Assignment Five Feedback

I was very happy with my tutor’s feedback for my final assignment! I put a huge amount of work into this final assignment, and was so glad with the finished result. Below you will find some of my tutor’s positive and negative comments, along with the changes I made in accordance with these;

“The only problem I can see is the mix of colour and black & white images, both mediums are very rarely used together on a themed piece of work because of their very different qualities. The viewer thinks differently when presented with a black and white shot for example and also from the photographers perspective we look for different things when shooting in colour or black & white.” I was slightly disappointed with this comment, as I felt that some of my images worked better in black and white than colour. However, I appreciate that as it is a themed piece of work, there has to be a certain flow throughout the images, and the variety of colour and monochrome shots might take away from this. I’m also trying to get the best mark possible in assessment, and my tutor suggested that I may get marked down for this mixture of monochrome and colour shots. Therefore I decided to convert the following shots from black and white back to colour.

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“The third image, the first one of the couple, works very well; here we can get a great sense of your directorial skills as well as your photographic ones. The eye is drawn straight to the faces of the couple; this highlights your technical skills as the exposure works perfectly in drawing the viewer to the models. It is a great-relaxed shot where the layout of the picnic is important as to not draw attention away from the couple, although it is an arranged and set up photograph, it has quite a natural feel that I think is one of your strongest assets in being able to create natural images without being too contrived.” This was the central image of my assignment- all my work had come down to this single picnic image, and so I’m very happy with these comments! I am definitely becoming more confident with capturing the correct exposure, and this evidently showed in this shot.

Image 5; “Using a frame is always a good idea and will turn up some interesting shots, although I’m not sure that the black and white conversion works all that well, the greyscale is a little flat and needs a contrast boost. I would have thought that the colour version, assuming the frame is a gold colour, would have worked quite well, with the frame acting as a kind of bond between the couple.” I agree with my tutor here, I tried to add a different feel to this shot by adding in a high opacity fill layer, but it resulted in the image looking a little flat. Therefore I reverted the image back to colour easily- having saved the image as a copy in Photoshop (see before and after at top of page).

Image 7; “I agree that image #7 works better than the image #6 and would tend to edit that one out because of the similarity of the images. The sixth one does show a tender moment really well, there is a genuine sense of love in this one and as you say does appear quite natural. It does have a snapshot aesthetic due the guy’s head being cropped out of the frame slightly, but when combined with the colour I think comes across really well.” I took this advice on board and removed image six, as the images were quite similar, and I agreed that it would strengthen the set by choosing the best out of the two shots. Image seven is a more tender and genuine example of love, whereas image six does appear a little stiff and staged, as seen below;

Image six (deleted image);

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Image seven;

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“Image #9 is an excellent image and here works well in black and white with the range of textures being quite important for this to work. For me the image captures a shared moment that is so intrinsic to the bond that two people have when they love each other, you cannot help but smile at this image and that’s a great thing to be able to do from your perspective.” This was my favourite image from this shoot, and so I was extremely happy with my tutor’s comments here! This is a very natural and candid shot which is something I aim to capture in all my images.

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Below you will find my tutor feedback in full;

Overall Comments

Hannah, you have fulfilled the assignment brief well in this final assignment, the previous assignments and research work have led to a fine piece of work that works well within the context of the module. The only problem I can see is the mix of colour and black & white images, both mediums are very rarely used together on a themed piece of work because of their very different qualities. The viewer thinks differently when presented with a black and white shot for example and also from the photographers perspective we look for different things when shooting in colour or black & white. There is a possibility the assessors will grade your work down a little so if you wanted to keep the mix of images you would need to put a few lines together explaining why this is the case.

I can see how Marianne Taylor’s work has informed your own images, and all of the examples of her work that you have posted are in colour, so you can see why I mention the problematic mix of mediums. Your composition research is excellent and it is worth spending time studying classic paintings as the original painter would have spent hours, days, weeks, months working on this and in many ways has already done the hard work for us.

Feedback On Assignment

I can see what you are trying to do with the opening two shots and although they are well taken and processed they lack any immediacy, you could have included the hands of your models in the shots for example, this would have opened the door for the rest of the images and possibly enticed the viewer in better. The value of props is that they should enhance a photograph and in these two images they are the main subject rather than being an accessory to aide the image. Yes we get a good sense of the picnic and on the other hand the images work well in introducing the picnic as a conceptual area rather than the subject of love.

The third image, the first one of the couple, works very well; here we can get a great sense of your directorial skills as well as your photographic ones. The eye is drawn straight to the faces of the couple; this highlights your technical skills as the exposure works perfectly in drawing the viewer to the models. It is a great-relaxed shot where the layout of the picnic is important as to not draw attention away from the couple, although it is an arranged ad set up photograph, it has quite a natural feel that I think is one of your strongest assets in being able to create natural images without being too contrived.

The ‘relaxation game’ image shows good insight in how to go about creating a particular shot, your technique works well and again we get a good sense of the actual subject matter coming through. The shot also has more of a documentary feel to it and although some may say that the bright yellow daffodil is a little distracting on the right hand side of the frame, I felt it added to the overall feel and style of the image.

Using a frame is always a good idea and will turn up some interesting shots, although I’m not sure that the black and white conversion works all that well, the greyscale is a little flat and needs a contrast boost. I would have thought that the colour version, assuming the frame is a gold colour, would have worked quite well, with the frame acting as a kind of bond between the couple.

I agree that image #7 works better than the image #6 and would tend to edit that one out because of the similarity of the images. The sixth one does show a tender moment really well, there is a genuine sense of love in this one and as you say does appear quite natural. It does have a snapshot aesthetic due the guy’s head being cropped out of the frame slightly, but when combined with the colour I think comes across really well. You do seem to be combining styles within your own particular vision and I think this is something to think about and work on in the future.

Image #8 is a little more contrived and quite similar to the previous image in terms of framing and composition, possibly an upper torso framed shot would have worked better? Image #9 is an excellent image and here works well in black and white with the range of textures being quite important for this to work. For me the image captures a shared moment that is so intrinsic to the bond that two people have when they love each other, you cannot help but smile at this image and that’s a great thing to be able to do from your perspective.

The final three images are all quite similar in terms of showing an intimate moment and remind me of Robert Doisneau’s famous shot The Kiss, actually there is an interesting story around that image which may be of interest to you. http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2012/0414/Robert-Doisneau-The-story-behind-his-famous-Kiss

Image #10 isn’t the strongest of the three because too much emphasis is on the blanket, and you really needed it to be wrapped around the guy’s shoulders as well to convey that sense of a bond. Image #11 is a great shot and seems to capture that moment just before the kiss, there’s a sense of excitement too in the image that I think has been captured well. Sometimes these kinds of images can appear a little too voyeuristic but here the shot has a kind of film still aesthetic to it and so the narrative is strong within a single image.

I would have tended to crop the final image so the text was out of the image; I think the vintage feel of the doorframe has enough without the need for text. The viewer immediately reads text in any image so this one contains an immediate ambiguous feeling, ie what’s the pottery got to do with anything? The doorframe also provides a natural frame for the image so I think there’s no need for the text. Other than this the shot captures ‘the kiss’ and is an intimate image that works well and also finishes the assignment off without being too diminishing, as though this is just the beginning rather than the end.

There are a couple of issues that you need to think about with this assignment, but with a little editing and possible re-processing of some of the shots I do think you will have a strong assignment with which to finish the module.

Learning Log/Suggested Reading/Viewing

Your blog is looking good, I found it easy to navigate around and there are lots of images and text that do inform your work well. We’ve discussed your assessment submission so I think you have a good idea of what you will be sending in, but if you do have any other queries/ questions please just get in touch.

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