Assignment 5 Feedback

I found the final assignment challenging for various reasons so I am very pleased with my final report. I really value Robert’s observations and suggestions, who comments “this is good work showing attitude , feeling and atmosphere“. I am glad my Blog received a thumbs up too —“Your blog looks good“. How I hated using a blog initially , I felt exposed. I am a private person who keeps most thoughts to myself, I hated “going public” but have come to quite enjoy blogging. Robert has made some interesting suggestions that I would like to explore further following on from this assignment. Reading a critique of one’s own personal work can be difficult but it is important to look upon it not as criticism but as a guide to improvement. His comments about some individual images reflect to an extent some of my own thoughts when choosing my final selection. Robert commented my images “could easily be used for a magazine article about teenagers” but he also noted that my client brief was not really specific enough, “what would that magazine article be about ?”. Thinking about this with hindsight I agree, and now realise it probably made the assignment more difficult for me in terms of creating a cohesive set of images .

A successful “moody portrait

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 Your Worst Nightmare

Robert liked the image but questioned its inclusion as he felt ” in a documentary article you need to stick to the actual facts” . Interestingly my husband also felt this one image was out of place and suggested I did not include it in my final selection. Reflecting on this I can agree that it probably is not a depiction of an actual event but a state of mind. My interest in surrealism has grown during the course and is something I would like to explore further but can understand why it really was not ideal to include this particular photograph with the assignment .

Community youth centre

Robert commented” Its a telling atmospheric shot” but ,and I agree completely, it would be so much better with youngsters in the frame. Time and opportunity meant I took the chance of including a people less shot. How I wish I had forced myself to just go and take it!

The Stare

Robert liked the direct eye contact of the taller boy but felt I should have waited for a more “engaging” look from the other two subjects in the frame, I was aware that their facial expressions were not as direct or as interesting .Following Robert’s observation I have cropped the image to exclude the other boy as this seems to intensify his stare. Interestingly whilst leafing through my paper cuttings I came across a piece about Alberto Korda who cropped his iconic image of Che Guevara to specifically “highlight the intense gaze”of his subject  (The Observer 07/03/10) Link to image of Che below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heroico1.jpg

However I would still have liked to have got the taller boy either on his own , or as Robert has said should have just waited for the right moment.

Welcoming committee

I nearly did not include this image, I was really unsure if the light was alright. I am so glad I did as Robert felt “ this is one of the best shots” , both my husband and eldest daughter urged me to use this, sometimes it helps to ask other peoples’ opinion as they are often far more objective. Robert felt this should have been my opening shot, I found it quite difficult to decide on my initial image, and think he is probably right. But as I commented in my assignment notes I wanted each image to be considered individually, not to be seen as a story as such , with a beginning, middle and end , but as a photographic essay with a common theme.

The Cage

Another atmospheric and telling shot” but “weakened” by lack of people. I was very aware that my presence around the youth centre might possibly be misconstrued. I felt horribly self- conscious and was not allowed inside the youth centre (any youth workers must have a CRB check). Access to the cage was only available through the centre but it is visible from behind the building. I had envisaged perhaps being able to take a shot through the wire fence whilst it was occupied but felt just too uncomfortable. Although the course has helped me become more confident approaching strangers I felt really unable to take what I felt would be a sneaky shot ,I did not fancy having to explain myself to the local constabulary! I totally agree that the image loses impact due to lack of any inhabitants.

Lippy

“Good as a simple portrait” but is not really informative in context with the assignment I set myself. Robert suggests it would work well in “another kind of assignment” concentrating on the facial expressions of young people. In a separate section of my blog I have written about my encounter with Roger, a much older man, I concentrated mainly on his expressions as I photographed him and this is certainly something I would like to expand on.

The Threat

Well composed “strong photo“. Following advice from Robert about being careful not to make my images be too saturated and have too much contrast I have been careful when processing them but he has advised me “I think you could safely increase contrast here” to improve the light which is rather “pale“. I shall be doing this as I also think my main subject’s face is too bleached out.

Nineteen

Good simple composition with the hair really standing out well” I am glad Robert liked this image. I usually prefer to use available light for most of my portraiture work but used flash to increase the saturation of her dyed hair ,the colour is so much a part of who she is.

Game induced trance

Robert said “the longer exposure time is interesting here” and “something worth exploring further“. I have started to experiment with long exposures and included one in each of my two previous assignments (On the Edge assignment 3, and Rush Hour assignment 4). As stated earlier I have developed a growing interest in surrealism that has led to me using longer exposure times and something I fully intend continuing with.

No Go Zone

A “strong shot” with a “wonderful blue cast “. I had only minutes to compose and obtain this shot and Robert felt the leading lines worked well drawing the eye into the frame towards the cyclists.

The Threat——more contrast

As suggested I have increased the contrast and additionally the saturation very slightly.

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