NIKI SOUTH STUDENT NUMBER: 514516
ASSIGNMENT ONE: TWO SIDES OF THE STORY
REFLECTIONS AGAINST ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Demonstration of technical and visual skills:
- I believe that I developed a way of observing by searching for material to fit the brief, to tell a story. I then looked at a different level as I searched to show the chosen subject in a more interesting light.
- I have slightly cropped some of the images, this was to get the framing tight so that the correct narrative was presented to the viewer.
- I have composed the images in many cases differently to what would be natural to me, in order to tell the story (for instance the centred large for sale sign, the rusting post at the forefront of the livestock market image).
- Technically my challenge was shooting in a contained timespan as I was visiting the area. The sun at this time of year was low in the sky and unfortunately bright for that few days so I had to be careful with exposure and shadows. I did return to photograph several times and waited until the end of the day once to lose some shadows and bright sunlight.
- This was the first time that I had used my new Cannon 80D for an assignment so it was also an exercise in becoming familiar with it.
Quality of outcome:
- I used the knowledge that I’d gained during the exercises and research to help me to plan what and how to photograph, but even more so when I edited the images.
- Whilst editing I chose images that presented an obvious story, but also gave one part of the context for the set.
- I thought carefully about the order of each image in a set. In the town in revival set I deliberately focused down from a broad high street scene to a spotlight on a small business. Whilst in the declining town set I presented different windows of decline, but echoed the other set with the order, moving from the high street, to community interests, to housing and lastly to boat building again.
- I added captions to each image to consolidate the narrative, also as I thought it was appropriate for documentary photography; most images I think would tell the story without their caption within their series (with the exception of the new eco social housing and the working boat builder) .
- I have set out my thought processes in my learning log and summarised them in my planning, shooting and editing mind maps.
Demonstration of creativity
- I am aware that the images are not particularly creative and I deliberated over how to make them more stylised and creative. I would have liked to present them as art documentary to satisfy my creative side however I didn’t think that either story, especially the reviving town series lent itself to this style. I knew my pictures should be fairly explicit to be considered as reality and could not be ambiguous as documentary art images are.
- I did try to experiment with perspective where I felt it would add emphasis by manipulating relationships in a frame (unbuilt supermarket, livestock market and for sale images). I also used perspective just to try to make a subject slightly more interesting, as in the social eco housing shot. .
- I deliberately photographed some subjects fairly straight on as I had seen some documentary photographers do, to reinforce the image as factual rather than artistic (theatre/cinema, penny pinchers shop and the closed marina).
- I also tried where possible to present clean graphics using lines and angles both to present as velar documentary style and to make the images more interesting.
- I reflected throughout the exercises and assignment and have recorded this in my learning log.
- When researching for the assignment I explored both the local story as well as other photographers work.
- I thought critically to understand how my images, and how the order of them, would affect the way they were read by the viewer.
- The images do not satisfy my photographer’s soul, in fact the only two images that I particularly like are in the town in decline series (the livestock market and the closed marina). I do at least feel that the town in decline series all have a Shore would say “mental space” (Shore, 2010). I did struggle to find a style that was pleasing to me as I was shooting to meet the brief with this subject matter. In retrospect I may have been more satisfied with the images if I had decided on a photographic style such as aftermath or documentary art and then chosen a subject which would have worked with it? It is something I shall bear in mind in the future.
- Though I have expressed some dissatisfaction with straightforward nature of some of my images, having subsequently visited some photography exhibitions containing documentary photography I (Wildlife photographer of the year, World Press Photo, ?The image as question, The radical eye: modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection). It is evident that often documentary photography is often straight forward, rather than creative, and additionally often the only element that a series has in common is the subject whilst the form of each image may be quite varied. So I am a little more satisfied with my images now than I was post immediately shooting.
- I do believe I have translated my ideas into images and produced two sets of images from which it is hard to which is the true version, and this was the overarching aim of the assignment after all.
- I am also aware that this assignment took me longer than it would do normally, however this was in part due to the number of exhibitions I visited towards the end of my assignment which caused me to stop and reflect and add additional notes. This was worthwhile as I have gained much learning during the process even though I was not initially grabbed by the nature of the assignment. I shall take this learning forward.
Shore, S. (2010) The nature of photographs: A primer. 2nd edn. new York: Phaidon Press.