Overall I thought this was an acceptable submission for assignment 2 and one that is likely to pass at assessment. There were some specific issues with your write up that I have identified in the ‘Feedback on assignment’ section of this report, but these should not take long to amend. The main issue I had was that you need to make it crystal clear what you have done in terms of responding to the brief and, importantly, why. You then follow this up with a reflective summary of how you think it went. I didn’t feel I needed to comment in any depth on the individual pictures as they were of a suitable standard for the assignment and there didn’t appear to any glaring technical issues. Where you need to do a little work before the next assignment is to think about how to clearly convey your thinking concerning the assignment to help the assessors give you credit where it is deserved.
On an additional note regarding reworking assignment 1: you are free to if you feel it would be a useful learning experience. Assignment 1 is diagnostic in nature and as such is submitted as part of your overall module submission at assessment but is not itself assessed. You will not get additional marks for reworking it.
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
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
- I thought the initial premise (documented in the caption to image 1) of conveying the view from a wheelchair was interesting. As I am sure you are aware, disability and illness are frequently subjects for photographers looking in from the outside, so I am always interested in work made that challenges that power relationship. Whether or not you pursue this further is entirely up to you of course, I just thought I would mention that I found the comment
- I thought your combination of slow shutter speeds, allowing movement, and then faster shutter speeds to freeze it worked well in the overall edit. The mixture between the two approaches and the variety of viewpoints made an interesting
- The first picture has a curiosity –the cyclist is frozen whilst the pedestrians are caught in motion. Normally it is the other way round due to the relative speeds at which they
- Image 8 was a bold move –including an almost empty scene in a series on crowds. I think it almost works here. Perhaps produce a set with it and another with a replacement with a crowd and pin them up somewhere you see them every day. After a while it should be obvious to you which edit is the
- In your self-evaluation there is a section called ‘Rejected Images’ that has a few points that would benefit from further elaboration:
- You say that you have edited them to black and white but do not say
- When you say you decided to produce two rows of five –is this intended to be prints on a wall, in a magazine layout? I worked it out (see below) but you need to be clear at the beginning about what you have
- You mention adding 20 images to your rejected list. What happened to the other 560 pictures that you made?
- Related to the above you have included a contact sheet as presumably the final layout. This isn’t a contact sheet In terms of what we usually understand it to be. When I specify a contact sheet in my general guidelines it is a reference to what was traditionally referred to as a contact sheet when working in the darkroom. A photographer would develop their film and then they would lay all of the strips of negs onto a piece of darkroom paper under an enlarger and place a piece of glass over the top to keep everything flat. They would then expose the negs and sheet to light from the enlarger and develop the sheet. The end result is a positive image of every picture on the roll of film, all on one sheet of 9 ½ x 12”
- Your file ‘contact sheet.jpg’ appears to be your proposed final edit in the layout you have chosen. This is fine. Before assessment, simply change the name of the file, and consider if you want it to be a print, a set of prints (with the file as a reference for how they should be viewed) or a digital
- A short comment as you progress. Generally within an academic context no one will be terribly interested in your equipment. Instead, it is the quality and clarity of your ideas and vision and the realization of both that will be the focus. This will become more apparent as you move through the assignments and modules. There isn’t really any benefit to including technical information with assignments. If I can’t work something out from looking at the picture and I need to then I will contact you
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
The Lens Work exercise was an example of good practice at level 1. I thought you did well identifying what worked and what didn’t and have taken some useful pointers from the work reviewed, especially that of Fay Godwin (who you cite in the assignment write up). I would caution about relying solely on Drabble’s article. I read through it and, whilst it is broadly accurate, it is a piece of PR rather than a serious academic review of Godwin’s work. I have added some Godwin links to the Suggested Reading for you to make your own judgement.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
There doesn’t appear to be any new research posts on the blog for me to comment on.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
The learning log is coming along reasonably. Try to maintain a steady pace of adding new content in terms of your thoughts about your work, your thoughts about the work of other artists and your results from the projects and exercises.
It might be useful to look at some of Godwin’s earlier photo guidebooks to compare the strategy used with Land and Our Forbidden Land. There are a host of them available on sites such as Amazon for next to nothing:
Anderson, J.R.L & Godwin, F. 1975. The Oldest Road: An Exploration of the Ridgeway. London: Wildwood House
Godwin, F & Ingrams, R. 1980. Romney Marsh and the Royal Military Canal. London: Wildwood House
I didn’t see any note of it in your write up so if you haven’t I suggest you go back and look at my assignment 1 feedback and watch the South Bank Show Special on Godwin.
Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
- Remember to try to be as clear as possible in explaining what you have done and
- Make sure you send me contact sheets with all of the pictures you made. This can help me identify how you are thinking