This post has taken a long time to write. I needed a bit of perspective. Today I looked back at my reflections on Part 2 and considered what had changed.
On the whole I am feeling more settled into EYV now. There seems to be less overlap with FIP as I progress through EYV and I am coming to grips with the fact that it is actually up to me to make the course what I want it to be. I am trying not to filter my ideas before discussing them with my tutor and this has helped because the ideas that might not have made the filtered list are turning out to be the more interesting ones. I am also making more use of the OCA Discussion Forum, including putting my work up for critique, and that has also helped to ensure that I am both challenged and exposed to a wider range of influences and opinions. My tutor has helped very much with her rigorous feedback and helpful suggestions for research and reading.
Technically, I enjoyed this part of the course very much. I was able to do some work that I had wondered about for a while – photographing motion at an indoor climbing wall, and as well as learning about the use of strobed flash to capture motion I also learned a valuable lesson about dealing with unsolicited negative feedback and the people who feel it is their duty to provide it (even without the need to see the work first, apparently). It is my intention to return to this work, probably in the autumn now when the evenings start drawing in again. I also plan to explore dance photography further as I think there are many correlations between photographing dance and photographing climbing. I would like to try the “strip photography” Assignment 3 felt very different to me. It was excruciatingly awkward asking people if they had kept their pregnancy tests, and if so could I photograph them. It was logistically and emotionally challenging, and the final images need some rework to improve the technical quality. But I remain very happy that I took that stretch, that leap, and am confident that I can achieve the necessary technical rework.
Creatively, I took a bit of a detour into die-cutting photographic prints, part of which was spent working with Holly Woodward, a local OCA photography student. This started out as a bit of a treat, but is now a strong candidate for A5. I put a phone image of an altered polaroid onto the OCA board and had some very interesting feedback so am currently engaged in exploring this work further.
My confidence, admittedly never that low, is strengthening. I am starting to feel more sure of my gut instinct and more inclined to try out an idea just to see how and if it could work. I think I have my tutor to thank for that.
The area that I am struggling with at the moment is seeing the shape of my study route with the OCA. I find increasingly that the work I want to make is not necessarily a digital photograph, transmittable through the ether and printable anywhere. I like to make physical work, something with three dimensions, a back and a front, with presence. It might be a photograph, or it might include images or have been a photograph at some point in its life. I would love to learn more about multi-media work as I progress through my studies. I am hoping that my L1 path will be EYV, C&N and then either the new Creative Book Design or the new Visual Dynamics course (neither are available yet). I have wondered regularly whether I should consider moving to the Creative Arts Pathway, which would allow me to study textiles (which I love) as well…. but I would have to take the Creative Arts Today module, and with FIP and EYV both being introductory courses I’m not sure that I want to do another course at that level rather than exploring photography further. There is also the point that the photography work I’ve seen from L2 and L3 students is in a very broad range of formats, so this may not be the problem that it feels like. I know that there are changes are coming in terms of what format work should be in when submitted for assessment, so I think I shall sit tight until that guidance is released and see what changes. I am very aware that if I do choose to switch to the CA pathway, I will have to do that at the end of EYV, in order to fit in CAT and ATV as my other choices. Plus the other slight concern about what if my textile skills are not good enough?