Sue Jones

OCA tutors and assessors Wendy McMurdo and Keith Roberts look at the work of OCA BA (Hons) Photography student Sue Jones. Sue submitted drawings and mind maps to support her Major Project course. Initially developed as research tools she has worked them up to highly visually engaging pieces – they almost become works themselves. It is important to remember to embed research firmly into your work.

Sue Jones, Photography 3 – Wendy McMurdo and Keith Roberts from Open College of the Arts on Vimeo.


  1. John Umney 7 November 2016 at 11:23 am

    Wonderful work Sue and a great complement to your project work, thanks for sharing.

  2. Sue Jones 7 November 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind comments.
    I have found making mind maps invaluable to be able to cope with the masses of information I need to digest, whilst having a medical condition (ME/CFS) that makes retaining and organising information very difficult. I was initially unsure whether to include the mind maps in my submission, but thought they might prove equally useful to others in figuring out what I had been doing, and what had attracted my interest the most.

    1. Nuala Gorman 10 November 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Lovely work Sue. I too find using mindmaps invaluable as I also manage medical conditions (one similar to yourself FM). Mindmaps keep me focused and organised enabling me to manage the overwhelming amount of information each course brings.

  3. Nuala Mahon 7 November 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I love those mind maps – so visually engaging.BEAUTIFUL

  4. Blas 7 November 2016 at 6:07 pm

    What an amazing work Sue, congratulations. You’re right. To deal with such amount of information and ideas your method allows to have everything in order. Thank you for sharing it, I think it’s very very helpful and it shows a right approach for research.

    1. Sue Jones 11 November 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks Blas. It really helped me not get overwhelmed, as it can be hard to keep the right focus sometimes.

  5. Alan Bulley 8 November 2016 at 12:35 am

    Wow, that’s an impressive piece of work! Lots to learn from there.

  6. Helen Rosemier 8 November 2016 at 9:50 am

    Fascinating. Thanks for sharing this – it is a great example of how to distil information and research into something manageable. Please can i just ask what the numbers mean in the ‘subjects’ section – eg Full body 78; Mask 9; Still life 404?

    1. Sue Jones 8 November 2016 at 10:29 am

      Hi Helen,

      That mindmap summarised a database of 1000 images that I built of pictures that I found appealing, and then broke down into subject, composition, style… the numbers refer to how many images fell into each category. It was a very useful exercise as when stuck for inspiration with a scene in front of me, I could quickly look up how other photographers had handled a similar subject in a way I found appealing.

      1. Helen Rosemier 8 November 2016 at 11:34 am

        Wow – did you use any particular software for the database or was it hard copy?

        1. Sue Jones 8 November 2016 at 11:45 am

          I used keywording through Adobe Bridge – which is how I organise my own photos too.

  7. Perry Tatman 10 November 2016 at 3:17 pm


  8. Kate513940 10 November 2016 at 4:36 pm

    That’s stunning work Sue!
    I threw out my huge mindmaps from the foundation course… won’t make that mistake again! I normally mindmap with Simple-Mind software but there’s a lot to be said for a couple of huge pieces of paper and a pack of Sharpies.

    1. Sue Jones 11 November 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks Kate. It is horrible when you throw out mind maps… even though for my more worked-up ones I might do two or three drafts, I always end up keeping the first ones as though they end up cramped into one corner, they have the most resonance to the original material.

      I have tried mindmap software, but have learnt that the physical movement in my hands helps me learn. How I wish I had a printable whiteboard which could be the best of both worlds!

  9. Lynda Kuit 10 November 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Wow! So much detail – that is definitely something to aspire towards. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sue Jones 11 November 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you Lynda. It’s nice that my childlike doodling has finally led to something artistic 🙂


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