|Winter light - 21st December 2012, New Forest|
So, another year older, and a new one just begun, as the song goes. Time once again to take stock of last year and look forward to the year ahead. I wrote about 2011 in this blog entry last year and it has been interesting to look back at that post and my thoughts on what the future might hold. I see I have pretty much stuck with my plans and continued to develop many of the same themes. Now as then I have found that it is easy to think I haven’t done much in a year – it’s only when I add it all up that I can properly judge.
Key achievements in 2012
- I gained credit for three degree modules with OCA- two level one courses via and APEL application, and Progressing with Digital Photography, a level two course. I got a decent mark for PWDP (APELs aren’t graded) but there is room for improvement I think.
- I completed a Blurb Book for the A Graceful Death project, where I collaborate with my artist friend Antonia Rolls on an exploration of death and end of life issues. I was also able to help with some of her exhibitions – notably the two week showing at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly. I’ve been wanting to expand into short films for some time and over the Christmas break I filmed two wonderful people for the project. I am hugely excited about this work as the subjects are truly compelling. I hope to post this, and another film of Antonia illustrating a new children’s book, shortly.
- I have started a second level two module with OCA – Landscape.
- I’ve had some small successes with getting my pictures placed in print – in the Big Issue in the North magazine - and with getting a picture in the annual Photofusion salon.
- I collaborated with Penny Watson and other students to organise a residential weekend for OCA photography students. I did the fun stuff – agenda and speakers – while Penny did most of the hard work. I’m happy to say that the event went pretty well and we got some good feedback. It was great just to spend time with fellow students and tutors and get to know people a bit better. Studying remotely can be a lonely business.
- I continued with my project exploring Bognor and started a new one on my own area. Work from these two long-term projects became my PWDP assignments four and five.
I set out my plans for the Landscape module in this post and won’t rehearse them in any length.
My main focus is to have made two books from the Norbury and Bognor work by year end. I am thinking that I will write a short essay in each as well, not about the pictures as such but about the subject and what it means to me and why it interests me so much. As well as the books I hope to make some newspaper format outputs from the project and would ideally like to put these in local libraries so anyone interested could look at them. I want to make some slideshows of the work also.
I also want to make a portfolio website and put both pictures and films on it.
I want to get competent at film-making and editing. I have a number of film projects in mind and will write more about those in due course.
You’ll have noted that there is a fair amount of technical learning ahead. I find that quite daunting and am writing about my intentions in part so I can’t worm out of it. I have found it difficult sometimes to keep going this year. My job can be very demanding and I get tired by evening so days go by without my doing much in the evenings. This can mean that a lot of my work is packed into my spare time at weekends so I don’t get much time off to relax. I am also inclined to be interested in everything and spend perhaps too much precious time on interesting but not always important stuff. My final plan for next year is to work more effectively. I was very taken with this little video – originally shared on the student forum by my fellow student Nigel.
The related blog post gives more information. My aim is to do three short but concentrated work spells on weekday evenings and seven hours (broken down into shorter spells) over the weekend. I will of course do a good deal more than that but these times are to be used for core work before I do any of the other things. Core work could be taking or processing pictures, or reading/looking at relevant or inspiring work, or updating my blog or offline logbooks. I'm going to make an effort to keep track of where I am and what’s to do in my notebook.
One thing that readers of this blog might be able to help me with: I’d very much like to spend a bit more time in green space – like the New Forest (picture above and below) where I spent Solstice this year. I live in the city and don’t drive so access to actual countryside is limited. Some types of landscape particularly interest me and I’d be grateful for any suggestions for accessible places I might get to. I am open to staying for a night in a guest house or hotel that has great grounds as long as it doesn't cost the earth. I want to spend time in coastal areas where there are dune and grasses (Climping Beach has been suggested as a good place accessible from Bognor so that’s number one on my list). I also have a particular interest in still water (ponds) combined with trees – like Jem Southam’s Pond. Any ideas? I do know that when I get into such places I may not take any pictures or take something completely unexpected. But it would be nice to spend time in them. I had that thought last year also but haven’t actually managed much. So in my new productive and focussed way (; –)) I am looking for definite names and places so I can plan to get to them this time…
I hope that all of you who read this entry have a wonderful and productive 2013 and look forward to following your progress. Happy New Year!