I have had the most interesting and informative chat with my tutor, which started out with us discussing assignment three and ended up with my confirming the subject I will use for assignment five and how I will set about collecting and presenting this body of work.
I was really having difficulty getting to grips with the feedback my tutor had sent against my Monochrome assignment as I felt it very generic, with no specific statements or comments made against any of the images submitted;
… The images are competent and well produced though on a couple of occasions I would like to see a slightly better tonal range appearing …
… You’ve had a little bit of an issue with the perspective on a few of the shots. Note on the first image, for instance, that the vertical lines are appearing diagonal …
From this, I did not feel that I was able to make any necessary alterations to my work, as I was not sure which images were caught under the umbrella of these statements; the image mentioned in the second statement above, had already been mentioned within the my assignment write-up:
I tried to straighten this image slight, but it did not look right and made the image look off balance in some way.
There had been a few other issues bouncing back and forth on email, the omission of learning log details and the way my reference list was constructed, all of which brought us to the conclusion that a conversation would be the best way to clarify these issues.
Once we had introduced ourselves, this was the first time I had spoken to my tutor over the phone; we addressed the following …
It would appear that the perspective issue seen in some of my assignment images (images one and five were mentioned during the call) is not a technical problem brought on by either the set up of my camera during the shoot, or by my ability as a photographer, but it is an issue often seen in architectural photography where converging lines appear diagonal over vertical, and out of kilter to the scene being photographed. Apparently, this issue can be addressed in post-processing, but in the field, architectural
photographers will sometime use a Bellows Lens. Essentially, issues can present themselves when photographing tall buildings, or scenes with lots of lines at different angles, thus changing the perspective within an image. Using a bellows lens increases magnification and perspective, which in turn will right this issue, thus making the scene look as it should. Bellows lens’ can also be used in macro photography.
My tutor advised that there was no need to revisit any of the images I had submitted, but to be aware of the issues pointed out so that this could, if necessary, be addressed in further work.
After a small misunderstanding regarding my learning log and the possible lack of work done on my part [which was rectified after I sent through details of my blog, which I omitted from my submission email], another area my tutor had questioned was the reference list included in the Things that teach me tab of my learning log; she questioned where the information was actually referenced and whether it was just a lovely long list of random information plucked out of thin air. After explaining that this list is an accumulation of references used within my blog, and broken down into the modules we have covered over the year, she was happy, but I came to wonder whether others would think the same about this list, especially when my work is presented to the assessors. I therefore need to include an explanation of what this list represents and where the referenced information can be found within my learning log; I probably need to do the same with my bibliography (which works the same as my reference list) and just to tie things up nicely, within my referencing as a whole, include a brief synopsis against the books and magazines I am currently reading.
Once all of this business had been addressed, we then moved on to discuss research, which eventually lead to discussions surrounding my ideas for assignment five.
My tutor thinks that my research is coming along and within the summary of her feedback writes:
… It is good to see you working thematically and really thinking about the elements that you want to include in your set. These logical thought processes will really help the progression of your photography, both in what you are taking and in the selection and presentation at a later stage. I have given you a little bit more to think about in terms of working thematically and creatively here …
If you read the full report, you will see where she builds on my needs surrounding research, which turns out to be a logical approach to what is needed for our assignments, which was where our discussion lead too next.
The best thing that happened during our call was the discussion we had surrounding assignment five; I explained that I would be back in Korea when working on this assignment and that I was thinking of using images of a specific temple for my submission. She thought this was a great idea, but wanted me to expand on this idea; what kind of images would I use? Would they be just colour or black-and-white or a combination of both? How could I find my voice and make the images not only nice to look at, but also to tell a story? She advised that for assessment, we need to show creativity by not only producing a good quality set of images, but by also showing experimentation within our work.
As I had an idea, she took this on board, probed, and asked me more questions, which in turn lead me down an alternate path, eventually leading to the conclusion that my final DPP assignment would be about the relationship between Buddhism and Temples. This topic will give me more freedom within the subject allowing me to use different locations, at different times of the day and year, and also give me the opportunity to look into something that really intrigues me.
So, all in all, I am doing okay, but I think I knew that already. At the moment, I feel like the clouds have parted a little, especially now that I am more aware of what is expected of me and that I need not get too bogged down with the technical side of things too much, although I am always going to put 110% into my studying and research as I am still learning my craft. An important lesson learnt is that sometimes it is better to pick up the telephone and talk things through, which is often better then relying on email and the Internet to address issues, there will always be always items that will get lost in translation!
Kornmesser, C. (2009) Macro Gear [online image]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19650609/4122408354/sizes/m/in/photostream/ [Accessed 20 September 2013].
Chandradhas, S. (2007) Lenses for Architectural Photography [online article]. Available at: http://www.beyondphototips.com/2007/04/29/lenses-for-architectural-photography/ [Accessed 20 September 2013].