M2 Wk8: Workshop Guidance

Week 8: Independent Reflection

Throughout my professional teaching career, I have taught photography as an extracurricular activity.  Back in the 90’s, in addition to composition and the practical camera-based skills, I would teach darkroom technique – something I do very much miss in the digital age.

Image editing is firmly on my teaching curriculum and is very much enjoyed by the pupils.  School trips to South Africa lend themselves to large amounts of photography and more often than not this gives me the chance to provide tuition in the field.  However, the tuition is not all one-way: my skills are poor when it comes to video work, yet this seems to be an area in which teenagers are drawn and their skills are often incredibly impressive, so I always take the opportunity to learn from their expertise.  They have the advantage of instant feedback and almost limitless online instruction – I wonder where my photographic skills would be had I had similar opportunity?!

I have been asked by a good friend to provide a (paid for) half-day photographic workshop in Oxford for a colleague of theirs who is a keen amateur photographer wanting to progress his skills further.  This would be an opportunity for him to learn some new techniques while also benefitting from ‘playing’ with my assorted ‘pro’ kit.  Conveniently, we both used Canon making the process a little simpler.  I have never done such a thing before and know that it will require me to spend a good deal of time planning routes and locations, as well as asking permissions to photograph certain locations.  I would be extraordinarily anxious about it were it not for the fact that I am having to work 15+ hour days playing catch-up on my MA and have been doing so every available day of the summer.

Having only just returned from a two-week school trip, I have huge areas of catch-up to address in the knowledge that I am taking my summer holiday in a week’s time.  The coming week will have to be spent both taking project photographs and processing them.  However, I need to rationalise this, since every completed image typically represents 2-3 days of work and I know that the last Oral Presentation occupied me solidly for 8 days!  Very little time and huge amounts to do.

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