Assignment 5: Feedback

It's always nice to receive a quick response after sending in my assignments. Like this time! My tutor's feedback is in cursive, I'll give my comments below and in between. 


Overall Comments

Leonie, you have finished the module off with another strong assignment and presented an interesting and colourful set of images. So much so that the viewer really wants to see more shots and with this in mind maybe a second visit would have been warranted, this is a small critique however, but I always find that after the initial visit the work tends to develop even more.

I can imagine this is true, it certainly challenges me to come up with different images than the first time, so to stretch the possibilities of a specific place. I will visit the paint shop an other time, and maybe add a few more images when sending them in for assessment. 

Your research and other options are also interesting especially the two pieces on your parents and their respective passions. The Katendrecht suburb of Rotterdam also looks like an interesting project and there are some great shots in there too. The series of body parts is quite a departure from the previous ideas but I hope you can keep developing the series, as again, there are some very interesting photographs so far.

Thanks, I would like to make an album for my parents and maybe when I visit Katendrecht next year, take a few days to talk to people and do more research. 

Feedback On Assignment

I can see how the images could work in a magazine article, and most likely the final choice would be down to the picture editor, who would also put the sequenced narrative together in the layout. One small technical aspect is that because of the time of day you visited the painters there is a high contrast lighting situation so a little fill in flash on some of the shots may have helped, set up right this simply gets rid of any unwanted shadows.

That is right, I keep on telling myself to take time to really practice using the flash, as well in high contrast situations, as in portraits, or shooting at night. It seems a bit daunting, but I'm sure that it's most of all a matter of practicing it a lot, just like the other techniques.

The first shot is a good example where the flash would have balanced the image a little more. There is a good strong diagonal in the frame which leads the eye to the other painter although I wondered if the composition is a little too cramped and maybe a landscape format would have allowed a little more room into the shot? 

Maybe, I have made a few landscape shots of that subject as well, so I'll look them up and then compare. With the first image I did have in mind that it might be the cover of a magazine, that's why I deliberately chose this portrait format. 

The portrait of Fiara is excellent and definitely the best one from the selection, here some photographers would have used the flash just to eliminate the shadow area’s around Fiara’s face but I don’t think it is so critical in this shot because the image is so engaging. The shot of the tins of paint contrasts well with the portrait and the narrative works well due to the visual connections. 

I did lighten up his face quite a lot with the burn tool, his eyes as well, which engages the viewer even more. On the other hand, I also like the contrasty feel that the light gave at that time.  

The fourth shot is a great example of the painter’s skill and technique, the high contrast works well here as we have bright vivid colours that really attract the viewers attention. The composition is good although I would be careful of not overusing the portrait format, although as you have used it for the intro image it works fine in this case. (Good choice for the opening shot by the way!)

The shot of the bus is excellent and here the viewer can take in more of the surroundings as well as studying the detail of the bus. They really are great vehicles full of amazing colours and graphics with this shot also being one of my favourites. The shot of the entrance to the workshop highlights the conditions that the painters work in and we get a good sense of the tradition of this kind of work.

I hope it does, I was wondering if the viewer can still make the connection with the bus painters, since there are not many clues in the image itself that point to them. 

The image of the front of the bus gives the viewer a lot of visual information as well as giving the driver only a small space to see through! I was attracted to the windscreen wipers; they have left marks on the windscreen and wondered if they are ever needed and if so how they work!

One never knows if they work! We have a dry season that lasts 9 months and a rainy season in which it can rain a lot! It is all very predictable though, so I guess by the time the rains start, they will have fixed their wipers :-) 

It is amazing that the painter’s work is totally freehand and again the shot of the second guy painting highlights their skills. The note on the side of the shop regarding prayer times is good as it adds context to many of the shots, we also get a sense of the importance of these times and the respect it deserves.

I actually found out that the words on that paper are not names, but specific days on which they pray. Each has it's own time. Little do I know... 

Interestingly the second image that you have used in the layout was taken after the initial shoot, this highlights how a narrative doesn’t need to be shot chronologically and can actually be improved by the addition of such images. The shot of the bus station is excellent and here the viewer can see the buses in their ‘work’ environment.

Yes, that's also the reason why I wanted to take this image. If a person has never been in a development country, it's not always clear that these are the main means of transport. 


Assessment Guidelines

Your learning log and blog are very comprehensive and are fine for assessment, the navigation is easy and there are lots of references to other photographers and photography in general which backs your own work up really well.

I have visited a few expositions that I want to blog about and two books to review. I'll try to organize the blog even more before submitting my work. 

There are one or two grey areas in the submission so if you have any questions please do get in touch. The assessors have 30 minutes to have a look through your work and grade it so please bear this mind when preparing your work.

“Include a clear contents list with your assessment submission.

All your work must be clearly labeled, stating which assignment it relates to and with your name and student number on every item you submit. Where there is a clear link between project work and your learning log, or blog, this should be clearly labeled or cross referenced in some way.

At Levels 1 and 2 you can send jpeg files on a CD or DVD but these must be fully corrected and of an appropriate size and resolution ready for final printing. At Level 3 all work must be submitted in hard copy. Although 'proof' prints are quite adequate for early assignments, final prints for assessment should be exhibition quality and may be whatever size is appropriate to the work. An exception to this might be if final work is to be shown as photobook or on website. The professionalism of your presentation is important and you will lose marks for poor presentation.”

I realise it may be difficult to send any prints but if it is possible I would consider it as it can increase your final grade. To be honest I would think your work is strong enough to merit a decent grade anyway so maybe prints are not so crucial

Thanks again for the feedback. I have decided to send in the photos in book form. This is because I think it will be a nice way to have it as a remembrance of the course and the work I started with. With separate images I know I won't be looking at them as much. I have watched all the videos on the OCA website and will try to follow their guidelines precisely.