Final Tutor Feedback

Overall Comments

A fitting end to the course, once again challenging yourself attempting to assimilate a variety of influences whilst documenting an event close to you.

Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Notes from, and in addition to, our Skype tutorial :

We discussed your overall self-evaluation, its good to be critical but don’t be too hard on yourself. This is the first course in your first year and as you note, you’ve already come a long way. Always remember your best photographs are ahead of you!

The photos in this submission do the job of recording the visit. Important details in the service are noted, interactions are observed, and key elements of the Liturgy shown.

Your sequence shows us the narrative of the event.

The processing and rituals are well observed. You are successfully showing us what goes on in an unfamiliar (Greek Orthodoxy historically being a minor religion in the UK) environment.

We discussed your use of the close up, we as viewers get the feeling of being the ‘man in the crowd’, its less like you’ve got a camera and more like a person’s eye view.

This is paparazzi style, documentary, the blurred shoulders in the foreground are a typical indicator. All to give us the feeling that, not only did this happen, but that we were there.

You had to use the highest iso (3200) setting that you’ve ever used. The prints are fine, however, and your camera is obviously up to the job. In your choice of black and white you need a little more justification. The contrasts were a little dulled by the low light. The colours of the robes, fabrics and ephemera are so attractive that really we need to see them.

You are best placed to not fall into the trap of Orientalism, whilst still showing us something culturally interesting. In effect you are a bridge between our worlds.

We went through the contact sheet again choosing images on colour, composition and illustration of the event. Remember not to break the spell of the observer by having eye contact with audience members – we want to be engrossed in them being engrossed.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context

Good to see you continuing to read and review. This all stands you in good stead.

Suggested reading/viewing Context

Keep cross referencing from Bate, Bull and Wells, and try to find a new contemporary or historical photographer a week.

Pointers for the next assignment

For assessment; showcase your learning, point to where you’ve used a reference, where you’ve listened to advice, how you changed things – show your process.


Tutor feedback

Overall Comments

You’ve again fulfilled the brief. I’m a little concerned that on immediate impression the photographs do not overtly showcase your skills. Follow up on my recommendations below.

Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

 Notes from, and in addition to, our Skype tutorial :

Reorder the series so that you showcase the most direct images – you are after all ‘advertising’ these dogs – demote no.1

New order:

  • 6
  • 10 or 9
  • 2
  • 3 once cropped
  • 4
  • 8
  • 1
  • 5
  • end 7

Think about how they work as a series. The compilation that the blog automatically produces is don’t forget what we see first.

Take control, present your best image first, then make the series tell the story you want it to – this is separate from providing the dogs’ home with the images they require. If there are better images illustrating lighting for the assignment substitute them.

Crop image 1, 2 and 3. Make the series all head and shoulders of dogs. It won’t be a narrow typology as you already have plenty going on in but cropping these three allows us to focus on the expressions – which is of course the selling point.

The backgrounds, especially with reference to 3, detract from this series. They could be useful in talking about the dogs in a different way.

Default references for dogs –  Elliott Erwitt, William Wegmann!

Signpost your misgivings about presenting these (to me), versus the positives of the experience of commissioning. You’re doing some great reflection and striking a balance between potentially conflicting factors in making/editing/showing images is always useful.

We discussed how a number of other students used assignment 4 to showcase often dramatic lighting. Make sure you highlight the lighting positives in your submission – balancing the mix of natural and flash, coping with movement, the variables of each scene etc. Also make sure that it is apparent that you garnered a commission here – and that you were also fulfilling the OCA brief.

We discussed how by using animals again you have worked with a further set of variables out of your control – you note that currently this is an area of photography you would like to work in in future.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context

Keep putting your thoughts on books you have read in your blog, and putting reflection into practice. And we do all read Camera Lucida over and over. On Photography still has plenty to merit it – and plenty of people picking fights with it forty years later!

Suggested reading/viewing Context

Keep up with the books! It can’t hurt to read more, seek out Tod Papageorge’s famous quote…

Pointers for the next assignment

Showcase your learning, don’t be afraid to experiment and reference it all!

Part three. Traces of time pre work research.

Decisive moments?

I have taken the images from (accessed 26/10/2016). Steve McCurry’s images hold a special place in my heart and below are a few examples which are apt for the current part of this course.

I have been asked to produce contact sheets more frequently as part of my feedback. I have done some research to see how these are done by Steve McCurry and there are a couple of examples below. Here you can see the selects and the non selects and this is what I will aim for going forwards.




Assignment Two Feedback

Overall Comments

A thoughtful submission that fulfills the brief.

Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

 Notes from, and in addition to, our Skype tutorial :

We discussed how you have acted like a flaneur in making this work. Its worth checking out the book Psychogeography, plenty of references in it to the history of this ‘way of seeing’.

Sad to hear that permission to photograph was denied at LUFC.

Interesting that it was no problem to photograph at Sheffield station – we discussed the idea of privilege.

You have used a variety of vantage points, and this has still managed to retain a coherence, possibly due to them being the same viewpoints we would expect to find on a similar commute.

Your edit is arranged in an order that would make sense as a story of the journey.

You were also asking yourself ‘what is a crowd’? Looking for some purpose, an order, a seriality. This is really interesting, starting from a definition, from a commonly understood place is useful when attempting a critique.

To create images of interest you attempted a ‘frame within a frame’.

We discussed your bridge image using punctum and studium. It adhered to one of Barthes’ ideas in that, what the photographer intended is not necessarily what arrests the viewer’s attention. The side-lit woman in the middle ground for you and the clasped hands of the woman in the foreground for me.

References – Phillip-Lorca diCorcia, Beat Strueli, Paul Graham

You understood that the assignment was about a concern with aperture, forcing you to observe, being intuitive, having your antennae out – I think you have been successful here

The final image in the series is pushing the envelope of the definition ‘crowd’. It was a conscious decision on your part to attempt social commentary. You are to be commended for trying to use camera and technique to get create a political meaning for the work.

In attempting a narrative, perhaps the weakest image in the series is the first. Looking at the series purely aesthetically I would aim to tie red into this first shot – and leave an absence of red in the last as a prompt to encourage viewers to look further.

Take confidence from having moved out of your comfort zone and challenged yourself in making images of people..

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context

 With reference to the exercise shots of your dad – Bruce Gilden

Pu some of your thoughts on books you have read in your blog.

Suggested reading/viewing Context

 Keep up with the books! See one reference above.

 Pointers for the next assignment

For assignment 3 I suggest; keep it critical.

All this for 20 minutes re-edit

I have re-edited my original shoot following feedback from my tutor and a great amount of self-reflection and studying of other works of a similar nature. These will be posted and referenced separately.

  • I have decided to keep them images as colour images, as this gives an “as is” feel. This is a real issue and it therefore deserves reality, not desaturation.
  • I have also been and discussed the issue with a local councillor to gain a further insight into HS2/Bramley, as I had not previously researched the issue as this was a spontaneous shoot. My name has now been put forward to help promote this cause and I will be photographing a march on the 8th October.
  • Captions have been removed, as looking at other people’s work e.g. Karen Knorr and her Belgravia set, I feel the captions in this shoot will not add anything. I want to get people thinking and adding captions closes down the viewers mind as there may be an element of ambiguity in the images.
  • There are a number of new shots in the set, that I have used towards the end of the set which include people. This makes the issue personal and it also shows the viewer that Bramley is not dead, but will fight on. It was felt the cemetery image was too final and added too much doom and gloom to the overall fight that Bramley is faced with.