I’m going through the introductory stuff the OCA has asked me to do and one of these is an introductory course about studying in HE. It asked me to list why I wanted to do the course and recommended putting in a learning log – so here are!
The reason ran thus:
- I want to develop my own stylistic approach – my own vision
- I’d like to improve my technique – the technical stuff about cameras lens, lighting, photoshop etc
- Developing a greater understanding of the art of photography – the work of other photographers
- It feels long over due – I’ve wanted to do something like this for many years
- I am interested in the arts in general but have felt drawn to photography as an art form.
Numbers 2 and 3 are close and could easily be swapped around on some days.
Now for some concerns:
- With competing pressures on my free time, will I have the time?
- Will I be able to do it? Thinking like an artist, this is quite different from my social science background.
- Been able to bring together a portfolio of work to representing something
- Other things are important to me too and I wouldn’t want to change them much – but deep down I feel something will have to ‘give’
- Explaining to others that this ‘journey’ is not about becoming someone who could turn half decent wedding photos but developing me into an artist
It then asked me to write an analytic report and it wrote this:
I feel excited about enrolling on this course. I know I have concerns about time pressures and even some about whether I can actually develop my skills and appreciation to become an artist but right now I feel like I’m embarking on journey.
This journey is long over due. Since 1984, when I passed a photography O level at night-class, I’ve had an appreciation for photography as an art form. Life and its challenges and commitments kept me away from formal study of photography. But the love of the art form has always being present and a camera has never been far away either.
Right now I feel there are two big challenges ahead of me. Can I become the photographic artist I want to be? While I feel reasonably confident about mastering the technical skills of using a camera and the methods of postproduction, I do not have an art and humanities background. Can I learn the language and jargon need to communicate in this community? Will I be able to evolve the values and aesthetic sensitivities needed to successfully function as an artist and be accepted as one by that community?
The second challenge is probably myself! I feel the working class value system in which I was raised does a great job at ‘keeping the likes of me in their place’. I’ve over come in the past and continue to do so, having transformed my life from where and what I grow up amongst. But that silent voice (my bet noir?) is often there in my head when challenges and new ideas come up. I have respect for the community I came from but some of the values it instilled do limit people. For me I need to keep these in check when difficulties present themselves.
Right now I’m excited, I about to embark on the holiday of a lifetime; to some distant and exotic place where ‘otherness’ will be the norm. A long-term commitment to study photography further is about to unfold. I want to find and develop my own vision as artist who uses photography as a medium of expression.
300 words it asked for but I over ran a little bit.
I was then asked to write an evaluation of the report and I wrote this:
I didn’t find the act of writing too difficult. In fact when the mood takes me I probably quite like it.
The hardest part was mentioning my past. Yes I came from a working class community etc etc but I don’t want people to think that I have an issue with it (LOL! – some might say that means you have an issue with it) Either way the past is the past and I had no control over where and what I was born into.
I suppose the difficulty was facing up to the fact that I can easily give up on things when they get tough. I have done this in the past. Speaking (writing) as an educator myself I hope that facing up to such issues is a way of addressing and over coming them.
Perhaps a small point but I did over run the word count. May be I’ll have to learn to be more succinct.