This evening I received the following feedback from my tutor for Assignment One. He has made some suggestions about the images, my blog and my reading/research. He also suggested that I adjust my website , which I am going to work on this evening, to make things easier for others to read.
I will take a few days to read what he has said and after looking at the images again I review my work and his comments.
As I said I found this to be one of the hardest assignments that I had done so I am rather pleased with his comments.
Thank you for your assignment. It has been quite a long time coming, but you are here at last! Certainly the first assignment on a module is the trickiest, as getting started is usually difficult for most of us, but I hope you feel you have broken through a barrier and that the rest of the module will progress more swiftly. I’m sure you will get the most out of the module if you keep up a good momentum. I appreciate you’ve had some distractions over the summer…
Feedback on assignment
Thank you for posting the prints as well (which I will return at the end of the month). These are mostly fine, although no. 3 looks pretty blue, and 4 looks quite aqua, so considering the rest are ok, I imagine something has gone a bit wrong during processing here. Although prints aren’t a necessity, we do like students to become fluent with printing / ordering prints to a professional standard, so I suggest you continue to experiment with processing and different labs. Judging by your RAW/jpeg hiccup (we’ve all done it!) I assume these might have been the offending jpegs?
I think I’d like to see a little bit more evaluation of your work, and show any influences during the process. Please put your comments below the images rather than on a separate post so I don’t have to keep flicking back and forth.
I think you’ve clearly invested a lot of effort into this assignment and have submitted a substantial body of work. Liz is a great model. Idon’t know to what extent you were directing her or she was performing for you, but either way, the images are strong, and she ‘looks the part’. Good models are hard to find – I would definitely try to work with her again.
As I think I mentioned in an e-mail to you, considering context is really important: where do you see these pictures? How would you like them to be used? (I don’t know what’s on Liz’s mantelpiece, but I don’t imagine these really within a domestic context: much too slickly produced, serious poses and deliberately styled. Whether intentional or not, I instantly saw these as aspiring towards a fashion context – specifically a mid-high-range everyday brand or retailer. There’s an ordinariness mixed with style and elegance here, which isn’t intimidating.
A couple of technical glitches aside, and a couple of dodgy colour casts, they look accomplished for the most part. However, I think you/her have made the error that a lot of aspiring fashion photographers and models make: over-the-top poses: Just keep them still, focused and simple. Like all good photography, it should look effortless and comfortable. From your final edit, the ones that do this really well indeed are 8 and 11, which I don’t think would be out-of-place in a fashion mag , catalogue or advertisement.
A lot of fashion also tries to emulate a snapshot/vernacular aesthetic, to give the brand a familiar, yet aspirational quality (that kind of ‘Sunday afternoon walk’ kind of look). Image 4 really typifies this kind of approach, and 5 and 12 also fit within this model. (These are particular instances where movement is of course necessary. On the other end of the scale… Liz looks like she has just sat on a slug in no. 7! 9 also looks self-conscious.
The other shot of Liz in the purple before the maize (on your first edit) is also strong. Actually I think it’s better than the other one – the light’s not so harsh, and the shallower d-o-f makes her stand out, although perhaps the mouth isn’t quite right, so I can see why you went for the other. Good pose though.
From your last shoot, although the shot you selected is probably closest to a more tradition kind of portrait (it is also quite blue) the 4th image is the most contemporary feeling – could see that in an editorial context. She is a bit out of focus though so I can see why you dropped it. I don’t think the other shot you selected of her from this shoot really does anything though – too much hair covering her – doesn’t really communicate anything. Liz looks good in the 5th shot with the bike, but I’m just not really sure about the styling – just doesn’t seem as smart as the others.
Thank you again for your work – a very good start to the module. If you have any further questions please get in touch.