Overall Comments

Well done on completing your first assignment, Gareth. In many ways, this is the most challenging of all the assignments on Expressing Your Vision, as it represents something of a leap into the unknown, and one that can be understandably stress-inducing. The good news is that the work you’ve submitted immediately points to someone with promise and potential, and your blog announces you as someone with oodles of enthusiasm.

Assessment potential

Assignment 1

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

– It was an interesting and fairly novel move to present the assignment’s images in a grid format, Gareth, and it’s encouraging to see you thinking about the presentation of your images at such an early stage of your studies: good. Equally, for future reference, could you also send me each individual jpeg when you submit an assignment so that I can take a closer look at the finer details of each (uncropped) image? They don’t need to be h-u-g-e, just big enough to view on a standard laptop. Thanks in advance.

– That you even attempted to produce photographs in low/ night conditions is a testament to your enthusiasm, confidence and willingness to take risks: great stuff!!
– While there are plenty of entries and reflections on your blog, there didn’t appear to be any text to accompany your work on the Square Mile (unless I’ve just not been able to locate it). This is a fairly essential component- it is of any assignment- and the lack of a rationale to accompany the final selection did impact on my ability to offer absolutely comprehensive feedback. The photographs themselves are certainly interesting enough, but I was eager to read more about your reasons for taking and selecting them and to get a bit more of a sense of the way you feel about Sheringham. This is something that would be worth rectifying before moving on to the next section of the unit. For future reference, do make sure that, along with your photographs and a link to the specific blog entry, you email a Word doc/ PDF that includes an assignment’s rationale. Thanks again.
– Overall, there is plenty of promise here, and I’m keen to see how you respond to the brief for A2. Don’t forget, your blog is an ongoing piece of work, and it’s standard practice to revisit (and sometimes rework) and assignment following tutor feedback. Sometimes this can be small matters of ‘housekeeping’, but other times it can involve a reshoot or a rethink. In this case, the work gives me a decent sense of where you’re coming from, and I’m keen to see how you respond to A2’s brief.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Early days, but do make sure that you approach the coursework and exercises as creative opportunities, Gareth. Often people can regard them as simple (and rather dull) technical ‘chores’ that are of limited use. Approached in the right manner, exercises should provide you with an opportunity to test out creative ideas and/ or the methodology for a particular assignment. Better to find out logistical headaches with an exercise than an assignment.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

A promising start. It’s encouraging that the post containing the assignment immediately highlights the work of a couple of different practitioners, and this is something to really kick on with. The quality of the ideas you have and the work you produce will very much linked to how much reading and viewing you do.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

There’s already plenty of material on your blog, which immediately highlights your enthusiasm and determination- great stuff. We’re obviously at a really early stage of everything, but something that will be massively important in assessment is a well-kept, easy to navigate and coherent blog. It’s really good to see you include such extensive preparatory materials, but do think about how you can keep these under control as you progress and create more ‘content’. Better to effectively sum up your preparation for a particular piece of work than produce multiple postings. I absolutely don’t want to discourage you from exploring and experimenting but do keep an eye on the fact that assessors will also be looking for consistently good judgement and an ability to manage your ideas. In this case, I think it would have made more sense to include each recce you did for the assignment under a single blog post, with the photographs from each shoot, if possible, being included in a slideshow. This would have made it a little easier to have an at-a-glance sense of how the work came together.
Equally, a navigation bar at the top of the page would make it much easier to hop from section to section. It might be worth you jumping on the student forums to take a look at your fellow students’ blogs, thinking about how they organise the content that they generate.

Suggested reading/viewing


Mainly because he’s based in the Norfolk area, but also because he’s produced much work in recent years that has its finger on the pulse of contemporary Britain, take a look at the work of Si Barber, especially his The Big Society project.
As far as literature goes, Richard Salkeld’s Reading Photographs is one that you should find useful throughout your time with the OCA.

Pointers for the next assignment

This all represents an encouraging start, Gareth, so the key now is to think about how the
research you do can feed into and inform your work with the camera. When writing up any
research, do be mindful of evidencing your learning, i.e., showing how you can make
productive use of the things that you’re reading/ looking at. If you want to fire over an email
with your ideas for A2, please feel free to do so.


My Thoughts

I have very much enjoyed this first assignment and am happy with the feedback from my tutor.

In response to the feedback, I have moved my learning log onto a separate blog from my main website so that it is easier to keep in order. I have also gone back as recommended to combine the posts about taking the photos into a single post and added a bit more information about what I did to take the photos and why


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