Experimental still life photograph - Julie Dawn Dennis

Week 11 & 12 Reflections

As I write, I am in Cornwall again and have just attended the Adobe Certified Associate Photoshop CC18 intensive week on campus.  I attended a basic Photoshop module in my undergraduate degree, but this course has opened up other possibilities and functions within the software that I wasn’t previously aware of.

It will be useful for me as I am becoming interested in digital image manipulation.  The week has introduced me to a range of useful techniques as well as giving me a potentially useful qualification.  I had tied the course in with a family visit which, with hindsight, was not a very good idea as there was very little time outside of the classroom to practice/revise, and I was without access to my usual computer.  Plus the daily rush hour commute across Cornwall was far busier than I had anticipated at this time of year and staying in Falmouth would have been much easier  This is a very fast paced 5-day course, and there is a lot to learn, but I am pleased to have completed it and passed the exam yesterday.

The last two weeks of the MA module were particularly challenging in terms of balancing work, home and practice.  Available time has been very limited indeed; the approach to Christmas is always a very busy time and I am looking forward to some time off for reflection, and time to develop current ideas which are growing in my mind. The reduced weekly tasks have thankfully made my schedule a little less pressured and I submitted my assignments a little early as I had a lot of work to do in my day job the latter part of the week, as well as travelling to Cornwall.  I do feel a little frustrated I have had to miss recent talks and online get-togethers due to work and other commitments, though I do try and visit these later when they are recorded.

The Felicity McCabe talk was interesting, hearing her journey into photography it seemed to be an almost ‘textbook’ way of building a career in photography, i.e. working as a photographers assistant, living in the city, finding a way into networks, and many other photographers have described similar pathways to successfully forming their own ‘brand’.  This seems a world away from me.  Though I am always interested to learn of others’ journeys, my own is a little different, and I always feel that I have quite a strange relationship with photography.  I suppose this is to be expected given my own path.  The last seven years have filled me with a need to probe deeper beneath the skin of photography itself, and my own engagement with it.  The results of my explorations are therefore varied, as one might expect.  I do work in projects, but my approach is freer, less prescribed, and I work in a very responsive way to my thoughts, emotions and ideas. There is no right or wrong way to pursue photography as an interest and we are all doing this for different reasons, but I also enjoy learning of the experiences of others through talks and presentations.  I am looking forward to the new module after the holiday, and over Christmas hope also to have time to work on ideas and website.