I received my feedback on my fourth assignment very promptly as always from my tutor at the end of March and I was again very pleased with his comments. As always I have tried to read between the lines and on this occasion I did ask my tutor to clarify one of his comments. I will now highlight below the salient points from his report and provide my thoughts.
My blog post and images for Assignment 4 can be found here.
I took the opportunity with this assignment to push myself right outside of my comfort zone. Having built up my confidence over the past three assignments I saw this assignment as a good time to experiment with no harm done, apart from to my ego, if it all turned out to be a colossal disaster; the bottom line being that I could always reshoot with a different idea if need be. However my tutor’s first comment allayed my fears:
My tutor then suggested that when I had the time I could try different types of lighting, such as daylight, flashlight and candelight, to replicate the results. When I read this my heart sank as I wondered whether this was a hint for me to reshoot the whole assignment for assessment. Happily, in response to my questioning, my tutor has since clarified that there is no need for me to repeat the assignment but that ‘it will be interesting for me to experience the subtle differences that different sources of light play on a subject’. I will therefore try and find the time to do as he suggests and will attach the results as an appendix to my assignment when submitting my work for formal assessment.
Overall I felt that the feedback was very positive. I won’t discuss my tutor’s thoughts on each image here in detail here but will comment on a couple where he has made salient points.
When choosing my first image to demonstrate colour I was torn between the two images above, eventually selecting the one with some black background as I felt it fitted in better with the set of images. My tutor agreed with my decision as he felt the background colour gave the image some form.
Whilst he noted that I had managed to create a three-dimensional effect with both images, he felt that this was strongest in Form (ii), with the lighter colours standing out particularly well from the direction of the light.
My tutor commented favourably on my blog:
‘Your blog is most impressive, where you show the dedication and hard work put towards this course’.
This was nice to read as I do sometimes wonder how I am going to fit in the necessary study time required to hopefully do well on this course. With regard to my sketchbook he noted:
‘Thank you again for including photos of your sketchbook that records your personal notes and interesting cuttings’.
I have made more of an effort with my sketchbook for this part of the course, although it is still more of a collection-point for articles and cuttings rather than a journal for my personal thoughts.
‘I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, provided you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment’.
It is nice to see that I’m still on track to hopefully pass TAOP as I approach the end of the module.
Pointers for the next assignment:
My tutor provided me with web links to some student examples for me to have a look at and also gave me the links to a few websites that he thought I might find interesting with regard to the next assignment.
I am really pleased with the feedback to this assignment. Of the assignments that I have submitted so far, this one caused me the most angst and I was uncertain whether my images would be met favourably. The positive feedback that I’ve received has given me a real confidence boost for tackling subjects that are new to me and I do feel that I have moved up a notch with my photographic skills. I felt that my tutor recognised that I had stepped outside my comfort zone into new territory and that I hadn’t found it easy:
‘Congratulations on persisting with this project that has given you an added dimension to your photographic knowledge and experience. You have shown that you are capable of very competent and visual skills and are prepared to take risks with imaginative experimentation’.
As I have written before in this blog, I am not by nature an artistic person and I do struggle at times with my critical understanding and interpretation of the contemporary arts. To improve this I am trying to develop my research and reflection skills as much as possible through both critical reading and the visiting of exhibitions (both photographic and other art media). My tutor commented favourably on my efforts in this regard and it is gratifying to see my studies are beginning to pay dividends, even though I realise that I still have a long way to go:
‘Your research is wide ranging and you have an ability to develop your intellectual understanding of your studies’.
So onward now to the final section of ‘The Art of Photography’ course entitled ‘Narrative and Illustration’.