Matthew Willman Exhibition

Entrance to the Exhibition

Royal School of Ballet

This is the first exhibition that I have really visited since starting TAOP and been able to write something about.  There is no doubt that visiting such an exhibition provides one with ideas and inspiration.  I feel importantly with this one was Matthew’s openness to discussing his work.  It really was a pleasurable experience.

The full write up of the exhibition is on a separate page under ‘Exhibitions’ here

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Assignment Two – Wildlife

Well, I have now submitted my second assignment in which I have used the theme ‘Wildlife’.  This was challenging as all the birds and animals photographed have been ‘in the wild’ so not easy to work around to make the best photograph.  However, I have really enjoyed this and hope that anybody that looks at the images enjoys looking at them.  The full assignment is posted as a separate page here.

Next is colour and I need to make some significant progress with this section.

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Exercises for Part 2


Well, I have spent about two days updating the exercises for part two although I still have a bit to do on Exercise 17.  I am not sure that having a separate page is the best way to maintain a blog record of what one does. Although it does provide a easy way of accessing those exercises it also seems that I am not really blogging much which I think is also a disadvantage as the few followers that I may have would lose interest and my Tutor probably thinks that I have given up!

The other think about blogging using this template is that I find that I am having to delve into the HTML code more and more to achieve the formatting that I want.  This is a pain as I know nothing aboout HTML.

At the moment I am also doing what I think many do and that is to write my learning log in Word and then cut and paste into the blog.  This has some advantages in keeping the record in more than one place but it is time consuming.

I will post this now as I want to write a summary for what I have learnt in Part 2, write a precis of ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger and then start writing up my Assignment 2.


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Learning, progressing and Doing!

Am I progressing or achieving anything.  I seem to go in fits and starts and find it much easier to read about what others are doing rather than to do anything myself.  During a recent communique on the OCA site about metaphor, I posted the above photograph that I had taken a few days ago.  I wondered if too much was read into the photograph or in fact nothing at all.  Some fell into the latter category and a few comments posted words that I had felt when taking the photo.  There were also some thoughts that were certainly beyond my own but I could relate to them on reflection.  Were these of true metaphor, or were they feelings evoked by the picture – again some of both I think.

This was a valuable exercise to me and aided my understanding of reading a photograph / art where I feel that I am still in infant school.

I have been taking photographs for meeting the exercises for part 2 and also for the assignment 2 without spending time writing these up in my blog and Word files.  So now againI will have a flurry of activity – not good, I think, and feel that I need to have a more continuous effort rather than having this daunting task of writing it all up.


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An Update

Well the focus of all my work recently has been to update my blog with all the exercises leading up to Assignment 1.  I sent off the assignment to my tutor about a week ago (20 Jan) and await his comments – although I am not sure how eagerly!

Well my updates have been going reasonably well although I still have four exercises to add with the one on ‘balance’ presenting some technical challenges to me.  I have the photographs selected and know what I want to show but getting this into my blog is causing me some headaches.

Another frustration is not being able to use photographs that I have taken during my travels in South East Asia.  Anyway to overcome this I will add one here.  I know that Dewald has recently been to Kyoto so here is one of mine from there.

A few more days of sorting out my blog and then on to Part Two.

At the moment I am working from my house in Underberg which is great – every morning I have the view as shown in the header of my Blog!  Have to give this a break now and do some gardening.

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I have been reading a number of threads on the OCA Site recently which, have really brought home to me what I should be thinking about when making photographs for exercises and assignments and how I should consider my developmental pathway.  Much of the enlightenment has come from comments made by CliveW for which I am very thankful and would like to document his comments and some of other contributors here.

The following are found on the thread:

The first relates to development as one progresses through the course:

CliveW: “One of my personal rough models is that at Level 1 you’re discovering that you can have a ‘voice’, at Level 2 you’re looking for it, at Level 3 you’re using it.”

This makes sense to me and I will bear it in mind as I go on.  However, more importantly is:

Peterjh: (
”The best way to go about all the assignments is to find a way of using the technical requirements to enhance the content/meaning or whatever of the images rather than simply look around for some images to illustrate the techniques.”

CliveW:  ‘
I was thinking that by the end of the module you understood landscape as metaphor, even if you didn’t exactly think of it in those terms. But you’d journeyed to a more sophisticated understanding than ‘hello clouds, hello trees, hello sky!’

The difficult part, the quest of discovery, is finding out what you want to photograph…’ ‘…and, crucially, asking yourself why?’

A fellow student (Michael Millmore) summarises his thoughts well in a subsequent comment.  My thoughts are VERY similar.

As mentioned at the start of this note, these comments have made me realise what is required.  Previously I had in mind to use flowers for my colour assignment where I could find the appropriate colour combinations.  This is not enough.  I need to look for instances where the photograph stands on its own and the colour or combinations of colours enhances it.  Now the big question is can I do this?  I am not so sure at the moment.  I understand the concept, have reasonably mastered the technical aspects of making a photograph, but can I implement these aesthetic elements successfully?

These are the challenges ahead and I hope that I can progress through this and other courses conquering them and progressing.

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A New Start

Today I have spent trying to fathom out how to use WordPress and to place what material I have into the somewhat constraining format that I am limited to.  I have made some progress and hope that I can now maintain this as my learning log.

With regard to my progress in TAOP I have achieved a lot less than I had hoped or planned by this time.  However, Christmas with all its trappings and commitments plus a new hip at the end of October have all been distractions.  Now, retired and committed, to TAOP, I must put my head down and progress.

On the Flickr site I posted my 2012 plans as:

Now the hard stuff:
1. Finalise and submit my 1st TAOP Assignment that has been dragging.
2. Migrate my blog that I have started on iWeb to WordPress – I was just starting to get the hang of it.
3. Complete TAOP by about July – need to be focussed on this and stop procrastinating.
4. Register for Landscape and PaP later in the year.
5. Participate more on the OCA and Flickr forums.
6. Do all the other things in the Job Jar!

So, I will publish this site tonight as a first step, even though it is incomplete.

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