Monday, September 20, 2010

Assignment 1 & 2: Feedback

I have been rather slow to update this blog with responses to my tutors feedback on the first 2 assignments.  This is primarily because, I am pleased to say, the the feedback was very positive and did not indicate that I needed to change or rework any of the images.

For assignment 1 there were some very constructive comments, particularly on the theme of less is more, especially when applied to studio lighting.  The first image I used did suffer from the use of too many lights, 4 in this case:

The image is too flat and the highlights too strong, I have in effect suppressed the modeling of the face by over illuminating it.  An image I created for my first exercise on the course had better modeling and perhaps would be a better choice:

The goal of this image is the same, to highlight the face within a dark frame, however, it captures more of the contours of Heidi's face.  Still, the assignment photo was a stretch and the feedback has provided valuable learning.  First worry about modeling the face, then add extra light to pick up the hair.

For the second image, all that was suggested was a little retouching of a few small blemishes.

The comment on the third shot, my attempt at a Victorian style posing, made the point that a Victorian image would have been much softer, but did not recommend that I change my style - I agree, shallow depth of field is a compositional aid, soft focus is not.

Images 4 and 5 were fine as they were.

Interestingly the shot I thought was the weakest, Number 6, but included for variety and again learning, was seen to fine in its context.

The final image, No. 7, contained a comment on the work of Walker Evans, which was quite rightly pulled into context.  The word comfortable could never be easily applied to anyone photographed by the FSA in the 1930's.

The comments on my 2nd Assignment were very short and succinct, essentially a good set of images very much at the standard needed.  If I can improve on this level I should be well placed to continue my work towards the degree.  I was not surprised by the limited amount of feedback, assignment 2 required a series of images taken of an event or activity.  This requires skill and judgement at the time of shooting, but does not require, nor can it even use, the type of planning that went into the assignment 1 portraits.  Either the set works or it doesn't, there is no going back, other than perhaps a rework of the edit, such as cropping or exposure management.

I did have two similar events in my back pocket, just in case my tutor did not like these images, fortunately I have not had to use them.  This would have been the annual parade at the start of the Ocktoberfest.  I was happy not to work this parade, having photographed it last year and used the subsequent images as part of my AoP course.  With what I have learned this year, I could have done things differently, however, it would have been covering old ground.  Here is a link to what I have already done

Onward to the next 3 assignments!

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