23 October 2016
I think I share with many students, a feeling that the setting up of a learning blog has been something of a learning curve. I am generally an organised person, but, during the course, I have felt there is potential for considerable overlap between menus and I have not always been sure how a post should be categorised. Consequently, I have recently spent some time in reviewing my blog. I want to make sure it is easy to navigate, particularly for my tutor and assessors. I have decided to include, under ‘Research and Reflection’ a regular learning update where I can reflect of my learning progress or a particular issue that I have come across, I will title these posts ‘Learning reflection’ and I hope to document my learning, show an engagement with issues raised in the course, and assess my development and progress as a photographer.
So, four months into the course, I feel I have a lot to mention.
First, I want to document my technical learning. The setting up of a blog, using drop-box, submitting assignments, re-sizing and compressing images, preparing contact sheets, etc, has pushed me into the C21st, and I am grateful for that. For me, this degree is not just about photography, but is a welcome aid, as a mature student, to improving my computer skills too. In terms of study skills, having been out of formal education for some time, I have valued the refresher in terms of referencing, copyright, research skills, formal writing and time management.
In terms of photography, during the last four months, I have learned something about current debates and the history of photography. I have visited exhibitions, researched different photographers and attended lectures. I have been out with my camera more, I have tried new techniques and I have printed my images. I have kept a learning log and a sketch book, analysed images, written formal analyses, read recommended texts and joined the community of OCA learners.
I have learned to look, in fact, I look all the time, and consequently I see the world differently. I am learning to be creative and imaginative, and to experiment. I can see a way, in the future, that I might be able to link my love of literature with my love of photography and with my identification in terms of feminism and the woman question.
I have increased confidence. I have photographed in public places with a tripod, I have taken photographs at a friend’s wedding and at an event at work and I have become more comfortable with the technical aspects of my camera, with Photoshop, workflow and file management.
I am currently half way through Expressing your Vision, and already, all this has happened. I am, from previous studies, and from working in education for over 30 years, aware of how learning can be life changing but I never thought photography would have such an impact.
Post script (14 April 2017)
I have amended my blog structure again as I prepare for final assessment. I now include all posts that fall into the category of learning, research or reflection under a new menu, headed ‘Learning Log’. This section includes my responses to all research and reflection signposted by the course, my independent learning inspired by particular interests, and my reflections on my progress.