I felt that prior to Covid-19 being declared as a global pandemic, that I was working at a good pace, bringing together all my thoughts and tests into a cohesive project. The exposition in Dec 2019, raised some interesting possibilities I was looking to further explore, and barring the mishap in the darkroom, with the salt printing, I was moving fast in the right direction. 
Unfortunately due to my work at NHS24, when the pandemic was declared, my workload outside the course meant I was unable to continue at this point with any project work, or writing. I opted to take a deferral initially with the expectation of this being until summer, but further extended until around February, when I was able to look to reduce my hours, despite an ongoing increased workload. 
This allowed me to start to concentrate on the dissertation, with initial plans to submit for April, and then to work on the practical work from there. Unfortunately I found picking up from where I had left off, almost impossible, as I felt so far removed from what I had been interested in prior to the pandemic, as well as there now being quite a few limitations enforced that would hamper the techniques I was looking to explore.
During the year I was deferred, I had no opportunity to visit the locations I had been photographing, this was in part due to the multiple lockdowns, as well as work commitments, and a reluctance to travel, especially by public transport. My photographic work during this time, was limited to some still life style set ups, or photos on the way to work and back. Although I had contemplated starting some side projects to keep my creative juices flowing, the reality of a full time rota of long shifts and a reluctance to travel too far, resulted in little photographic work being created during this time. 
I felt the main stumbling block with the dissertation however, was the passage of time, dulling some of my interest in the threads that I had been pursuing, which meant I spent a long time researching potential lines of enquiry that I would then discount, and move on from, until eventually I ended up working with some of my initial plans. 
Both of these issues resulted in a very slow progress returning to the course, which I felt separated or distant from. With hindsight I do feel that I would have been better persevering through Covid, and aiming for my expected submission of August 2020, however to have achieved this I would have had to avoid taking any additional responsibilities at work, which I didn't feel I had the option to turn down.
Despite all this, I feel I have got to the point where I am happy to submit the work, and through the lens of Covid, perhaps have learnt to re-evaluate the approach I have taken, and avoid dwelling on the negatives or elements out with my control. I had hoped to produce some further prints for submission, however with the darkroom being closed, this proved not to be an option, so instead I have had to return to those I have done in the past, and with the separation of the deferred year, there is a real excitement in looking back over what I had completed and perhaps forgotten, and the experiences encapsulated in each print. 
Regardless of the bittersweet aspect to the end of the course, I am looking forward to the potential of a physical show in being the opportunity to aim for some closure to the project.
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