Tag : travel

Looking Back and What’s Next

Having finished the module and sent off the assignment I thought that I’d take a quick look back at the module, what I’d learnt and where to go next.

Prior to beginning this module I was looking at it as a chore, not something that would interest me at all. After all, why did I need to build up a network of contacts since I had no intention of taking my work out into the wider world. Similarly, why would I want a work attachment or analyse a role within the commercial world if I had no intention of entering it.

In addition, because I kept hearing about this need for a work attachment or internship during the module, even though I knew that I could do something else it, to some extent, set me against the module to begin with.

Not surprisingly those doubts soon disappeared and I thoroughly enjoyed the module. Many of my early misgivings stemmed from the fact that I was unsure about my work even after all this time with the OCA but a reasonable mark in Body of Work did help allay some of those fears and feedback from my burgeoning network of contacts, whose benefit I’d scorned at the outset, similarly gave me the confidence to proceed. Similarly, the essay that I completed instead of the work attachment was something that I found interesting. It involved some reading and research that I thoroughly enjoyed such as Balzer’s Curationsim.

As I started the module I quickly realised that it wasn’t simply about the portfolio that I intended to present as part of the module but it was about my practice in general, how should I take my work and my interest forward as a whole. With this in mind I utilised the framework of the early part of the module to expand my contacts further and solicit feedback on other elements of my work such as Travel and Wildlife. This aspect would run parallel to the main focus of the module, the presentation of a single body of work. However, it has led to a clear progression for my interest after the course has finished.

The travel aspect has led to a burgeoning relationship with one of the travel companies such that I’ve been offered free holidays with them if I commit to creating a portfolio of images on that holiday that they can use in their marketing. They’ve already use some of my images as double page spreads in their brochures and in the national press or magazines. It might not be as prestigious as some outlets but it gives me a real buzz when I see one of my images being used as a full page spread in the Guardian or Country Life etc.

The wildlife images have led me to plan another exhibition, this time in a commercial gallery. David, my tutor, was very supportive about this, suggesting that my wildlife images looked fully professional to him with the caveat that he wasn’t a wildlife photographer. However, he very encouragingly commented that they, to his eye at least, would not look out of place on a gallery wall among professional images.

As far as Virtual Boundaries is concerned, I’d like to take this forward and create a larger body of work looking at a number of different aspects of Windsor Great Park. This would include such things as ongoing conservation, the wildlife including the rare plants, the people who work there etc. I’d also like to write some essays to go with them covering similar subjects and also look at how people perceive areas such as the Park and include historical anecdotes. I’d envisage expanding my website to include these elements and, possibly, produce a book to complement the site which I’d market locally.

These plans to take it forward are something that I might try to approach through a Masters course with the OCA but that’s just a stray thought a the moment and I haven’t thought it through yet nor approached the OCA to see if it would be a feasible subject for such a course. Besides, I need to wait until my results come through for SyP!

Anyway, that’s it for now after a really enjoyable and rewarding few years with the OCA. Many thanks to all at the OCA that have helped, from the tutors to all of the staff at the head office.

Travel Portfolio Review – 1

The main purpose of Sustaining Your Practice seems to be the development of the student’s commercial and professional skills, preparing him or her for the outside world after the protected environment of the College. In many ways the structure of SyP is overly rigid for this and I’m sure that it’s not the intention of the College that the student sticks rigidly to the constraints of the course so long as they demonstrate the requisite skills and, at the very least, use SyP as a guideline structure.

With this in mind I fully intend to have two exhibitions, one on my mainstream BoW work and a second on my wildlife images but I’ll cover this elsewhere. One of the aims of SyP is to enable the student to build up a network of contacts and I’m doing that through my BoW reviews, the exhibition and the publicity for that exhibition. In addition, I’m getting my wildlife portfolio reviewed but this post covers the third strand of my burgeoning network, that of travel photography.

I enjoy travelling and I’m fortunate in that I’m able to travel fairly frequently so, it seemed a natural progression to merge two of my interests, travel and photography, to further develop my “network” and find other outlets for my work.

Throughout the years of my degree course I’ve tried to avoid being buttonholed into one genre or field but it could be said that I’m diluting my skills and my efforts. Howver, I can see plenty of overlap between landscape (BoY), wildlife and travel photography so why not make use of all three?

With this in mind I turned to a contact of mine, Caroline Dickinson, the Marketing Planning manager at Inntravel. For those that have not come across the company they facilitate walking and cycling holidays where the traveller walks or cycles between hotels, following a planned route, while the luggage is transferred to the next hotel. I’ve been on 8 or 9 of their holidays and cannot fault them at all.

I created a PDF, similar to the BoW Review PDF and asked Caroline if she’d mind reviewing them with a critical view from the travel industry.

A grid of the images can be seen above but the Travel PDF which links to the fullsize images can be viewed here.

Caroline was happy to oblige and provided me with extensive feedback for which I’m extremely grateful. Her overall review follows and is exactly the response that I was looking for in entering the very competitive, travel market. Obviously it is a difficult market to break into but Caroline’s comments, particularly coming from somebody in her role, are extremely encouraging.


The selection of images shows a real talent for capturing people and a ‘moment’ in time.  I don’t know the timeframe on when the images were shot but there is certainly more skill shown in some than others which would lead me to believe that the photographer has learnt new skills during their time taking them. 

In terms of using them for travel they are excellent examples of travel related photography be it places or people and inspire you to go to the location and experience the sights for yourself.  I have personally used one as a main focus on an advertising campaign and would certainly use others that are relevant to the destinations we go to.

She kindly gave me detailed feedback on the individual images and a couple in particular are worth mentioning here ( I would include them all as she was very complimentary but …)

Image 6 – lone man walking up the road

The scale of the landscape behind the man is fabulous, he is captured and you instantly see him then look beyond to the winding road, the mountains, the small homesteads.  Beautifully captured and great composition.  A moment in time certainly and you want to see this/encounter it for yourself.

For me the key phrase was “moment in time … you want encounter it for yourself” – exactly what I was trying to achieve and that I assume is the crux of travel photography.

Just to show that Caroline was critical as well.

Image 9 – Coastline

The different colours from the very dark sea to the brighter blue sky really contrast each other while your eye is drawn to the brilliant white of the light reflection along the body of land sticking out into the sea.  It just is lacking slightly in a main focal point as the body of land is very strong but there is also a strong cloud line in the sky and something within the sea so it just distracts from the overall image a little

I’ll also include this element of her feedback simply because of her comment about the “story within the shot“. I love it when somebody sees such a story in an image that I’ve made. I too, can see a story here but what intrigues me is how many different stories the different viewers have made up, are they all the same, is the story real?

Image 3 – buddists in temple

Very striking image – the three older men in discussion while the young boy is looking in wonder at something that we can only guess at – a great story within this shot certainly.  This has captured a wonderful moment within the image and also the old and the new when you see within the image the old stone steps then the new wooden steps by the adult men.  The clarity of the image is amazing.

Anyway, many thanks to Caroline (and to Inntravel) for her help – it was much appreciated.