As I have just submitted assignment two for AOP I thought it was about time I shared my assignment one feedback. Overall I was really pleased with the honest feedback, great to get a critical perspective on your work, it’s the only way to improve.
What follows in bold are my tutors feedback and my addition comments below plus a link to the original assignment one submission:
Feedback on assignment ‘Contrasts’
A good intro explaining your approach and the difficulties you have faced. Giving this kind of background to the shots helps me to see them as serious attempts and not just images taken from your archive.
Light and dark.
A good coupling of images from day and night, showing an excellent illustration of the title.
Straight and curved.
This pair took me by surprise, as I hadn’t expected that the first shot was actually a curved building, flattened off by a long lens. Using the same building was a really good way of illustrating the point well, and illustrates a previous point about perspective being the result of viewpoint, not lens.
Few and many.
You state that you think it may be cheating to keep the same viewpoint for both shots, but I don’t think you are here. The first shot doesn’t immediately say ‘few’ but when the second shot is seen it becomes few in comparison. Only two shots from the same location could do this.
Large and small.
You state that the golden bee is very large, but it is hard to see what the scale is. The smaller worker bees also seem large when seen against the foliage of the tree, so I’m not sure that you have got the second part of this. Also, your written text is incomplete.
Diagonal and rounded.
Two really strong abstract shots illustrating the two forms really well.
Liquid and solid.
A good attempt The sculpture is solid, but represents liquid, and the water is perfectly represented in that almost abstract way. Perhaps a shot of water lapping over sand might have given you the sort of image you had in mind? One which would match the sculptures ripples.
High and low.
I think you fulfilled the brief, but these two images were probably the weakest in a good set.
Hard and soft.
A good contrasting pair despite your reservations. They would have looked a bit disparate if you had not included the thumbnail to give it context.
Broad and narrow.
A difficult one to illustrate this one, you bravely tried to get it in one shot and had the extra restriction of keeping it in the ‘city’ context. I think the broadness of the lower building might have been better appreciated if it had been shot square-on from across the water. Some of the width is lost in foreshortening. Also, the camera is tilted back, causing converging verticals, and yet there is plenty of space above. A straighter version would have been more pleasing to the eye and shown your control of technical problems.
In your conclusion you show that the exercise has taught you about preparation and thinking through the shots beforehand. This is a good lesson to learn and will improve the quality of your work.
Learnings, a new beginning.
A nice piece on your progress, and an honest explanation of how you see your work at the moment, explaining the difficulties you have had. I think you are on course for producing some good work.
The important thing now is that you learn to take on a wider photographic influence. A good way to do this is to look at the work of many other photographers, both those you admire, and those you do not. Investigate the classic photographers, but also look at work by a wide range of different practitioners so that you begin to see how widely the word ‘Photography’ can be interpreted, even photography by practitioners who are outside of your own area of interest. This will give you a broader range of possibilities. Look at the ways that people see, the equipment they choose to use, their use of light, the field that that they choose to work in and the ways that they present their work. Composition is a critical element in all of this and I cannot over emphasise its importance.
Feel free to take a critical stance on the work you see, explaining why you think a particular photographers work is successful or falls below in technical or aesthetic terms. Looking at work this way will broaden your view of what is possible and give you more confidence in your own work.
On the last point, on looking at famous photographers and the current photography art world. I have just really started to expand my understanding and to look at others work. See the Photographers Work category in this blog.