Self – evaluation

Overall I have relished People and Place. Street and documentary photography has allowed me to get closer to my fascination with human social behaviour; this module has fired my enthusiasm.

Progress: I have worked at a smarter pace compared with The Art of Photography, mostly due to eagerness to learn and absorb the experience. “Buildings in use” and “A sense of place” have proved to be most thought-provoking. I worked on these assignments with passion, resulting in positive feedback from tutor, colleagues and friends alike.

I am finally feeling more comfortable working with my blog, although I still dislike the set, structured approach. I continue to scribble notes, tear out photographs from magazines, gather leaflets from exhibitions and libraries. All are contained in a plastic file and I often refer to it. Yes, I could scan and download this collection into my blog, but this just returns the process to formal formatting once again. I am thinking of starting a “scrapbook” to collate my musings and “souvenirs”.

I enjoyed the OCA study visit “Intermissions” in Liverpool immensely; chatting to fellow students to compare notes was invaluable. I am now looking forward to the May Doncaster workshop “Photography Matters”.

Challenges: I found the first assignment, Portraiture the biggest hurdle. I had indoor lighting issues and techniques to overcome – something I have battled with previously on OCA assignments. I could have taken my subject outdoors, but that would have been the easy option. Thanks to tutor feedback and advice, I discovered fill in flash techniques!

Initially lacking confidence, I was somewhat reluctant to produce prints. However I decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and print twelve images from my best assignment (A sense of place). Am I glad I did? Absolutely yes! What a difference to see a physical result rather than just view it in my blog, the prints bringing a fresh dimension to my story. I fully intend to continue printing, all good practice whilst working towards my degree.

Development: Technical aspects still need to be honed – blog presentation, camera and Lightroom techniques. I am fortunate to have a mentor friend, Maria. She is an artist, photographer and retired teacher, a great disciplinarian – much needed! I am booking dates with her for “lessons” in the above areas. I value the 1:1, face to face sessions – something I really miss with distance learning.

As I develop in my photography, I need to take more creative risks. I am still too busy concentrating on getting the good shot, the correct composition and lighting. Only when I view my images later do I consider what I could have done, more visually creative.

Finding my voice – Working on “A sense of place”, was highly enjoyable and satisfying. I could easily have spent many more days on Barrow Island. I was delighted to become known as the “camera lady” by local children. A nod to a wonderful photographer I hold in high regard, “photie man” Tom Wood [1].  The project has taken me on a journey of intrigue and enlightenment. I have since researched many pieces of work on people in “their space”.  I have several ideas for future projects, some of which I will develop in my next OCA module “Context and Narrative”.

  1. Heiting, M. (2005). Tom Wood: Photie Man. Germany.