Reflection on Assignment 1

Reflection on Assignment 1


I was slow in starting which worried me at first but then I reassured myself that the same happened with my previous Modules and the process is something like visiting a new place and having to orientate myself to all its spaces. The larger the place the longer it takes and, after all, I’m now on level Two.  I’ve recently been told that I have a cataract in my left eye that needs to be dealt with. It has affected my sight to some extent and my eyes get tired more easily so I have to make sure to spend less time on the computer.

I’ve found Part One so interesting and have acquired yet more books. It was helpful a s well that ‘constructing’ an image isn’t a new concept to me as I was introduced to this in my previous Module Context and Narrative. As ever, I’ve been pleased to have the support from OCA Thames Valley Group meetings, individual OCA friendships and a new network of other students studying this Module..

Assignment 1 : The Combined Image

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

This Assignment enabled me to experiment with new approaches. I’ve written previously about my reluctance to engage with cut and paste photomontage here  and the struggle I had given the political context. I’m pleased that I did find a way through because I enjoyed the process even though it strained my eyes. I really did get to understand how it can be used by actually creating some montages and, now that I have broken through the resistance, have begun to think of ways in which I might be able to use it with my personal archive and, possibly, any remakes I might create following feedback from my tutor on Assignment 1.  I took them to a recent TV Group meeting and so was able to talk in more depth on the ideas behind the montages.  I still don’t like the thought of cutting into photographs of people though.

Having played with the notion of medium format film before I’m now taking it more seriously since I acquired the old Mamiya 7 and want to continue improving with this. My colleague Stephanie gave me the idea of layering negative over print and I added to this by buying a small lightbox to see how it made a difference.

I have already created work in the environment using found objects in my previous Module and felt pleased to continue along those lines with this Assignment.  What was new was the montage of real flowers and negatives over prints and also experimenting with painting on my iPad. I forgot to note in my Assignment write-up that I also took my iPad onto the field, showing the poppy painting I created. Unfortunately the bright day made the painting almost invisible and so I didn’t include an image of it in my write-up. One other strategy that came to mind was to take an actual frame into the field to frame some poppies but I didn’t get to this due to being concerned about late submission.

One thing I have yet to do is to edit the short videos I took with my iPhone and I will add this to the blog later. My intention is to experiment with inset stills and videos running side by side.  There’s so much I want to learn.

Quality of Outcome

I think I am competent at communicating my ideas in writing, blog post layout and image placement.  On this occasion the Assignment has been presented to my tutor in digital format only. I do have prints available though as seeing my work in print is important to me. I need to touch what I have created.

Demonstration of Creativity

I tried new ways of producing images in this Assignment – film, layering negatives, montaging real flowers and iPad painting –  and I think each worked in its own way. Given the way I was feeling and my personal situation I think I took care of myself by creating work in my safe place – the external landscape.  Even so I have attempted some new ideas. Whilst using poppies as a metaphor for some beginning thoughts on transience and mortality.


I have reflected on learning and reading through Part One and collected photographer examples for my paper log. The Assignment itself has been more personal than theoretical in approach and I am aware that I have referenced photographers rather than theory, although I have referenced relevant websites in the PDF about poppies as remembrance.

I was aware of that strong undercurrent in me of the linkage of poppies with War and my hatred of war and that I attempted to avoid  expressing this in the Assignment. .  I think as well that this might come through with later work for this Module when I do more work on my personal archive. I was born during WWII and believe that I absorbed some of my young mother’s anxieties during this time and transmuted them into a core belief that the environment cannot be completely trusted.


I took longer than intended in completing Part One but I do think that time was necessary for me to ground myself in this new Module that introduces new lines of thought and, at Level Two, requires more theoretical and conceptual understanding.