Personal learning log for BA (Hons) Photography Course

The Start

The ‘About Me’ on the landing page of this site is short – Clarity and brevity has its place but I will expand a bit more and share the profile sent to my allocated tutor for ‘Art of Photography’ Peter Davies.
I am 49 years old (very nearly 50) and am working on a business development project for a UK Company who are setting up an Australian Branch, and for the next 12 months, at least, I will be spending 2 months out of every 3 away from home in Brisbane.  This I am doing at the expense of our small photography business, fotologic,  set up with my wife Julie, specialising in Social Portraiture and Event Photography.

My photographic experience started early through a fascination with old pictures of my Grandparents and old picture postcards and at the age of 14 I convinced my parents to buy me a second hand Zenith E SLR with a 50mm lens, however I think they had underestimated the cost of developing B&W Negatives and school subject choices meant I did not have access to the school darkroom.  As a result the passion I had at 14 dwindled quickly.  After joining the military I had cash in my pocket and bought a Pentax ME Super to accompany me on Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions but again fell out of love with the camera.

My passion was re-ignited in 1995 when I was selected for a specialist role outside of the ‘Green Machine’ which involved Surveillance, Low light, Infra Red and Ariel Photography.  The training for this was intense but went back to the very basics of camera theory through to processing & developing.  For the first time I had ownership of my images from Capture to Print however none would ever be on public show!  But I now knew I enjoyed the craft.

After re-marrying and leaving the Military I set up fotologic  with Julie to make some money and with a longer term aspiration of semi retirement from employment with other companies.  Over the last 5 years I have had 2 opportunities to take my photography full time, right up till the next lucrative job offer has come along.  Within our partnership Julie is the “artistic” one, whereas I have the craft and some business skills.

This neatly leads us on to why I have enrolled with OCA and why I wish to pursue a BA Degree in Photography?

Quite simply I think that there is a big gap in my understanding of Photographic Art, and probably my knowledge; though I will be happier to discover that I just need to understand what I know already.  I have known this gap exists since meeting Julie and as a result have attended training and workshops only to find that all I was being taught was some refinement of craft and how to shoot in somebody else’s style, which is not what I am looking for.  I should have known better, having previously studied at a post graduate level with OUBS and at Exeter University School of Leadership, only a higher level education program would suit my development needs and anything else was just a naive, and expensive, aim at a short cut.  Since deciding on following a degree pathway, rather than thinking about it, my brain has already started to analyse my reading on photography rather than just reading and storing.

Why the OCA?  If I could afford it or won the lottery I would enroll on a full time degree course but that is not likely to happen and I know from experience that I can work and learn from an open course.  I have been aware of the OCA courses for a few years but the trigger for starting now comes down to opportunity of time, without the demands of family or photographic business while away from home in Brisbane, and the fact that I will turn 50 this year giving me a target of 5 years to achieve a first degree.

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