LO5 · Interactions with OCA community

Interactions with OCA community and other photographers

In this course I have regularly participated in the Documentary hang out sessions whereby the main focus has been feedback and showing work. The main areas that I have received feedback on work have been assignments and in particular three and five. The discussion in the group about assignment 3 documentary (PDF book dummy) visual story telling was pivotal in the decision to rework the assignment as well as formative feedback from the tutor. The small group who met regularly were consistent and attentive to each others needs, clear and direct in feedback. I have found this very useful. The previous level, at level 1, felt like there was less commitment from the students. Here at level two I perceived more maturity and commitment to working on the assignments.

Feedback from Lynda in assignment 3 was especially useful:

‘its come along wonderfully. OK so here are my thoughts, just bear in mind I used to proofread and do desktop publishing in a previous life. I’d leave the page numbers out entirely, but if you want them in then your About… page should be page 1. If you shrink the margins on this page, you will be able to create those 3 paragraphs you have going just under The Essence of the Matter. If you don’t want the paragraphs, I’d suggest bringing up the text so that you don’t have so much white space at the end of the 2nd lines. Check the spelling – incessant and not incecent. Your sentence “Thus we are seeing The end of normal Why?” is missing some punctuation I think – between “normal” and “Why?” . Check your last paragraph – you have an irregular line spacing between the 1st line and the second one and also the final line. It looks as if you put those lines in a separate text box maybe.  Spelling of ransack. Finally on that page check the size of the font for your last closing quote ‘take stock’. Its bigger than the opening quote. Personally, I would omit the text on pages 8 and 10 – just leave the verso (left) pages blank. White space is good – gives the viewer time to breathe. I’m a little ambivalent about the last quote. If you do leave them in you will need to put the source in. In my landscape book I first just put the quote and mentioned at the back all quotes were from the Edgelands book, but my tutor had me put in proper citations. Oh – and you might want to think about making your headings bold just to make them more prominent.’
‘Its a great piece of work. My two favourite images are the one with you sitting with your mask surrounded all that blueness – very apocalyptic and the one with (your wife I presume) shooting the tree – speaks volumes!! Show it to the group on Thursday) :-.(Kuit, 2020)
During the earlier part of the course (Part 2) I contacted Martin Shields about a photograph that appeared in the course manual: The football boys (Pg. 36, OCA Documentary fact and fiction). The reason I wrote to him was because I wanted the title of the image. For whatever reason, shields responded by telling me about the photo and how it came about:
The football boys, Martin Shields, 2002 Glasgow

Response from Martin Shields: ‘Hi there, the picture you are talking about was taken for The Evening Times newspaper in Glasgow where I worked as  staff photographer. The original picture of the boys was taken in a different location to the houses in the background. The montage was done by the picture editor to give it a more dramatic effect. All of these old buildings are now all demolished. The date it was taken would be around the publication date…(Shields, 2019.)

This interaction with Shields, as mentioned in the review I have written for assessment, simply clarified and hit home how photography as a language can be so easily distorted and presented as fact. Not only that, and from talking later with David Wyatt, I am informed that it is accepted practice in the UK to do so. A level of naivety has dropped away. The positive thing is that I feel freer to explore different interpretational possibilities of the perceived world.

My interactions with the art world go beyond only photography. I have several friends who are practitioners of different art forms, painters, sculptures and ceramists. Also I am in close contact with a local commercial portrait photographer named Pepe Marin. Before I owned a printer I used to to order my prints from him and we have struck up a friendship over the years. This has led to a sharing on many occasions of inspirations and ideas about photography.


Kuit, L. (2020) Re: feedback on assignment 3 documentary [email conversation May 2020]  lynda512863@oca.ac.uk

Image. The football boys (2002) OCA manual (pg. 36)

Shields, M. (2019) Re: The football boys [email sent to Martin Shields, 2019] martinshieldsphoto@gmail.com


Published by Truevisionphotography

I'm a student photographer studying through the OCA a UK based arts university. I'm in the foundation year of my studies and enjoying it immensely. I'm also a yoga teacher and co-founder of Bodhiyoga a buddhism based yoga teacher training program that runs in the UK and Spain each year. As a photographer I'm interested in all forms of fine art. I find the arts really important in my life. I love nature and aim to be in the outdoors as much as I can. Generally I think that all the different strands of my life are flowing to towards self development in the greatest sense of the term. The arts, buddhist practice yoga and meditation are all tools to that end. I feel committed to communication the these values in the world both through the visual arts as well as teaching.

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