Philosophical, lyrical, sometimes obscure commentaries on how photographs are made and what they mean are thick on the ground.
Freeman (2004, p. 6)
Starting the Journey
Photography is possibly the most widely accessed and used art form. Anyone can take a photograph, it’s such an easy, immediate process, and yet only some make great photographs. What is it that makes a photograph memorable and aesthetically pleasing? How can you create a photograph that says the thousand words you intend it to say? Why are some photographs open to interpretation and intrigue, while others are discarded for the bland appeal? These are the questions I hope to be able to find the answers to as I work my way through the Art of Photography.
When I received the course file I felt frustrated about the first few projects. I wanted to jump to the assignments and get feedback from my tutor. However when I was carrying out the later assignments I could see the value of changing the angle of view, the aperture and positioning the subject(s) within the frame. For example, during my 5 assignment I found myself having to make on the spot decisions about changing viewpoint and adjusting camera settings in response to the changing light conditions.
With a whopping 67 projects to complete this was a huge task ahead of me. Juggling work and life sometimes made it difficult to complete every project. I dislocated my knee twice which also meant it was difficult to complete some projects in order and before assignment deadlines. However I hope that the images I have produced for my assignments demonstrate what I have learnt from reading through projects even if they weren’t completed.
When I began this course I expected there to be a finishing point, a golden moment where I suddenly had learnt the secret to taking interesting photographs. However now that my work is due to be assessed next month (July 2011) I have realised that there is no end point, just a change in direction! TAOP is something I keep coming back to and tweaking as my visual understanding increases.
My aim is to gain a degree in photography with the OCA, so I have spent some time deciding which Level 3 course to follow next. Digital Photographic Practice covers themes including workflow and image processing. During TAOP I would always be very quick to upload my work to Flickr to get feedback from other OCAers after making some minimal adjustments in saturation and contrast in Aperture and Photoshop. My workflow could be improved when working through projects and assignments and my understanding of image manipulation and enhancement needs improving. Therefore DPP is the next course for me!