Well I passed which is all I hoped for and now looking at the overall November assessment results I can see that I my score sits just above the midway point which I am really pleased with. I started this course with no prior learning, I was in effect a complete novice so perhaps I can really do this!
I scored 62% overall and the final comments pleasantly surprised me :
Your final assignment (Photography is Simple) very much impressed the assessors. In this final piece of work you really brought together all the things that you’ve learnt as part of Expressing Your Vision. This submission was original and well executed and bodes very well for future development. The assessors look forward to seeing what you produce in your next course.
Lets hope I can reach a similar score or higher for my next course C&N.
Welcome to my blog for Level 1 Expressing your vision. I have included a navigation page within my printed documents , in brief, it is as follows:
There are three main menus above; Coursework, Assignments , Research & reflection
Under these menus there are further sub menus which will lead you to exercises, assignments (Planning, submissions, tutor reports and re-works), Exhibitions and books.
I have chosen to submit all of my assignments for expressing your vision in hard copy including prints, a contents list is included with my submission.
I think that my progression throughout the module is clear to see, I have developed my technical skills as well as grown creatively. I started this course with no technical skill or training and it has been quite some time since I studied last so this was a huge learning curve. My lack of confidence and belief in myself was an obstacle that I have tried to overcome.
In my first assignment I lacked commitment in making my final selections and although on reflection some of the images were strong the set was not as cohesive as it could have been. My tutor feedback was of a similar view and I re-looked at the selections of the set and amended my selections to strengthen them.
I moved onto to my second assignment with some trepidation but the exercises leading up to it had strengthened my technical skills and I felt more confident in my final selections and was pleased with the outcome. My tutors feedback was much more positive with this assignment and no re-works were required.
The exercises have continued to develop my skills and I have experimented more with styles of photography that I had not tried before. Assignment three was an example of this and I found that I really enjoyed taking street photography images. I had a change in tutors at this point however my new tutor was very positive but much more detailed in her feedback so I was able to see the improvements I needed to make, most of my weaknesses are around technical skill and focusing. I re-worked the final submission to include images with better focus.
In assignment four I experimented more with creativity and explored different equipment such as lighting and scanners, I also experimented with alternative presentations. This was my most challenging assignment as it was such a large learning curve which I think with perseverance paid off. Overall my feedback was positive with a few suggestions on including more explanation regarding my choices and my thought processes.
Assignment five has been my favourite so far as I became emotionally attached to the work I was submitting. I felt I used all of my newly learnt skills and yet I was extremely challenged due to the lack of light in which to work. I was relieved to receive such positive feedback from my tutor and it was interesting that the observations she
made regarding my selections were not things I had noticed. I had chosen the final images instinctively and had not realised that I had applied a different rule to one image. I have re-worked my final selection to keep the set more coherent.
My journey in this level from start to finish feels vast, I have grown in confidence and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. I am continuing to work on my areas of weakness which is my technical understanding and ability and ensuring I try to focus correctly. I am moving on to the next module ‘Context and Narrative’ with a better understanding and hopefully more confidence.
Following my feedback for assignment 5 which overall was extremely positive there was one point which my tutor made that stood out to me.
My tutor noticed that the dartboard was the only item shown both in and out of context which did not mirror the rest of the set. I had not even realised that I had done that as I had made my selections fairly instinctively and had focused on colour. I have re-worked my final images to keep the selections / pairing consistent.
I am pleased with my final selections for assignment 4 and my tutors feedback was positive, the main area that I need to refine was explaining my choices. So rather than a re-work, as I feel this is not necessary, I will aim to explain some of my choices in this assignment.
Many of the choices I made felt instinctive and I have not adequately put them into words, the first question my tutor had asked was why I have inverted the colour of my borders?
I have consistently used white borders on prints for previous assignments however this assignment differed in that I was using a plain background to my image which was either black or white. I did explore the border options but felt that if I kept all the borders to black then the white scanned images would appear to overpower those on the black backgrounds. The same is true if I had selected white borders, the black images would appear stronger. I did not want any image to ‘overpower’ another which is why I decided to invert my borders. I suppose I could have inverted them to match the backgrounds however I was concerned that this might bring to attention the difference of colour between the border black and background black , and also between the background white to the border white. I hope I am making sense at this point?
The other question I was asked is why did I choice the scanned images alongside the photographed image, and why did I choose the objects that I did?
My reason for offering up both the scanned and photographed version of an object was to highlight how different that they can look with different light sources, equally both as beautiful. The hard shells look solid and strong when photographed against the black background but suddenly look more ethereal against the white light. The reverse happens to the flowers, so majestic and beautiful when photographed, but suddenly limp and lifeless under the scanner. The hard exterior of the shells hold true throughout but the flowers are so delicate that they wither and crumple. I choose these objects as my final selection as I liked the notion of the hard versus the soft. It could almost be representative of the human race, people that are presumed hard yet with a hidden softer side and the beautiful , delicate person considered soft enough to break. Obviously we live in a modern world where this can be said of any of us regardless of sex, we are equally able to show a hard exterior as well as crumple under pressure.
I can clearly see the weakness in the original set with the out of focus image of the man taking the photograph. I kept it in my final set as I was impressed that I had captured him circling his eye in such a way however looking at the alternative options it is definitely the odd man out (no pun intended!).
I am favouring option 1 and option 3, they both appear much stronger as a set, I think I will look at them a while longer before selecting my final re-work grouping.
Again this was another assignment where I continued to try something new and go outside of my comfort zone and I actually rather enjoyed it. Following feedback which on the whole was positive there are a number of shots which are not quite as well focused (Below)
The only shots that I captured of the person with the cigarette are below; the only image in which they are in focus is the first one where they are lighting their cigarette, I was planning on capturing the exhale of smoke but instead they spun their head to glare at me just as I clicked the button! I really like the image of them glaring so I am reluctant to omit this one. I really felt like it met the brief as all elements collided to get the shot and there is a connection between the subject and the photographer that cannot be captured again.
And again the only shots I had of the man taking the photo are below; the man taking the photo is not in focus in any of them and in the last image the man in the background is not present.
So the suggested images that my tutor recommended I consider in my feedback were :
I can understand the choice of the first image but I really don’t feel that the middle image is a decisive moment? The last image has a touch of humour which I do quite like so perhaps this could replace the image of the man taking the photograph.
Looking back through my images there are a few which I did like initially but I excluded from my final selection:
I liked that in the first two images the lady seems almost hidden against the graffiti, as if she is invisible, especially in the first image it would appear that the people taking a picture of the graffiti don’t even notice her! The last image is a little obvious but quite cute.
I think I need to view the images as a set to really get an idea of which I prefer to replace the gentleman taking the photograph. I am keeping the person glaring in my set as I felt a real connection taking this shot and I believe it meets the brief fully albeit slightly out of focus.
I was extremely pleased with my feedback for assignment two and I did not feel that a re-work was necessary. I had met the brief of ‘crowds’ and added my own personal viewpoint, quite literally, of the back of heads and slightly obscured views. This was the first assignment where I think I truly started to pushed myself out of my comfort zone as I never usually photograph people, most definitely not the public and I hate crowds!
It is interesting to look back on this assignment and to see how far I think I have come on this journey. Overall I still like my theme as it is very definitely MY square mile, however, on reflection I should have chosen one theme and stuck to it and considered how they would be presented as a set rather than uploading them singularly. I did go a little way in considering this by exploring orientation and colour v’s black and white.
I did re-visit this after the initial feedback and the images I chose were much stronger and the added text helped the images although on reflection I think that the majority of people can relate childhood to the images so the text may not be so necessary.
I have looked again, paying more attention to how my eyes follow the image, hoping that I could find a set that communicates my childhood in my ‘Square mile’ but also keeping to one orientation.