I've been angry and frustrated with myself as I'm not sure how to respond to my photography at the moment. I am very keen to put the social documentary course behind me...just move on for goodness sake!!! The course has altered and pushed my perspectives...but it hasn't pressed any of my creative buttons...and hasn't resulted in one image I feel particularly proud of...that is clearly of my own failings, not the course...but I don't like that and want to know why?
- It isn't for the want of trying, arguably I've been trying too hard
- I have been focussed and enthusiastic
- I have devoted considerable time to studying and spent hours out photographing
- I have tried to push boundaries and look differently at things
- So do I lack sufficient skill for the course?
- Should I have continued with the Art of Photography?
- Should I have chosen a different level two course?
The answer is perhaps partially yes and no to all three of the above. Regarding the first question, whilst I am disappointed by the work I have carried out over the past eighteen months I do not believe I have been 'outskilled' by a level two course. The comments from my tutor would endorse this. I have the confidence and belief that I can create better work, perhaps not within the conventional genre of social documentary. For whatever reason I have not connected with this course and/or my attitude towards it has not been good.
With regards TAOP and APEL and whether it was right for me, of course I will never know...I recall that at the time, it was a confidence boost in what was a turbulent time for me. My clarity of thought was crystal clear. I had oodles of ideas which seemed to be my way of dealing with uncontrollable 'real-life' issues- a strange paradox but perhaps there is something in that. I engaged with the course in a personal way which I have struggled to do since with the soc doc course.
The third question I wonder whether I should have selected a different level two course, one more akin to the work I had done previously such as landscape or altered realities with DPP. However again I recall not really feeling drawn to any of the level two courses. Unlike TAOP or the level three courses they are narrowing in their subject...I prefer a blank sheet as a preference. So I opted for the most challenging for me. Which it has been. So what happens now...get through this course and take stock of what comes next I guess. I haven't quite got to the positive frame of mind yet.
And whilst I'm ranting, I am so tired of always feeling I haven't got the 'right' technical gear...and the cost of it all. And then each genre seems to have a completely different hit list. I will invest when my photography 'deserves' it. I just want to take photographs not worry about 'the other stuff'...it's dibilitating...makes you think you're work isn't worthy or professional because it wasn't taken on the right camera or on film or wasn't presented 'right'. How long can you keep investing time and money in something when you don't get the output.
So to conclude, I've got to change my tack. I'm trying to remove myself from the computer, from the course and to alter the way I'm working because I feel as far removed from my inner creative self as I ever have...this is sad. I have contextualised my work. I have theorised and debated photography. I have a good understanding of what is out there now. But...none of this has assisted me in making better photographs. For me, photography has been a medium I have chosen for my creativity. My heart lies in the arts and not in journalistic photography. I hoped I could marry the two in this course which to date I haven't. So move on...I want to perservere with the OCA as there is so much about it that I like, but the genre based level two courses just aren't floating my boat. Conceptual art...where's that in the syllabus...I'm fed up with photography...I'm fed up of being fed up...and I'm fed up that my initial reservations about me doing this course have turned out to be true.
Ahem, still quite negative to post...However, here goes...following posts I promise are more positive...