Updated: Jun 14
"Change of life only comes to those that want to try."
Image: A view from my backdoor.
Discovering university life and the number of tools available to me.
Learning how to deal with my emotions and anxiety.
Learning to not be arrogant in class and with others helped me in good stead for the future.
finding out what Aldgate and Whitechapel are, as never been there before I began university.
Using studios and learning about darkroom technologies changed my world, I never forget the meeting with David George and James Can't and the comment I was told, that my eyes lit up when I was told that I can access all these great tools any time I need.
Studio / Outside shoot -
Model AARON FINCH Model / Actor.
I spent a lot of times in the studios to get a feel for them, and I hired equipment every other day to explore and experiment with different brands of equipment within London and at home.
Goin to Paris for the first time in my life for the Paris Art Fair. This was a lonely experience as such for I was still not mixing well with others, but however, I did learn about France and the culture they live in. I toured mainly on my own whilst not at the art fair.
I had an offer to take images at the Hilton Docklands during London Fashion Week, where I asked Matt from my class to join me as an assistant at the event, we both learnt a lot from this show.
One thing I learnt mainly was that London Fashion Week isn't what it is in reality and when you witness backstage and the stress these ladies go through, it made me retract my interest in fashion photography and focus more on the medium of photography as a whole.
Which wasn't so bad as I like to walk and explore.
Year 1 Exhibition, My first Hanging Image of my Photography.
Titled: BRAINWASHED GENERATION
My mental wellbeing not being to par is some of the noted as a personal experience and response to negative moments whilst in a social environment like a university for example.
Having silly petty arguments.
One which led to me having a 1 suspension from university property and an investigation was launched into the affairs between me and the other person from 3rd year, Elle, at the time.
I offered to end this situation and shook hands, and realised my medication for seizures was becoming more obvious with the side effects and this was addressed accordingly and thus the situation came to an end professionally.
Having a seizure 4 weeks into my first year which I got through even tho I looked a mess with bruises, I still came in to learn.
Dealing with a housing issue at the time put my mind under great stress, I was evicted 6 weeks after the university began and had to find emergency accommodation and move my items to storage, but no one hardly noticed unless they asked me if I was ok, as I looked a state due to tiredness and stress and the aftermath of the seizure I had in week 4.
Blending in with people from higher public class and reacting to petty arguments and making myself look a dolt to silly attitudes when I was there to learn and not react.
But I reacted well and learnt a major life lesson.
"Pushing forward to change, but there is always something to stop this."
Image: Hammersmith Highstreet. Fire Brigade return to the vehicle after call out.
The start of the 2nd year was indeed more inspiring for me to go further more and to produce and learn more from the university.
The year ahead was more educational and practical, and I took advantage of all these things
My projects for year 2 was to focus on models and the studio lighting system that the university has available.
I invited a model, Jacqueline Ramnarine, an Actress and Model, known for regular appearances in TV dramas such as Eastenders, into the university for a shoot so i can practice the art of studio photography.
I had to cover travel fees and lunch expenses as the only fees to pay, usually cost of this lady is £150 per hour for shoots and productions.
The model brought her own stylist with her, and I ensured the studio was adequate to stage a shoot by installing a temporary backstage changing area with the use of whiteboard reflectors.
Whilst doing this shoot, a group of students arrived on a tour exploring the university facilities, and it was a pleasure to show some of these students what I was up to, and why I had certain procedures.
One of the procedures was PPE and Safety within a studio environment, where cables are correctly covered so no trip hazards occur to the setting up of the lighting and camera to the mac system for display of each shot and also, of course, talking to the model that I asked to attend.
In general, a great experience working alone within a live photography shoot environment that embaled me to enhance my strength within being able to host and manage people within a studio environment.
For my main project, I wanted to engage more with moving imagery, a skill I learnt and enjoyed from the access course I studied prior to joining London Met.
I did this by making a number of edited collections with samples from Mobile Phone footage and DSLR. Also to music that is already copyrighted as I learnt I can experiment with these creatives skills and took advantage of the "under educational grounds" for having experimental videos created.
The main final for this year included audio without music, but however samples from many other recorded moments; such as Borris Johnsons National Lockdown speech to the UK for the start of the Covid Pandemic.
My main goal to create a remix edition of "Half the world away - oasis" from a POV of being a person observing the change of the public environment we live in, one of that is the obsession with mobile devices and that I would like to leave this city (London).
The project would have had a lot of my personal feelings within the edit, but it was rudely interrupted and put into the "later in life" production folder.
My final production for year 2 was a video production with a collaboration of different mediums used (Mobile Phone recorded footage to DSLR) and it was created within a historic period for most of humanity in 2020.
I choose to run with this moment and created a piece (1 min movie) for my submission, which I was happy with, as the narrative I wanted, had in mind, came together eventually.
The lockdown began, which enabled me to view other options for my year 3 final project.
I entered the summer in an aldgate photo call and came into the last 10 selected images.
The works are still hanging in Aldgate House in Whitechapel, but due to pandemic conditions, I can't get this image of me standing next to it and looking proud.
The COVID LOCKDOWN and having to study from home are some of the bad experiences that were forced upon me and as well as many more.
Homelife for me, like others I presume, is for RnR time, but having to make homelife my university life in one, was a massive challenge for me and I was prone to procrastinating and being overloaded with problems in my personal environment, and having to engage my university degree all from this small double room, was a massive challenge for me.
A trip paid up for 3 weeks to Sydney, Australia.
This had to be cancelled with immediate effect when the world got put into a pandemic lockdown.
This was a massive thing to cancel, as I had major ideas to shoot and document my journeys and then use these as a base for my final project.
Lockdown made me start to become lazy and very negative with myself, as not having people to speak with around me and having online-only was just a massive issue for myself and my mental wellbeing.
I survived it by forcing myself out of the house and making a schedule so I can focus on the new normal that has been forced upon us all.
My attitude was confusing this year also where I was having altercations with other students, and my anxiety was becoming overwhelmed where I was perceiving a childish attitude to staff and much more. It took Ania, one of my lead lectures to tell me straight in front of many a classmate that I need to relax recuperate and think about what I did wrong and take them wrongs and create a new right.
This I did and now I feel more engaged with myself more. Being called out so to speak in public helped me see how I was acting, and that I needed to change, and this was a great thing I believe that happened in my university life.
One other noticeable vexing issue was that I had to invest in my own equipment to be able to complete a project during a lockdown as I had no clear access to equipment till after lockdown 2 ended.
I purchased an AKASO action camera, and also invested in an OM 10-second hand analogue camera.
This investment hurt my budget at the time, but I felt I had no other choice to do so.
I had no other options to reach to, so I invested in equipment so I could complete the project idea and to be able to shoot freely and not use the excuse, that equipment was not available to them because of the pandemic and I could not shoot.
"The Final Year - The year that changed my photography and media production mind and how I see the world within the new normal of reality."
Image: Working from home, my desk during the lockdown.
This year has been a life-changer.
Prior to the start of the 3rd year, I spent the summer holidays prior to the start engaging within Westminster and Whitehall during a national pandemic and covering the aftermath of the famous BLM riot in Whitehall and the aftermath of the EDL invading the area a week later in response to the defacing/graffiti of the Statue.
I covered a lot within the area of protest's and meet a contact called Geza Tarjanyi, who ran Justice UK (see footage from the pen outside downing street for a brief. I was here backstage on this recording in September 2020, day 51 ).
This protest group formed and was running protests outside 10 Downing Street in regards to untested vaccines and the lack of freedom of speech on COVID and more.
I met other new faces, those from EDL and BLM (13th June 2020) that caused violence and many more faces that are now a part of a new major protest movement, known otherwise as stand up x.
University at home for me was a hard time to get around.
I went out and walked during lockdowns to different areas, sometimes I was cheeky and took the transport to the city and blended in with other key workers so I can get to the location to see if I can record something archival. I could sense something was going to happen soon, and this something did happen without much MsM attention.
I saw a chance to get into a circle where I possibly could get direct raw footage of a situation forming.
I was given access to work of Geza, and had access to his Facebook live feeds, where he would record live outside Downing street, and one example is where he confronted Micheal Gove leaving and getting a taxi, which never has been seen outside of social media in this circle I discovered.
The circle got bigger and I noticed a change in how I saw certain individuals walking next to me, or observing me in weird or from afar, i,e across the street.
I noticed at one point when going home some faces appear in the area I live, at least 15 miles away and from this moment, I become more aware of something isn't right.
The new year began at university in September from my desk at home.
Home for me is a double rented room with everything inside, and this became a prison for me within a mental aspect.
I had nowhere to relax or take my mind off things after studying, the only thing I could do was walk around the local area in a lockdown, and these walks become long distanced walks and furthermore, it became a start of a new project to capture the change of the UK in this pandemic situation.
Study at home was hard, in fact, it was extremely hard to focus. I was enjoying the life of the university, going to campus having the freedom to walk in when I chose to use facilities on offer etc then it just ended.
I had no equipment to hand that was working and the only income coming in was universal credit and then later on the maintenance grant from SFE.
I felt I had no choice to buy a 2nd hand camera and a new action camera/body camera if I was to succeed in completing my end of year project.
A mobile phone would not be sufficient for a professional degree in photography.
Yes, I am aware a pandemic was on and it technically wasn't the university fault that I could not get the equipment or other funds to support this, but I feel strongly that I got robbed of a massive part of my university experience and I had to spend money on equipment that I shouldn't have had to do.
The classes for university were "ok" online, there was educational flare going on, but however I would lose attention, or my eyes are tired from looking at the same thing day in and day out and not having the human interaction I need to focus and be more myself.
I've lost a lot of key learning time, some of that where I would use the darkroom and the studios during the lockdown and would be nice in the future if I would be invited to use the facilities more after the pandemic ends.
The teachers helped me online when they could via web learn and one 2 ones and got my ideas working when the original project failed of where I was willing to make media production content for Geza.
This ended when I felt a narcissistic attitude appearing around me, where I would be asked to do freebies constantly and also I didn't get a response for the media release form on email, I was asked to go collect from a pen signed document.
Yes, I know this is still lawful, but for records for my new online journal, I asked for an email response, which I never got.
I learnt so much within 4 months, of new attitudes, how other issues are being spoken of how a new resistance is forming and the organised crime that is being spoken of within government, and this sparked me to research more into the face of these claims, which led me to write my dissertation on "The special demonstration squad" and how and why they was formed and if they still exist in today's society, I got a feeling that this is the case. I think it may be in action still from the faces I see all the time and act really suspiciously within the area I notice them and also following myself or others in the circle I got into.
This led to my eventual arrest in November, where I stopped and then changed my project to capture the essence of whats going on, but no controversy as to what I was following.
What I captured isn't dead.
I still have use soon for the footage as a form of proof of how the UK wasn't just scared and upset about COVID but about a lot more emotional issues that are being blocked blatantly by governments worldwide.
I cleaned up issues with other students and remade some form of "calm" with those that I didn't agree with and vice-versa.
I felt I learnt a lot about myself, and where I want to head in the future, and this future involves travelling, and hopefully within a media production company of some sort as an intern or some other form of freelanced work, whilst working on projects and seeing what commissioned work can be granted funds or investment and what type of contests that will accept my work as a new professional after my graduation.
Whilst shooting and gathering data from what's going on in London, i managed to cover a moment where police allowed those with press pass privileges against the covid 19 section 32 law. Click here to see, over 3k in views so far. I created this footage from impulse and I saw this as a key information point that needed to be shown to the public.