Overview of site to aid access and assessment


This page is aimed at supporting assessors by providing direct links to a number of key resources on this site.  Content may also be found using the site menu (located at the top of the site) or the categories menu (located on the right hand side); both available from all pages.


Learning Log

Books (read and reviewed)

Exhibitions (attended and reviewed)

Course work with significant additional research

Semi-structured thoughts


More than just a number




Electronic notebook


I kept an electronic notebook, using OneNote, as part of  my set of tools (see here for an overview and rationale) where I kept thoughts, rough notes, ideas etc. I have made some of the pages available on line as links and have included some screen shots to illustrate the content.

Aesthetic codes



Click to enlarge





Overall course evaluation

The brief

An overall evaluation (optional) It’s a good idea to write an overall evaluation that reflects on your learning journey as a whole, picks up on tutor feedback and highlights where your strengths lie or what you’d like to develop further. If you choose to do this, it only needs to be one side of A4 or around 500 words. Try and give a sense of how you’ve felt about your experiences. Here you can assess, reflect on and identify your best work.

Overall evaluation

When I look back over my journey through “expressing your vision”  I can best express it using the Conscious Competence Learning Model where at the start of the course I was unconscious-incompetent. I believed that photography was more than just trying to take pretty pictures but I was uncertain what is was and what I needed to do in order to improve.

Conscious Competence Learning ModelConscious Competence Learning Model

After the course I now know that there are a series of skills that I need to acquire and work upon if I am going to be able to successfully communicate ideas and thoughts via photography rather than focusing on purely the aesthetic; to use an analogy that was used by one of the OCA tutors in the discussion forum: to move from calligraphy to writing. So I feel that I have now reached the consciousincompetent stage of personal development.

There are a number of learning points that I take away from the course:

  • The need to actively consider what and how I am trying to communicate
  • Go where my passion lies
  • Consider the context in which I intend to show work
  • Be prepared to experiment more
  • Use analysis of others photographs to gain personal insight into my own work

Based on tutor feedback and my own  feelings / analyse I see areas that I see will need focus on in the future are: the ability to analyse images and articulate well what I am seeing and feeling; developing a voice and understanding where I want go with my photography, I have a number of ideas but these will take time to crystallise; learn to take more risks with photography and move out of the areas where I know I can do well.

The strengths that I have that I believe I can build upon are: a detailed and systematic style of working; a fair eye for composition, a passion for learning.

For this course the work that I am particularly proud of from the course are the assignments Languages of Light and Photography is simple plus the exercises 5.2, and 4.5.

For the course itself if I were to summarize my feelings towards it using the frame work of Good (what I liked), Difficult (what was not so goodDifferent (what I think could be improved then I have:


  • The course structure and content (some key concepts and important photographers)
  • The feedback from my tutor
  • The OCA supported discussion fora
  • The OCA resources
  • The support from other EYV students
  • Support from OCA administration


  • Being abroad not being able to easily take part in face-to-face events
  • Limited access to tutor
  • Explanation of / reference to  some of the key photographic concepts e.g.  Abstraction; visual language and grammar


  • Regular online interaction (monthly?) with tutor and 1-2 other students to allow exchange and challenging of ideas.
  • Idea of a summer school to allow face-to-face time
  • Formalising feedback / analysis of other students work to develop analysis skills

As a bottom line the course has been a pleasure and certainly met my expectations.

Assignment 5: Photography is simple; Final submission


Take a series of 10 photographs of any subject of your own choosing. Each photograph must be a unique view of the same subject; in other words, it must contain some ‘new information’ rather than repeat the information of the previous image. Pay attention to the order of the series; if you’re submitting prints, number them on the back. There should be a clear sense of development through the sequence.
Assignment notes
In your assignment notes explore why you chose this particular subject by answering the question ‘What is it about?’ Write about 300 words. Your response to the question doesn’t have to be complicated; it might be quite simple (but if you can answer in one word then you will have to imaginatively interpret your photographs for the remaining 299!)
Make sure you word process and spellcheck your notes as they’re an important part of the assignment.
For this assignment it is important that you send a link (or scanned pages) to the contextual exercise (Exercise 5.2) for your tutor to comment on within their report.
Check your work against the assessment criteria for this course before you send it to your tutor. Make some notes in your learning log about how well you believe your work meets each criterion.


After some consideration I decided on a topic (see here for my approach) and performed some detailed research (see here). After making an initial selection (see here), I asked for feedback on the EYV and OCA discussions fora. Based on this feedback I made some alterations and select this set of images for submission. I submitted this and based on my tutors feedback and further reflection and work made this final submission-

Exercise 5.3

Exercise 5.3 can be found here.


I considered the broad composition of the image and possible location in advance. For the photographs I used a Canon 6D with a 24-110mm lens. For a number of the shots I used a tripod or monopod. I set the camera to manual, restricting the ISO setting to a maximum of 800 and adjusted aperture and exposure settings. I took a series of shots (sometimes using flash) on a number of days at various locations close to or in  my home, with some members of my family as models.  These shots were based on my initial ideas of composition but I made some changes as I took the shots. I loaded the better images into Lightroom, adjusted exposure and contrast and cropped. For some of the  candidate images (selected in Lightroom) I made further changes in Photoshop, for example adding a binocular mask.  I then added titles and captions. I made my an initial selection and asked for feedback using the OCA discussion fora. The feedback was generally very positive, which was pleasing,  but a consistent point was that the final image in the series was weak. I decided to redo the final shot and add, in addition to the hints about Rear Window, aspects concerning voyeurism in the current age. After the feedback from my tutor I reassessed the titles and changed two. I decided that the references to the Hero’s Journey had value and kept these. I considered my tutor suggestion of recording quotes. If felt this when to far into mimicking the film but decided adding the sound track from the film, using a font for text based on the original posters by Saul Bass and having picture transitions in a film manner was sufficient.  To do this I downloaded a font (Hitchcock) into PowerPoint and used PowerPoint to create cinematic like transitions and to create a streaming video format. The view I loaded into YouTube an subsequently referenced from my blog.


The individual shots (in order to see expanded click on image)

Who is watching whom?


The final submissions is here. Press to start.

Who is watching whom?


What is it about

The series of images are an homage to the film Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. They are intended to be a mystery, with the viewer gaining additional information with each shot and realising, maybe after some research, what the subject of the series is. Additional help is given through the captions to the individual shots, which are quotes from the film. The titles, which follow the structure of the Hero’s Journey, also provide clues.  The images are also intended to allow interpretation using Barrett’s three different types of information where there are connections between the different types within the images.  With this as background, the images should bring the viewer, especially if a photographer, into the question of voyeurism and it’s acceptability.



Demonstration of technical and visual skills

My composition and use of colour I felt worked well. I tried to make the images visually interesting and the colour palette to echo that of 1950’s technicolor. I also worked at trying to provide a consistent point-of-view, as in the film, this may not have always succeeded. This was my first use of Photoshop and I realise that it is a (too?) powerful tool that will need some mastering; performing simple masking (binoculars) took a long time. Perhaps not so successful was the fact that some of the set pieces (e.g. Ordeal: Tell me exactly what you saw and what you think it means) are too simplistic.


Quality of outcome

The series is a coherent set of images that, as evidenced by feedback, work reasonably well. The use of text and titles also added to the series.

To judge from positive feedback from peers, some of the shots were strong, e.g. Allies: I wish I were creative,  where I was able to convey not only direct clues but start to communicate some of my own thoughts. What might have been improved was to add more content to images describing my own views on voyeurism; however, I felt that this would dilute my original intent in just providing a mystery.


Demonstration of creativity

The general idea of a mystery based on a film is relatively original and the specific topic (Rear Window)  is, as far as I can tell, original. So far I have not developed a personal voice and I don’t think the direction of this assignment is one that I will actively pursue. The shots themselves are adequate but in some cases I would have liked to have stronger locations (e.g. for the first shot) and through lack of experience I did not direct the actors as strongly as I might have in order to create more original and believable content.



The use of slide show to emulate film was, I think, adequate, given the constraint of either using the internet or sending in prints. I believe there are potentially stronger ways of presenting the images e.g. use a light box and bigger images (near life-size?) or a mock-up on an window, with individual images in each pane coming on in sequence.

I think the use of captions and making the connection to a Hero’s Journey added significantly to the work.

My systematic research on films, and Hitchcock in particular, may have side-tracked me into perhaps unnecessary detail, but I enjoyed it and it gave me background information that I felt was useful in this work and potentially also for future work.


Generally I feel I need to strengthen my analytic skills; performing an objective analysis is not currently easy for me. I will try to give more feedback to other students work which will force me to be more critical.