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Student interview: studying photography online

Created on Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:27 by Jennifer Piper 

The Open2Study team loves getting to know our students, so when we heard that student Clare Farrelly had won a photography competition with some of her work from The Art of Photography, we had to find out more.

Catch A Drop Of Sunlight by Clare Farrelly

Catch A Drop Of Sunlight by Clare Farrelly

"The author has seen something a little different. Well done."

Tell us a bit about yourself – where do you live, where did you grow up, what do you do for work and fun?

My name is Clare and I am the eldest of six. I live in the beautiful Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia. I have always lived in the same town. In my seventeen years I have had many hobbies some of which are writing, sketching, stamp collection, reading, raising chooks and blogging, but most of all photography. I have done a more in-depth course after the O2S one and since then have done a few photo shoots for people, which is both a passion and a job for me.

How did you learn about Open2Study?

I learnt about Open2Study through an online homeschool group. Some friends had also done a few courses.

Please tell us about the recent competition, in which your photography was recognised. What prompted you to enter the competition?

I have entered photos in the local show since 2006 when I was just starting to take photos. The very first time one of the two photos I entered got a first. Since then it has been an annual event I look forward to. This year I did the best I ever have, getting seven firsts. There are lots of different photography sections and the one I entered photos I took during this course, is called; Creative Photo.

Which photograph/s were recognised?

My photograph Splashes Stilled placed first and the judge commented, “Beautiful image. Water looks like molten glass. Good composition exposure and texture. Good colours with no distraction.” My photograph Catch A Drop Of Sunlight placed second with the following comment, “The author has seen something a little different. Well done. Good choice of colours of the tweezers, which contrast well to the sunlight. The image could have been improved by cropping out some of the light at the top of the image.” Cup Of Light placed fourth, highly commended.

Splashes Stilled by Clare Farrelly

Splashes Stilled by Clare Farrelly

"Beautiful image. Water looks like molten glass."

How did the forums and other social networks help with your photography study? Do you still interact with other students in the Google+ Community, or other forums?

I greatly appreciated the feedback I got on my photos I posted to the Google+ Community during the course and I followed some of the advice to touch up the photos I entered (which was within rules, it stated photos could be manipulated). Now I still occasionally go on and comment on other people's photos. Being able to see others' photos was encouraging and I enjoyed looking at them and commenting.

The Google+ Community was probably the very best bit about the course and the interaction with other real people and being inspired and likewise inspiring others. I highly recommend this to anyone taking the course I did.

What was your study schedule like? Did you have a special study time and place?

I watched the lectures during the first half of each week. I like to be on time, so I often ended up ahead and waiting for the next week of lectures to become available. I went out and took photos nearly every day, which is no unusual thing for me and it still isn’t. I just used the family computer in the lounge room.

Cup of Light by Clare Farrelly

Cup of Light by Clare Farrelly

What are your tips for someone about to start an online course?

Make sure you have time for it; it is no good to be trying to cram all that information in then rushing off to do something else. For a photograph course in particular you must try to do what the lessons teach and get to know your camera, take photos and experiment with different ideas.

Make sure you keep up to date with it all and if possible get ahead so you are not under pressure. It is easier to work in a stress free environment. At least develop some sort of schedule and set yourself some goals.

Be self-motivated.

I would also check out the website, and just have a look at how it all works and where things are. Find the forum and help places and just get to know the site.

What are you planning to study next?

I am not studying anything in particular at the moment. As of yet I don’t plan on studying anything in particular soon, I am trying to get into photography as a bit more than just a hobby. Courses are really good for learning basics but nothing teaches like experience.

Enrolments for the next round of The Art of Photography are now open, along with 47 other Open2Study courses.


Isn't it fascinating, to see water apparently become glass, just through a trick of the light and some clever photography?

When you do have a go, feel free to share them in the Google+ Community, or in Twitter, with the hashtag #O2SPhoto

Claren I just read the bio on you congrats on winning the competition. Beautiful Image is an awesome I like the foreground and background.

She's pretty talented, isn't she? You should see some of the images she has shared in our Google+ Community. They're beautiful.

Hi Carrol keep up the work,this is a really a wonderful career you've choose an inspirational to us.

I am really behind the curve. Is there a way of just looking at photos taken by fellow students on photography and share with just this group without uploading into google + and sharing with 15000 people doing all sorts of O2 courses?

I all ways wanted to do a photography courses I all ready have camera I got last year a Nikon D330 but all ways want try take photos of the moon and waterfalls but I have no luck atm

I am in Victoria, I have always had a camera with me to shoot photography with but never a decent one, until now I've got a canon 1000D with many different lenses. I would like to connect with current student/follow students within Australia to maybe broaden my knowledge. I have only recently completed my photography course through open to study and planning on studying on further as I want to make my photography a business.
I have one great shoot that I took ages ago but nothing since seeing I've been busy.

anyhow if anyone wants to connect with me I am here...

I love the photos Clare. I have a question for you or anyone out there that can help. At present, the only camera I have is the one that comes on my cell. I want to purchase one but have no clue what to get. What's a good but inexpensive camera to start off with, especially for this class?

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