28 Jan 2010

Assignment 1 - My tutor's assessment.

I was really pleased that my tutor didn't keep me waiting too long as I was keen to see what he thought of my work.  My overall feeling was of relief and I don't feel that I have let myself down but this is tempered with an understanding that there is always room to improve.

The comment was made that I am fortunate; because of my job I was able to produce a variety of subjects from very different places.  The down side of this (without looking for sympathy) is that I often work jet lagged and tired with little time to achieve a result before heading home again.  In addition, the locations were not found without effort both in research, commitment and hours on trains. taxis and foot.

My blog was well received but I must make more of an effort to reference my work to other photographers, a key element of formal assessment.  This small comment opens up a Pandora's box of work as it is an area that I am sadly lacking.  I know of many iconic photographers but am not so familiar with their work that I could easily recognise their style or name them as an inspiration.  One does not get this kind of knowledge overnight and I am going to have to put in a considerable effort to raise my game here.

The photographs in my assignment were complimented and I was glad that the work that I put in was recognised.  Although my written comments on the pairs were appreciated I am going to have to be more self critical in the future. I must do that by highlighting areas of concern that I have about my work to show that I am aware of my shortcomings.  This is, of course, a double edged sword as what I might dislike may not be the same as an assessor and it always begs the question, why submit photograph that I am not completely happy with?

A few pairs received particular attention.  The MOVING squirrel photograph was well received but the STILL shot of a pair of dead badgers was not.  My attempts to produce a subdued effect through dull lighting was not considered to be effective as a richer quality to the light would have produced a better image both technically and emotionally.  The 4x4 motorcar in the shot was also thought to be too obvious and the composition would have worked better had it been left out.  In retrospect I agree with both these comments and have shots of an empty road that actually look more poignant.  The lighting, I will have to think about and although I agree that it wasn't good as it could have been I am not sure how I should have approached it.  Perhaps I should have come back at a better time of the day.

In technical areas, the blown highlights in the STRONG image of an oak tree could have been worked on to reduce their impact.  I am a relative newcomer to RAW processing and am going to have to start reading up on that to improve.

An image that received particular praise was BLACK and I was quietly chuffed to bits as I liked the shot very much myself.

Overall I am very content with the assessment but realise that this is only a first (and easy) step and there is much room for improvement.  I will work hard on my weak areas.


  1. Thanks for sharing your tutor's comments Nick. Not only has it helped you but it is of some help to me too, especially the reference to other photographers - I agree totally with your response, I have a lot of work to do there too!

    I also understand and agree with the "double edged sword" comment about not posting a photo that you are not pleased with. Wait until my tutor finds out what I don't post LOL.

    I do understand the comments about the badgers. It wasn't my favourite in your collection I'm afraid, although I could see the "contrast".

    Well done Nick, and thanks again for the lead. I am hopelessly falling behind already.


  2. I don't think it is a race but if it was then Janet would be the first past the post by a league!

    I am hoping that as I become more familiar with the needs of the course I will be able to complete the tasks more quickly. For example, I was wandering around Alcatraz Prison today and found some 'points' and 'lines' etc shots that I can use for several projects coming up!

    I am very happy to share after all, we aren't competing for a degree, we will all get one if we do good enough work. Sharing is the way to help ourselves as well as others.

    Good shooting.