Module 10 was all about reflection – what are your strengths? What do you want to improve? Where would you like to be and how could you go about achieving it? For the ones who would like to go professional, there was also questions designed to help you to start building up your business plan.
I still feel like I need to improve in many areas, but I was surprised how far I have come since beginning this course. My camera no longer feels like it has a life of its own, and I was really able to focus and start to go deeper into some aspects and really got to explore certain areas that I struggled with. I was very pleased with how I went with this module, and was quite proud of my image that I submitted. The only disappointment was that it was marked by a substitute tutor, not my normal tutor, who normally gives a deep run down of the assignment and what my next steps should be. I only got a couple of lines back this time round, so felt a little bit bummed about it. It was just before Christmas so it’s not too surprising that some will be taking time off, which is fair enough. I did get a great mark still (9/10) so am happy about that 🙂
There was many different parts to this assignment, as each question made you have a think about a certain area/aspect of photography and your journey. Some where pretty simple; what are some practical limitations that might prevent you from taking the images you want, and what could you do about them? (ie/ travel costs? equipment? lack of subjects?). Others you had to go more in depth for, such as noting 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses. For myself it was easy to note down all the things I struggled with, but was harder to see my strengths. Lack of confidence was one of my weaknesses so this was probably a reflection of that. You then has to choose 4 short term goals that would help you to overcome these weaknesses, and submit one image that you worked on for this assignment. My 4 goals were;
- Build up my confidence by joining photography groups and/or look at entering my photos into small competition (just fun ones to begin with). As I previous posted before, I had started to become more involved in the PI Facebook groups and did submit an image into a comp (and was selected:) ), so that has helped a lot. I have also started looking at joining a photography club, but they have all broken up over the holidays so not the best time to start this! Will continue to work on this in the new year.
- Moon Photography. I would like to practise and refine my understanding of exposure by taking a photo of the full moon. Sound easy but can be harder than it looks! I have been having a go at this but this is going to be more long term – there are only so many full moons a year and you have to be really aware of the timing. This last full moon cycle for me was in the wee hours of the morning this round and it had been really busy at work for my husband so didn’t feel that it was right to drag him out of bed to look at the moon (though he has been very understanding the last few times!).
- Portraiture. This is an area of photography that I feel is my weakest; I’m not very natural with working with people, particularly strangers so this is out of my comfort zone a bit. I will also need to look a bit deeper at artificial lighting some more. I was originally going to do this for my submitted image but decided that I didn’t want to force to get it done so I could move onto the next module.
- “Wildlife” Photography. I would like to learn how to take better shots of wildlife (in this case it tends to be birds or bunnies in NZ so not really wild). A lot of the time my shots are either really underexposed, or movement is blurry – particularly bird wings. I would like to be able to take better action shots and learn more about the connections between shutter speed and exposure. This is the main goal that I focused on. It required several trips to certain areas with birds hanging around (Western Springs anyone?), but I found a nesting colony up near Muriwai Beach that I was able to get some awesome photos of. It took a few arvos and a couple of near soakings from the tides but I got this awesome photo sequence of some White Fronted Terns fighting over dinner in a 3 way battle. I ended up using one of the images for my assignment. Normally I would post it but I would like to see if I could submit is as one of my portfolio photos (for final assessment) first so will hold off with it at the moment. I also got a couple of nice shots a a local bunny family that liked to graze by the roadside. I got some good clean shots of the baby bunny running about – not quite as action filled as the bird images, but was happy with how things worked out. I really learnt a lot about my camera doing this exercise, so was very pleased with how I went with this module.
I have also been thinking whether to start a new blog dedicated to my photography, or maybe look at joining a site like Instagram or another type of dedicated photo-sharing platform. This particular blog is my professional blog so while I have been documenting my photography journey here, I am now getting close to finishing up on this personal goal so have to decide if I want to keep this blog professional only. I will contemplate on this over the next few weeks. Thank you for all those who have been following me on my journey, it is very nice to see the likes on my pages, it makes me feel good about documenting my progress. Thank you!
One more module left! Module 11: Final 6! (Module 12 is about giving ‘next steps’ advice so 11 is the final module to complete for the diploma). So close!