I received my tutor feedback on Assignment Four. When I read through it I wasn’t sure how to feel exactly, but when I read it again I selected all the good positive parts and was quite pleased as there was definitely more of that than negative.
My tutors comments appear in bold. And my response in italics.
The blog is clearly laid out and this helps to view the work coherently, and the further work into the video is an interesting development. Your story telling along with the photographs to further illustrate the narrative works well.
I’m glad she likes the video as it’s something I really enjoy doing, adding all the elements to create a multi piece of work.
You have demonstrated a good technical approach and your experimental work on this is a real strength.
I’m especially pleased about this as I always feel I’m more focused on the creative side as opposed to technical. I was actually worried for the assessment thinking I needed to improve on the technical side. So this is a great comment to receive.
You now need to weave your critical research and your assignment submission together. Explore other artistic approaches and reference these in your own explorations to provide a context to your image making. You need to have this merge of the technique and theory to develop your work now.
This is good, I’m starting assignment four so shall start researching this.
I understand your aim is to go for the Photography/Creative Arts* Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.
Very happy about this.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Your exploration of the exercises is experimental. You have really engaged in this technical practice. To give you some feedback on your video I would consider dropping the volume of the song a little as it is quite loud compared to your voice over. Also for an art piece of work it is not regular practice to have your name on everything; that is more a stock photo tradition.
Again, I’m very happy the technical side has shown engagement and I’ll do that for the video. Interesting point about the watermark, I guess I did that to protect the images as I always read that the photographer should protect their work and copyright. I tried to make the watermark as unintrusive as possible.
It is really obvious how engaged you have been involved in the story. Your excitement about this is obvious in your writing and the video. The images on line actually work better than the actual prints. They do need that story.
I definitely enjoyed creating the story. At first I thought my tutor meant that the images looked better online quality wise, now I realise she means in terms of the story. This was my intention to have the words to reinforce the story. For the next assignment I am looking at creating this without words. Though obviously it is magazine style and I have a few ideas I will let the images speak for themselves and hope they are strong enough to do this successfully.
Your observations of the emotional quality of light and the factors that contribute to the responses are suitable and good to consider when doing a project.
The exploration of the soft and harsh lighting and lighting angles demonstrates some of the properties and control in lighting available to you when telling a visual story.
Shape; This image is very bold and graphic. It does appear to be burnt out in the detail areas and as it has such a shallow depth of field much of the detail is lost. I know you suggest this was your intention but as the other images are so much more measured in their detail it looks almost like the odd one out. The second shape image is interesting as it makes you wonder what we are looking at. It is so difficult to work out how big everything is! The stone has really go lots of detail and this with the shadow detail helps with this. There is a little flair on the edge of the stone by the bright point of light and if this was a larger print it would detract from the other good detail.
I had intended for the image to look this way as it is the effect as the gemstone starts glowing. But I understand her point and am glad that the rest of the photos are measured in their detail.
Colour; The first image has good focus and the colour accents have really been picked out. There is a slight flair and loss of detail at the bottom of the stone, although overall the image shows shape and colour. For the next photograph this image is a good evidence of the experimentation with the tools to hand! It shows different aspects of the stones properties. Consider the attention to detail as there is some light spill at the bottom of the stone and the edges are dark at the sides. The tungsten setting image is another experimentation, I would like you to consider the different detail that is drawn out here.
Sems the flare appears as a problem here, I should have looked more deeply at this and noticed it. I’m glad my tutor like the second image despite the light spill.
Texture; The strong side light picks up the detail of the texture in the stone and gives a real sense of the detail and the composition and point of focus works well. You have used a black and white and I would like you to consider how this changes the interpretation. There are a few more reflections and dust motes in this image and a little less depth of field. The second colour texture image is interesting and the addition of the water droplets add another visual point. This much tighter crop really drives the viewer to look at the light and dark detail and veins in the stone. The different version of texture image in black and white does give some detail but with the soft focus it almost wipes away the idea of texture? Or in fact demonstrates a different texture of softness?
I really like what my tutor says about the texture of softness. There is a contrast between the rough texture and the soft. I clearly didn’t explain my point about using the black and white as strong as I thought. The reason I chose it was because of the story, as it starts black and white to illustrate Ilona’s life and then colour comes to enhance and show the magic.
Form; The image here shows the texture and colours well and the shape. I really like the reflection and wonder if the image could have been composed differently as it looks too tight. The image is a little uneven in the light with black on one side and grey on the other, work on controlling this. The second form image has a rather different look, almost like something from another galaxy. Look at the light flare as although they do give shape, you don’t want to lose detail.
I would also have liked to compose differently but the mirror was reflecting too much light and the surroundings, I needed this tight crop to eliminate the surroundings. I noticed the black and white and wish I had spent a bit longer to change it. Sometimes I hurry too much and ignore certain things in the image. I need to make sure every part of it is as perfect as I can make it in future, even if it takes longer amounts of time.
When photographing something shiny it is often difficult to control harsh light flare so the use of diffusers and reflectors can help.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
You have engaged in some relevant reading and have demonstrated some response to the findings. I would urge you to look at bodies of work by established photographers. You have looked at lots of images by various photographers who have used different techniques and you now need to look more into work that is telling a story. You picked up on some really interesting and relevant quotes from Fiona Crisps work, continue to do this as it informs your approach and is of the level expected. Use this more academic reading to reflect on your own motivations?
I have made some suggestions based on your areas of interest to further develop.
I will be researching into more established photographers now and analyzing the work while also showing how I use it to create my own. It’s like art, I love the illustrations in the Spiderwick Chronicles and drew the drawings in the book. By doing this I learnt how to create my own style and it’s just the same as in photography.
Continue to build on critical reading, you seem to be interested in narrative and in particular exploring health issues. To look further into phototherapy, l suggest looking into the work of Rosy Martin, Jo Spence.
Prakel,D. (2007) Basics Photography: composition, Laussane: AVA Publishing
Wells, Liz (2009) Photography: A Critical Introduction. Routledge
Photographers to look at:
Juliet Chenery Robson- set of portraits exploring the Diagnosis of Exclusion
Sam Taylor- Wood- videos Sleeping and Still life
Pointers for the next assignment
Continue to explore a variety of photographers to inform you, look at bodies of work to help you see their style of approach. Spend some time reflecting on how your own work achieves these same intentions.
Continue to develop a narrative or story in your assignment, this obviously inspires you. Research into the various approaches to using this medium.
I’m glad the final assignment is all about story telling. It’s what I’ve been trying to do the whole time and now with all the pointers and feedback from my tutor I can use it to create something much stronger.
The prints submitted are suitable although it would be good to see larger prints and some consideration of the image placement in the paper ie full bleed or with a large white border etc. Also they would be a good indication of the technical robustness of the image to see them translated larger.
For the next assignment I will include much larger prints, I only wish I’d done so this time. Good thoughts about the white border as well, I’m going to be experimenting with this. The final assignment is going to be presented in what I hope is a fun and engaging way.
So another constructive assignment feedback and I can’t wait to get started with Assignment Five. Then that’s the end of this part of the course but I’m very excited to begin the next, as long as the assessment is a pass. I”m really going to do everything I can to aim for the top mark. Of course I’ll be happy with a B but I really want to aim for the A or A* Perhaps a bit too ambitious, we’ll have to see. I’m just going to do everything to succeed in this.