IAP Assignment 5: Reflections Before Tutor Feedback

Introduction

In his Assignment 4 feedback, my Tutor suggested now would be a good moment to take stock and to explain to the assessors that I am not taking the Assignments one at a time but that they are building to something larger than the sum of the parts. I have touched on this matter in my Reflections on Assignment 4. I will bring together the overall story when writing my final thoughts for Assessment.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, technical, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. (40%)

In terms of basic photography, there is nothing technical about this assignment. However, the video presentation was not straightforward.

I began experimenting by running a slideshow in Lightroom. But that system is too basic. Using the free software Shotcut plus many hours of trial and error, the final version was produced. In particular, I wanted slow transitions between images together with panning into or out of specific areas to focus the viewer’s attention on the main subject. In terms of the audio track, I decided to place Audrey’s voice at the beginning of the completed transition thereby giving the viewer time to contemplate the words before the next transition began.

Quality of outcome – Content, Application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. (20%)

I believe the work is consistent and coherent. I feel there is good consistency within the contemporary images and, obviously less so with the archive class – but that inconsistency is natural when using archive images. Showing colour with black and white is unusual but necessary with this work.

I was concerned that the work is too sentimental. I have shown it to several people, none of whom think so. Most seem to regard the work as powerful and in some cases quite moving.

But have I communicated my ideas? I deliberately offer little help with the captioning. Nor do I identify the subjects accompanying Audrey. I feel their specific identity is both irrelevant and at the same time conceptually obvious. I believe the work is arresting, and so if the viewer doesn’t get my exact message perhaps they can simply reflect upon the differences between her life now and then.

Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. (20%)

To avoid hackneyed work under the twin challenges of lockdown (particularly with the self-imposed isolation) and a purely digital assessment process demands imaginative, experimental and inventive approaches. I wanted to submit something powerful for the final Assignment and to do so in a way that suits digital assessment. I am reasonably satisfied this has been achieved.

I am pleased with the image sequencing. The archive images follow an obvious chronological sequence. The thinking behind the contemporary image sequences is described below.

The spoken words are not perfect. Most of them were recorded without anticipating their future use and as such the minimal silences in the recorded conversations do not lend themselves to the extraction of small segments. Hence they are clipped in some cases. Unfortunately, it is not possible to re-do these ‘interviews’.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking. (20%)

The main take out for Assignment 5 was the foray into the use of video presentation. I have so much more to learn on this subject but as a medium, for digital submission, I feel it was the right choice. Throughout IAP I have made a conscious effort to better record the research I undertake. In particular, I would point to the research into the work of Richard Wentworth and Susan Lipper.

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