Sunday, 9 February 2014

Assignment 5 Rochester Christmas Festival December 2013 Feedback

I received my feedback a while ago but have not got around to blogging my response, although I did post on the Tutor Feedback page. Firstly, thanks to Keith for being so prompt with the response even though it was during the Christmas New Year break and secondly for the positive feedback.

It included a breakdown of how the assessment will be marked, Technical/Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity and Context. This is useful because I can check that I have met each bullet point and in re-working each assignment (as and where necessary) ensure getting the best marks possible.

The feedback, as I say, was positive with comments such as it being a "strong submission" which was "comprehensive" with "strong technical considerations" and benefited from the numerous related activities. I had chosen a "worthy practitioner" in Tony Ray-Jones and research of his images and approach will have contributed to the success of images captured. Keith was also pleased with my marketing aspect and the fact I had managed to get feedback from some of my subjects.

It was emphasised that before the CAPTURE stage of an image we have to plan, research, think about equipment and even when we get to the capture stage still have to pause while we think about composition, exposure, focus etc we have to THINK then capture. I think that the more I photograph the more the thinking part becomes a more natural process, knowing what aperture or shutter speed will get a certain result is a bonus, especially when photographing shifting scenes within an event.

Keith also pointed out that it is important to end with a print and on seeing my notes on here with regards to a Silverprint Portfolio/Archival box strongly recommended this.

Both my first and second selects were said to "convey the essence" of the festival and got close to the action. All shots showed "technical competence" but I was reminded to think about the context backgrounds can add when composing shots. I agree that some of the shots could have been improved with a different background but as it was a chaotic event it was not always possible to ask subjects to move. Although I decided not to replace any of the shots, and obviously I cannot re-shoot them, I have amended a handful, cropping a little more, adjusting bright spots or removing distracting elements so the backgrounds blend more with the subjects.

Alteration One

Using an adjustment of hue and saturation I changed the distracting blue post green which I felt was in keeping with the tones of the picture.

Alteration Two

by creating a duplicate layer and adjusting brightness I created a high key background which removed the distracting drain pipes and brick work.

Adjustment Three

Again by using different layers I increased the background blur very subtly, also reduced the brightness of the background. Not sure what was in the bottom left corner but I cloned it out and the very bright blue jacket was altered in colour. I don't know why I didn't spot how glaring it was before!

Adjustment Four

A very simple adjustment to darken the bright spot on the right hand side seems to make all the difference, the balance of the whole image alters.

Adjustment Five

Simply a closer crop. I think it makes the background look busier, giving the correct impression of how popular the festival is. I also think having a closer crop on the main subject is better.

Adjustment Six

If taking the "serious" photojournalistic approach images should not be manipulated at all, thinking to the recent scandals of press awards and prizes being revoked

or not...

but as I am not going to enter such prizes and am also thinking of the aesthetics of the final result I felt cloning out distracting elements was fine. Initially I though the boot in the corner partially added to the narrative, she was sitting next to her older brother, helped illustrate a larger crowd, but then I decided it was distracting so removed it.

Getting back to feedback... Keith finally commented on my log/essays: he thought my blog works well, "crammed full of practice and research" and was easy to navigate.

In view of the positive feedback for Assignment 5 I don't think I will have any amendments apart from the above.

All I have to do now is get ready for submission. I elected for the July assessment as I want to completely redo assignment 1, check thoroughly all previous assignments, make sure all exhibition and book reviews are entered on my blog, check that my physical log is annotated rather than just a random selection of postcards/leaflets/brochures. I didn't want to do this in a rush, plus I am kicking my son through AS coursework which is taking up some of my time!

Thanks to everyone who reads my posts, thanks to those who comment and for your support, without which I wouldn't have got to the end of this course.


  1. Well done - sounds like a good result!

  2. Good luck for assessment in July - sure it will go well. Dave

  3. Thanks Helen and Dave....I keep thinking I jave plenty of ime to tie up the loose ends but t seems to be galloping away!