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There is always time to learn something new'

I recently finished a course online. I'd had a look round for some time, for a course that didn't involve taking pictures yet had something to do with photography. I felt that a fresh insight and a different perspective on what I do for a living wouldn't be a bad starting point. I read lot's of photography related journals and look at 100's of photographs (not my own!) but sometimes it's not enough to stretch the mind.

Photograph MoMA

I came across courses run by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. There were quite a lot to choose from and after some deliberation I chose 'Seeing Through

Photographs' The synopsis of what it was about and what it involved seemed to suit what I was looking for.

Introduction by MoMA

"Since its invention in 1839, photography has served as a medium for documenting, understanding, and interpreting the world. It has been reinvented continually through technological advancements and by the diverse ways in which artists and professionals have used it. Today nearly two billion images are uploaded daily to the internet, and our exposure to images has never before been more continuous or potentially consequential. But while taking, viewing, and sharing photographs has become almost second nature, we may not be as visually literate as our engagement with images suggests.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Ansel Adams’s statement reminds us that photographs are shaped by a series of choices made by the photographer. Moreover, the way we interpret a photograph is influenced not only by the photographer’s intention, but by the ways in which a picture is produced, edited, and circulated.

Using works from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art as a point of departure, this course will help you learn to look critically at photographs by introducing a diversity of ideas, approaches and technologies that inform their making. You will hear from artists and curators who offer a variety of perspectives on what a photograph is and the ways that photography has been used throughout history and into the present day: as a tool for science and exploration; as a means of documenting people, places, and events; of telling stories and recording histories; and as a mode of communication and critique in our ever increasingly visual culture."

Learning Objectives

• Develop skills to better examine and understand the differences between photographs

and photographic images.

• Discover how context influences the production, circulation, and reception of photographic


• Learn about different modes of artistic and technological experimentation and innovation

in photography.

• Investigate photography’s role in our increasingly visual culture.

Anyway, onwards and upwards, I signed up and put my learning head on!

I found the set modules very interesting, there were six main modules (marked) plus two essays (marked) and a peer graded assignment at the end. Even more interesting was a 'Review of your peers' which meant I could see what other people in my group had written for their essays.

How do I pass the course?

To earn your Course Certificate, you’ll need to earn a passing grade on each of the required assignments — these can be quizzes, peer-graded assignments, or programming assignments.

Videos, readings, and practice exercises are there to help you prepare for the graded assignments.

.... and so, weeks later!

Here we are, course completed, been there, done that!

Was it worth it?

Most definitely, and very pleased with my 91% grade. Not bad I thought, for someone who hasn't written an essay for a long, long, long time!

I am just going to have lie down for a while - but you never know I just might do another course, one day!

Here's the link for those who might want to know more. MoMA don't just do photography courses, there are many creative related courses to choose from.

Photograph MoMA

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