This Saturday was an interesting day. For the first time, I went to a meeting of the OCA students at Thatcham. It was nice to meet people whose blogs I enjoy reading. Also, it was nice to meet one of the tutors who gives very useful advice on the official students’ forum and Flickr.

It was a very useful meeting for me. I was able to understand in what direction I need to go with my current assignment and later that day at home, I decided to simplify my plans for it and pick up a completely different topic to get over my photographic block. Since I don’t want to throw all my research out, my new topic is still about still life. However, the subject is completely diffirent. I think I have a good chance to finish with my assignment by the end of the month.

Also, there was another outcome of this meeting which has surprised me a lot. During the meeting I asked some questions about a few aspects of the after module assessments.  I finished my first module a few months ago and for a long time I was had trying to make my mind up whether submit my work on the AoP for an assessment or not. After my conversation with Clive, I thought that I might go for it after all.

In the evening, I realised that although I love photography, enjoy reading about different photographers and their work, I don’t feel I want to carry on studying at the OCA. My current course “DPP” is going to be my last course with the OCA, so there is no point in organising my old notes for the assessment. I’ll better spend my time learning something new.


First Impressions: How Pictures Work

I noticed this books in the list of recommendations on Amazon. Its title (“Picture This: How Pictures Work”) caught my eye, its cover put me off. Still, I added it to my Christmas wish list. I was delighted to unwrap it at the end of December. Since it’s relatively short book, I started reading it first. Surprisingly, it took me a bit longer than I expected to finish this book. Although, it’s written in a kind of entertaining style, it requires a lot of thinking. Looking at the pictures and finding the answers could take as long as you would like. There are plenty pictures to illustrate the writer’s point. Continue reading

My Reading List for 2014

Christmas is a good time to get some new books. I added several books into my Christmas Wish list and now, I’m struggling to decide which book to read first. It looks like it might take me a few months to read all the books from cover to cover. The problem is that I need to read several of them now. I might use a kind of selective reading and read pages from different books on different days.

It is possible to divide my Christmas books in three big category:

  • Practical (books about a specific aspect of photography)
  • Inspirational (books that make me think and could help me understand myself better)
  • Analytical ( useful books to read about theoretical aspects of photography and art)
    Continue reading

First Thoughts after an Open-Ended Assignment

I was lucky that my kids’ sport club had a fund-raising night at the end of this year. I had a fantastic chance to practise in taking pictures for an open-ended assignment.

I created a basic workflow almost immediately after I’d been asked to take some pictures at the event, then I followed my workflow adjusting my steps when it was necessary. It was a very useful experience even if I ended up only with a handful of good  (in terms of quality and composition) pictures out of 770 pictures I took on the night. Continue reading

Important Decision

Only a week ago, I was in two minds about my next course. There were two courses equally appealing to me: “Understanding Visual Culture” and “People & Place”. Before committing to one of them, I had a look at the courses at Level 2 to see where I would go next. Seeing that one of the courses (“Progressing with Digital Photography”) linked with a course on Level 1, I had a better look at “Digital Photographic Practice” (DPP): its content and learning outcomes.

Working on my first course (TAoP) at the OCA, I realised that I really needed to create a good workflow to be able to deal with the rapidly increased amount of pictures on my hard drive. Also, I needed to find an effective way to back up all my pictures and to make this process a part of my workflow. Also, I realised that I needed to learn more about printing to be able consistently get a good print from my first attempt.

The learning outcomes of DPP looked much more useful for me at that moment than the learning outcomes of the other two courses, so I made my mind and now I’m waiting for my course materials to arrive.