Its been a busy couple of months and I have not spent as much time on my studies as I would have liked, this is due so sadly, to the sudden death of my mother in law and another spell in hospital. I am still waiting for biopsy results from the hospital.

Its also been Easter week and a lot of time has been spent with family, especially the grandchildren

I have attended some study visits and a workshop on studio lighting, which I found great, I got a lot out of the day and look forward to going on it again as I have new ideas on what i want to produce and experiment with. It took me right out of my comfort zone as the only ‘portraits’ I have taken in the past are of family at home.

Work Shop – studio lighting

At the NEC, Birmingham I attended on the student day and sat in on presentations by Adrian Dennis, Simeon Quarrie and Don McCullin, reviews on these presentations can be found in the STUDY VISITS section of this blog, I have been in contact with Adrian and Simeon and they have given me permission to use their images. Adrian in particular has given me help and advice and would like me to let him know how I am getting on in the future.

Derby Photographic Festiva

Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum

NEC Photographic Show

I am now back on track and have made a few study days, finished my Personal Project on Alzheimers and spent some time on the exercises in Part 2.

Pt2 Project 1  Ex 2.1

Pt2 Project 1 Ex 2.2

Pt2 Project 1 Ex 2.3

I am planning to go to a mountain bike race meeting to get some sports shots and see if I can finish exercises in Pt 2 Project one,before i do the nest assignment. I am hoping to get it done my the end of this month. I have also been asked by the Iron Bridge Rowing Club to take photographs for their website, which should be good experience for me, while doing some good for the club




Personal Project: Alzheimers

as a main carer for my husband who has alzheimers, I wanted to create a pictorial narrative of his deterioration with out using his image. The slow deterioration if subtle  and not noticeable at first, but when comparing the diagnoses date to the final outcome you see the difference, so the blurring effect reflects this.  The flower represents his memory, which over time becomes a blurred reality, the colour represents his physical being, its a constant, so stays the same through out. I could have time lapsed the flower from bud to wilt and decay, but that means I would have had to mention death and decay, which I dont want to face at the moment, maybe in the future I will address that scenario. As a disabled person myself from stroke using photography as a way of expressing myself is a great out let.
I hope you find my personal project interesting as it also highlights what a debilitating condition, Alzheimers is


Its been a bit of a bumpy ride since the the last entry, we have moved house, which meant that all study had to be put on hold for a few weeks. We have been away up North for two and half weeks after the sudden death of my mother in law. I took poorly and spent some time in hospital, so now awaPersonal iting results of biopsys taken. I feel I have fallen back a bit in my studies, time has been limited. Because to these unforeseen circumstances I have not attended planned study days, so I have made double the effort to attend some galleries and rescheduled study days. I started this course 4 months ago and had not yest attended a study day. Study days are important to me as it means you can have others face to face to bounce idea, thoughts and understanding off.

so with this in mind, I have attended some venues this past week, and classed them as study days. I attended the Birmingham Photographic Show, the programme did not really allow me to mix with other students as, on arrival, you were herded into the main stage and were seated. I sat on the front row, (reserved for disabled) and had no-one next to me. Due to some accidents we were late starting, but once the speakers came on I thoroughly enjoyed the morning. I only stayed for the first two speakers, (Adrian Dennis and Simeone Quarrie, because sitting for a long time becomes painful and uncomfortable for me. At 12.15 I left, made my way for something to eat then had a walk around the stands. At 2,30 I made my way back to the hall for Don McCullins talk. Then I had to leave at 4pm after the talk to make my way home.

I also met up with another OCA student, we visited Wolverhampton Gallery and Museum, there was an exhibition by Edgar Morris which we discussed at length. It was good to have another student on a one to one basis to bounce ideas off

On 28th March I visited my daughter in Derby for the weekend and attended the Study day. It was the first organised study day I attended and didnt really know what to expect, but I went with an open mind.  We met at the QUAD and visited another venue (church) going onto a 3rd venue (Derby Gallery and Museum) where we had a coffee before viewing the exhibition, it was late afternoon by now and I was beginning to tire. So I said my goodbyes and made my way back to my daughters house. I was not able to view all the exhibits and the Quad or the Church, as there they were not really accessible to me. But I made the most of the day.

During my hospital stay, I got board and took some photographs with my phone, we discussed this on the study day, this could well turn out to be a personal project.  At the church I was out side and watched people coming and going in and out, I then noticed a grave stone, I got to thinking, are there people still buried here? Do the people visiting the exhibition see the graves? there was a lot a debris around the grave stone…. hmmm I started to take shots of people passing by and of the gravestones, when the rest of the group came out, and I asked the question…. do people realise that this is a church? As a practising catholic I felt I should genuflect and cross myself when I entered, but…… its not used a church anymore… then Andy the tutor noticed an envelop attached to the tree… but that’s another story and you will be able to read about it under the link Study Days and personal projects… When I do the write ups of-cause

Note to self – Hospital/Eyes/Church/USA Photgraphers/Rose


Had my tutor report back on Part 1. I need to be more analytic, I wasn’t too sure what the meant, I was too descriptive and not analytic enough.

I found some info here  Developing Critical Analysis 

So lets have a read and see how I can adopt it towards future work

My Tutor Report

Dear Lucy,

Hope you are well.
Thanks for the link to your blog, I hope you are still finding the course interesting and useful.
Here are my thoughts and suggestions about your learning log, in relation to the assessment criteria –
Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

You are developing a growing awareness of design and composition, the photos on your blog where you have drawn the direction of the eyes movement around the frame clearly show your understanding of composition. You have a solid technical ability with the camera, and as the course progresses you will have the opportunity to push yourself into more varied techniques.

Quality of Outcome:

Your learning log is well structured and clearly labelled with well referenced and linked supporting material. You could evaluate and express your opinions in more depth sometimes, for both your images and the photographers included. You could also reflect on how the contextual research is impacting on your own creative development.

Demonstration of creativity:

You showed in assignment 1 you have an ability to express yourself in creative ways. You will find the more you push yourself to think outside the box, the more your work will grow, though not everything you test will be successful. In this way you will begin to develop your own voice or style as a photographer.


You have explored a wide range of sources and have used the research material well to outline the ideas you are researching. It would be useful to evaluate and express opinions about the quotes you include and / or the photographers work you have researched, as at times your writing can be a little descriptive, rather than analytical.

It is good to see you are going on a study visit to Liverpool, the more exhibitions you can visit the better, as you will be able to reflect on and practice writing about various artists work as well as seeing how photographers choose to physically present their images.

Hope that helps, if you have any comments or questions please let me know

I look forward to seeing your work develop in Part 2 and please let me know when you are intending to submit assignment 2

Best wishes



Well its been a busy few months. Christmas with lots of visitors, Away over New Year, been a bit poorly in January. And the thing that has taken us so much time is a house move. We moved on the 27th January and have only just got settles in. There have been visits from my mother too. Its been a busy couple of months one way or another, but hopefully I can now settle back into my study time and carry on with my research. I did manage to get some reading done though.  There is a little good news on the horizon, my husband now attends day care two days a week, which will give me more time to myself and my studies.  As his main care giver, he does take a lot of my time up, so I will make the most of this quiet time for study. I didnt quite finish the last part of Project 1 so I hope to get it all done today.  I have a date of 15/03/15 for my assignment hand in date, in the meantime I have exercise and research/reading to do, so better crack on. I have a new page to add called CONTEXT


Managed to get Exercise 1.4 almost finished, just have to do the contact sheets which I will add here. Spent some time on this exercise with the grandchildren at their Christmas Fayre and when I was up in Newcastle. I found that taking photos of the grandchildren in a school environment a little difficult as there were other children around, Also I could not move things that were in the way, things i didnt want in the frame or I wanted in a different part of the frame.

Visiting family in Newcastle also had its problems, these involved not being to go out when i wanted to as there were others to consider. I did manage to get to a big park on a couple of evenings which was good as I caught the even light which I love.

contact she extra 1 contact she extra 2

Actually taking the photographs was difficult as I wanted to make sure everything in the frame was right. The fact that I was in a school and away did help towards this as I was not in full control of the situation, things were left where they where. I enjoyed this exercise, not sure why, but it was fun.

I did do some research on the a few mathematicians who used the rule of thirds and  Fibronacci Sequence. Information about these and how I got on are on this link Click Here


I have been away to Newcastle and a bit poorly so I havent done much work, but I hope to catch up today.


Spent a couple of days reading some of the books I bought, and researched John Szarkowski, all I can about the man is he had thoughts and ideas before his time. A very interesting man. I was so pleased when I found interviews he did on Youtube, there were so many, but I only added to links to my blog. (My thoughts on John Szarkowski can be found here)


Finished exercise 1.3.(2) to include the cropping and framing that was asked for. I found it quite interesting and I never realised how much there was to framing, and I never really gave FLAT work any thought before. took me right out of my comfort zone, but well worth the experience. Just gives a little more to think about in the future.


Did research of the persons mentioned in the oca workbook, got into it and putting down my thoughts on what I read, but i must finish the current exercise and input cropping and framing into my blog.


Did some reading today and had another look at 1.3.(2) Took some photographs and started exercise. Personal problems meant I had to leave the work till tomorrow


Today I plan to carry on with my exercises (1.3.(2) Line. I will be using the pegs again and this is my thinking

think about what to photograph

Photo/paddy & kids
clothes pegs
one of my paintings
seeds and cutlery

camera settings, Raw/ISO 100/A priority/f/8/wb/ Set to timer mode to prevent shake when operating shutter

lighting; lamps and room lights, maybe natural light out side

placement; place on a flat surface for paddy and kids/books

placement; hang on wall, my painting

placement: clothes pegs, put on floor

Notes: make sure the camera is level with the object, keep background neutral, make sure the result is an image we are looking AT (flat) not INTO (depth) Make sure I am aware of the perspective,and leading lines take you out of the frame

This morning I did some research and reading that the tutor suggested in my assignment The Square Mile. As I looked through I found that a mix of media, ie written/video/art and photographs can be combined to present your work. I looked a couple of artists who have done this in one and another.


Today I had planned to go out and get some shots for the 1.3(1) exercise, but I am feeling a bit stiff, and the weather is not on my side. So I will have to create something indoors. My mind turned to the washing I was supposed to be doing today and the pegs caught my eye. Leave the washing and play with the pegs. Like a line of dominos I set to work, lining them up and hoping it would work. I wanted to achieve a shot that would fit in with the 1.3 (1) line exercise. I then thought about the ploughed field and decided to make my own ploughed field using some herbs from the kitchen. Both worked out well, till the domino effect sent my pegs toppling over, but… at least I got the shots I wanted.

Two new books arrived today, The Photographers Eye and Michael Langfords Basic Photography, so I can also get some reading done.

I also got a LIKED for one of my exercises, from a photographer who I contacted about using his image. We conversed by a couple of emails. I visited his site and its a good one.


I woke up this morning with an idea in my head, to take photos of reflection in peoples eyes of something they desire or maybe them at work? something that is special to them. As the eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. I have to think on this and try to develop it further. I have looked a little into it and it so interesting

I came across something really interesting when I was searching the web!!!

Reflections from the eyes of child sex abuse victims in digital photographs could be used by police to catch paedophiles.

Read more: 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

working on Exercise 1.3 (1) today. doing some reading and checking out the suggested reading from my report.



Review of report for the assignment The Square Mile

Tutor Comment

 When you receive this report, I suggest that you go through it carefully and make notes about it. You will also find it useful to comment on the various things I have included links for. Those responses can then go into your learning log.

My Comment

So here I am making my notes


Tutor Comment

You say you have chosen to use black and white images to bring out the line and detail which it does and gives them a uniform feel across the set. However in some of the unedited images you have a strong sense of a single colour. For instance Image captioned ‘I am frightened of the dark…’ the brown colour throughout unites the image and still allows us to focus on the detail of the face and line as the colour by being limited doesn’t distract.The same could be said for ‘No Parking spaces…’ which has a predominantly blue range of colour; matching his jumper to the signage behind and the sky in the reflection. This might be a happy accident but by spotting things like this we can then use them to our advantage in the next shoot, looking for how we can use colour to our advantage.

My Comment

After looking again at my submitted images, I understand the comments made about colour. This is fine and I will work on it. I should be more observant and use colour to my advantage. Colour can be a good centre for the viewer to focus on.


Tutor Comment

In your 500 word refection you pick out several artists who you feel have been influential. I wonder if next time in your learning log you can say more about the specifics of how they are influential, as well as discussing what you find successful or interesting about their work and how you have developed your work in response to their technique, idea, etc…


My Comment

With reference to the artists and how they inspired me, I thought I had done this here:

and here Click to go to page

But reading through it again I only mentioned the things I like, now what I was going to use in assignment. So in future I will be more specific in my methodology, but, I did have a full explanation in the original draft of my assignment, but I went well over the 500 words and ended up editing it to this

  • Gavin Barnard – I actually went to the burn with him
  • Keith Arnatt – same poses, b&w
    · Tina Barney – natural emotions, allowing the individuals to be themselves
    · Karen Knorr – using text to add 3rd meaning
    · Tyler Sheilds – kink the spectator to ponder and question
    · George Rousse – changing perception of the image, not just taking what we see

what I wanted to say if I had more than 500 words is: Barnard -the fact that he used inanimate objects, that had not connection to each other, other than they were destroyed in the burn and they actually took me there. I wanted to have the same effect in my images.

Arnatt – he used black and white which knit the whole thing together, and they were of similar subjects, I want to use a similar effect by changing mine to black and white and having similar poses

Barney – Used a lot of natural emotions, this I used by giving as little as possible direction to the people holding the mirror.

Knorr – This is were I got the idea of the captions, I did think of a few while I was taking the shot, looking at the surrounding and the expression/body language of the person holding the mirror. All the captions are made up

Sheilds  used colour and black and white. The images had a theme going through, then I came to death by a rolls royce and had to look twice to see the connection, to me this put a kink in the story and made me think, I used this in one of the images where you actually see my hand and the camera in the shot.

Rousse The painted circle he uses made me think of the round mirrow, and putting a different perspective on things,

But point taken, I have to be more specific, like a mathematician, not just showing the answer, but how I got there…..

Tutor Comment

You reflect well on the problems you have encountered and you mention your own reflection creeping in. Sometimes it can be interesting to take a risk and  use the thing you consider a weakness and exploit it. What would it have been like if you had taken some more photos where you were deliberately included in the reflection? Maybe just parts of you and the camera to reveal the process itself and add another layer. You might still have decided that you preferred the images without, but sometimes by doing this you can find something else that actually works really well in an unexpected way.

My Comment

On the comments about taking photos to more or less back up my comments, (ie having my reflection in the image) I see how this can be useful to show my thinking , that I tried it and it did/didnt work or yes you are right, it may have an unexpected outcome in my thinking. I did take one and actually put in as one of my submitted photos

Tutor Comment

Your learning log is well laid out and clear which is good. I can see from your contact sheets you have tried various poses as well as cropping to get the image you wanted. When on location, to give yourself the best quality image, as well as taking wide shots and different angles, try taking some closer shots rather than cropping so much. If you still need to crop in post-production you will loose a lot less of the image and maintain a larger better quality image for when you get to the printing stage. It is important to begin considering the difference between framing and cropping as you continue through the course.

My Comment

Yes Cropping and framing is something I should think more about. I was out in the back only this morning taking shots for ex 1.3 (1) Line. Then coming back in to crop and show the difference in the amount of pixels and the relationship in perspective when zooming, getting closer to the subject and cropping. Thanks for pointing this out, I will give more thought to it in the future. But I did only crop 1 image in the images I submitted (Cropping and Framing)


Tutor Comment

I am interested by the captions you have used for the images and wonder what you think they add to the image? It would have been useful for you to reflect or discuss the captions you choose to give the images, as these have a real impact on how your audience will respond and react to the images. How did they come about? Where they done afterwards, or are they a quote from the person in the photo, or something else?

My Comment

The captions I used were all made up, either at the time of shooting or later at home when viewing the images, For example the chap in No Parking Spaces, I thought he has a cheeky smile and I noticed the car parked on the pavement in the reflection, so I had his ready even before i took the shot. I thought I had explained how I came about adding captions when I wrote about Karen Knorr and how she used made up captions in her series of photographs that I researched.


Tutor Comment

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take creative risks

with your images.

My Comment

Think about how to best do this


  • Frame your images in different ways to try and avoid the need for cropping. This won’t always work but it will help make you more aware of what you want in the image.

My Comment

Don’t really understand this, because I do know the image I usually want, I do plan and even draw the image sometimes. But I will take it on board


  • Try to reflect in more depth on the context and artists work you are researching.

My Comment

I think I do this, maybe I don’t record enough, exactly what I see and think about the people I read about, so I will take this on board and record more of my own thoughts on what I have reseached


My Final Thoughts

On the whole, I think I was able to follow the assignment criteria and work towards what was needed, I think I need to carry on thinking outside the box when working through the projects and take on board what I have learnt from this exercise and the tutor comments


Well another day and another dollar. Talking of dollars, I have been emailing Brian Marcus, american photographer, who has a photograph in Novembers issue of British Journal of Photography. Its used in one of the adverts for a B1 Off Camera Flash. He has given me permission to use it in my coursework. Seems a really nice chap, I have decided to follow him in face book.

Face book page for OCA photography students, the OCA forum and Process Art are the forums I have been visiting on a daily basis. They are full of debate of various subjects and the differing views from the students.  In the Process arts site/forum there are lots of workshops and tutorials, so easy to follow, even I can do it!

well my next exercise needs researching. Its asking about the difference between Cropping and Framing. I have all the info in my head, already, but I will go off and research the subject to refresh my old grey cells. Its about quality, cropping reduces the number of pixels, while filling the frame at the time of the shot with what you want the finished picture to look like doesn’t. Then ofcause perspective comes into play and so forth and so forth. Its just getting what i know in my head down on paper. I cant wait for the books I ordered to arrive, one is the Photographers Eye, which is mentioned in the course material.

I feel like a dry sponge at the moment, soaking everything in. but there times in the forums that I want to make comments on the debates, but i am the Newbie so I am keeping my opinions to myself for now, till I get to know people better.

I have been looking at study visits I can make and have decided to wait till after Christmas now before I start looking at that. Paddy had his cancer mot last week and he has to go for scans on his kidneys, the appointment came through today at its next week, so I have to put a hold visits for now. And he has an assessment with the council to see if he can attend 2 days at the centre instead of one, this will be great if he can, gives me a rest.  And after my appointment at the hospital yesterday I am waiting to see if  I need surgery, physio first then we work on from that. Surgery will bugger up my studies, but we will see, the positive side is that I can get lots of reading done.


Went out yesterday to the park, hoping to get some photos for exercise 1.2.2 and found the park full of people and children. It was hard trying to get the shots I wanted without getting children in the frame. I was conscious of the fact that parents my be aware of me taking photos of their kids, which they may not have liked. But on the whole, and after some distraction, (taking photos of interesting things!!) I managed to get all but one shot that I had planned.

I got up early (as I normally do) at 5.30 this morning and re read what I worked on yesterday, then I asked myself the question, where do people look first when they look at a picture, to the left or to the right? Then I spent hours looking at different web sites for the answer, its now 9.30. I think I may have got a little side tracked!! but I now know how a new born baby’s eye develop from birth to the age of 2 amongst other things like how do you find out your colour blind…………………..Anyway the two sites that I found of most interest are sites that help with the development of websites.

Good reading

I learnt a lot about myself doing this exercise, and will try to put into practice this new knowledge. Now all I have to do is print off one image explain the lines the eyes follow, then look for a picture in a magazine to do exactly the same.

Its my grandsons birthday today so thats a good photo opportunity for me.


The Daily Post Web site

Just registered with The Daily Post for Writing 201. The site is interesting and I have visited a few times. Maybe the writing course will help with my blog. Dont really know how it all works, but you have to be init to winit so they say

Anyway about to start Project 2 Visual Skills exercise 1.2 (2) I have come to realise that before I carry out any exercise/project/assignment I feel the need to reflect on what is needed. And doing I end up writing a few paragraphs and giving examples of work. I think this helps me concentrate on the matter at hand, and me more focused on the requirements.


About my Strengths and Weaknesses

As main carer for my husband who has alzhiemers I find it hard to get out on field trips sometimes to take photos. I think this slows me down a little. I am a very determined and motivated person and want to finish my degree in 3 years. I plan to work a little each day on projects, exercises and assignments. This I do when my husband is in bed, with his carer or at his day centre. He goes once a week to the day centre from 9am to 6pm, so this will allow me to get out and take photos. If the weather is bad on this day, I have to think again and plan my outings accordingly.

I have found that I work better at night or early in the morning. My weakness is that I have a short term memory problem which means I have to read through information a few times, this is the result of having 3 strokes. The last was in July 2014. Even going through the menus on my camera can be a problem, so I have little drawings to remind me where I can find settings.  I have to keep going back to check what I am doing, so I have to take this into consideration when planning, and when I can let my tutor know about submission dates.  My problem is that I cant remember detail, Take for example the myriad of photographers I have research so far.

There were 6 who stuck in my mind, and I used these for my first assignment. as I read up on them I made notes, and kept constantly going back to the material source to read it again and again. Each of the 6 gave me food for thought, and I used this new learning to develop my own perspective and thoughts towards photography. I am already finding that there is a lot more to photography than just pressing the button! Now I can remember what impressed me about these 6 photographers, but can I remember their names. Well lets see, Arnatt, Rousse, another is Knorr, yep Karen Knorr with her photos and captions. What I now have to do is to keep going over their names and marrying them up to the information I can remember. Little notes do help. Link to Reseach

My strengths are that I am good at planning, I have to be. Take my blog for example. Its the first time I have produced a blog, but its important. So I downloaded the OCA template and tried to work through it. It was a futile exercise. As I didn’t design it, I found it complicated so I went back to wordpress and worked through that, learning how to get a blog up and running through trial and error. The fact that I had to design it makes it easier for me to find my way around it and to keep it simple. Not just for me but for my tutor and if help is needed by my fellow students, they will find it easy to navigate too. And thank goodness for my thesaurus.  I do forget words, and when writing up an essay I know what I want to say, but I cant remember the word. And I can sit for a long while before it comes to me. So I just put a big cross in place of the word till I find it….. its hard for people to understand this problem, I have ways and means for getting around this weakness, and my philosophy is, A WEAKNESS IS ONLY A SOLUTION WAITING TO HAPPEN.

Making Time For Reading

I have ordered some books so hopefully they will be arriving soon, in the meantime I am using the internet to do some research on different photographers and artists. There is an exhibition of Andy Warhol work in Liverpool soon, and although I cant make it, I decided to find out as much as I could online.

the Andy Warhol time web is a fascinating website with so much information, you can use the time line to navigate through his whole life. it takes you to whats around in certain decades like the Bolex 16mm camera

Sometimes though, I find I go looking for something like peoples/photographers/artists thoughts on certain subjects, then I come across something else and get side tracked. Its like when I have been planning my assignment or exercises, I have to read up and right about the subject before I can complete it.  I did a city & guilds photography course some time back and have used my work book/portfolio from that course to take me back to basics. It seems to jog the old memory as its my work and it was locked away in my grey cells till I re read my own notes.

So far I think that I have been working well through the course requirements and feel that I have XXX the XXX

Setting a little goal for myself

In the oca forums there has been mention of American Photographers, so I intend to go see if American Photographers are any different to British or any other nationality photographer.

Also I have open views on manipulating photos, I have a basic knowledge of manipulating software, cropping, contrast, highlights and shadows and so forth.   I am a member of our local photographic society I quite often see photos that have been manipulated, and the question is ‘does this change what photography is all about?‘ is it about ‘getting it right in the field’ OR is it about ‘being able to fix it on your computer?’

I have seem a mediocre photograph turned into a WOW photograph using PS, and Elements.




One thought on “Reflection

  1. Pingback: Project 2 Exercise 1.4 Frame | lpbcourtney

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