BA Phot

Expressing your vision: Assignment 2, Collecting, tutor feedback

- Back - text history - image history - contact sheets

tutor feedback - my reply

The assignment was submitted on 1st December 2018. Feedback was received on 10th December. As at 12th December I am working on my responses to he feedback beow.

Tutor's feedback

Received 10th December

The points raised in the Tutor's feedback on which I have commented and numbered thus: [n]

Overall Comments
Thanks Nick for sending your 2nd assignment, and well done on completing this. It is good to see you adapting your approach to post processing. As you develop your own voice through the degree journey some of these techniques may return to some extent, but for now it is useful to trial varied techniques, and to think about how to approach your subject with your camera, forming a connection to both.

Thank you for clearly reflecting on the feedback on your blog. Again when you receive this report, go through it carefully and make reflective notes about it, these can then go into a reflective commentary section on your blog.

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography 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 pass 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.

Feedback on assignment
Good to see your contact sheets on the blog well as the selections from the wider sets. It is really good practice that you are revisiting the chosen location. Perhaps it might help you to set yourself more specific tasks, or investigations for each visit in order to focus your approach, and get the most out of each individual visit. This might be related to a particular approach to depth of field, restricting yourself to looking at pattern, texture or details, deliberately adapting your viewpoint, or other particular restrictions you might find useful. By doing this you may find that it pushes you to look differently or experience the location differently which in turn will impact on the images you take. Not everything will be successful but by taking such risks you will surprise yourself sometimes.

[1] You write about setting yourself a kind of brief to take photographs for a brochure/ booklet, in response to an existing unillustrated one. It would be useful to reflect more on what text the booklet contained, and how this influenced your choice of shots. Who is the booklet aimed at?
Were you interested in: heritage, history, faith, the users of the church, an outsiders viewpoint?
I realise you adapted your intentions as you went along and after the first 2 visits selected what you considered to be the major features of the church as your subject, so in focusing on the architectural details what do you feel your set communicates about this space?
[2] It is interesting that the church appears so empty, after you had originally considered observing the congregation, does this emptiness impact on the atmosphere or potential meaning of your images?

It might have been a useful approach to select the ‘views’ assignment brief in relation to this church and try to capture this location from different viewpoints: the congregation, the choir, the minister, the Starbucks customer, the visiting documenting artists…

The reflection on the piano surface works well as it provides an interesting compositional divide in the image, and comparative textural surface.

The burnout on the close up of the altar gives a sense of directed spiritual light while the candles are unlit. The limited colour palette works well to emphasise the tones here.

The view beyond the arched window does indeed act as a kind of stained glass giving an interesting effect. Perhaps you could have experimented more with trying to get the right angle for this effect, and getting the whole window in shot?

[3] Can you reflect on the function of the borders you have given your images and how they work with this set of images?

You have worked carefully through the exercises and have a good understanding of the settings on your camera. It is now important for you to continue to use this while starting to develop your own personal voice or response to your subjects. Think about what you are trying to communicate so that you can reflect on the success of the images in that regard.

Some of the shallow depth of field images of the gravestones work well, giving a real sense of the cold worn stone, with a suggested context beyond.

[4] It is good to read in your reflections on feedback that you have taken out the Telegraph Notes. Your research index still remains extensive which is great, however it would still really benefit from more in depth reflection on why you have chosen to include these photographers and how they are influencing your developing work.

Equally primary visits to exhibitions, and reflections on books read are also useful.

Learning Log
From the home page you have clear links to all sections of your work. You are reflecting on carefully on feedback and developing your work in response.

[5] Perhaps you might add links on the home tab to the most significant or detailed analyses of particular artists research pages from your index as a way to flag up where you have added pertinent reflection or detail.

Suggested reading/viewing
[6] Look at other photographers who have tackled your subject matter in differing ways. for instance:

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
[7] Reflect on my feedback and include your notes or thoughts on your learning log. Find ways to show that you are responding to my feedback in your next assignment
[8] Assignment 3 asks for prints. It is always useful at some point in the course to send me some printed material so you can begin to consider the impact of the material quality of an image and we can discuss suitability in relation to assessment. You might want to consider the different types of print process and papers which are available and their suitability to you images/concept. We can discuss this further via email before you send them if that would be helpful.

My comments

The numbers relate to the identifed sections of the feedback above, e.g. [n]

1. [link] The church's leaflet, A thousand years of the Church of St. Stephen Walbrook (Meyer, n.d.) is available to visitors for £1 from a table at the entrance to the church. As its title suggests, its main purpose is to describe the history of religious buildings on the site and it also lists the main items for a visitor to see. The document is elegantly written in a scholarly voice, but comprises two sheets of A4 in black-and-white with just a few indistinct illustrations. My aim was to provide better illustrations more suitable to a "glossier" product. The subject for the photographs would be driven by the document contents, namely the visual highlights of the building and its contents.
With regard to "in focusing on the architectural details what do you feel your set communicates about this space? ", I consider my set to be a competent representation of the church architecture and "furniture" with a degree of artistic interpretation thrown in (window and reflections) as I had two images to spare.
The set also makes a reasonable job of addressing the assignment's technical requirements of demonstrating lens characteristics.

On 17th December I received an email from a St Stephen parishioner who works on the parish magazine asking whether they could use some images from the Assignment (particularly Reflections) in a future edition.

2. [link] Regarding congregations, I failed to make myself clear on the early considerations for the project. There is more detail on the text history page entry for 20th August. Church congregations leaving the building on Sunday morning was my first idea for Asg.2. I thought it could meet the criterion for Crowds, one of the specified suggestions for a subject, with the churches providing the linking theme and the variety of church buildings and congregation types providing visual interest. This idea was abandoned for the reasons set out in the submission and on the text page linked above.

The St Stephen project was an entirely separate entity and there was never any intention of showing the congregation. Photography is not encouraged during services.

3. [link] The issue of borders was also raised on Asg.1 and I conclude that they are unwelcome. I use a border for several reasons.
(i) Its purpose is to delineate the edge of the photograph. Borders go in and out of vogue but I think a border indicates a finished product.
(ii) It can be important online because I cannot control the background against which an image appears
(iii) It discourages others from taking the images and cropping them another way.
(iii) It is part of my workflow, added right at the end when converting from raw (or tiff )to jpeg and thus easy to identify as the final version.
(iv) It is a simple personal aesthetic preference, probably a hangover from the Paterson enlarging frame.

I have changed to a more formal border than my previous irregular indulgence.

4. [link] and 5. [link] The stated purpose of the Photographers Index is usually to provide a brief biography and some images representative of their oeuvre for, "each of the photographers I should be aware of". It also acts as an aide-memoire of famous photographs as I have a terrible memory for names.
In many cases the text is (with appropriate acknowledgement) just copied from another web site, and in defence of this approach, I would point out that the Tate web site uses Wikipedia in this way (here is their entry on Bill Brandt as an example). In a few cases, I write a personal response to the work (Tish Murtha being the first and longest example). I acknowledge that more personal reactions should be logged and will develop a means of finding these more easily.

6. [link] The two suggested photographers will be added to the Photographers pages with personal comments ✓ 17Dec.

7. [link] The actions arising from the feedback are:
(a) Justify the use of borders. This is touched on above and a change has already been made, starting with the 9th December shots.
(b) Personalise the Photographers pages with comments on their work. A new page has been created, Personal Responses and this lists the entries where I have made comments on the work. While there will continue to be purely factual entries, where the work is relevant to the course a more analytical approach will be taken.

8. [link] My printer has just died, so this is currently fluid. My preferred paper is Fotospeed Signature Fine Art, but I have never tried that with monochrome.

Page created 28-Sep-2018 | Page updated 28-Oct-2019