IAP Assignment 1: Reflections After Tutor Feedback


This is the first time I have received written only feedback. Whilst chatting to one’s tutor is informative and fun, it seems the absence of time on a call allows the tutor to write a more detailed response. The Tutor feedback was detailed and thorough. My reflections on his comments are set out below. They are in the order appearing on the feedback.

Feedback on Assignment

Tutor: You might like to continue to grow the second portrait strategy, as this would allow you to have a larger body of work from which to edit for assessment

I will continue to grow the second portrait strategy (that is to photograph people as they arrive at my house during lockdown). And ultimately I will only submit the second portrait strategy for final assessment, which is a shame because the images of Richard and Wayne are the best. The reason for that is when people come to the house they don’t have time to spend interacting with me.

Tutor: You could try playing with pushing the fence much further out of focus as this is quite a dominant element.

This comment relates to the picture of Richard. I’m not sure that the tutor noticed the sign on the fencing behind Richard. It says ‘This car park will be closed for 10 minutes after the final whistle on match days’. If I pushed the fence further out of focus you wouldn’t be able to read the message. That was deliberate. In a Sander photograph, the background provides information regarding the main subject.

Tutor: Maybe several short bursts might give you more choices.

I entirely agree. I have used this technique in the past. I can’t think why I didn’t do it this time. It is so appropriate when shooting subjects like this where time is of the essence. Great practical advice!

Feedback on Coursework

Tutor: You might have tried to use a simple soft reflector to fill in the light on each foreground figure a little.

I’ve never considered doing this before. Great practical advice.

Feedback on Research

Tutor: In your post-shooting reflections you might have considered in more critical detail what your portraits unlocked in relation to your starting ambitions/aims.

I think I understand what the tutor’s getting it. I should have made it clearer in the Richard/Wayne images that for me the fence at Fratton park signifies the forcible exclusion and fracture of normal life caused by COVID-19. I will make more effort in future to explain to the assessors the message I’m trying to communicate.

Tutor: If you have an idea like the PFC series in the future then get straight out there and start to push the idea around.

So often when I read tutor feedback I see that students do not not take enough photographs. I love the notion of pushing an idea around. I have already taken that comment on board.

Feedback on Learning Log

Tutor: It can help to reveal to assessors much more of your thinking and your creative process… You then need to show the full range of thoughts and creative steps that helped the work grow from a simple start to a more sophisticated set of coherent outcomes.

In future for assignments, I will set up a separate blog under the Assignment tab to diarise my creative process. I think this is one of the disadvantages of an exclusively digital submission – much of what I do is written down or on OneNote. I need to find a way of coherently blogging these thoughts.

Tutor: You do circle the shots on your contact sheets, but try to add commentary to help the assessors appreciate what it is about one image that makes it a more valuable part of your growing set.

I will do this in future.

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