I was pleased overall with my tutor’s feedback for this assignment. Below you will find some of her suggestions on where I could improve, along with any changes made in accordance with these.
“You have suggested you have looked at a variety of photographic artists but apart from Gursky I was unable to access your reflections on the other photographers?” This comment was a misunderstanding due to some hyperlinks that were not working on the assignment page on my blog. I was unaware of this until I read this comment, however it has since been fixed. As well as Gursky, I researched many street photographers using the insightful book, “Street Photographers” which shows an array of different street photographer’s work. (You will find this research here.)
“You have chosen a black and white image of the scene, this does have the dramatic sky that you wanted to portray. You have analysed the image and have read the content as you have seen it. You say it is busy but this image does not seem to convey this, it looks very quiet under a brooding sky.” For this specific town, this is busy! In most times of the year, the street is completely empty, so I felt that the street filled with cars portrayed the busier side of this town.
“The couple on the bench are well captured and you waited for the moment to get the right position. I am uncomfortable with the ‘pink hat’ in the black and white image. I want to understand why this wasn’t a colour image if the pink hat was that important? It looks a little like a novelty greeting card? Is this your intent?” I appreciate my tutor’s comment here, but feel that it is all down to individual taste. I love the style of converting images to black and white, yet leaving an element in colour. To me it creates an arty and interesting image! In this specific shot, I wanted the hat to stand out in the image, as it was the key element of humour in the shot. I have seen many photographer’s using this technique, and I love how it makes the colour jump out of the frame at the viewer.
“Consider also the challenging lighting, the window light is very blown out this would make it difficult to print successfully.” This was a fair comment, as the window is very blown out in this image. However, the inside of the building was extremely dark, so when shooting I had to expose for the inside in order to produce the correct lighting for the subjects. In reflection, perhaps I should have adjusted my position in order to remove the windows from the shot. My focus was concentrated on capturing the activity as it arised, and I let my framing slip a little here. I did take my tutor’s advice on board though, and made a few adjustments in processing to reduce the blown out windows slightly.
“Also there is a bit of lens flare in the bottom left corner, which is distracting.” Again this was a fair comment, however I must acknowledge that I did not notice this lens flare until my tutor pointed it out! Perhaps this highlights that I must spend more time studying my images for defects. I used post processing to remove the lens flare, as well as a little overexposure in the top right hand corner, as seen below.
Below you will find some of my tutor’s more positive comments, along with my thoughts on these.
“The couple on the bench are well captured and you waited for the moment to get the right position.” I was happy with this comment, as I have put a lot of emphasis into ‘capturing that one perfect moment’ in my research thus far. I waited this shot out, and took a few variations before finally deciding that this was the strongest angle to show the subject’s expressions well. When I finally got into my desired position, my subject turned to look in my direction, and it was then that I captured my ‘perfect moment’ in this image.
“The couple on the bumper cars is fun and you have caught the moment well. Good focus on the main point of interest and you can really be involved.” Again, the main element with this shot was waiting around for that perfect moment. I finally captured it here when the man bumped into his wife, and she squealed with delight! I took care to get the correct point of focus on the lady, and feel that this is a strong image.
“The final sunset image is very dramatic and well seen.” This was a scene that I could very easily have missed. However, I am improving in spotting photo opportunities, and am beginning to envisage what the finished outcome of a photo could be upon simply glancing at a scene. This shot highlights that well, and I was very pleased with this dramatic image.
Please find my tutor feedback in full below for further reference.
Good searching research and reflection on a variety of artists. This is building your photographic and visual vocabulary. Continue to explore in this way to enhance your own development.
I would still like you to consider why you make your images colour or black and white. Look at how other artists use the different approaches and why this suits their style.
Keep exploring composition options, it could be good practice for you to sketch out some ideas before you even start taking images.
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, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.
Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Prints from assignment 3:
It was good to see your work submitted as prints. You have made some suitable reflections of the quality and finish of the prints. It is good to see them presented in the larger format to really see the detail and quality.
When printing it is also good to explore the framing options of the image within the photographic paper ie have a larger border around the images. Look at some work presented in books for examples of how this can be done (I have included some ideas of names for you below).
Sense of place:
You have obviously enjoyed the theme for this assignment and have energetically explored a seaside town. You have suggested you have looked at a variety of photographic artists but apart from Gursky I was unable to access your reflections on the other photographers?
You say I commented on you becoming more reactive rather than reflective in your image making, I actually want you to become more reflective. Slow the process down and be considered in your image making. (Although for this type of project, it was a case of ‘you had to be there’ to become involved in the environment and some of this meant you captured more spontaneous events).
Please look at the work by Martin Parr and Anna Fox to see their interpretations of the seaside town. Again they have very differing views but interesting.
For your images that you didn’t chose for the final edit, the first two do capture people but the composition is not exciting. The first image of the man could have been more dramatically framed and the in the second image the musician is not quite sharp and the background is very distracting. The black and white image looks quite flat, please consider that this had a basic colour palate (ie concrete/ sea/ sky) and could have been more interesting in colour? The colour boat picture is pleasant but again look at your rule of thirds for composition. The image of the lady is well seen but she does look very grumpy! Consider the theme of the task, is this the real sense of the place? (It might be!). The final image is the most challenging and I feel quite engaging. It does look unusual and the place seem eerily quiet but poised and really for the hordes.
Final edit images; you have chosen a black and white image of the scene, this does have the dramatic sky that you wanted to portray. You have analysed the image and have read the content as you have seen it. You say it is busy but this image does not seem to convey this, it looks very quiet under a brooding sky.
The couple on the bench are well captured and you waited for the moment to get the right position. I am uncomfortable with the ‘pink hat’ in the black and white image. I want to understand why this wasn’t a colour image if the pink hat was that important? It looks a little like a novelty greeting card? Is this your intent?
The image of the roller coaster ride is interesting. A nice range of colours and the structural lines are interesting. Think it could have been composed a little more strictly? There are some bits of roof interfering with the image balance in the left of the photo and this adds to the impression that the view is on a lean?
The couple on the bumper cars is fun and you have caught the moment well. Good focus on the main point of interest and you can really be involved. Consider also the challenging lighting, the window light is very blown out this would make it difficult to print successfully.
The children’s play park is pleasant. Think there were some shadows that could have been used to greater effect? Also there is a bit of lens flare in the
bottom left corner, which is distracting. Again think about your composition and where you position your horizon?
The final sunset image is very dramatic and well seen. Ensure you bracket your exposures as the top of the frame is a little blown out.
You have been searching in your capture of the character of a seaside town. Within your research I would really like to see you looking at other bodies of work by people who capture the essence of a place. (For example Parr, Fox, Konttinen). There are also issues if this was for a travel publication of model release permission etc.
Give some examples of other travel publications which inspired you too.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context
Solid image analysis here, please continue to develop this and involve a more critical approach. I would like to see more experimentation with the composition of the images, please include proof or contact sheets to demonstrate your editing choices as this would be interesting and I could support you on this process.
When approaching an assignment, spend some time dissecting the brief. Consider the language used and break down the elements. Do some searching theoretical research around this. An example of this would be ‘essential character of a place’, investigate what this could mean. Look at the assignments from a broader approach, this will really inform you and can help you find your visual direction.
Suggested reading/viewing Context