Assignment 1: tutor feedback

I had an excellent Skype tutorial with my tutor Helen that covered not only the assignment but the first section of the course overall, including coursework exercises and research.

Here I will focus on the assignment feedback.

It was generally positive – very detailed in parts (technical details re printing etc). These are mainly my notes from the tutorial with tutor comments inserted in italics.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Presentation:

  • Prints are generally good quality and well presented (border, label)
  • Watch for colour tone issues with printing – little warmer than on screen in places
    • Consider the difference in tone and colour casts between digital files and physical print – ascertain a preference and aim to follow this into print.
  • Action: blog print workflow inc e.g. attention to colour correction
  • Action: demonstrate that images could print to 16”x12” (Photoshop / set canvas / View > Print Size / screengrab)

Assignment Submission:

  • Clear logic to images chosen from analysis of individual pictures
  • Evident intent to show broad range of activities
  • Using 3 individuals doesn’t add much
  • Research of other practitioners – good
  • Was shallow depth of field deliberate choice?
  • Consider what environmental and situational factors pushed you toward your technical choices – how much does this direct the overall visual aesthetic and how much of this can you control? We had a good discussion about this.
    • Mostly – knew lighting was going to be a challenge and chose wide apertures for majority of shots but worked with this as a stylistic decision and built it into the aesthetic
    • I did some shots with flash to get sharper images throughout but these didn’t sit right with the look of the rest
    • Also found flash to be a little distracting for both me and the subjects so leaned more on available light
    • Action: provide contact sheet of longlist selection (annotated if possible)
  • Physical annotated selection process – interesting
  • Book layout: selection/sequence shows some thought e.g. rhythm of repeating colours
  • Be wary of cropping differently for book layout (image 4), better to keep consistency of ratio
    • Not necessarily ‘better’ – more about consistency across layout devices – is the change in ratio necessary? What does it signify to the reader?
  • Text looks too big especially on intro pages (Action: resize in rework)
    • Consider design of other photobooks, how it type used? You could do print tests of the pdf to see how the scale between type and image comes out.

My thoughts

It was a really good call and I came away with lots to consider – although the more I think about it, we talked more about coursework and less about the assignment than I expected. This is fine (very useful for my ongoing development) but with hindsight I wish I’d asked for more comments on the assignment itself. Maybe I’m just getting used to Level 2, a new tutor and current OCA guidelines on how much emphasis to put on coursework vs assignments! I do understand that Level 2 courses have an element of rework and assessment preparation built into their structure (part 6) and so maybe we’ll get to discuss refinements to this assignment in more detail later in the course.

Right – onto part 2!

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