I have been very quiet, I know.  I’ve been in shock, trying to get to grips with my new photography course.  I’ve started a BTEC in Photography.  Normally a two year course, this one has been compressed into one year.  I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks, but it seems like an age.  I’m loving it though…

The workload has seemed very hard, I think they’re just trying to get the whole class up to a certain standard before starting the real syllabus.  I’m doing this at Kensington and Chelsea College, just off the King’s Rd in London.  Now we’re on half term, so time to write something on here, before spending the rest of the week finishing my first module.

I’m amazed to find that a large portion of the course will be dealing with film photography, so I’ve just had to get my old Nikon FG serviced to bring back into use – lucky I kept it!  I’ve learnt so much in such a short time – some studio lighting, my first experience in the darkroom, several photography exhibitions and the existence of ‘medium format’ film cameras in particular.  The course is designed to teach professional photography, so covers all the angles including doing a degree at university.  Much as I would love to do this, with three more children all wanting to go to university, with one already on a four year degree course and with fees of £9,000 per year in the UK now, I doubt very much that it will ever happen!  So where all this will lead, I’m not sure.

I love the fact that it is fundamentally an art course.  So far I haven’t really embraced that idea, so I feel like I’m on a new adventure.  I’ve already been mesmerised by exhibitions and had class lectures which I can only describe as similar to analysing poetry in English literature. That wonderful feeling when you read a poem, think it’s mediocre, then someone teaches you to look at in a different way, and suddenly, a whole new understanding!

I’ve been absorbed by photography exhibitions.  The ‘Eyewitness – Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century’ at the Royal Academy was fabulous.  Then I saw Lee Friedlander ‘The New Cars 1964’ and ‘America By Car’ at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. Shortly after that I saw ‘New Documentary Forms’ at the Tate Modern.  I loved them all, and considered that I wouldn’t have seen them if I hadn’t been studying photography.  I do see art exhibitions, but rarely photography ones.  So I feel a whole new vista has opened, and I’m very excited.

What a fantastic Autumn we’re having in London – those October skies…


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