Not that I wasn’t before, but it will all make sense shortly.

Ok…let me explain, I have been really caught up with events and my attention to this blog has slacked big time. I have a very good excuse though and I hope you will all forgive me.

Well, since my last blog post, I have gone and graduated, with honours, from University. I even did a whole vlog about it and in case you missed it…here it is:

So, I am forgiven, right?

I have been busy preparing for life after university and adulting, that this blog had to take a back burner for a while. I am back though and I will try as much as possible to keep you lot updated.

So yeah, my graduation happened and as a present to myself, I went away (without the kids) to visit my family in Poland (vlog on this coming soon). It was a much-deserved break after slogging away in Uni for the better part of 5 years. I am now back and ready to hustle.

Going to university was not a decision I made lightly especially when trying to be a wife and mother, it can get really tough. How I managed to get through it all, only God knows, as I was on the verge of quitting a few times. I wrote about joining here and the lessons I learnt here.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

So there you have it, folks, I am now officially a Photographer and it’s on paper. I am super proud of myself for seeing this part of my journey through despite the ups and downs.

Here is to life after uni! đŸ»

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Galleries, art and photography

The National Gallery - Sainsbury Wing
The National Gallery – Sainsbury Wing

This year, I have vowed to myself to visit more galleries. After all, the more I attend lectures at University, I realise the importance of art in photography. Hundreds of years before photography, people relied on paintings as they used to give us a sense of places or people you wouldn’t have access to. How they looked like or behaved. Whether it was a true depiction or not, we will never know, but one thing remains certain is there was always and still is a demand for art.

Photography however, came and changed all that. Somehow depicting the true nature of what was and still is, objects in front of the camera that is ‘eventually’ captured in their simplest form. Same question that still lingers is whether a true depiction of the subject matter was captured in some cases. Images taken will always have a story behind them. The same way as when an artist does a painting.

So, being a last person, I rushed to see the Seduced by Art: Photography Past & Present, an exhibition that recently concluded at The National Gallery and it was best at explaining all this.

“View Old Master painting through a new lens
 a provocative look at how early and contemporary photographers have made use of fine art traditions.”
Excerpt from the exhibition leaflet

The exhibition was awesome, but I wish it had more time after my lecture on Modernity the following day so I could go back and see it again, as some of the stuff the lecturer discussed I saw at the exhibition. Perhaps in hindsight, I got to enjoy and understand the lecture more.

Please watch the video playlist from The National Gallery as it gives a better insight on what the exhibition was all about.

Update: 23 Jan 2013
Just realised the video link was letting me share the playlist. Please look for clips where Tina Barney and Jorma Puranen discuss how paintings influence them in their photography work in relation to the exhibition. (Click links of the artists to see some of their work as discussed on the videos)

Studying Photography

Well, since my last post, I have been busy with making major changes with regards to me being a ‘photographer’. I have decided to go back to school or rather, learn much more than I have taught myself up until now.

Bright day, bright future. #orientation #education

This has been a decision that has been weighing in my conscience for more than two years and after having my son, I am now ready to embark on this journey. So, for the next four years, I will be hitting the books both theoretically and practically as I learn the art of photography.

As I write this post, I have enrolled as a first year student for a Photography Degree course and already attended my first lecture.

Already my head is bursting with the sheer amount of information being provided. Learning new things even before I know the layout of campus like the back of my hand.

First set of books out the library. #education #photography
Already….some ESSENTIAL reading going on.

What I love about this course is that I can study part time and still continue to work. Not many courses around London have that flexibility. It would have meant signing up for a full time course and quitting my job and that isn’t an option at the moment. On the other hand, most photography courses specialise in specific subject matters like fashion, photojournalism, commercial, etc. Whereas this one touches on all that and much more. This suited me as I am still undecided on what kind of photography I want to specialise in.

The fact that we have theory lectures on photography is already teaching me that I have alot to learn about the craft. It’s not all about just taking pictures, but why we take them and how they are interpreted. In my first lecture on Photography and Visual Culture, we looked at a documentary “Fatal Exposure” about a famous fashion photographer, Davide Sorrenti, who died at the tender age of 20 due to pre-existing form of hereditary anaemia and a heroine overdose. What struck me was his talent, how his photography was interpreted around the circumstances surrounding his death. This was a photographer who prompted a comment from a head of state to stop publicising his ‘heroin chic’ images as glamourous. Davide took photographs of mostly his closest friends and his girlfriend who at the time unfortunately took drugs. This documentary on it’s own just highlighted alot of details on photography and how they can be used as powerful tools.

Later on the day for my practical module, it was some sort of introduction to manual cameras and dark room techniques which we will have to master throughout the course. So, I was re-introduced to 35mm B/W film and a VERY manual SLR. We got to learn the basics of photography…… aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. How to load a film onto a camera, which I discovered I had completely forgotten and how to re-learn to take pictures without knowing how they have turned out. Back to basics kind of stuff, which I am looking forward to. Now, to just go out there and snap away…..albeit carefully as you are limited to the famous 36 frames in this instance. Once all my film is used up, I get to learn how to develop my own film *fist pump* in my next class. Perhaps, I will be able to share some of them.

I won’t bore you with my once a week experience about attending university and what I learn. I just wanted to celebrate/share a little of what the next four years will be like on a weekly basis. I know it will not be easy at times, especially when I have a 2k word essay to write and deadlines to meet. Even before I made my decision to go to Uni, I was already getting questions as to why now.

I want to do this to get the knowledge that I won’t get anywhere else, if I want to be professional about it. I want the education to sustain me and to keep my creative juices flowing. Be able to talk about photography and engage in discussions about my work and that of others with a different approach than before. I am also doing this for my sanity really. It is something I have always wanted to do and it’s one of those decisions in life, that if you don’t do it you will regret for the rest of your life. So I said to myself, that I will do it and even if I fail I can at least hold my head up high and say that I tried, but having said that, my aim is to succeed.

I will leave you with this TED video my tutor mention in class on photographing light. In essence, photography is the art of capturing light onto a light sensitive material, but I am sure this clip will leave you amazed at how ideas evolve and are improved with time. Enjoy.

So……here is the next four or so years…….!

I dedicate this post to Thandiwe and Mutua. Some how, it takes other peoples talent to motivate and inspire. I am humbled.