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  • Writer's pictureMark Paterson

BACHELOR of ARTS with HONOURS - My 3 yr journey is complete

Back in 2020, just after the Covid pandemic started, I took the decision to apply to the University of Cumbria with the possibilty of attaining my BA (Hons) in Photography. Having left school at 16 (with 4 O'levels) and began working straight away never did I think that almost 30 years later, I would rejoin the education system.

Having attained my HNC and HND from Dumfries and Galloway College, the prospect of Academic study did cause me some fear. And with Lockdown starting and not going anywhere, it was also an opportunity to further enhance my photography skills that I had developed over the previous 5 years.

I can still remember the call from the tutor at the time, asking me questions and setting me a mini task to complete as my submission. My nerves somehow remained calm and I was able to impress him enough to be accepted on the 3 year course. The project I had was a walk on the way to work (I worked for Tesco at the time) so the opportunity to document a walk to work during Covid was something that appealed.

While many businesses were closed, or people working from home, Dumfries became a ghost town like every town and city elsewhere. As Freshers week began, the tutorials were online, with a day in the class room. Except that first week we had a brief to complete. The brief was Frames

As someone who had always been a documentary photographer, to have the subject "dictated" to me was a little strange at first. But, once I got my head around the concept I began to flourish.

Image taken during the FRAME task during the Freshers Week

The image above was the best image that I had taken on that morning, with the subject of FRAME. Using the windscreen as 1 frame, then the rear view mirror of another frame, with the final frame the rear window. Now I can understand that this wouldn't hang on someones wall in their home, it did begin to change my thinking as to what could be achieved through photography.

Looking for abstract connections and how they contribute to the overall story of the work would initially end up being in my Final Major Project at the end of the course. As it did throughout my University projects and probably will continue for the foreseeable future.

Next time, I'll share the final image in the series that gained me my Degree

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