The West African Examination Council’s photography and suggested literature are included in this article (WAEC).

WAEC Photography


The syllabus aims to evaluate applicants’ understanding of photography as a visual form of communication as well as their aptitude for the inventive use of photographic tools. Additionally, it is intended to gauge their level of understanding of the socioeconomic benefits of photography.


Candidates’ comprehension of the following will be tested:

  • meaning and importance of photography as a medium of visual communication.
  • evolution of photography and its historical development in Nigeria.
  • scope of photography and its associated terminologies.
  • knowledge of photographic equipment and their uses.
  • skills in taking, processing, presenting and preserving photographs.
  • use of digital technology in photography.


Each of the three required Papers—numbers 1, 2, and 3—must be taken.

Papers 1 and 2 will be combined into one exam that will last three hours.

Paper 1 will include 40 (forty) multiple-choice (objective) questions, with an hour allotted for answering them.

Paper 2: consists of six (six) essay questions, of which applicants must respond to four (four) in two hours in order to receive 60 points.

The two papers will concentrate on subjects including introduction to photography, photography’s significance, the physics of light, photographic gear and its applications, and the history and appreciation of photography.

The presentations will also address photographic jargon, digital photography, photo care and preservation, as well as the steps involved in setting up a photo exhibition.

Paper 3: will include two Sections A and B and five (five) questions on photo analysis and processes / equipment. Candidates will have three hours to respond to four (four) of the questions for a total of one hundred marks.

Two (two) mandatory questions on the examination of photographic pictures will be found in Section A.

Candidates must respond to two of the three (three) questions in Section B about equipment and processes (two).

Analysis and Processing of Photos

This is a substitute for the practical exam and aims to gauge the candidates’ degree of photographic proficiency. Additionally, it will test their understanding of the processes used in various facets of photography as well as the functions of photographic equipment. The exam will have 100 possible points and take two hours.

A Section

Image analysis: This will center on the interpretation of photographic images, and it will gauge how well candidates comprehend the mechanics of photography.

Candidates must analyze two (black and white) images and offer answers to the questions on them in order to receive 50 marks for the analysis.

B Section

Processes / Equipment: Candidates are need to respond to all three confined questions in this section for a total of 50 points.

The questions will cover the numerous steps involved in photography as well as the tools used in photography and how they are used.

WAEC Photography Syllabus


  • Meaning of photography
  • Functions / uses of photography

(i) Record events

(ii) Visual communication e.g. advertising, journalism, scientific, artistic expression etc.

  • Branches / Areas of Photography
  • Fashion
  • Advertising
  • Photojournalism (Documentary, Photo-Essay etc.)
  • Forensic
  • Nature
  • Underwater
  • Sports
  • Architectural
  • Events (Wedding, Birthday etc.)
  • Portraiture
  • Still Life etc.


  • Origin of Camera and Photography
  • Development of Photography in Nigeria
  • Pioneers of Photography:

(i) Europe & America – Nicephore Niepce, Louis Daguerre, Williams

  • Fox Talbot, Edwin Land, George Eastman e.t.c.

(ii) Nigeria – Jonathan Adagogo Green, Dotun

  • Okubanjo, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Sunmi Smart Cole, Philip Trimmnel, Peter Obe, Goerge Oshodi, Andrew Esiebo, Kelechi Amadi-obi, Akintunde Akinleye, George Dacosta. etc.


  • Exposure
  • Develop
  • Print
  • Enlarge
  • Focus
  • Aperture (F – Number)
  • Shutter Speed
  • Perspective
  • Image
  • Intensity
  • Light
  • Composition. etc.


Source of light

(i) Natural e.g. Sun and Moon.

(ii) Artificial e.g. Flash, Studio lighting.

  • Properties of light

(i) Absorption

(ii) Reflection

(iii) Transmission

(iv) Refraction

(v) Dispersion


  • Principles underlying the design of Camera (Pinhole Camera)

(i) Light tight – (insulation from unwanted light).

(ii) Light inlet – (opening for wanted light).

(iii) Viewing system.

(iv) Image formation.

  • Basic Part of an SLR / 35mm Camera and their functions.
  • Categories and Types of Camera.

(i) Categories – Analogue and Digital.

(ii) Types

  • Compact
  • Range Finder
  • Single Lens Reflex (SLR) / 35mm
  • Medium Format – Twin Lens and SLR
  • Large Format Camera
  • Instamatic
  • Lenses

(i) Principles of Lenses: Refraction, Reflection, Dispersion, Diffraction.

(ii) Difference between Concave (negative) and Convex (positive) lenses.

(iii) Focal length (normal, short and long).

(iv) Relationship between lens and apertures.

(v) Types of  Camera lenses – Normal / Standard, Wide angle, Telephoto and Zoom.

(vi) Uses of Camera lenses.

  • Maintenance of Camera
  • Keep away from dirt and oil
  • Protect lens from dust
  • Use of Camera strap
  • Careful handling etc.


  • The nature of film – Light Sensitive and Chemical Composition.
  • Types and Format

(i) Types

  • Black and White
  • Colour

(ii) Format

  • 110
  • 35mm
  • 120 / 220
  • Sheet film
  • Film Speed (ISO)
  • Meaning
  • Examples – ASA 32 – 125 (Slow Speed)
  • ASA 40 – 200 (Medium Speed)
  • ASA 400 and above (Fast Speed)


(1) Processes involved

  • Preparation
  • Loading film
  • Setting the camera
  • Prepare Subject
  • Set up lighting Equipment (Studio)
  • Study outdoor weather Condition (Outdoor)
  • Setting appropriate aperture/shutter combination
  • Taking Photograph
  • Handling the camera
  • composing
  • Focusing
  • Shooting

(2) Composition

(a) Meaning

(b) Elements of Composition

(Line, Shape, Space, colour, angle, centre of interest, background, closeness, form, texture etc.)


Layout and Requirements

(i) Layout – dry and wet areas

(ii) Requirements

  •         Light tights
  •         Good ventilation (Air conditioner)
  •         Water
  •         Waste outlet
  •         Flat working surfaces

Tools and Equipment

  • Measures
  • Containers
  • Funnels
  • Thermometers
  • Timers
  • Developing Tanks
  • Safe Light
  • Enlarger
  • Dryer
  • Developing Trays / Dishes
  • Spiral Spool
  • Light Box etc.

(c)    Chemicals – Developer, Fixers, Stop bath

(d) Film Development Processes

(i) Dilution of developer

(ii) Loading of the film into the tank or see-saw method

(iii) Pouring and timing the action of developer in the tank

(iv) Rinsing with water / Stop bath


(v) Fixing of film

(vi) Pouring out of Fixer and rinsing with water / Stop bath

(vii) Drying of negative

(e) Safety Measures

  • Apron / Lab Coat
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Avoid sudden movement
  • First aid (for chemical burns)
  • Proper Storage of Chemical


Materials and Equipment

  • Enlarger
  • Safe light
  • Printing Paper
  • Printing Frame
  • Developer and Fixer
  • Developing Trays / Dishes
  • Dryer
  • Guillotine / Trimmer
  • Printing Process

(i) Dilution of developer and fixer

(ii) Printing of Photograph (using enlarger)

(iii) Production of Contact Print

(iv) Selection of exposure for printing

(v) Exposure on paper

(vi) Developing

(vii) Rinsing with water or Stop bath

(viii) Fixing

(ix) Rinsing with water or Stop bath

Drying and Storage of Photographs

(i) Methods of Drying

  • Dryer
  • Open air

(ii) Methods of Storing

  • Negatives –   Printing Paper Pack and Cellophane Jackets
  • Photographs – Photo Albums and Mounting on Photo Frame
  • Chemicals – Jerry Can (preferably black)


Differences and similarities between traditional (analogue) and digital photography.

The development of digital photography.

Equipment for Digital Photography

(i) Digital Camera

(ii) Computer

(iii) Printer

  • Software for Digital Photography
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • PhotoEditor
  • Photopaint
  • Fireworks
  • Picasa etc.

Input / Output Methods and Devices

(i) Input Devices

  • Scanner
  • Digital Camera
  • Compact Disc
  • Flash Drive
  • Zip.

(ii) Output Devices

  •      Printer
  •      Computer monitor
  •      Internet


  • Procedure
  • Mounting and framing.
  • Space acquisition
  • Publicity
  • Display of photograph.


1  London, B. & J. Stone A Short Course in Photography, an Introduction to Black-and-White Photographic Technique, Third Edition. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1996.
2 Otunla, A.O. Fundamentals of Photographic Production and Techniques. Lagos: ZOLADOT Communications Company, 2010.


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