Tutor Feedback – Assignment 1

I had my first tutor feedback for the Documentary module on Monday. My comments and reflections are below in italics. My tutor mentioned that I had made a good start on this module, so hopefully I can keep the momentum going.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

The assignment has answered the brief.  The learning log records the various Google Hangouts with peers that you have taken part in – do continue to do this.

I’ve found that the Hangouts are extremely helpful in maintaining a degree of contact with my peers. Especially helpful is the module-specific hangout as there seems to be a more directed, concentrated discussion that evolves in these hangouts as we are all working on the same course, sometimes at more or less the same place. Hopefully more students will avail themselves of making use of this opportunity to collaborate and critique our work in an easy going atmosphere. 

My tutor also mentioned it would be a good idea to reflect back on Assignment 1 a little later in the course to see how my journey or perceptions of documentary has changed. It would be a good idea to do this around Assignment 3 or 4.

We discussed about the whether there is a need for an establishing shot.

I am pleased that my tutor confirmed the need to an establishing shot in order to provide an overall context for the market and rhythm and flow to the other portraits, close ups and action shots. I also understand that if I went the route of only making stall holders portraits there would be no need for the establishing shot.

For the next assignment, I have suggested evaluating your images as you go along – take a few of the almost-there shots, or the ones that you thought were ‘it’ when shooting.  The idea is to reflect on your own work visually to give some balance to the theoretical weight of course material.

No need to review every image, just a few as you work on the next assignment.

Thank you for this advice. I will definitely do this. As you mention it will give a balance to the theory. I think this will also help me to improve my photography skills and give me more focus.

We discussed ideas for assignment 2 – the collection(s) sound interesting.  The project doesn’t have to be black and white.  Try some shots before you make the decision on colour vs b&w.  If you photograph b&w, try thinking with that mindset as it does change how you approach the subject.  Also review how to process images in Lightroom.  I’ve always found Scott Kelby a reliable source for Adobe tutorials!

I love Scott Kelby’s tutorials too! I found a couple of good tutorials after the feedback and experimented a bit with some older images, particularly trying to find some which were uninspiring in colour and played around with what I’d learned on the tutorials. Obviously, I’ll find a few more tutorials to increase my knowledge, but I already feel more comfortable with the B&W conversion process. I will also keep in mind not to overuse plugins, which shouldn’t be a problem for me as I’m not a great fan in over-processing images. 

I shall also keep an open mind and try to find more ‘collection’ type of articles/objects that fit in with the Anthropocene.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

We discussed the weight of the reading material and the duplication in both this course and with others.  Do keep your mind open that you can change your views about various theoretical standpoints or photographers.

In some ways the duplication serves as a revision of the material which is quite good. I will definitely be sure to document any new ideas or changes of views that arise from new readings of the texts.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Good use of research evident on blog – I have made suggestions below on a few.  Do let me know if you come across a particular theory thread or photographer that interests and I can see if I have further suggestions.

I will do that. And thank you for the suggestions below.

Learning Log
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Review of Google Hangouts is an effective way of showing this participation in events.

I didn’t say this – but do also use the log to explore your ideas and thoughts on the projects and the wider focus of documentary.

Yes, I will do that.

Suggested reading/viewing

The Photograph as a Paradox – Thierry de Duve (should be available to access online). See how this essay compares to the debates you have been reading in Part One of the course.

I managed to find the essay on the UCA library database and have downloaded it and will compare that to Martha Rosler’s essay as you suggested.

Jim Mortram – British photographer who has photographed the effects of austerity in his home town. This article introduces his project and you find a lot more on the web.

See how you think his work follows on from Riis/Hine/Killip https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/feb/19/people-photograph-dont-have-voice-jim-mortram-norfolk-portraits.

I had a very quick look at Mortram’s work shortly after the video chat and found it very interesting and look forward to an in-depth study.

For the idea of collections – I mentioned Gregory Crewdson’s Cathedral of Pines project – I’m not sure why this kept springing to mind!

🙂 It might be because one of his images has a mattress featured in the middle of the forest. My tutor also mentioned Keith Arnatt’s work regarding photographing rubbish dumps. I believe that would be his A.O.N.B. (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) series. 

For something different and black and white, Edward Weston’s images from Point Lobos of  trees/roots etc.

I’ll definitely look at Weston’s work as this will give me some ideas regarding texture and form and also B&W conversion.

For pushing the boundary of documentary – look at Stephen Gill.

His work looks incredibly interesting and I shall most definitely have a good look at it. You also mentioned looking for different ways of telling a story and this has definitely given me some food for thought. You also advised me to take a look at Part 5 of the course manual where new ways of documentary were presented to get a few ideas from there, which I shall do.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

Strengths Areas for development
Blog has sound foundation to build course from. Development of posts to evaluate/reflect on work in progress in more detail – i.e. refer to specific images.
Use of learning log to record interaction with other students online.  Think how else you can reflect/review your work/learning away from using the assessment criteria as headings.