A 2: Tutor’s comments, my responses and changes

A 2: Tutor’s comments, my responses and changes

1. Tutor’s comments

Overall Comments

It was lovely to meet you on Skype. I hope the combination on verbal and written feedback works for you

Please find your feedback below set out under the usual headings. The feedback in is note form. It is in support of, and in addition to, the verbal feedback that you received on 16 November 2016.  

Assessment potential

Assignment 2  

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 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

Solid preparation for the assignment – your work is theoretically underpinned.

I find the perfomative element of your ‘studio’ images particularly enjoyable. The first image is your strongest – the gesture, prop, and the punctuation of colour, along with the way your sitter looks away from the camera, creates an engaging encounter. The last portrait works equally well. The second image is lacking punctuations of colour and I keep tripping up on the smile that it features. The other images are less successful – particularly the photograph of the junior doctor. It has a very different feel. It looks much more like a junior doctor portrait. You mentioned that you have made more portraits, which could replace your less success images.

I don’t think you need to contrast these portraits with the location photographs. There are some inconsistencies in the lighting – the first is over-filled and the photograph of the Junior Dr has a heavy shadow. Perhaps the contrast gives too much away. Let your viewer fill in the gaps. The studio portraits are strong enough. They don’t need the support/or need to be contrasted with the location portraits.

Interesting layouts – I’m rather enjoying the lilac!

I recommend changing the title font – it is a tad gimmicky. Use the font of the descriptions.

Coursework

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Engaging with the coursework and evidencing this on your log.

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Solid research. Theoretically underpinned.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Clear and navigable. You evidence context, reflective think and solid critical analytical skills

Suggested reading/viewing

Context 

In our discussion I suggested you research the following photographers/projects in relation to the work you have produced for assignment 2:

Spectacle Wearing Folk by Luke Stephenson.

Adam Green and Sharon Lockhard for work that features movements and corporeal expressions.

Yeondoo Jung – a Korean photographer who made Bewitched (where he works with so called ‘low level professionals and makes images which actualised their ambitions – waiter becomes teacher) and Wonderland (in which he responds to drawings made by the sitter, which illustrate their series ambitions – you may find this useful in terms of your ideas for assignment 3)

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment 

We discussed your ideas for assignment 3, 4 and 5

  1. Mirror – participatory
  1. Near death experience – you wish to combing text, images and sound – perhaps working with an audio-visual slide show
  1. Work that deals with your experience of ‘anticipatory grief’

We discussed visualising that which is not seen through the possible use of poetic ambiguity – themes may include voids, water, blackness, space, light hitting surfaces, gestures relating to the mundane and everyday, diary excerpts, text messages…

I recommended the work of:

Uta Barth

Alec Soth – Niagra – portraits, sublime landscapes and letters

Jason Wilde – also uses letters in his series Vera and John

Rosie martin and Jo Spence Phototherapy – Stephen Bull writes about this approach in his book Photography pp. 82,93-5d

Richard Sawdon Smith – makes work that deals with illness. ‘Confrontational portraiture’, medical imagery and processes involved

2. My responses

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity 

Solid preparation for the assignment – your work is theoretically underpinned.

I find the perfomative element of your ‘studio’ images particularly enjoyable. The first image is your strongest – the gesture, prop, and the punctuation of colour, along with the way your sitter looks away from the camera, creates an engaging encounter. The last portrait works equally well. The second image is lacking punctuations of colour and I keep tripping up on the smile that it features. The other images are less successful – particularly the photograph of the junior doctor. It has a very different feel. It looks much more like a junior doctor portrait. You mentioned that you have made more portraits, which could replace your less success images.

I don’t think you need to contrast these portraits with the location photographs. There are some inconsistencies in the lighting – the first is over-filled and the photograph of the Junior Dr has a heavy shadow. Perhaps the contrast gives too much away. Let your viewer fill in the gaps. The studio portraits are strong enough. They don’t need the support/or need to be contrasted with the location portraits.

I agree with this assessment. If I was to show my work in a gallery that studio image would lose impact by having another image appended to it. The same thing with the text.

I think that the junior doctor posing sitting detracts from the consistency of the series but I like the smiling woman as this is not fake but an illustration of who she is. I realise that a smile can be distracting as the viewer reads something from this in the image; a neutral look allows the view more scope to read the image with. I will remove the junior doctor and photograph some new subjects which may help my series.

Interesting layouts – I’m rather enjoying the lilac! I recommend changing the title font – it is a tad gimmicky. Use the font of the descriptions.

Colour is important on my diptychs but I will lose it when edit my final images which will be the studio ones with a title underneath it. I have seen very similar presentation with Les Monaghan’s ‘Aspire’ series.

Context 

In our discussion I suggested you research the following photographers/projects in relation to the work you have produced for assignment 2:

Spectacle Wearing Folk by Luke Stephenson.

I like his work, largely because of the colour, subject matter and wit. I have made notes in my Photographer section.

Adam Green and Sharon Lockhard for work that features movements and corporeal expressions.

I have made notes on both of these.

Yeondoo Jung – a Korean photographer who made Bewitched (where he works with so called ‘low level professionals and makes images which actualised their ambitions – waiter becomes teacher) and Wonderland (in which he responds to drawings made by the sitter, which illustrate their series ambitions – you may find this useful in terms of your ideas for assignment 3)

The Bewitched project is similar to my draft for A2 but is consistent between the two images and of high quality. I have also made comments on Wonderland.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment 

We discussed your ideas for assignment 3, 4 and 5

  1. Mirror – participatory
  1. Near death experience – you wish to combing text, images and sound – perhaps working with an audio-visual slide show
  1. Work that deals with your experience of ‘anticipatory grief’

We discussed visualising that which is not seen through the possible use of poetic ambiguity – themes may include voids, water, blackness, space, light hitting surfaces, gestures relating to the mundane and everyday, diary excerpts, text messages…

I recommended the work of:

Uta Barth

Alec Soth – Niagra – portraits, sublime landscapes and letters

Jason Wilde – also uses letters in his series Vera and John

Rosie martin and Jo Spence Phototherapy – Stephen Bull writes about this approach in his book Photography pp. 82,93-5

Richard Sawdon Smith – makes work that deals with illness. ‘Confrontational portraiture’, medical imagery and processes involved

I explored these works and comments are made under my ‘Photographer’ tab or in preparation for Assignments 3, 4 and 5. It was very helpful to have these preliminary discussions as I started shooting for A5 (and A4) as it needs a long gestation with lots of planning, experimentation, shooting and reflection. From the beggining I have had an eye for the whole course and what subjects to do for the assignments. The trouble is that what you might do for A1 or A2 might not be what you would do for A4 or A5 when there is more learning. I hope I will have ‘grown’ and changed my approach to issues about identity and place and showing them visually.

3. Changes made

I have decided to submit my main studio portraits and not the environmental portrait images although I am glad that I have done them as this has helped me to improve my photography, or it will when I do something like this again.

3. 1 More shooting

I arranged two seperate shoots. The first was with ‘Miss Colour’ who likes to have colour in her clothes and make-up. She says that this expresses something of who she is and would like more ‘colour’ and vibrancy in the world which is sometimes drab and ugly. She was enthusiatic about the shoot and the prospect of having her photograph taken but was surprised when I asked to include her leg tattoos which meant making her dress hem-line slightly shorter to show them. Like the other shoots it time for her to relax. We talked about her reasons for being this ‘anti-superhero’ but does not want me to include them here. There was a practical issue of reflections in her glasses; for some of the images I asked her to remove her glasses to make life easier for me and this had the benefit of showing her coloured make-up.

Richard is a professional painter/artist; his recent exhibition were of collages of medieval artworks juxtaposed with images of stars and the universe. He is ‘Perpetual-motion Man’ and sees that making power available to the masses for free – light, heat and energy – would have a dramatic effect on people’s lives. He had the idea of wearing a silver suit and a plasma ball on his head. I had to reign that back to fit in with my series and used a small plasma ball that he brought with him. I wanted his not to smile but like many of my sitters they are optimistic people (anti the “Dark Knights”) and smile a lot. This person had the clearest sense of what their imagined super-power might be. Reflections in glasses were less of a problem here.

3.2 Contacts

Here is a contact sheet of some of the many images I took. A 2 last shoot

You will see that I already started to process some of the images after uploading as this gives me an early idea of how good the images are for the project.

3.3 Thinking about my final submisson

I have decided on my ‘final five’

  • Mrs Green
  • Recovery
  • Foundation
  • Miss Colour
  • Visio-spatial

The order was difficult, but I started with one of my strongest portraits which from the title suggested ‘green fingers’; I think it sets up the relationship between the title and the person in the frame but future images are more ambiguous in title and person. I think ‘Recovery’ makes the viewer think hard about the relationship but the next is Foundation and Colour where the relationship between the title (and concept) are clearer. May tutor was not keen on the smile in Visio-spatial but I think that smile is a challenge to the viewer as is the overall concept which you can understand in the overarching title and in the accompanying notes.

I liked the photograph of Perpetual-motion man but while the portrait was sharp and interesting and spoke to me of ‘the other’ it was more ‘passive’ and without props or ‘attitude’ which the others expressed. It did not fit this series but perhaps in retrospect as series as this without props might have been more successful, or just different.

I have decided to print the images as A2 posters with a title under the image (and a wide handling border) for submission at assessment. I am not going to use a coloured border as I think this will detract from the focus of the poster which is the person (and the denotative title).

On my blog submission (the next tab) I will add contextual data which is the type of presentation that one might see in a gallery and may or may not read.

I am going to keep the title font as simple as possible.

My exam submission is on the next tab

https://drgsiandp.wordpress.com/assignments-2/a-2-vice-versa/a-2-exam-submission/