A3 Tutor feedback and response

This is my first attempt at recording my own feedback during the telephone call with my tutor.

Overall Comments 

My tutor stated that I have “made huge leaps in creativity” with this assignment. We spoke about how I am picking up threads from previous assignments/exercises and carrying them through – one assignment leading into another. I commented that I feel excited and have gained confidence with my current work, and that my personal voice may be emerging!

It was noted that I am now using my learning log more to record my initial thoughts and visual ideas as they develop. I feel that this is working really well for me as an aide memoire as well as providing the assessors with a visual account of my “workings”.

We agreed to continue with telephone feedback sessions as I learn better when I hear and can discuss rather than when I read.

Tutor comments:
Great to see you taking risks with your photography, Janet. A huge leap indeed from your 1st assignment. The emerging threads of memory, the unconscious and (reappearing in assignment 4?) presence/absence do keep coming up – so I do hope you’ll be picking up on some of the recommendations I’ve made for reading and viewing. There is an emphasis on Context; reading for context will broaden you creative ‘arc’. I hope you found writing up the feedback a useful exercise – we can discuss in our next conversation.

Feedback on Assignment

General and specific comments on the Assignment (whether a practical or written assignment)

Technical and Visual Skills

  • The images have a psychedelic appearance which linked in nicely to the subconscious and how I am (was) feeling about working on this assignment.
  • My tutor advised to make all the images the same dimensions and to try them as a triptych. I submitted four images, one being black and white and square in format – because it suited the composition and subject matter. We agreed that it is a strong image, but that it doesn’t really fit with the others.
  • It was recommended that I consider removing the distracting dark edge on the right hand side of this image.  I used the Photoshop clone tool.


  • We agreed that I had been successful in portraying a self-portrait that goes beyond the surface.
  • My series is expressive of the whole experience, how I was feeling.
  • I commented that I was keen to experiment and try an alternative slant on self-portrait. I alluded to my new mantra “experiment, take risks, turn an idea on its head”.
  • We discussed the success of putting my learning log to good use, inclusion of all my images (successful or not) showing my developing ideas.

 Quality of Outcome

  • I agreed to try printing and ‘playing’ with the images to see whether they fit together in sequence.
  • I need to consider how to present them for formal assessment.
  • I commented on the difficulty of selecting the final images for submission. My tutor explained that, close to the end of a piece of work all my images will have taken on a value, therefore it will always be hard to discard images.
  • I am very pleased with the outcome. The images successfully describe the range of feelings and emotions of the ordeal!

Tutor Comments: 
So, using the workprints as a visual aid, weigh up whether the triptych is more effective and, if so, whether the triptych be strengthened by making all the prints the same size. (Test this before making your decision!).
 Excellent to hear that you’ve gained a mantra from previous feedback! And to see that you’re putting it to good use.
 Brave & imaginative work.



  • It was clear that I had considered options and listed thoughts and ideas for the various exercises in my log.
  • My tutor liked that I had included contact sheets for the project Childhood memory, showing how I had arrived at the final image.

 Tutor Comment: Project work is experimental and feeding into development of assignment ideas – good.


  • I need to remember to look at other photographers outside of the research point projects within the module and include them on my blog.
  • It was however noted that I had looked beyond the suggested research and developed my own analysis of some artists mentioned in the module notes.
  • My tutor suggested several pointers to assist such as making notes as I go along and to read with a pencil in my hand.
  • I stated that I am still working on how to master reading critically and noting my findings in my log.

Tutor comment: Keep your reading/research notes in a separate section in your learning log, if possible – this section should become a valuable reference resource for you, over time. This goes for visual research, too.

Learning Log

  • Good to see that I have included reflection on the assessment criteria.
  • My tutor acknowledged that I had “come a long way” in developing my learning log and that it is now a true visual sketchbook.
  • We discussed creating a new learning log for each module (re OCA guidelines). As I am nearly at the end of level 1, I explained I would rather start afresh for Level 2. It took me forever to get to grips with setting this one up (I had to call on Paul Vincent at OCA for support!). In the meantime it was suggested that I consider ‘hiding’ my previous courses from my blog, that way my current work will not be diluted.

Tutor Comment: Learning log is really coming along, Janet. We discussed hiding the final 2 sections, I think and having a clear, separate area for Research & Reflection purely for C&N. Good idea to hide the previous course logs if possible.

Suggested reading/viewing

·         Barthes, R. (1993). Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. London: Vintage Classics.
·         Kuhn, Annette (2002) Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination. London: Verso.
·         Check out feminist artists in relation to expressing frustration, constraints, being contained etc. (links in to my assignment).
·         View https://thephotographersgalleryblog.org.uk/2016/10/12/interview-with-the-curators-feminist-avant-garde-of-the-1970s/ and other reviews eg. the Guardian.

Tutor comment: Try not to let the reading build up too much… As we discussed, there is a consistency of ideas developing through your work, so now is the time to build on the contextual thought around them.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Viewing, as discussed by email in relation to the John Maher image:
    Wall’s The Destroyed Room, which is a constructed image (and, as it’s Jeff Wall, you’ll probably find quite a few essays and articles about this image online).
  • Also Robert Polidori’s After the Flood

Both essential viewing as context for your essay. (Importantly, read about these examples.) You may also be interested in Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) by Cornelia Parker and Semi-Detached by Michael Landy. Also House by Rachel Whiteread.


  • On the reading list, the Howarth book is a nice small edition and gives good examples of different approaches to writing about a single photograph.
  • I would also really recommend, for you, an essay by David Campany called Safety in Numbness (on ‘late’photography; photography after the ‘event’).
  • The Poetics of Space could be a good bit of reading to go back to here.
  • And of course Barthes on presence/absence in Camera Lucida.

Let me know if you change your mind about your image of choice. Good luck!