Assignment 5 – re-work

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 have replaced this:Diptrych-05

With this:


Response to tutor feedback – Assignment 5

Phew! Great feedback from my tutor, not only on subject matter but on the presentation which included the artefacts. I am pleased that the images told the story as I had hoped and the feelings came across. I felt quite personally attached to this work so I was worried how I would feel if it wasn’t seen in the same way but I didn’t need to worry.

My tutor did pick up that I had shown the dartboard both in and out of context , a rule which I hadn’t applied elsewhere. To be honest I hadn’t noticed, I chose the dartboard instinctively but now I can see exactly what she means so I might look back and see if a better pairing could be made. I found it intriguing that he had a dartboard which is usually considered a team game or a game played with others. Another thing pointed out was why I chose three playing cards when one could have said the same, I kind of agree in that one card would be as effective however none of the cards in his flat were singular. He had vast collections of football cards and playing cards affixed to the walls along with other types. I decided to group a few rather than one because of this fact, to show he was a collector.

I also agree that the blurb book was not effective, hence why I sent it only to show other images, almost like a form of contact book, rather than as a final presentation.

I placed my final images in the box in a cellophane covering as I was aware that he artefacts might ‘dirty’ the prints. I think in order to take on board my tutors suggestion to leave them loose, I might look at adding tissue leaves or some other layering to protect them.

I clearly still need to tinker with my WordPress site, spell check and amend a few things however I am pleased that I appear to be making progress. I now need to go back to the beginning, check and double-check as well as complete the odd re-work as needed and refine my menus.

Following the feedback I also need to look at my graphic and physical presentation such as font, paper, prints etc. and make sure I apply it across all assignments so they look cohesive but at the same time clearly distinguished.


Assignment 5 is in the post, a little heavier than usual as I included some of the objects mounted onto graduate mount boards. It would have been ok if I had sent it second class but I was running a tad behind so had to pay a bit more to get it there for tomorrow’s deadline.

Now the wait to see if my tutor thinks it’s acceptable and for any re-works needed.

After this comes the review of all my assignments, re-works and grammar checks ready for Novembers assessment.

In the midst of all this I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of context and narrative.

Assignment 5 reflection

Technically this was the most difficult assignment despite the title ‘ Photography is simple’ as most areas of the flat were so dark it was difficult to see if I had maintained focus. Auto focus was not an option as without a flash (which would change the light as I saw it) the auto focus failed to focus. Resorting to manual mode was fine but it did mean that I had difficulty seeing through the viewfinder to check that I had in fact captured a crisp image, this meant that a number of images were not as sharp as I would have liked.
I think this subject tested the development of my technical skills I had learnt throughout EYV and really did make me consider the use of the modes of my camera to portray what I intended which was the property as I saw it. Prior to this course my camera was set to auto by default and I didn’t venture any further. In this exercise I had to use manual mode but also in some of my contact sheet images I explored slow shutter speeds, proving that photography really can be simple if you understand how to use the modes and functions of the camera and how they work.
The images are well composed and are presented in a way to draw your attention to certain elements and to question what you are seeing in some instances as I had done. Hopefully I have communicated what I felt through the series of images. When I posted these to peer review I was delighted that mental health issues were picked up and the person that resided here came through strongly.
I have explored a number of ways in which I could develop this further creatively in terms of presentation and I feel that this assignment has really touched me on a personal level. I am hoping I have told this man’s story in a way that not only highlights his loneliness but also celebrates the person he is and his individuality.
It also goes to show that you never quite know what lies behind a simple white door!
I sequenced the images as if I was walking through the flat but I also looked to tie a colour in the final presentation from image to image to attempt to carry the viewer through.


In this image wanted to show the simple plain door, it had in fact already been replaced. The previous door had apparently been thick with paint, so much so that the letter box had been painted closed and the lock no longer operated. But still no one walking past knew what was beyond the front door and how this man was living alone, shut off from the world. The cartoon image was a piece of a poster found in the toilet room directly as you entered the flat. It feels like a warning to keep away, it represents the man who was shutting himself away.
The blue appears in the next image.


The dark flat is a stark contrast to the bright colours painted in the flat, the hall was the brightest space due to the new door, and I wonder how dark it would have seemed with the old painted door. The tenant’s jacket still hangs in the hall despite taking all the belongings he wanted, it represents him shedding away his old life. On the right these cards were taken from the wall, they also seem to relate to his story of hiding away like an animal / beast only to now be free and euphoric like the footballer to the right.
The yellow appears in the next image.


The jacket is reflected in the dark toilet room, you can even see that it had previously been painted red (including the sink and toilet) and was now painted in thick black gloss paint. But the tenant has painstakingly painted this, including the patterns on the wall. The image on the right is off his collection of paint pots, the only evidence found was of model paints which make me wonder if this is actually what he used considering he had hidden away here for quite some time.
Again yellow and in fact army green are carried to the next image.


The coffee table in his lounge appears to look like the patterns found on fossils, the pattern was created by paints when he obviously painted his soldier figures like the one on the right. On the table sits a remote (he had an extensive DVD collection), a lighter (he clearly smoked judging by the smell), a paint brush and a comb which I presume he used to comb his cat. A cat which he looked after better than I imagine he looked after himself; he only agreed to be moved on the promise that his cat could come too.
The colours from the remote buttons are all mirrored in the next image.


The cargo nets on the left block out the light, in fact I did lift the blinds as it was impossible to see. The walls covered in model making instructions of things I presume he had already built and painted. A dartboard took centre stage on the wall.
Blue is carried through to the next image.


The hole in the sofa is where I presume his cat slept and I imagine that he slept on the cushion next to him, he had no actual bed in the flat. A collection of football cards had been glued to the wall over yet more thick paint painted in patterns. A row of playing cards were also glued in a pattern to the wall, and an odd pop poster of one direction? Does this demonstrate his innocence / mental age?
Blue again is carried through to the next image.


There was no evidence of family or people throughout the flat, the image of only fools and horses seemed to take the place of a family photo, TV and DVDs taking on the role of family and human interaction. The models of public buses gathering dust on the shelf, did he in fact ever leave his flat to interact with others?
Yellow carries through to the next image. Continue reading

Assignment 5 – Final submission

For this assignment I had the opportunity to photograph a property before renovation. I had heard of the condition of the property but I did not truly appreciate it until I visited. I only had one chance to capture this property and whilst I only knew a small amount about the man who had lived there I felt that throughout this assignment I grew to know him more despite never actually meeting him.

If photography is essentially light then that would explain the difficulty in photographing this property as there was a distinct lack of light , light also evokes emotion and feelings and I wanted to show the property exactly as I was seeing it, I wanted the viewer to also get a sense of this tenant in the same way I did without ever meeting or seeing him.

As I only had this one opportunity I did take some items from the flat that were destined for landfill, my idea being that I wanted to create a study of the person. Removing the items and re-photographing them against a plain white background meant I could study them more away from their dark environment.

I created ten diptychs of the images in which I placed the dark images next to the white ‘study’ images. I felt this told the story of both the property and the man, his obsessions and interests becoming clear. I feel the images manage to subtly show this persons mental health issues but also show how creative and interesting he is; his attention to detail and his passions, yet the over-riding feeling I have is of sympathy.

I feel he was alone and isolated, let down by the system that is meant to support him. He lived with no heating, there was barely any light and his food cupboards were bare. He has since moved in to a brighter place with supported living and the dark to light images also reflect this transformation as he shed away his old life and belongings and has moved on to pastures new.



Playing with presentation

I have decided to trim all the prints as they were not quite central but I also wanted to think about how to include some of the objects from the flat, or at least the smell!

Photo 05-07-2017, 13 35 53Oops I just noticed, I laid one out upside-down!

I boxed the prints up with some of the objects and I must say after just a week the prints are taking on a bit of the whiff, but not quite enough. I could mount some of the items on mounts and backing board but I thought I would first play around with the moving box idea, after all the tenant has been moved on. It works ok but I think assessors might not really want to spend the time going through the box, but it does add an element of feeling and experiencing the objects. You get the smell as well as the understanding of just how thick the paint layers were!

Then I experimented with a book idea although I would need to present the images differently (this was just to test out the idea). I quite like this, I could even add some text if I choose to or perhaps an introduction at the beginning and a reflectional review at the end. It would mean reprinting my images but then that brings a new problem in that if I change the format from diptych’s then I need to select less.  Or if I put two images to a page or on opposite pages would this still count as a diptych? The smell is still present in the book and the layers can be touched so it does work well.

I am trying to understand my instinct to include the objects as I do not always explain my intuitive decisions. The images can stand alone as a set successfully however I want the viewer to have a piece of the experience too, if it was in a gallery I could darken the space so that the limitation of vision exists, I could add a scent to the room but without a space to orchestrate I am trying to think of ways an assessor could get that same experience. When I walked into the flat I was struck but three main things first… The décor, the smell and the darkness. I suppose as a set of images it is actually only the smell that is missing, I have tried to photograph the décor and the darkness, so now to ponder if I need to add them at all?

Prints have arrived!

My prints arrived in the post today and it has confirmed my decision to go with the diptych’s. The only disappointment is that they are off centre slightly, so do I trim these to centre them? They are printed 8 x 10 so there is also a lot of space top and bottom as I could not order a panoramic without going into poster size! I chose to try out DS Colour Labs and although the print quality and finish is fine I am not keen on the minute border, this could also be why I favoured the diptychs as the border was not right, with Loxley’s I specify at least half an inch.


*Note to self if I use them again instead of Loxley’s I must add my own border in light room. I wanted to try them out as the cost difference is quite noticeable.

I think as they are off centre I will trim them up, if my tutor feedback is not positive on this then I will get them reprinted and ensure they are centred. Now I just need to check my guillotine is working ok before I butcher them!



Well I have ordered the prints as white background diptychs to test them out, once they are tangible I might feel at ease with my choice. I have (Sneakily) also ordered just the images of the flat as my plan B. I will report back once I have held them and laid them out.

I still have this idea bobbing around in my head about presenting the objects? Placing them in a miniature removal box alongside the images, obviously this would only be the smaller items, I don’t think the OCA would be too pleased to receive a dartboard! With this presentation I am thinking it would give the sense of moving on rather than dying (which one peer reviewer seemed to think), it would also add the element of the smell.

It’s odd how I keep coming back to wanting my images to be more than sight alone, perhaps because people around me seem to all have at least one sense missing so their others are heightened. My husband cannot smell or taste, my mother cannot hear or speak, my father is going deaf with age as well as my father in law who also has diminishing eyesight.

Now , while I wait for my images, I had better return to complete the exercises in part 5 as I leapt ahead with the assignment whilst I had the opportunity.