Reflection pre-tutor feedback
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, technical, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. (40%)
This assignment was partly a personal project and partly for the course. As such it was never going to be a complex technical piece of work. I did utilise utilise lessons learnt regarding the different light conditions during the day and focusing.
I paid particular attention to composition which is still a weakness. I tried to incidentally include the house, in the style of John Davies, whilst featuring interesting items in the gardens. I am relatively pleased with my visual awareness in spotting the opportunity to include these features.
Historically I have spent time in post-processing, partly to overcome the compositional weakness of the captured image. I have spent almost no time in post-processing for this assignment which, I guess, must mean I’m happier with the original images.
Quality of outcome – Content, Application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. (20%)
The pictures are of reasonable quality. To me they work as a set (consistent light and colour) and do achieve what I set-out to do. Namely to feature the house, as required by the brief, whilst creating the impression of abandonment and what used to be.
Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. (20%)
I feel as though the images are compositionally reasonable and visually effective. But this assignment, in the way I approached it, was not particularly imaginative, experimental or inventive. Perhaps I should have chosen something more challenging?!
Context – reflection, research, critical thinking. (20%)
I have enjoyed the research required in Part 5, particularly the Terry Barrett essay on context. That really helped in terms of the way I see images. I have thoroughly enjoyed this EYV course and look forward to starting CAN soon!
Assignment Five ‘Photography is Simple’ is good, the set of images are compositionally
strong, yet they only touch upon the brief; although they all are unique views, the
overall information is effectively the same, the representation of the garden and
exterior of the house. They do however, form a pleasing set of images with some
strong compositions and textures emerging. The approach and style lends itself to
documentary, where this series would be best placed. You have evidenced some very
good developments in your learning log, in particular exercise 5.2, where you have
contextually supported the work with Barrett’s context viewpoints. Well done.
Notes on Assignment 4
The additional shots of the fruits and the 3×3 grid layout has worked very well, it is a
strong visual series and would look great on one of the suggested paper/presentations
methods suggested in the previous feedback.
This final assignment concludes this unit sufficiently; however, it is not your strongest
project and it does not fully interpret the brief. The order of the images, although
determined by the blog layout, are not cohesive or clearly defined, in that there is no
‘clear sense of development through the sequence.’ The reference to John Davies and
his ‘Mount Fuji’ series was very good, attempting to emulate this approach by having
the house as an incidental element was creative, yet in some of the images the house
forms part of the frame or a prominent piece of the background.
As you are not allowed inside anymore, perhaps further distance was needed, where
you approached the house from beyond its borders. I am recommending that you
reshoot this assignment based upon a reinterpretation of the brief. However, on the
same note, I’m inclined to say leave it and still submit this version and use the strength
of your other assignments to support it for the formal assessment.
As you stated in your reflection, the compositions are effective, but your approach is
not particularly imaginative, experimental of inventive. I agree that a more challenging
project could have been more effective, yet the personal aspect and reasoning for this
project is good and supports your objective.
Perhaps transform this series into a diptych presentation, where six landscape shots are
paired up with six new pictures of artefacts done in a studio setting on a white
background. Produce the series in a geographical sequence, where you start with a
shot of the house from the furthest distance, then work your way until you are at the
front door. Visit fellow OCA student, Wendy Rose’s blog and have a look at her diptych
submission for Assignment 5 for an idea, see:
Learning Logs or Blogs
Your reworked exercises are a marked improvement; exercise 5.2 was very good to
read, which is supported well through the critical underpinning of Barrett’s context
models. Your response photograph of the ‘Poppy Wave’ at Fort Nelson is good, I
would recommend in using the full colour image; selective colour subtraction can
come across ‘gimmicky’; if the green of the grass is distracting then just tweak the
saturation so it is not as strong. In the ‘Assignment 3 Reflections and feedback’ post,
you state about wanting to emulate the look of street photographer Dieter Matthes.
The blue effect you describe, has indeed been achieved using Tungsten balanced film
during the day. As opposed to achieving this during post production, consider
changing your cameras white balance 3200 kelvins, then experiment with manually
adjusting the Kelvin range to achieved a similar tone.
I have chosen a couple of random photographers to strengthen your overall research
pathway as you move on to the next unit, have a look at the following links for an idea
of the variance of contemporary projects being produced.
Still-life scenes that play with perspective by Suzanne Saroff:
Interesting blurred portraits by Gabriel Adda:
On the topic of using films to produce alternate colours, study Richard Mosses, who
documented the Congolese conflict using military spec colour infrared film, see:
• Good emerging compositions
• Very good reworked blog posts
• Developing research pathway
• Consider the rework recommendation
• Experiment with papers for assessment
Assignment assessed by Russell Squires
Assignment assessed on 02/06/2018
Next assignment approximately due N/A – Contact OCA for Assessment Date
Reflections post Tutor feedback
Obviously I’m disappointed with the feedback. I do agree that this is not my best work, that it doesn’t really satisfy the brief and that I could have chosen a more challenging, imaginative, creative project. I appreciate the offer from my Tutor to move on and rely on the previous stronger work but that is not what this degree is about for me. I want to achieve the highest standard that I can. So, I’ve decided to re-shoot the whole assignment.
My Tutor recommended that I look at fellow OCA student, Wendy Rose’s blog which is a fascinating journey through an empty house. It contains many references to the previous occupier but it contains no shots of him. I felt this might be a little bleak for my project so, having regained access to the house, I will shoot in the style of the Elina Brotherus’ series ‘Les femmes de la Maison Carré‘, using a family member to create a ‘human-enlivened space’.