College has just been put to bed. At least for 2011. Strictly speaking, the penultimate semester of my 3-year-BA in Photographic Media is not yet over. There is a Semiotics exam to get through on the luckiest day of January 2012 (it’s the 13th, wouldn’t you know it…) and only then can we drag the cloak of oblivion over this semester. Which, in fairness, has actually been one of the most interesting and satisfying semesters in my course so far.
Maybe now is the time for a little look-back on the whole course, as we are approaching the last day of the year. The Diploma year (i.e. year 1 of the BA) has still not been topped – it was just an amazing experience to go back to third level education, to start immersing oneself in a subject that one loves – AND to meet all these wonderful people who share that same interest. We spent the first semester entirely working with film – learning how to process and print in the dark room, back to the roots. I have been sold on film, since then. Semester two we moved on to digital and we learned the basics of studio lighting, everything to equip us for a career as a professional photographer (including unloved Photoshop…) I did not know then, that I was going to be in it for the whole hog. I pushed myself and found myself more ambitious than I had ever been before – I wanted that distinction. And I got it *ggg*.
The second year – well, I would love to ignore that whole year, if I could. Let’s call it the “days of wilderness” where we worked mostly digital, learnt to shoot photo essays, were pushed by our knowledgable but extremely
derogatory demanding lecturer and had to produce far too much stuff to really have time to concentrate on anything properly. The upshot was that most of us did rather badly. My personal low point: a measly 57% on the Media History exam. Did I study history in my former life??? (Yes, I did…)
And now we are half-way through year three. We had to choose between two electives year and I chose Large Format photography over Action. I reckoned that this was my chance to learn about and to actually use a view camera. And I have not been disappointed. The results are not in, yet, but even if they should be below expectation, I have learnt so much here, it was worth it anyway. LF has brought me right back to the basics – appreciating the moment, taking time to plan and to set-up, to review and only then to release the shutter. Time-consuming. And still no guarantee, as my favourite image of this semester clearly shows – it has been “fecked” by the light.
But yet, I love this photo, I love the sharp focus on the old lighthouse and the fall off and I love the streak of light on the tranny: It reminds me that this is a once-off, a truly original colour positive, I will never be able to recreate that, it documents a moment in my life even though I am not in it…
So here is to 2011 – another year that cemented my love for photography. Can it get better? I hope it will in 2012. See you all next year 😉