Tutor’s Feedback For OCA Learning Log: Part Five; The Final Image and Assignment Five: Personal Project

Feedback on assignment

In my opinion this was a very well researched and well executed project, which demonstrated both a commitment to an angle / ideal and resulted in some strong monochrome imagery.  I think this was the best work I have seen from you to date.

Key issues mentioned in my last report are as follows:

  •  Look at the work of Nick Ut / Dorothea Lange / Robert Capa
  • Consider the format of your front cover Assignment 4 (Landscape / Portrait)
  • Consider the technical aspects of the submission and the impact of using either colour or monochrome.
  • Look at Mishka Henner / Chambre Hardman in relation to image manipulation.

Having looked through your blog again I can see that you have responded very well to all suggestions made. The re-worked final image for Assignment 4 works much better now and I was glad to read you were happier with it.

As mentioned above … I was really impressed with this assignment Chantelle and think that it shows a real development and maturity within your photographic practice.  You came at it from the right angle and really drilled down into the research including Jaschinski / Winogrand / Vanden Eeckhoudt … all of whom are very pertinent to the project being tackled.  You really thought about this and presented your arguments very clearly prior to shooting … thus being able to be very clear in your own mind what it was you were intending to capture.  This comes across in the final images … which work really well for me.

Your comprehensive and appropriate research has clearly had a very positive influence on your final images.  This really shows how important this part of the image making process can be … and how it is so often overlooked.  You ventured into this space with clear images ‘pre-visualised’ within your mind’s eye … which I am convinced has helped you focus upon the job in hand.  It can so often be the case that once you arrive at a venue, you are overwhelmed by what is going on and lose sight of the original purpose.  You have not fallen into this trap and the quality of the images you have returned with provides clear evidence of this.

I enjoyed looking through all the images as a series, but I thought images five and eight really stood out for me.   The first as it was really full frame, with the animal stretched out to the four corners of the image.  Compositionally I thought this image worked well … given the fact the wire meshing was visible across the entire image and the patterns that this made added to the shot. For shot eight, the key to this image compositionally was the foregrounded warning sign … which was just sufficiently out of focus to place the attention on the eyes of the gorilla in the background.

With regards to your thoughts on monochrome … I’ve just finished a powerful little book by Vilem Flusser entitled “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”. (See Below for reference)  On pages 43 and 44, Flusser discusses the differences stating:

“Colour photographs are on a higher level of abstraction than black and white ones.  Black and white photographs are more concrete and in this sense more true: They reveal their theoretical origin more clearly, and vice versa: The ‘more genuine’ the colours of a photograph become, the more untruthful they are, the more they conceal their theoretical origin.” (Flusser, 1983)

On several occasions within your research you have identified specific elements or components within an image which for you, presents the reason why the image works.  I’m not sure whether or not you have come across Roland Barthes yet within your readings …. But would urge you to at least read Camera Lucida.   When you look at a series of images and one makes you stop, this can be referred to in terms of what Barthes would call ‘Studium’ or a general enthusiasm or interest assigned to an image.  This is as opposed to something that might be classed as a rare detail or piercing moment of either pain or delight, which Barthes would term ‘Punctum’.  I have listed a publication below by Barthes entitled Camera Lucida, which I urge you to read in relation to developing your photographic critical position.

I will point some of my other students to your assignment as I think it is an excellent example of how time spent prior to picking up a camera, is time well spent.  In addition to this …. I really like your images and the reasoning why you have taken them.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

Again … I have nothing further to comment upon here, as everything appears to be in order.  I particularly like your writings … which are very clear and very reflective.

 Suggested reading/viewing

Barthes, Roland.1993: Camera Lucida. Vintage Classics. London.

ISBN 13: 978-0099225416

Flusser, Vilem.1983: Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books. London.

ISBN: 978-1-86189-076-4

Conclusions and targets for next assignment

Having completed all five assignments for this module it is now time to submit the work for formal summative assessment which has been discussed above.

My Thoughts:

Im am extremely happy with the feedback I received from my tutor regarding this assignment. This assignment allowed me to research into something I felt strongly about. I was able to focus my research around a specific area, which allowed me to research a lot, prior to me going out to shoot for my final photographs. By researching different photographers, and reading articles online about zoo’s, I was able to take in as much information as possible, with enabled me to pre-visualize how I wanted my final photographs to look. By doing so, I was able to produce powerful final photographs which have a story behind them. They draw the viewers attention in, and by doing so, you want to find out more about why this photograph was taken. This then allows me to explain the bad side of zoo’s and I am able to express my views and opinions through these photographs.

I have taken all of my tutors feedback into consideration, and I don’t believe that I need to change anything. I will have a look and read the two recommended books that he suggested as I believe that they can help me more.





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