My response to tutor feedback
Michael Freeman’s words are useful advice for this and indeed the rest of the module, I would also add the need for the photographer to develop their own vision and style through taking risks, photography can be a ‘safe’ medium and we are now entering an age where there are billions of photographs and images at our disposal. The first ‘single point’ image works well and retains a sense of intrigue for the viewer; our eye is drawn to the light and then tries to work out the rest of the image.
The second example is more of a clean and clinical style of image and would also work as a colour accent; we are instantly drawn to the red sign in among the drab concrete of the background. I also produced this second image in black & white, and now I take a second look it does lose some impact as a single point. Agreed it does make a good image for colour accent.
The shot of the bikers illustrates your point well, although I think the landscape format would have worked better as it could have shown more of the immediate area and scene. The road would not have been cropped out and maybe we would get a better sense of the relationship between the two riders within the location. Agreed. I did consider landscape for this shot but decided there were too many other distractions in the frame, so I deleted it. Below are a few other images. For formal assessment I will submit the image on the right. Whilst it is potentially a bit literal , it does clearly demonstrate two points.
At first I thought this was an image taken looking down at a cobbled street or similar but then on reading through your notes it has in fact been taken looking upward. I like how the simplicity of the shot keeps the viewer’s attention through the use of the shadow areas of the protruding stones; the eyes seem to dart around looking for some answers! Good to read that my image arouses curiosity.
Vertical & Horizontal Lines
This shot also works well; your images and working methodology are coming across well here as you explore not only the shapes but also the construction side of things. There is a good sense of ‘wonder’ which I think photography has a habit of doing and can really draw you into examine even the most banal of objects. This feedback is encouraging and demonstrates that I am moving forward and away from the literal approach.
The second example is quite formal in style and works a lot better than the first one in my opinion, the vertical and horizontal lines of the building draw the viewer in immediately and then the man in the background add visual interest and questions start to form in the mind of the viewer. Photography by its very nature asks many questions but the answers are never straightforward and I think this shot is a good example of that. Thank you! I like both shots equally because they put out different messages i.e. the first image considers how the construction is viewed – strong or fragile, while the lines of the second image draw the viewer in.
The shot of the saplings takes a similar route to the previous one although lacks the intrigue, the image is quite graphic, as though there is a disturbance within the frame. The shot does demonstrate good creativity and highlights your progressive observational skills. Having studied the image again following my tutor’s response I can also visualise the “disturbance”. Maybe I could have used this shot for “rhythm”?
This image relies on the angle of the camera to define the diagonal, I’m not sure if you used flash here or the available light was this harsh, but I think a softer image would have worked better.
I will replace it with this one for formal assessment. Not relying on the angle of the camera, not a softer image – but strong and dynamic!
Again I think this shot would have worked better in the landscape format, you seem quite fond of using the portrait format which I think does have its place but for me, its over-use can diminish the actual images. A landscape format shot would have allowed the viewer more information in the central, and most interesting part of the image. Your comment on my trend of taking photos in the portrait format , this is probably because in the first assignment it was suggested we do this more – as the norm tends to be to shoot in landscape due to the natural design of the camera. I take your point though and will experiment more with landscape for my next assignment.
The second curves shot is more abstract and works well in terms of you observing the statue and getting closer to take the image, but the shot itself lacks any great impact. I agree that it does show the form of the statue really well and it’s worth remembering this for the fourth assignment. I disagree with the comment that “the shot lacks any great impact”. I think the folds and curves are very obvious and unusual, they arouse curiosity too. I do agree that this shot also shows “form” very well. Here are other candidates for “curves”.
For assessment I will submit the two images below.
This shot shows a good perspective that explores the architecture well; it is a slightly disorienting photograph as we look down at the paved street and the various combinations of shapes.
The shot of the alleyway works well and captures the physical and implied shapes; the colourful walls add good interest to the image. By including the spotlight within the frame you have added an atmosphere to the shot, and reminds us that these lights are always on! Interesting that I assumed the spotlight was a distraction, but I am pleased that it is perceived to add atmosphere.
The shot of the three lads is quite a tight crop but one that works well, there are a couple of distractions such as the handrail of the steps and the side of the van both to the left of centre, but in some ways these seem to help to ground the image in a matter of fact way. As this is an implied triangle I think the viewer does have to work harder to see the shape. I like the fact that the distractions help to “ground the image”.
This shot captures rhythm very well, for me rhythm and photography are quite close to each other and I always take a musical definition with this, you can have a fairly standard 4/4 beat or a more complex 5/16 signature and that is true with various styles of photography!
The second rhythm image plays on this within a compositional context too and we get a definite sense of rhythm from the photograph. (Landscape format would have been better still!!) Yes, I agree, landscape would have added more of a rhythm! Below are a couple more images I took. However, bearing in mind the feedback, I will submit the original two images for assessment.
This shot is quite a literal one but actually takes the narrative of the tiles themselves to show pattern rather than the obvious physical pattern. These kind of images work well within sequences or layouts when the photographer wishes to present a more straightforward image that draws the viewer in through the object itself. Back to literal images again! But I am pleased with the way the individual figures draw the viewer in and I enjoy reading the pattern.
Interestingly I think that many of your shots do work better in black & white, they seem to take on a more cohesive body of work that shows your own style off better. It doesn’t really work when you mix colour and monochrome images in one body of work as both mediums have completely different values and contexts that don’t sit well together. The photographers mind set is different when visualizing an image in colour or black & white so unless the work is concerned with this or something similar then it is very rare to see a mix. Agreed. I understand and accept this now based on previous feedback about mixing the two mediums. However, in this case the assignment asks for both mediums in order to make a comparison.
Your learning log and research are very thorough pieces of work and its great to see you looking at other photographers; I can only encourage you to continue working in this way. Overall this is a strong assignment that demonstrates good technical and visual skills combined with a high quality of outcome. You seem to have a keen interest in the form of the photograph and this is something that I hope you will continue to develop. Yes, I find myself looking into the design of the photograph more. I also enjoy analysing the probable intent and adding my own “story” to the image.