This final, reflective, post of the blog is an attempt to signpost the learning points that I have covered throughout the course. This module has been a turning point for me and I feel that I am now ready to tackle studying at level 2. Although my blog is already fairly well organised by navigating the sidebar I wanted to set out some of the most relevant points and link to parts of the blog where I have covered them.
For me, the biggest step in my creative learning was the realisation that I can approach the assignments with a personal viewpoint or angle. It is important to have something to say. Before this was pointed out to me by my tutor I had attempted to remain neutral in my approach to photography. I saw myself as an observer recording what came before my lens. This can be seen in assignment 2, here, at Borough Market where I just went along and attempted to capture everything. I was pleased with my images at the time but now I can see that although they are a good record of activity there is no trace of myself in these images - a deeper connection needs to be made somehow to lift them to another level. It took a little while for my tutor's words to sink in but I began to get the point and by assignment 3, here, I had adapted the brief to fit a personal theme and put more of myself into my image making. I can see that the images in my assignments changed from this point onwards.
I have learnt how to approach a project more systematically by gathering material, whether through books or the Internet, as a means to researching a subject. The information provides a thinking space to explore ideas and more importantly jumping off points for photographic projects. I found the book, "Behind the Image: Research in photography" - Anna Fox, Natasha Caruana, to be particularly useful in informing these ideas - I have written about the experience in my blog here. I have continued to use my voice recorder for noting down ideas for projects/images as they come to me and transfer them to my work book when I get a chance.
I continue to try and pre-visualise my work and often sketch out a rough shooting script for my projects. This is something that my tutor has encouraged me to keep up and the sketches for some of my assignment work can be seen here and here.
I have tried to place my work in context to other photographers and have highlighted my influences. Examples from my blog can be seen here. and here. I've also written about my thoughts on re-creating personal histories and the use of artifacts here. All my photographer reviews are also listed on the sidebar.
I have visited a number of galleries both on official OCA study days and by myself. I have tried to review the exhibitions and reflected on how the work made me feel and if I was inspired to make any work in response. A post on a visit to the Jerwood Gallery can be seen here. All my gallery visits are also listed on the sidebar.
I've also worked in conjunction with other students to put together a student website to exhibit our own work. This was an enjoyable experience and involved communicating the website concept and planning process to other students via the forums and collating student data ready for transfer to the website. I've written a post about the experience here. My own contribution of images for the online exhibition can be seen here.
Looking back on this years work I can see that I have moved a long way, both creatively and academically. I feel confident about moving forward although I know that I still have a lot to learn and, in particular, I want to get a much better understanding of the language of visual culture and how this influences contemporary photography today.