Course: Expressing Your Vision
Assignment four – ‘Languages of light’ – Tutor Feedback
Please find below my tutor feedback which has been provided in full as instructed by my tutor. My responses to the points raised will be in square brackets to differentiate between the two.
The set of images you have sent me are due to revisiting a previous exercise you have undertaken whereby you photographed an egg.
The final portfolio of images (6) show how you have moved on from the original exercise and taken your work into a new and different direction. Even though you have continued to keep it simple, there has been a narrative added which has developed in your work and this can provide you with some new opportunities to explore.
I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
1 – This image overall seems a little dark which you have commented on in your reflective feedback. It may be a case of needing to calibrate your printer with your computer screen. Did you do this? If not, then this may be worth investigating sooner. It can also sometimes be a matter of your monitor just being too bright. I would recommend that you continue to experiment with the lighting and printing further in this respect, so that you have prints you are happy with so it may be worth revisiting this particular image again.
[Since carrying out this assignment I have invested in a Spyder5Pro screen calibrating device so hopefully future prints will at least start on my screen as they are intended. I am finding that working with the same printers DS Colour Labs also means you get a feel for work flow and predictability which then results in more consistency of the end results.]
2 – This image provides an interesting and unusual composition. It reminds me of some advice by Martin Parr who recommends that you add a little surprise within the composition (where possible) to give a slightly surreal effect and keep the viewer guessing. In this respect your image does this as you play around with the reflection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEtnCCXpZv4
[This image I think is one of my more successful in the series. It creatively asks the viewer to fill in the gaps based on the reflective information. Most people have come across a lamp, so their brain can easily recreate the missing top part of the lamp from the reflection albeit not that clear to see. I have since re-worked this image to remove the labels inside the lamp head and entered it in to a local photography club completion and it was well received. I will include the re-worked image in my reflection blog post that follows this one.]
3 – This image has good composition, as the main focal point is on the egg with the lamp being slightly out of focus. However, there may have been a little opportunity to play around with the shadows in this image, with the lamp looming down on the egg in such an investigative way.
[I would have liked to have had the lamp closer to the egg but when I tried this I found that this particular lamp was not as adjustable as I would have liked, so this was the best I could do with the lamp I had. I agree though, it would have been better if I had been able to get the lamp lower, closer to the egg and maybe have captured a long shadow coming from the back of the egg.]
4 – This image is very similar to the previous image and therefore it is at risk of the viewing not questioning this image any further. It is overly dark and not as strong as the other images so would benefit from a reshoot.
[I see this image as the key ‘linking’ image in the story so I agree it is very similar to the previous one but as part of a series it shows that the story is progressing. The fact that the egg is now on the lamp tells you this relationship is now more intimate, it has progressed on from the initial relationship building stage. On reflection maybe a different shooting angle could have been employed here and I will explore this further.]
5 – I like the texture being revealed on the egg shell by the lighting you have used in this shot. Cropping needs to be revisited due to the lamp being cut out of the image on the right hand side. A hint of the label under the base of the lamp is also a little distracting and more experimentation with lighting needs to be accomplished due to lack of detail in the lamp lowlights.
[I have noted the comments regarding; cropping, lack of detail in the dark areas and that the label is distracting. I will include this image re-worked in my reflection blog post which will follow this one.]
6 – This image has potential due to the unusual cropping and the way that you have developed the cylindrical shapes. To further explore and experiment with this image, there is the possibility that you could replicate (in post-production) a continuation and duplication of the circles to mirror each other.
[I have just started using Photoshop more creatively and note that I could explore the replication of shapes within the frame. I did experiment with different compositions ‘in camera’ for this shot and this I felt was the strongest image from those shot. I think this might be one to revisit once I am more proficient with Photoshop so I can do my post-production experimentation justice.]
Coursework – Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
You have obviously understood a large element of the technical skill involved in artificial or studio lighting conditions. It is important to also recognize that, with practice, this can be a way of getting the lighting exactly as you want it. Indeed, any ‘controlled’ lighting situation, once perfected can be a lot easier to achieve as opposed to natural lighting conditions where you are up against the weather, for example.
[I have been endeavoring to learn more about studio lighting and have added to my lighting equipment and modifiers which will allow me to experiment more in this area. It is an area I am interested in so have no doubt that future studio lighting submissions will be improved upon.]
Research – Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You have identified with this series of work that you wanted to develop it into a more narrative storyline. This can be an interesting way of taking your work forward, perhaps, for example a children’s book or a stop motion movie. You may want to look at the work of Graham Rawle who created all his own objects for a book about the Wizard of Oz. You may also be interested in the work of stop-motion work of Anderson Studio M who use narrative within their animations. You could also draw on book classics such as Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, to draw inspiration.
[I will cover my thoughts on Graham Rawle, Anderson Studio M and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in my reflection blog post which will follow this one.]
Learning Log – Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
I enjoyed reading your blog (and printed work sent to me in the post), particularly as you resonated with Ernst Haas over his apple! You may want to look at the classic photographer Edward Weston who beautifully sculpted some vegetables through the use of studio lighting.
[I will take a look at Edward Weston’s vegetables and comment on them in my reflection post which will follow this one.]
Suggested reading/viewing – Context
As mentioned in the feedback above, here are the links to the artists mentioned:
Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
- Continue to practice in controlled lighting conditions
- Continue to experiment with your work and think outside the box
- Develop the narrative angle if this is an area which interests you
[All the comments provided have been noted and I will consider these on my follow-up work and future assignments. Overall I am pleased with my feedback and note that I have some areas to improve on.]
Follow this link to my reflection blog post, which follows up on the comments provided above and any re-work of images.