COVID - 19 - Adaptions and changes to final year:

Due to Covid 19 the final year of university has had to be changed and adapted to the current developing situation. The university will be closing and all our final study will be taking place online. Meaning we as 3rd year students will be completing the course from home. 

All of our work will be put online for submission and our lessons will be done via video chats. These changes had to be made for the safety of all students and teachers of the university in the current pandemic. It is a huge adaption and change to try, especially when putting a creative, hands on course online. Not only that but due to lock down restrictions, we are restricted on what our projects can be on, where we can go to take photos and for how long. 

Many of my fellow students were recommended to not use film photography because of not having the facilities of the university and the possibility of the film development companies closing due to the pandemic. Many had to change projects, due to not being able to collaborate with the subjects they were going to. For myself though I felt it would be possible to continue my project but would just have to change a few aspects to make it work for the current situation. I would not be able to use the studio facilities to photograph my subjects and the possibility of combining digital and film photography would have to be scraped. 

The positive that was repeated by our lecturers was that we as photographers had the chance to document and create work in a very historical moment of time. Making all our work unique during the pandemic. I remember being told to “Be in the world, be present of the time” which has stuck with me throughout the development of my project and helped keep me going when things haven’t gone to plan or been limited due to rules and regulations put in place about the situation by the government. 

As a course and community though we have not let this separate us and we have developed to the changing times to make the most out of sharing our work online to publicise our London exhibition, which has been postponed along with our degree show. Not only that many of us have been entering competition and join online exhibitions as a way of keeping productive and getting our work out there. 

Our sketchbooks have been moved online due to submission, some doing the work straight on to the computer, others doing sketchbooks and moving work over to online later, like myself. I am doing the work this way as I personally find it easier to put my ideas out on paper in note, mind maps and diagram drawings. This works for me and is a more enjoyable way for me to work. 

The project has been extended by 3 weeks due to the loss of a couple of weeks at the beginning of the lock down, when moving the course online and people were moving back home. In this difficult time we have all kept in contact, supporting each other listening to each others work progress, issues that have come up and personal worries.  I feel although we were already a strong group this pandemic has made us even stronger and helped us to develop together. 

When the situation is lifted as a course we will be able to go back to print portfolios, sort out prints for the degree show and London show as well as go back for our graduation. Which are all positives to look forward to and help keep us happy that this is not the end. The end we expected to be pushed aside due to the situation but it has not and the university are making sure we get exactly the same as our predecessors have to help get us into our career paths and open up possible work for us with networking. 

Apart from the aspect of being at home the lecturers have kept the teaching as normal as possible within the situation for which I am grateful of the time and effort they have put in to carry on. There is still much to look forward to that will keep us going in this difficult time. Guest lectures being one, which many thought would not happen once the lock down started but has helped keep a sense of normality to a very strange change in teaching on our course. There is limited time in which we can go out, such as for one hour exercise and only essential trips which has also been a prospect to consider when creating the work but many of us have been able to adapt and make the situation work overall, which shows a resilient and resourceful course overall. 

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