Hello World (or, at least, the OCA community)

Well, here we are on the first posting of a new blog – so let’s start with an introduction. This is how I introduced myself to my tutor:

Outside of photography and this course I am a 60-year old building surveyor, married and father of three. In addition to photography my hobbies include sailing (tolerably well) and learning saxophone (rather badly)

I have been interested in photography from about age 15 and learnt basic developing and darkroom skills at school (where the darkroom was part of the science block) and my level of involvement has varied over the years. I was a member of a camera club for a few years in the early 1980s until family and career caused some evaluation of priorities. I like to think that my family snaps and work-related photography benefited from the experience.

I have taken photography seriously again since about 2009, rejoined a camera club (occasional silverware on the mantlepiece) and started working for RPS and PAGB distinctions. I am LRPS and CPAGB, with fingers very tightly crossed for an ARPS assessment due in March. I regard myself as a useful technical photographer but have trouble picking subjects and moving beyond a record approach. I use film as well as digital cameras, because I enjoy the ritual of setting up a photograph with a manual, mechanical camera and I mainly shoot medium format for my hobby-photography.

I have started the BA Photography programme for personal development and challenge reasons, although I intend to submit work for assessment and award as a way of keeping score. I have previously taken a utilitarian approach to higher education; my BSc and MSc related to qualification and recognition in my primary career and this is the first time that I have taken a degree purely because I would enjoy it. I expect to be well outside my comfort zone, having never studied an art subject for a qualification before (even at O-level I chose the Technical Drawing option).

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