I originally enrolled with the Open College of the Arts in January 2011 as I wanted to learn how to be a better photographer and my first Module was the Art of Photography. I’m used to working on my own and to distance learning but I really struggled to begin with. There didn’t seem to be a lot of structure and I wasn’t told what to do and exactly how to interpret exercises and assignments. Throughout I was encouraged to find my own voice which isn’t easy when you don’t know what language you want to speak! However, I’ve survived it all so far. My shelves are groaning with books and I’ve created and maintained an online blog. Most importantly, I’ve taken opportunities to meet with other students and gain some really supportive contacts and feedback. Study Visits have also been a good way to meet with other students and ‘talk photography’.
During the past year of working on the Art of Photography module I’ve certainly learned much more about colour, light, space, form and composition and I’m more confident in using my camera. I’m still hesitant about approaching people and asking to take a photograph though, and portraits just don’t seem ‘me’ – so People & Place is a somewhat daunting idea at present.
What I’ve learned about myself so far is that I seem to be attracted towards figures in a landscape and how they become almost like actors on a stage with their entrances and exits, and the mini-dramas which occur. There is also something coming through to me about contradiction and juxtapositions and the fact that things aren’t always as they seem. On the one hand I appreciate clarity and sharpness in images but, on the other hand, I’m very drawn towards the interplay of light and shadow. At the moment, my favourite photographers are Andre Kertesz and Josef Koudelka but there are many others who appeal to me.
My Blog for the first Module, the art of Photography can be located at http://cblearninglog.wordpress.com/
23rd April 2012