I’ve just submitted Assignment 1: Contrasts and therefore finished Part 1 of The Art of Photography. Time for a little self-reflection…
What I’ve enjoyed:
- Having the challenge of the exercises and the assignment to stretch my photographic understanding and experience
- The combination of refreshing my mind on aspects of photography that I was aware of, but didn’t practice enough (like balance, positioning elements in the frame etc) and new knowledge that I’ve found has really made me see photography in a different way (e.g. the effect of focal length on an image)
- Having my ‘photographic eyes and mind’ opened up – I’m much more alert to the world around me, and see photo opportunities where I would otherwise have walked by, even on the rare occasions that I don’t have a camera with me
- Seeing what other OCA students are up to – always good for a bit of motivation, encouragement, inspiration, friendly rivalry…!
What’s been hard work:
- The assignment I found quite daunting; I got through all of the preceding exercises in a month, then took exactly the same amount of time for the assignment alone… I think the size of it (17 specifically-themed images) made me apprehensive at first, and I only really got cracking on it by forcing myself to sit down and start drafting the final submission and breaking the task down into smaller parts
- Reading: my most useful reading has been the practical visual stuff on composition etc, and I’ve tried but temporarily set aside the more art history and/or theory-based texts… I’ve got partway through key works by Clark, Cotton and Sontag but feel that I need to re-read them with fresh eyes
- Other research: I haven’t managed to find many opportunities for (e.g.) study visits, photographic exhibitions, looking at particular photographers (although I have asked for Cartier-Bresson’s Scrapbook for my upcoming birthday!)… but I am hoping that this will change as I’m working in London for the rest of this year, and the opportunity to at least get out to some galleries is much greater
- Just finding the time some weeks, although I guess everyone feels like that sometimes
That’s it for now. Just wanted to get some of these thoughts and realisations written down. On to Part 2!