Big Catch-up of OCA L3 Hangouts August to November 2018

This will capture briefly the notes I have made during hangouts on the following dates:

  • 19.08.18 – OCA L3 Hangout
  • 09.09.18 – OCA L3 Hangout
  • 07.10.18 – OCA L3 Hangout
  • 28.10.18 – OCA L3 Hangout
  • 30.08.18 – Landscape
  • 23.08.18 – Stan’s Hangout
  • 05.09.18 – Stan’s Hangout
  • 19.09.18 – Stan’s Hangout
  • 31.10.18 – Stan’s Hangout
  • 14.11.18 – Stan’s Hangout

19 August 2018 – AG, JW, SW, BD, JB, VW

There is great value to be had from submitting to Lensculture competition as they provide a comprehensive review.

AG mentioned a book ($10) on writing an Artist Statement.  Need to articulate your AS to different people.  Jennifer Schwartz  ‘Crusade for Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers  See, The artist’s statement: How and why to write yours

In Jennifer Schwartz’s paper (Schwartz), she emphasises 3 main parts of the statement:

    1. What are you trying to say with your work?  What is the story you are telling?

    2. Why are you making this work?  What inspired the project?

    3. Why should the viewer care?   Why is what you are saying significant or valuable?  How are you making me see something in a way I wouldn’t see it otherwise?  How are you making me feel something unique or important?  What are you making me think about that deserves attention? Why is your voice the best one to transmit this information?

(See Anna’s Web site:  Accessed 30 October 2018)

She has Helen Warburton as her tutor for SYP – seems to be engaged

Bryn – LL is for you.  Need to challenge back comments from tutors. 

SW was waiting for A3 feedback

JB Looking at memory and old images.  Her CS was lagging behind.  Keith Roberts is BoW tutor who has an interest in archives. 

Book: The new Curator

09 September 2018 – Amano, Veronica, Jane, Anna, Bryn Davies, Selina,

JW has Derek Trillo for BoW

SW Has Andy Langford

Bryn – looking at shadows & depth/meaning.  IF an image is not captured then it would not have been seen.   Play of light over time (Paul Graham) Imaging Time (Charlotte Fox)

For Bow don’t narrow down ideas too soon.  have a couple of projects or strands of thought.

Selina – nothing in BOW currently was there at the start.  Do not block thinking by thinking long term.

Post everything in LL – It does not have to be perfect.

Discussion of DB Ass#5 work

  • People who don’t own the land on which they live.
  • Does this reflect in any way the previous nomadic nature of African people
  • Have a bigger selection on my Blog
  • The light is harsh like Australia – try desaturating a little as the harshness detracts from the message
  • Text and quotes may help to express what is happening and resonate with the image
  • BD – this is a bot like a survey of dwellings, maybe need to expand more to show land
  • Take another view from further back
  • Washing line
  • Use images that can reference, not necessarily the bast
  • Chose the quotes – maybe also historic quotes

Learning Log

Write down your thoughts every day

AG – A4 white spiral wound & posed in blog and made notes

SW – A5 and thin so easy to carry around but not every day

JW – A5

07 October 2018 – Amano, Jane, Bryn Davies, Selina

BD – Robert Bloomfield – CS Tutor.  Ass1 feedback  – less secure but early days.  BoW more secure but LL not enough.  BoW Ass2 – Shadows.  Writes every day but doesn’t necessarily upload.  Physical LL can write more personally and adds variety.

JW – has had positive feedback on her gallery exhibition.  Had no text with individual images only her artist statement.

SW attended a workshop on exhibiting.  Lensculture feedback – detached response but positive and insightful – ‘take time and let it develop’.

28 October 2018 – Bryn Davies, Selina

Interesting discussion on SW’s work and how it has developed

  • Connection with place
  • Clothing may provide a link – connectivity
  • Provocation
  • Women in the landscape
  • Those without the prop are more introspective, with a prop – extroverted and fun
  • Editing – some may still fit better in another place in the sequence
  • DB _ some images feel too posed
  • Performance art – Bruce McClean

Links from BD

For Selina and the consideration of the clothing identity


  • 1st a photographer then a performer
  • Photography as a physical thing not only visual
  • How do circumstances/practicalities impact on the when and where one takes ones photographs

BD’s Shadowgrams  (See his LL: Accessed 29 October 2018)

  • Linked to meditation
  • A mediation on light itself
  • Plato’s cave
  • Video shows images changing
  • To have silence you have to have a frame around it and similarly for empty space
  • Further work on layering of images made yesterday with the shadows of today by printing yesterday’s images and placing them on the wall in the appropriate place.  Could also subvert this by deliberately misplacing them.

OCA course, not just about making the image but about why and the context in which it is seen. 

If we think of photography as only visual we are missing the other senses.

There is always an incomplete image

30 August 2018 – Landscape – Anne, Richard, Jack, Kathy, Nuala, Catherine, Amano

Discussion of DB Ass#5 work

Difficult to determine the story

Each image must stand on its own

Like the images

Need an Artist statement and probably some quotes

Cover is brilliant

Catherine – IR work

Simon Morley – The Sublime

Anne – Gloster Prison, Closed 2013, Tours in 2014.  Strong emotion about the place

Sally Mann – Biography

Nuala – Not too happy with Blurb Hand bound for A#5.  Old school closed in 1950s which was run by the Catholic Church & children were sexually & physically abused.   Working with a man of 87, the child of an unmarried mother,  who was a child in the school

Richard – Great Uncle was in the Crimean war.  The house he was born in is still there – show how the land has changed.

23 August 2018 – Stan’s L3 Hangout – HB, SarahD, SD, MP, JU, SW

HB – 97 slides for talk – WIP.  It is all about editing

Urban spaces by Derick Trillo ( for his PhD

MikeP (Robert Bloomingdale for SYP) Evidence of how he is naturally sustaining his practice with a journey

Selina – diagonal lines of roads distracting

Maps orientated North – South

SD – daughter (Beth) version is great

Stan – Make layers come and go as a moving image

JU – video a but trite, too much going on, Rich resource to develop, Daughter – no pause for reflection and thought

Voice and video = performance

Did not like the illustrative nature of the presentation

This work of Mike’s makes me wonder how I can use this type of concept in developing the ‘Bell’ biography

JU – It all comes back to EDIT.  MP has put everything into this project he needs to edit.

Tate – Light and Motion

Curating 2 artists together is provoking questions

Francesca Woodman – Ev  Schuler

FW – lack of conclusion/under developed because of suicide at 22

ES – accomplished – got something.  Also uses his own body and that of other women.  Died at 28 ~ 1918

5 September 2018 – – Stan’s L3 Hangout – HB, BC, SarahD, SD, MP

HB – reported back on talk which went fine

SD – A3 submitted – looking at other slide show software (MP – ProShowGo)

This is a rich piece of work – SD has been observant and captured images most would walk past.  Flashbacks to childhood.  Music – maybe use more here of that timeframe.

Looking through Mom’s window – how clear is your memory

Images not necessarily childhood but reflect ‘home’.

Slideshow – just because – good to try something different.  There is a tension in the slides and the music.

SW – music triggered memory.  Images with religious details most poignant: Religion Ireland.  No people in any of the images – this is a personal psychological reflection.  Was thinking about ‘home’ nit really the people

Discussion of DB Ass#5 work

Confused message as nothing with regard to white farmers

No white farms in images – no tension in images

Sense of ‘Otherness’

Images similar no tension

Text will make a big difference – may enrich – Should be ambiguous

SW – cover is very different

Would have to read some of the text – could I bring in something else.  WOuld like to see less images of land

BC – can a white person show the black side??  Avoiding addressing the few questions, else need to get closer to them.  Sense of not being close enough ‘Get closer’.

Use media coverage

Karen Knorr 1981/3 – use of text

Achill Notes – MIchael Wann

19 September 2018 – – Stan’s L3 Hangout – HB, BC, JU, MP, S-J, SW, RT

RT – CS Tutor – Gary Clarkson

HB – CS Tutor – Wendy McMurdoe

Discussing the CS Essay the flow is:  Lit Review (Ass2) Plan (Ass3) Essay (Ass4)  One could have a highly developed plan and send that to the tutor for comment.  JU Had 6000 words.  This would allow one to refine it for the final essay.

  • Writing in 3rd person the author is more detached
  • Use images ≈ same as other persons
  • This is a visual course so use images

HB – urban studies and will contrast the ‘romantic’ architechts view/impression versus reality.

Landscape – Rebecca Solnit

Dream of England Selina

For the essay reading it out loud helps and also to get some critique – send to whole group so we are all doing a ‘crit’

L3 is really self directed and Hangouts make it much easier

MP – SyP submitted

JU – enrolled in MA program

31 October 2018 – – Stan’s L3 Hangout – SD, HB, BC, JU,MC, SW

We had an in depth discussion on SW’s recent work/edit.  As she is dealing with people in the landscape (herself) it is worth taking note of the comments for my own landscape work.

  • Play more with distance
  • Images are best when one cannot see her face or only a part of the body.  I am not 100% sure I agree with this though.
  • A lot of her clothing looks like camouflage and almost melts into the background.
  • All props are either found or bought at a second hand clothing shop environmentally friendly.
  • She is dealing with a non-EU landscape, a ‘New World’.  This is very relevant to me too as there are a lot of similarities between Australia and RSA, particularly with regard to light conditions and vegetation.
  • As this is her Ass#4 for BoW it should be getting tighter, there are still too many directions.  Possibly use her artist statement to help in getting direction?  Apply this to my thinking on my Ass#5
  • Paul Gaffney’s work never included people only the environment.  At:  This is worth looking at when making a book.  The details of the work are:
  • We Make the Path by Walking

Offset printing on Munken Lynx paper

Edition of 1000 copies + 50 special editions

Softcover with photo-illustrated slip case and Swiss binding

Includes the poem ‘Caminante no hay camino’ by Antonio Machado

Self published July 2013

40 images on 78 pages

160mm x 210mm

  • SW’s work overall about gender politics.   The work as is would result in an OK degree but if she edits around one of the 4 or 5 themes it would result in a better mark.  However, the work has increased in depth, quality and quantity.
  • Posing with a prop – going out and posing performance.  This work has resulted in a personal awareness contrasted with the view that if she has a day off from work she can ‘do some cleaning’.  It has helped find her personal identity & break through the social constraints.  This deep emotional involvement in her work is significant and comes through in the quality of the work.
  • There may be a number of different possible edits for the work.

MC SYP Ass#1

14 November 2018 – – Stan’s L3 Hangout – HB, SJ, MC, RT, MP

Discussion was around two essays; SJ’s  and HB’s.  The latter was to help her get started as she was battling with this.  SJ had her second draft which evoked plenty of discussion due to its complexity, word count and title.  SJ has blogged in detail about this At:  (Accessed on 15 November 2018)


About Doug Bell

Having recently retired I am now undertaking some studies in photography through the OCA which, I hope will lead to a degree in photography.
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