Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Notes - Towards Assessment - Future.

Despite my best intentions to have Landscape in for March assessment that didn't happen. A new customer for my engineering and construction "know how" came and wanted me to do some work, which spoilt my plans. So, having got them underway and happy I have managed a few projects that had got left behind (actually quite a few) and today started to put together a document to accompany the prints that will be assessed. This required finding tutor reports, adding my comments and the rationale for any changes that were made to final prints. It was during the re reading of early assignment feedback (quite nostalgic) that I realised just how much I have changed as a photographer during this process. My early work was quite predictable and suffered from the inevitable cliche or two and I seem to be addressing that in the later work.The print will always be my chosen media for output and although this makes for loads of extra work I think it is worthwhile. I have just read on the forum that a number of tutors like electronic images so I am hoping in the future I never have to work with them. I find an image on the screen such a transient thing, it doesn't exist, you cant do anything with it and it is essentially worthless, both financially and emotionally.
I suppose it is now that I should be thinking about what to do next and getting excited about the prospect that I am only three modules from completing the degree. Unfortunately this hasn't happened yet. Not that I have lost my interest in photography, far from it. A recent sale of equipment and the buying of new (a 600mm lens went and a new rangefinder body arrived) has given me new impetuous, together with some new found ideas from the extensive reading of the past year. There are issues I need to come to terms with about the OCA and the content of the modules. Due to it being a distance learning operation it does have a number of drawbacks when compared to a red brick institution and the opportunities that would be available elsewhere. I don't necessarily think the only way to personal fulfilment is by obtaining more HE points and then a degree in photography. That would be fine if I were a teenager looking for a career, but I have a successful career and photography will never be a second career. PWDP is my only alternative (Soc Doc would be a disaster) and the thought of endless hours at the PC bogged down in Photoshop is not that appealing. I can imagine myself working just as hard on personal projects but  reinventing the wheel was not on my agenda.
All this may of course change. I need to talk to the OCA about possible tutors if I go any further and have a look at some course material without having to commit to starting.


  1. Funny - I had exactly the same thought about avoiding that tutor when I read the message. Must find out who it is... Best of luck with getting your material together. I think that the new PWDP doesn't involve so much Photoshop and you might well enjoy it. Have you checked out people's blogs for the course? From memory Dewald, Yiann, Janet and Duncan Astbury are doing it now.

    It is of course your choice at the end of the day, but personally I think that working towards the degree has much to recommend it. It does give one a sense of purpose and direction, and a structure within which to concentrate on moving your work forward. Especially if you get a really good tutor I think it can be hugely rewarding in terms of personal and artistic development. There is something also about finishing a project that you've started.

  2. Well now that explains it. I was looking forward to seeing your submission at the assessment session but couldn't find it.

    I'm sure you could find a route through PWDP that would be meaningful for you, just as students can find ways to answer Landscape in a solely urban environment.

  3. Sometimes the next day after I post to here I think to myself, who wrote that, what a moribund individual. I am my own worst critic and I hate failure or least not being good at something. In my day job I guess I am passable (as a freelance anything you are only as good as your last job) but with photography I will never be good enough to be in the top flight and that annoys me. The reason being "what is the top flight" it varies on so many accounts.

    Your comments (as always Eileen) are helpful and encouraging and yours Clive will at least get me looking at PWDP. I will deliver my Landscape box to Barnsley by hand so maybe when I am there someone will let me sit for an hour and have a read of the course notes.

  4. Being in the 'top flight' is over rated. If you've been a successful freelance then you'll know exactly how it feels. ' }

    In my opinion it's much more of a luxury to be able to pass unnoticed doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, than spend half your time convincing other people how brilliant you are week after week so that you can eat. ' }