Friday, 31 January 2014

Assignment 5 - Tutor feedback

Overall Comments
Richard, I realise due to time constraints and the weather that this assignment has been compromised a little, but at the end of the day you have completed the module and got this piece of work in on time, so well done!

The work that you did in the fourth assignment has set you up well for this set of images, the lighting and overall quality of the shots is very good and we can see a great deal of progression in terms of skills learnt. The emphasis is on producing clear and concise images rather than any creative interpretations of the brief and with that in mind I think you will be fine in the assessment, as your work has moved on well through each assignment.

Feedback On Assignment
Any ‘step by step’ photo guide has to draw the viewer in and the cover image does that well, the domestic setting relates to the reader/viewer’s own scenario and we also see the finished pie, which does look tempting! Shooting a cover image is probably the most important aspect of working to a brief such as this, the shot needs to communicate the process straightaway and also highlight the photographer’s own style. The lighting is good and although some photographers choose a warmer light source to try and replicate a domestic setting, your more clinical approach is focused on the ingredients and as such keeps the reader/viewer interested through the images as much as the text.

The three shots of the ingredients combine well together and there is a good symmetry to the grouping that can be sometimes difficult to achieve with a multi image single page layout. I may have been tempted to use a white background to keep with the high key style of the cover shot, this may have proved technically difficult with shadow problems etc, so I can see why you have used the black background.

The following page again works very well, we can follow the images without really needing to read the text, the shots are well thought out and the narrative is strong. For me the format ratio of the images is interesting and whilst they possibly wouldn’t work as individual shots in this format, they work within the circular context of motion that I think is important when constructing a photographic narrative of any description.

The penultimate page comes across well, and although I know you still have to update your blog, were you working with these crops in mind, or did you do this during the processing of the images? The two shots of the limes are maybe a little too small, they both look interesting so it would be difficult to edit one of the shots out. Similarly with the images of the mixture, they both work well in the overall context and I can see you have worked hard on the composition of you work, this does show up well particularly when cross referenced with the exercises on your blog.

The final shot/page seems to work ok, although I’m not so sure about the ingredients behind the pie? I’m no expert on food/cookery photography but perhaps here we would be looking for a more creative image in terms of lighting and without any distractions? As it is the assignment works fine, you could possibly work with keeping the images in similar formats on the layouts but at the end of the day that would be the job of the editor rather than the photographer. 

Learning Log/Blog/Suggested Reading/Viewing/ Pointers For The Assessment
I think some of the work on your blog is excellent particularly the juxtaposition exercise, the idea is strong in terms of the image and concept, although being a vinyl junkie I would argue against the decline of records! Also the evidence of action shot is good, definitely in Eggelston and Stephen Shore territory! Other than updating your blog with final assignment you have a good range of books/subjects/images that backs up your assignment work very well.

A couple of things you may find interesting, I’m not sure if you have seen Sugimoto’s series of photographs Conceptual Forms before, if not then I think you will find them very interesting, both in terms of the actual ideas and quality of the images. I’ve seen the images in the flesh and they really are amazing!

Adam Maygar is another photographer I think you’ll find interesting, he’s a clever guy and adapts his own cameras that produce fantastic quality images, well worth having a look.

Finally a couple of general photo related blogs/sites that update very regularly and feature some very interesting work from around the world.

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