A5 Photography Is Simple. Feedback & Reflection

My tutor gave feedback that I need to be more opinionated in statements made in the brief and also about the work produced by other photographers, this needs to come across in my assignment more. Although I wrote a reflective paragraph in the assignment about all the learning points from the module and what I had gained from it, I need to add my opinion on whether photography is indeed “simple”

I disagree that photography is simple, taking snapshots like I used to do is simple. What is not simple is to create work that tells a coherent story. Work that stems from what is personal and true to the author through a series of connected images in a forum or medium that is suitable to the audience or purpose it relates to. The process in creating work is different for each person and that in itself is not simple either, there is no right or wrong answer and composition or technical rules don’t necessarily have to be followed, so there is no simple formula for this that can just be learned and repeated. I have had to develop my own method that works for me and this will continually change and be refined as I develop and grow as a photographer.. Practical activities are not simple either, such as storing, cataloguing and retrieving thousands of images, but being well organised is a simple solution to this, easier said than done but very well worth spending time creating an effective framework for this that sets the foundations for the rest of the course. One last thing I have found that is far from simple : the vast array of photographic equipment where there is, again, no right or wrong camera or lens or filter that can be chosen to produce great work.

My work needs revisiting because the images don’t link in any way with eachother, although they have all been taken in the same area, the link needs to be a visual one too. In Hussein’s work, the link is the soft light of the evening where all images, although of different subjects have a warm glow, Sally Mann’s work is black and white, Gianluca Cosci has linked his images by using a shallow depth of field for all. My tutor suggested taking my strongest image which was the street art and use this as a basis for a theme of bright colours to link the series. She suggested going out again in the area and shoot again, not with any prescribed preconception or plan – just what comes naturally, I am drawn to vibrant colours so this will show through in what I choose to photograph.

My tutor also advised adding more of the human side to my work, my work looks like I am at a distance to the area and not connected with it in any way. She suggested perhaps a portrait of the person who owns the florist, the bright colours of this scene could link nicely with the series

My tutor also explained that when a body of work is created, often in the editing process one or two photos stand out, the rest of the work can then emerge from these – this often involves several re visits to the same place to make the right work for the series – her current exhibition took ten trips to India to achieve what she wanted – over several years. The editing process often involves a team of people, I need to keep this in mind when preparing my assignments.

My narrative is strong in explaining the work I have created, but I also need to remember that not everyone will read the detail of what the images are about – the images need to also tell enough of a story on their own.

My technical and compositional skills are strong and it is good that I have thought about the outcome of my work, i.e. in an editorial

Attached is the formal feedback from my tutor

3 thoughts on “A5 Photography Is Simple. Feedback & Reflection

  1. Great example of what’s not to like about photography courses. 😀
    Pictures explain themselves. Any further interpretation is in the mind of the viewer and therefor subjective.
    There are two aspects to photography: the technical and the artistic. They are intertwined, but separate. Most photographers, even pros, manage to master the technical but screw up the artistic (composition and framing). This is largely because it is difficult to evaluate your own work: as with writing you tend to see what you think is there rather than what actually is (i.e. you fix on the central subject and don’t notice the details that detract from or add to the image).
    Learn the ‘rules’, then learn how and when to break them. Don’t tie yourself down to one style.
    That’s advice from someone who’s been making photos for over half a century and used literally hundreds of different cameras to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Marc for your valuable comments. I agree with them all. It’s reassuring to know that even the experienced get it wrong sometimes. I am about to enter the world of printing images. Any words of advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated. I don’t have a printer of my own so will have to work with a third party. It shall be interesting I’m sure.


      1. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any darkroom work, I admit it. As I recall the biggest fault is not letting the image develop fully in the tray; there’s a tendency to ‘pull’ it once you see the image clearly. This is a psychological thing that must be overcome because it fouls up your exposure time and the prints ultimately come out lower contrast than they should be.
        In other words, be patient; the learning process is long.

        Liked by 1 person

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