Assignment three – response to tutor feedback

Overall Comments

Janet, I can see you have been working hard on your research and learning log for this assignment and I particularly enjoyed reading through your research file; looking at other photographers work and then bringing some of your own shots into the equation works well and is a good way to compare ideas and specific photographic approaches. Just on a technical level I am really struggling with the power point format that you are using, is it possible just to have the jpegs for future assignments?

I like the PowerPoint format but appreciate the fact that my tutor needs to see the larger images. Once again, I hoping to find the time to set up a blog as I see from the forums that most OCA students use this method very successfully. I really need some guidance and will have to spend a lot of time (which I don’t currently have), reading and learning about blogs as I do not understand the first thing about them!  I will persevere though….

The assignment also needs editing down to the stated 16 images rather than the 23 you have submitted, I won’t comment on every one simply because of time constraints. Yes, I accept that I need to be stricter in my selection and will ensure that I select sixteen images only for formal assessment.

 Feedback On Assignment


Complimentary Colours – The shot of the Pohutakawa tree with blossom works well, the red obviously stands out and the green leaves mirror the lush vegetation of the background. It is a fairly straightforward image, but is one of the better flora shots (I have seen hundreds!) that have been submitted. I am well aware of flora shots being very common and have seen plenty myself on student blogs. I choose this one because the flower is unusual and adds a sparkle to the red. The colours are rich and glossy. 


The combination of the blue dish and oranges makes for an image full of vibrancy, although I’m not so sure about the black background, a white background would have helped to balance the shot a little more and connect to the small white bits on the dish. I’m not sure if this was ‘found’ situation or a constructed still life, so maybe it wasn’t possible to change the background colour/setting. This was a constructed shot.  I thought the black background was good because it allowed the dish and contents to stand out. However in light of the feedback I will try the white background before I decide which image to put forward for formal assessment.

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The eye is drawn to the cormorant in the third image (the black shape works as a colour accent) and then takes in the whole scene, it is an interesting image which at first glance looks quite a simple photograph is actually quite a complex one full of shape, texture and of course colour. An excellent photograph in my opinion!

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The shot of the Maori totem pole with the transmitter in the background is another interesting shot and it is the simplicity of the image that means the focus is on these two objects. Our world is full of these kinds of culture clashes that seem to be odds with each other and images such as this really highlight that fact. I have too many blue and orange combination shots, so will select two for the final assessment.

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I’m not sure about the two yellow/violet shots, the one of the copper roof really needs a different angle as the trees are a little distracting, I guess it was more or less impossible to get a higher point of view? Yes, the bandstand was surrounded by trees or modern buildings. I was standing on a slope and used my telephoto lens, but could not get closer without my position being too low. The roof alone would have made for a better shot. Similarly the shot of the gift shop window, although a great piece of observation the image seems to lack a direction that the previous ones have. A valid point, so back to the drawing board for yellow/violet.

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I have used these two in my learning log. But not convinced they are strong enough….

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Colour Harmony – The first shot here of the public conveniences is quite a cluttered image and it is more illustrative rather than being a studied shot. An image of a particular section could have worked better. Sadly I cannot jump on a plane back to New Zealand to retake this one! This feedback (and below) is highlighting that I need to look more closely at detail for some of my shots.


The eye is always drawn to any text in an image and the ‘Red Barn’ sign whilst showing good harmony lacks a little impact, again a more considered shot that shows just a small part of the sign could have worked better. I was able to retake this shot – landscape and portrait. Not only does it show harmony between the colours, it also has texture drawing the eye in more and inviting to touch. 


The violet/red (pink!) shot works to a point but I found the tree restricted the image to a snapshot aesthetic rather than a studied image. You could say the shot has some quite poetic elements in it, although personally there is no magic or mystery in the image, it is more about the end of a particular day. I agree that I did not consider a studied image here. I will remove this shot as it does not have a place in my assignment.

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The yellow, orange and greens combine well and this shot has been purposely taken to illustrate colour rather than the plant itself. I’m not sure what time of day the image was taken, but I can imagine how the changing light depending on the time of day could have altered the overall feel of the image. I did indeed take this shot purely for the vibrant colours. It was taken in the early afternoon sun with little shadow.

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The final two shots in this section are interesting, the light is really good in subdued way and the colours (apart from the hat) all combine well together. There are also some pink/red fleshy tones with the man’s hands and feet that I was drawn to due to the rock that he his holding. I think rather than trying to fill the frame you need to take a section of the perceived photograph and use that instead. Again, detail here is key. I was not able to retake these but did attempt to crop the images in Lightroom. I think the photo on the left has lost too much detail. The one on the right is better. But the jury is still out.

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Colour Contrast – The shot of the clogs works well, good observation skills coupled with the colour balance makes for a fairly successful image. I have noticed in many of your shots you are shooting looking down at objects, I would really try all sorts of different angles as this point of view can get a little repetitive. This was actually shot looking up at the clogs, not looking down – they were hanging from the ceiling. Interesting that it is perceived differently by the viewer.

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The shot of the blossom works to a point but lacks any real impact, as do the rest of the images in this section apart from the ‘rainbow’ shot which is really excellent and highlights the need to have a camera with you at all times. I will exclude these from the assignment, but include the “rainbow”!

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Colour Accent – I found these two shots to work very well, especially the one of the strawberry where the light is good and you have utilised it well. The one of the jellyfish could be said to be a kind of travel snap, but nonetheless does make for an interesting image. I am delighted with the strawberry shot! I spent ages setting this one up and waiting for the light to be bright enough and avoiding shadows. The jellyfish  – I just happened to be walking along the harbour at the opportune moment. I will also include the shot below for assessment, as this is a very strong image for colour accent.

Through your research and learning log you are looking at a good variety of photographers and their work, I can only encourage you to keep working in this manner.