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FORMAT – OCA study visit thumb

FORMAT – OCA study visit

This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.     Long gone are the days when Gareth and I would outnumber the students coming on study visits. And so are the days when students would only look at exhibition work on a purely formal aesthetic […]

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OCA study visit to Arles thumb

OCA study visit to Arles

In September 2013 the OCA will cross the Channel and travel to the Rencontres d’Arles. It was only a mater of time before we agreed to add an international photography festival to our calendar of visits. The overwhelmingly positive feedback on our study visits that we had in 2012 encouraged us to expand the geographical […]

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Can't make up my mind… thumb

Can't make up my mind…

…about Salgado’s Genesis work. The images of his 8-year-long photographic project elicit a cocktail of emotions in me. Awe, sadness, admiration, anger. I feel them all pretty much at the same time. The diversity of emotions that Salgado’s work triggers is arguably one of its many strenghts. But it makes the job of conceptually processing […]

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Inspiration from Level 1 thumb

Inspiration from Level 1

Every now and again I come across work at Level 1 that denotes skills and photographic maturity well beyond that level. John Chapman’s compelling and thought-provoking final assignment for Art of Photography, which focuses on one of the Emmaus villages, is one such body of work. “I chose the subject, Emmaus, because I was interested in what […]

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The 'whole'…and the 'I' thumb

The 'whole'…and the 'I'

The characteristic seasonal blue glow of the evening is long gone by the time we reach the surface again. 3 days and over 75 submission later, I and four other assessors leave the basement where the latest photography assessment had taken place. This time it was perfectly obvious that the standards of submission are rising, […]

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Edgelands thumb


It is at this time of the year that, rather despondently, my sense of ‘anti-aesthetics’ seems to be particularly acute. It may well be the effect of the changing seasons but instead of being drawn outside in search of autumn colours in the countryside, I seem to find perverse pleasure in looking at the no-mans […]

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Memory & Seeing thumb

Memory & Seeing

“I could only remember photographs, not faces…”, said the interviewee on yesterday’s Radio4 Today programme – from 1hr40′ onwards. Normally, in my half-asleep state at that time of the morning I struggle to pay attention to what is being said. However, that statement not only woke me up but also triggered a chain of interconnected thoughts […]

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Alamy's 100% royalties thumb

Alamy's 100% royalties

  Alamy’s student initiative is now one year old. The scheme gives students the opportunity to submit work to Alamy stock library and get 100% royalties on the sales of their images. The OCA was one of the first institutions to take part; we announced the collaboration at the beginning of the year. To mark the […]

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52 weeks of OCA in The Big Issue in the North thumb

52 weeks of OCA in The Big Issue in the North

  That’s a whole year, during which OCA students have been submitting their work to The Big Issue in the North (BITN). Ben Robinson was the first student contributing to the partnership in 2011. His photograph of Sheffield-based singer-songwriter Gibson set the high standards that subsequent submissions have upheld. Ben, who produced the images while working […]

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out of sight…out of mind? thumb

out of sight…out of mind?

The Olympic and Paralympic parade in London a couple of days ago was the closure of an extraordinary summer of British sport. For me, the biggest achievement of London 2012 was its contribution to raising the profile of Paralympic sports. London 2012 challenged people to re-think their understanding and views on disabilities. In my own […]

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