TAOP: Assignment 3 ? Colour: Tutor Feedback, Learnings and Ideas for Improvement

This post provides a summary of my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 3: Colour, to help me look at what I can improve on in the future.

General Learnings

  • Once more, a positive summary form my tutor which has followed some in-depth constructive feedback: “Overall a good assignment, a good grasp of the material and the colour theory.  You have already started to hint at and develop things beyond the level of the course and started to find your own ideas, thoughts, views and approach so please keep this up.”
  • For my final assignment (5: Narrative) I should be cautious of choosing to focus on a single day or tight time-frame, as it puts pressure on me and tends not to do justice to the wide range of work done as part of the module.
  • My tutor’s suggested I experiment using theories and going against them to look at using that to illustrate a point within a series of photos.
  • I should look to present a balance panel – though not limit myself in assignment 4 – aiming for it for assignment 5.
  • For assignment 4 I should research advanced lighting techniques and and investigate how to use light creatively.

My Learning Log

  • I was pleased with the feedback on this as it had come in for some criticism previously and I’d worked both prior to the previous feedback on improving my write-ups and after it on the assignment and on personal shots.  I’d also created an index page to make it easier to navigate, and added a menu to the left.  Navigation wasn’t an issue this time around either.
  • My tutor said it included some “excellent extra details” and “well put together notes and a good representation of the all-round level of work put into the assignment.”  He added “Please keep this up.”

Suggested Reading/Viewing

  • Read more about the technical balance of light – both natural and artificial; and how to combine the two for the next assignment.
  • Read beyond the next assignment to using light as both a subject and how to change the appearance of the subject.
  • I should push my knowledge of artificial lighting setups forward with multiple lights and also on comments (below) about sync speeds, overall exposure and post-processing.

The Photographs

This section looks at the feedback on each of the colour themes in the assignment; highlighting specific shots, when mentioned.

In the email from my tutor he said “I’ve been overly critical in a number of areas but the level of work is such that I can be as some of the work produced for this assignment is what I would normally see for assignments 4 and 5 so I’m expecting more in those!”

Colour Harmony – Complementary

  • I should expand on details of processing as some shots appear over processed – in the case of the oranges in water shot, my tutor suggests this is due to the lighting not being enough to give a thoroughly finished image.
    • Do some research on high-speed synching and the relationships between shutter firing and flash duration.  I should also check for ambient light interaction as well.
  • The pavilion image brings the rest of the images down – but this kind of image is necessary as part of the process.  My tutor suggested using the people as colours to blend with the surroundings.
    • Any weak images will detract from strong ones.

Colour Harmony – Similar

  • To quote “I’m going to be really picky now with the balloons shot.  It’s a good example of when not to include a photo.”
    • Under-exposed image of something on a dull, flat, day.
    • White-balance and metering need to be explained.
    • Could have shot it on another day and said it was “inspired by”, or talked to the balloon seller to set something up.
    • The level of setup and preparation I’ve shown in this assignment is high for this stage in the course, so I should take it further and apply that across all preparation and delivery.
  • The lantern photo is really crying out for the flame as it’s a great idea that needs the boost – alternatively I could have tried using a burst of flash.
  • The lion is good experimentation, but under-exposed.  Not ideal for a colour assignment.

Colour Contrast

  • The T’ai Chi image suffers greatly for being an ultra-crop.  I should do the same level of preparation and iterative cycles as for my other shots; introduce myself and explain what I”m doing and ask for a pose – though there is a risk they might start over ‘acting’ to camera.
  • The envelope photo is one the tells the story from the thumbnail.  Artificial lighting might have been use dot avoid the necessity to post process to enhance the colour, though.
  • On the orange numbers photo the colours appear flat and on the next assignment I should highlight a couple of images (natural and artificial light) and go over the metering and processing.
  • On the moon shot: “let’s just leave the digital processing to the digital photography module.”
    • He asked why I’ve diffused light on the moon, as we expect harsh light on it (due to the big firey ball that shines on it).  My reason had been to avoid shadows that might have made the Photoshop work difficult, rather than for any creative reasons.
    • Light should be used for a purpose – not just because it’s dark outside.  I should take th next step with the lighting assignment and use light creatively – not to just illustrate the assignment headings.

Colour Accent

  • The hanging lamps shot is a questionable inclusion – it doesn’t reflect the hard work, effort and planning put into my other photos.
    • I should revisit my work as a ‘panel’ and throw out those that let the set down – the inconsistent shots.
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