Friday, 22 January 2010

Nearly there !!

The APEL is finally coming together. I have changed the format and decided to go for Level 1 completely after reading the syllabus and looking through all the work I have and matching the OCA requirements. I have also done a trial run to prepare the whole thing as a .pdf file using PDF Creator, free software without using Adobe !. OCA do not make this an easy task. On one hand they say "A random collection of images will not gain you credits" which is fine, but in the next sentence they want to see "visual curiosity, excellent observation, technical skill, original thinking, experimentation, etc etc" which could well end up looking like some random selection if all those requirements are to be met.

So, if nothing else this is teaching me Editing. I have thousands of images, and to select the correct 30 maximum for this is causing a lot of head scratching, inserting and deleting.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Writing and rewriting seem to be the work for now. I an struggling to determine the level to pitch this at. Long, descriptive and boring or short and sharp. I would really like some direction from OCA as the examples of APEL on the website dont harmonise with the formal instructions.

I am forming an opinion that all of my work as a "body of work" may be good enough for exception from level 1. Will OCA fail this application if I ask for all of level 1 ?. Do they make recommendations for a scaled down application and make you re submit or do they select a part of level 1 that they would like you to study?.

Image selection is continuing and I have done a self critique on one of them.

I am printing the photographs as I find them too abstract on the screen.

Friday, 15 January 2010

APEL Continues

I have started putting together the documents I will include in the application. An A4 4 ring binder will be used so that everything remains together, and in the correct order. The front cover and spine labels have been printed. The Practical Photography pages scanned and my LRPS certificate also scanned. I have decided that the sections and therefore the index will be:

  1. Covering Letter and Cheque
  2. OCA Forms
  3. Photography CV
  4. LRPS Cert and Images
  5. Practical Photography Magazine
  6. Biniarroca Book
  7. 10 Images
  8. Self Critique
This may change but I need to get on and finish this as I have dated the cover sheet January 2010. I hope this leaves the OCA enough time in February to look at it and come back to me. I am visiting FOCUS in early March and would like to start the course around that time.

The main question is how many modules am I seeking credits for. I will read the OCA courses guide in more detail and read the course notes that I have from the website in more detail.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning

My current task is an application to the Open College of Arts (OCA) for previous experience. This application will be viewed by the university and a number of credits may be granted off the 360 required for the degree. The OCA guidelines for this allow you to write as much as you like about yourself and your previous work, show some of your work and write a self critique on two pieces of work. I have been taking photographs for 30 years and retrieving the relevant bits to use is proving difficult. I have decided to go back to 1985 when I was first having work published in my local newspaper, The Lynn News and Advertiser. I was a part time freelance doing their motor sport photography and at that time local driver Martin Brundle (now a BBC commentator) was competing in F1 for the first time. Half page stories of Grand Prix weekends were required, often requiring 8 to 10 images. I was also a keen member of the Kings Lynn Camera Club and entered all of their competitions and exhibitions. This led to me meeting Assocites and Fellows of The Royal Photographic Society and they suggested that I apply for Licentiate membership. I did a Panel of 16x12 prints in 1987 and gained LRPS. Since then digital photography has come along and changed so much. Everyone with a digital camera is now a photographer, the media love it. Readers pictures are readily available and cheap.

So, all but one film cameras have gone and I joined in with digital revolution. I produce work for Stock websites, a hotel in Menorca and in 2009 I published a book. The book was a private project and never released in quantity. It can be see here.

I am still undecided about which two photographs to do the critique on. Its so important to get this right, it costs £200 to do an APEL application.

So, I have a Blog

In light of the prospect of starting a degree course with the Open College of Arts (OCA) I have decided to start a Blog. This will form the basis of my Learning Log and be a useful place to write prior to starting the course.