My thoughts on setting out on the Context and Narrative Course




Herring Gull Skokholm April 2016-1

As I set out on my next phase of the Photography BA course, Level 1 – Context and Narrative, I do so with the usual mix of excitement and trepidation.  I believe that as a result of my experience of working on the previous Level 1 course – The Art of Photography – I am much better prepared than I was before that first course.  Looking back on TAoP, I can see that my knowledge of the history and range of photographic practices to the present day and my own skills and awareness have improved considerably since I started.  I therefore look forward to building on that and seeing where it takes me.

I am also much more aware of the considerable length of time and effort that is required if I am to adequately cover the ground.  Research is clearly going to be an increasingly important and time consuming element of my studies, as is reflection on my own work and the work of others.  Following feedback received from my tutors and assessors, I am also more aware of the shortcomings of my images and the need to be more creative and adventurous in my use of the equipment and the medium.  This will be a challenge for me

The development of a ‘personal voice’ is held as being an important outcome of my study, but I am advised not to put too much weight on this as this might arise naturally as I progress.  Having said that, it will clearly be important for the artistic development of my style that I explore contemporary photography further so that my work can find a contemporary edge that lifts it out of the ordinary and away from what has already been achieved by others. As I experienced some difficulty during my work on TAoP with the understanding and appreciation of the work of many contemporary photographers who are praised by the cognoscenti, including OCA tutors, this will be another challenging aspect of the course!

What am I looking forward to on ‘Context and Narrative‘?  The use of photographic images to document, influence and inform is something that interests me considerably and to do this through a narrative approach using words and pictures is particularly attractive to me.  I look forward to exploring this approach to photography and to developing an understanding of the importance of context and subject in its effective creation and portrayal.  I will also be looking to develop an increasing awareness of myself  and my relationship with my environment and others through my work and I hope that this will be a rewarding outcome of the course.

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