Category Archives: Introduction

A quick progress update…

It has been about four weeks since I enrolled on the Art of Photography course and I wanted to say a few things about my progress. I plan on doing this on a monthly basis, just to review what is going well and what is not.

Before I enrolled, I thought that I would immediately make a start on the practical aspects of the course and put the reading and research on hold for as long as possible. However, quite the opposite has been the case.

After reading through the course materials, I felt that my work would benefit from some time spent focusing on the elements that are new (and scary!) to me. That is the academic stuff. And so, I have been reading (both from the reading list and material of my own choosing) plus taking notes. I now have a growing collection of bookmarked websites, blogs and other online bits and pieces. Also have a few trips to galleries and exhibitions planned for later in the summer. This all feels positive and I am pleased with my progress in this respect, as I was quite anxious that I would procrastinate and not pick up a book until the end of the course.

On to the negatives…

My aim when starting the course was (and still is) to study for around twenty hours per week. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, this has so far been more like ten. There has been quite a lot of upheaval lately, which should calm down over the coming weeks, whereby I can increase my hours. To name a few culprits: my boyfriend has been finishing moving in with me. I have had numerous appointments to attend. My wheelchair has had a mind of its own this week due to a collapsed bearing, resulting in difficulty with getting around until repaired. And I have had to rest a lot due to a minor yet painful injury that occurred last week.

The practical exercises have been neglected as a result of all this. My tutor suggested a deadline for assignment 1 for the end of June, which will most likely need an extension of a week or two now. As soon as my chair is repaired, I can start tackling the exercises (waiting on parts, but hopefully at the beginning of next week). I have written notes on what I plan to do, where and how, so it is now just a case of actually getting it done. I thought I was prepared for assignment one also, but keep changing my mind. Tempted to do something indoors, so that rain won’t cause any further delay.

Oh, finally, I have two learning log entries to make soon. Hopefully I can decipher my notes! One will focus on thoughts that I have had inspired by reading, the other will be an artist study on Brooke Shaden.

That is about all there is to report on my progress (and lack thereof!)




Hello there!

Have been contemplating enrolling on a photography degree course for a couple of years and finally took the plunge a week ago. Can now call myself a student again. Exciting.

This blog will act as my online learning log for the Art of Photography course. In time, it will link to further courses on the photography degree pathway with the OCA.

So far, I have achieved the following:

  • Read through study guides on the student website.
  • Completed my student profile.
  • Contacted my tutor.
  • Ordered various books from the reading list.
  • Received and scanned through course materials.
  • Thoroughly read part one of the course and made some rough notes as preparation for the exercises.
  • Bookmarked other learning logs and recommended websites.

Already, to my surprise, I feel like I have established a good method for learning; Skimming, then thoroughly reading, then skimming again while making notes about the exercises. I have a rough plan for each exercise in part one, which will save time in the long run.

Reading through the material three times in this way has definitely helped things to sink in, although I must also keep in mind that I am already familiar with manually setting my camera and the relationship between the aperture, shutter speed and ISO, plus the way that different settings will effect an image. I suspect that as I come across new concepts and unfamiliar territory, more notes will needed to be taken.

Speaking of which, the theory aspect of this course is entirely new to me. I am eager for my books to arrive so that I can start to feel a little less clueless. Up until now, when viewing photographs, I have put little thought into it. In fact, nothing beyond “do I like what I see?”.

Here is a quick photograph of the course materials that I took with my phone. Obviously, I will not be uploading anything else from my phone, I just wanted something quick to add to this introduction so that it wasn’t text only:

OCA course materials