After a week of catching up on my OCA course, I spent some time reviewing and executing assignment 1 for the course and submitted today.

There are 8 images attached to this assignment, which I’ve called ‘Square Mile – Childhood Revisited’. These images are:



What was your initial response to the brief and what ideas did you have for how to complete it?

Initially, I struggled to conceptualise how I might create images around a theme and following some further reading, I liked the thought of revisiting a familiar place some years later. I spent my childhood in a small village and returned to the village to visit some of the places with meaning to me.

I decided that I needed to have something more to shape the narrative and so had some themes that aided the creation of the narrative, Firstly, it was important that it had a summer feel, that the images had a slightly aged feel to them and that it had to be shot at child height.

Part way through I became distracted by the influence of the river through the area and it connection to my childhood, but after exploring this for a while returned to the original theme. I also found that there weren’t any children in these places on the days I visited, probably a reflection of current childhood experiences.

What have you learned from the two photographers you looked at, plus any other photographers you sought inspiration from? How did they influence your work on this assignment?

From Dan Holdsworth, I learned not to worry about over or underexposure and that night can be an interesting time to take images, however having tried some night images they didn’t really work for this assignment.  From Tom Hunter I learned not to be afraid of creating ordinary, but to be clear about the narrative.

I also viewed a few learning logs from formers and OCA current students.

Joao :

Phil Clarke:

Kate Aston:

The different approaches to the assignment were very clear, one seeking a style and common subject theme, whilst the others sought to highlight particular features in the square mile.

Joao references work by Paul Gaffney which has a similar theme, but it was the title of the sequence that helped connect the images and visualise the environment and narrative to the piece.

What was your technical approach to the assignment? And what techniques did you use to make it?

As this is to be seen through child’s eye I wanted to ensure small aperture and wide depth of field, which also added to the softness of the image and the relaxed nature of summer. I also used different shutter speeds to create under and over exposed images that could be adjusted in post production.

What’s your opinion on how you did? Are you satisfied? Are there any areas you’d like to improve?

I’m happy with the set of images, however I’m worried that this is just a set of images, it means something to me, but without a good narrative perhaps not to others. I realise that I need to do more planning and visualise the end product before setting off anywhere with a camera. I’d also like to investigate and learn more about working at night.