Assignment 3 ‘Decisive Moment’ rework

I have decided to replace the image of the man taking a photograph with his phone:

for the image of the lady on her phone appearing to talk to two headless people:


The final set therefore will look like this:

Re-work choices

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.

Assignment three – ‘The decisive moment’ re-work

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.




Response to tutor feedback – Assignment three

After a change in tutors I am pleased to have received my feedback for assignment three ‘The decisive moment’. I didn’t have any communications with my previous tutor other than emailing her to say it was done and then receiving her feedback via email. It was really helpful to have a long chat with my new tutor and to also go over feedback and critiques.

I have some tidying to do to my blog, mostly removing and rewording the OCA instructions under each heading or at least putting it in a different font. I also need to make sure that I categorize everything correctly and add pictures / links so I think I might need to plan in a few days for a WordPress ‘clean-up’.

Overall I was pleased with my feedback , it was extremely constructive, and I felt that I was on the right track, I was relieved to know that taking so many images was not considered a problem and I was already aware that my weakness is the technical side of things. It is quite a lengthy piece of feedback with lots of pointers that I must try to remember but my main aim it to concentrate on improving the technical side and focusing my images better.

It will be interesting to revisit assignments before submission with some of this feedback in mind, although I do find that everything is taking me twice as long whilst I grapple with the technical elements so I have no idea how long it will take me to do these re-works?

Reflection on the ‘Decisive moment’

Before I started this course with the OCA I always waited for people to move out of my frame and I would take photographs of views or scenes devoid of people. I would be apologetic at getting in the way of people and even family holidays snaps were mostly of places with little images of family members. Yet the photographs I most enjoy looking at are not scenes or landscapes but photographs of people! I started to experiment with taking images with people in assignment two when I chose crowds, this assignment has taken this one step further and I have really enjoyed concentrating on people watching. The image in which the subject is staring at me is now one of my favourites, I was capturing them lighting their cigarette and was hoping to get the moment they blew out the smoke but instead they spun their head round to glare at me for the intrusion. I feigned taking a photo of something else until they turned back and moved on…Phew! I even was brave enough to attempt to capture someone doing a line of drugs off a shop window, unfortunately I kept moving rather than stand brave so the shot is missed. (Images 357 and 358)

I have grown in confidence when taking the photographs although technically I still have a lot to learn (and remember). There was a number of images that didn’t make my final selection although I really liked them,  I found my observation skills were well and truly exercised. I also appear to have an interest in pigeons, I noticed them popping up in lots of the shots, I could even have a complete set devoted to them.

I should have increased my shutter speed for the skateboarders to get a better shot and one of my images that did make my final selection could have been focused sharper but I was trying to capture the small minute moments and I learnt that sometimes the brain and the trigger button do not align.

Having treated myself to a copy of the Magnum contact sheets I also discovered not to be so hard on myself as many photographers worked a scene to get one perfect shot, not everything they take is perfect, although they still achieved it in a lot less. I think my worry was that I would return home with nothing. I also noticed that I ended up with better images when I stopped looking back on them after each shot, I think it enabled me to stay observant and not lose momentum, I only reviewed them once I was on the train home and I found I really enjoyed the feeling of being presently surprised.