Reflection pre-tutor feedback
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, technical, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. (40%)
Technically these shots are not complex. The camera was effectively turned into a ‘point and shoot’ by the focusing methods used (zone and hyperfocal distance). Aperture was left at f8. I changed ISO during the day as lighting conditions altered. The Fuji has simple exposure compensation control so that was used to deliberately get a slightly underexposed image.
I haven’t previously spent such a prolonged time taking street shots. As the day progressed I definitely gained confidence and felt that my observational and visual skills improved.
What most pleased me about the day was how I interacted with the public and felt confident to take shots as I saw them. Two of the shots involved me crouching in front of the subjects in very public places. Not much for some folk I’m sure but it is for me. It helped that I purposely did not make eye contact with anyone.
Compositionally these shots are reasonable. All have been cropped using Lightroom and sharpened using a highpass filter in Photoshop. The only other significant technical adjustments to the shots are that the colour in the men walking image has been pumped up a bit. And I used an adjustment brush to increase the light falling on the girl’s face.
Quality of outcome – Content, Application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. (20%)
This is not a complicated assignment in the sense that there’s no deep story involved. It’s just a series of images containing a decisive moment. I am reasonably happy with the shots. I feel they contain a decisive moment in it’s widest sense including the use of light, people and movement.
Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. (20%)
In a sense a day out shooting street photography doesn’t really involve (for me at least) great amounts of imagination, experimentation and invention. Of course I went out to capture decisive moments if possible but for me street photography involves shooting what’s in front of you.
Context – reflection, research, critical thinking. (20%)
Previously I have been criticised for not taking research etc seriously enough. In this module I have tried to put that right. I have completed conceptual research pieces on HCB’s ‘L’amour tout court’ and the decisive moment. I have also researched Robert Capa, Robert Frank, Paul Graham, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Wesley and Francesca Woodman.
Your submission for the ‘Decisive Moment’ assignment is good; it almost read as
though your selection was made retroactively, where you did not create the images
specifically for the assignment, yet you do state about having the intention of shooting
on the day for this project. Your research is taking shape, which is good; start to
examine and contextualise it against your work, where you make the connections on
how the research is beginning to influence your work. As discussed, your submitted
images are good, but would benefit from an minor edit to tighten the series.
Your images are visually engaging, the compositions are good, where your technique
and confidence in this style of shooting has been successful. Technically, your images
are appealing, the post-production steps you describe have been effective. Your
strongest images, in terms of composition, are ‘Two men walking’, ‘Girl bathed in light’
and ‘The yellow hooded girl’. Although the visual irony is there, the proposed
decisiveness of the man smoking is not as strong; a shot produced at any stage of him
smoking and texting, may have the same effect.
To reiterate what was discussed, it would be good to rework/edit the series; consider
removing the following images:
• Man smoking
• Street magician (Possibly)
• Orange clad workers
Then aim to replace them with images that exhibit similar lighting qualities like in the
shot, ‘Girl bathed in light’ and ‘The yellow hooded girl’. To support the tutorial process,
do not forget to include contact sheets as part of your future submission; then
recommendations can be made to support your editing.
As part of the developmental and experimental process, start looking to emulate some
of the images you have researched. For example, you looked at Michael Wesely’s long
exposure work, where you have speculated the technique. Perhaps investigate his
approach and experiment further with long exposure photography. Although as
mentioned, just explore generic long exposures and not a 34 month one!
Learning Logs or Blogs
As discussed during the Hangout tutorial, your research is growing and is starting to
inform your practice. You revisited your group workshop images, after looking at Polly
Braden’s work; as her images guided you, it would be good to structure a research
post on her work. Be sure to critically reflect upon the style and subject matter and then
link it back to your work. This will aid you, in contextualising your work against others.
For the next assignment, be sure to include contact sheets that can be magnified.
On the topic of street photographers, have a look at the following:
Bruce Gilden: https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographer/bruce-gilden/
Jamel Shabazz: https://goo.gl/zoBX1Z
Tao Liu: https://goo.gl/J8N3io
Pointers for the next assignment
The next unit/assignment is about the language of light; the assignment asks you to
revisit one of the preceding exercises carried out in the chapter and prepare it for
formal assessment. This is to reinforce the process of reworking and editing your work.
We discussed the idea of your visually aesthetic, inner-lit vegetables, based upon the
style of Wieteke De Kogel. As mentioned, experiment with ‘painting with light’
technique, see the following link for some guidance:
Just to broaden your research, have a look at Eiji Ohashi’s series on vending machines
shot a night, the mixed lighting is pleasant, see: https://goo.gl/6NUdxw
We discussed about the level and type of work to aim for, for when you are in your final
year/level; following your peers’ blogs who are producing their final project, would be
ideal. However, as an alternative, visit the University of Portsmouth’s CCI Graduate
Show this summer; although it will be different, due to the demographic and
environment, it will still give you’re an idea of work. See:
Hopefully the site will update with more details closer to the date, however, it will be at
the Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue. Always a good atmosphere.
• Good compositions forming
• Visual research is growing
• Self-reflection is good and constructive
• Edit/replace the three images
• Start to contextually link the research
Assignment assessed by Russell Squires
Assignment assessed on 03/04/2018
Next assignment approximately due 18/04/2018
Reflection post tutor feedback
I’m pleased that my tutor regards the images as visually engaging and that he likes three of the images. Personally I do think the street magician image is a decisive moment. I will re-shoot the man smoking and the orange clad worker images when I’m in New York (w/c 4.6.18). The main point I’ve taken from this feedback is the suggestion that I begin to emulate some of the photographers I’m researching.
With that in mind the decisive moment shots I will attempt to emulate are from the Dieter Matthes series ‘New York Blues’. Shot in Manhattan, New York during 1987, Matthes used artificial light film during daylight to produce the blue effect. This series has captivated me from the first moment I saw it. I will not shoot on film but will attempt to create the effect in post production.
My tutor also suggests I consider emulating Michael Wesely’s long exposure images. Whilst I do not propose to expose an image for 34 months… I do have an 18 month project that starts on 1 July 2018. Patience is required me thinks.
Matthes, D. (1987). Yellow car – from New York Blues series. [image] Available at: https://theanaloguestreetcollective.com/featured-photographers/dieter-matthes/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].