TAOP: Assignment 5 ? Narrative/Illustration: Tutor Feedback, Learnings and Ideas for Improvement

This post summarises my tutor’s feedback on the final assignment on this module, as a reference and reminder for me in future.

General Learnings

  • “A good assignment and fitting end to the module – the progression from just taking photos to fit a brief, to creating a brief and moving towards creating images which tell a story is marked.”
  • I’ve started to find my own ‘voice’ and express my ideas in photos – and with time and experience my images would be more fluid and less static.
  • Some issues highlighted are confidence issues, which should come with experience.
  • I should look to experiment with lighting but then refine techniques to improve on more subtle aspects – similarly the same can be said on design and composition.  I should look at where the symbolism of the design and composition is implemented in everyday art and design (not just photography).
  • As previously noted, I need to look at creating “personal resonance” and including more of myself, my feelings, in images.  This is investigated further in subsequent levels of the degree course and is a general note even if I don’t continue with OCA studies.  “As artists we strive to not only put our stamp on things but also have what we produce come from within us or be part of us.”
  • My tutor noted my use of red is quite strong in the panel of images (perhaps too strong) – I should think on what red says as part of my story, rather than just use it for lighting.  In all honesty I thought I had done this, using it to symbolise the alcohol, but I would conclude this perhaps wasn’t evident enough within the images itself (so outside of my own explanation in my assignment notes).
  • An iterative approach has been demonstrated, but time has limited my ability to do this as the end of my extension was looming.  More refinement would have improved the subtleties and allowed more experimentation.

Assignment/Image Feedback

  • Feathers and doom looks too much like it was ‘created’.  I need to create things that look less created in this sense.
  • Turn to liquid was cited as a great example of experimentation with technique – I should take this to the next level to look at small details (pose, the way the glass is held – for example).
  • Location has been used well, though lighting is heavy – a more subtle approach may have been better – e.g. shooting at dawn/dusk.
  • The dream sequence shots show a feeling rather than a specific illustrative meaning – so I should continue this idea of surrounding them with images which compare and contrast.
  • The final photo lacks subtlety and looks posed (which, of course, it was).  While my tutor recognises what I was trying to do, in his words it “looks like something produced by a cheap wedding photographer.”

My overall summary

Overall I’m happy with the feedback I’ve received on this assignment and with how I’ve done on the course overall.  This is as much a challenge to my photography as my own self-discipline and I’ve gotten to the end (albeit with a 6 month extension on the original two years).  Once I got past my false start I completed the majority of the work in a year – and expect to keep that momentum.

I can see I have developed and will continue this both for the course and in the work I do independently – I’ve already got a few ideas for projects bubbling around in my head, and looking forward to creating my own brief and working without the tight time constraints that have limited what I could do for this final assignment.

My next step now is to prepare this blog and my assessment submission (which I hope to do by the end of this coming weekend).  Once that’s done I’ll be applying for the next level one module – Digital Photography Practice – to continue towards the degree.

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