Category Archives: Assignment 1

Assignment 1 Tutor feedback

I am really pleased with my first feedback , I must admit I was rather apprehensive waiting to see how it had been received.

Keith found my assignment “really interesting”  although he commented that initially he was not too convinced that my assignment  — taken during a professional photo-shoot –would work. However after reading the context and looking at the images he “thought it worked very well indeed”.

His favourite image was Image 8 he commented it  “really summed up the shoot and the efforts a photographer will go to in order to get the correct feel and lighting for a particular image”

I always print my assignment images , whether necessary or not , for all assignments and Keith said my prints were of high standard. I do agree with his comment that too few images are actually printed now.

Level two courses are intended to develop academic and theoretical skills , Keith pointed out the importance of inserting references throughout my written work and using the Harvard referencing system.

He has suggested in addition to keeping an on-line blog I also keep a physical journal where I can record ideas etc and also keep cuttings / gallery literature. He found my blog easy to navigate and suggested I add additional tabs for any photographers I research/review which I have done.

I need to try and attend as many exhibitions as I can , something I know I need to do. I need to organise free time to do this but with work and an elderly mother I need to visit daily this is quite a challenge. There have been a couple of OCA study visits I would love to have joined but so far every one has coincided with me being away or already being committed. I hope to rectify this in the New Year (fingers crossed).

Keith has given me a list of suggested research and reading , I have already read Camera Lucinda but will re-read it again– more thoroughly this time. I need to consider WHY not HOW the photographers listed below achieve their images. As I am particularly interested in portraiture he has also suggested I look at the work of both Rineke Dijkstra and Moira Lovell.   


Suggested reading list below:

Germain, J.2005.For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness.1st Ed.Gottingen,Steidl. ISBN-3: 86521-077-5

Wood, T.1998.All Zones Off Peak.1st Ed.Dewi Lewis Publishing ISBN-13: 978-1899235865

Soth, A.2008.Sleeping By The Mississippi.3rd Edition.Gottingen,Steidl. ISBN-13: 978-3865217530

Barthes, Roland.1993: Camera Lucida. Vintage Classics. London. ISBN 13: 978-0099225416


Assignment 1 : Reflection

As this was a one off event I was aware I could not return the next day to re-take or rectify any mistakes , I felt slightly pressured ! Working to such a strict deadline I did find myself occasionally shooting a scene simply to ensure I got enough images from which to make my final selection . However being restricted to one focal length did force me to think far more carefully about how to compose and frame the images I planned for the assignment. I am pleased that I managed to obtain both full length and close up images without the need to crop that I feel are reasonably structured.

Quality of Outcome
I print my own images and , as always , when compared to the screen version they are less vivid . However I like the subdued tones of the prints which I feel are more suited to creating a low key version of the event I chose to document. It was not a serious event but I really did not want my assignment images to seem too frivolous a subject matter.

Choosing the final 10 images took me quite some time , after printing I placed them in what seemed to me a logical order , I then asked friends and family to look at these  as well as the other shortlisted images. I then left them for a day or two and reviewed my choices again bearing in mind any feedback given me. I have included , as planned , portraits and wider viewpoints of the days events so feel happy I was able to fulfil my original stated intention when preparing for the assignment shoot.

Demonstration of Creativity 

I initially had difficulty in choosing a subject  to document, I hope my choice does not seem too mundane. I chose to respond to the brief Local communities with perhaps a lateral viewpoint by not choosing to document my immediate community although the location was near my home. A community can be defined as a group of any number of people with shared mores , the small group of people I photographed  belong to such a group and I felt comfortable in my role as a participant-observer.


I have had difficulty keeping up to date with all the reading and exercise work required for the course. Additionally I delayed completing my first assignment.  Various unavoidable events since April have set back my progress. I am back on track and have revised my study plan and re-structured my week to include protected time ( family and employers please take note ! )
I feel my blog is easy to navigate , but I need to bring it up to date. I have accumulated and taken note of  quite a few interesting magazine / newspaper / web articles that need to be written up and added to the blog. I have a few exhibitions that I intend to visit over the next couple of months too.

Assignment 1 : The shortlisted images

I have chosen my final 10 images from the shortlisted  20 below .

Catching up

I am behind with my coursework ,projects and exercises. Additionally I have already delayed my assignment deadline , which is now due to be sent to my tutor in a few weeks. I have had little time to post regularly recently owing to a series of mishaps. My hubby managed to lose the top of his finger at work and needed an operation , following which my elderly mother fell over cutting her head badly which also needed hospital attention. Along with work (the paid variety!) this has left me little time to write/reflect/blog , added to which I have had sciatica ! On the bright side after not having taken a single photo for months I had the opportunity to do my behind the scenes shoot which I am using for my first assignment.

Assignment 1– work in progress


In order for a photo essay to be easily understood it will need varying but linked images that convey the narrative . I therefore plan to include one or two close-ups of the participants , as well as wider more detailed views of the day. I have decided to use my Canon 5D with a 50mm F1.4 prime lens. I should be able to obtain reasonably wide shots as well as the portrait studies I hope to obtain by using this focal length on a full frame body.

The two girls involved in the shoot are , obviously, very important. They will feature in the final product therefore I plan to include a couple of images that are similar to those that appear on the calendar as well as showing the interaction between the team.   The link below includes tips for behind -the scenes photographers.


Using a prime lens and trying not to get in the way of Lowell , the main photographer , did make it quite awkward at times to obtain some of the shots I wanted. However I did not feel too curbed by the fixed focal length. I think being restricted this way possibly made me consider how to frame my shots more carefully.

Although the sky was quite overcast it was reasonably bright  creating quite soft even light , which was great for the closer up shots I wanted. I had to work without a tripod and prefer , even if I had been able , not to use flash. The fast lens was very useful for some indoor shots I took.


I took nearly 100 images throughout the day-long event.

I have made duplicate copies and processed these for Andy in a mix of colour , mono and sepia.

For my assignment I will chose between 15 up to a maximum of 20 from which to make my final choice and these will all be re-proccesed and printed, then presented as web images on my blog.

I will print the final 10 on A4 Perma Jet Fibre Base Royal 325.

Link below to Dropbox for images from the complete shoot .

Assignment 1 Research

I never expected to find Steve McCurry’s distinctive portraiture on a Pirelli calendar !

Shot in Rio the calendar broke with Pirelli tradition and featured fully clothed women against the backdrop of a vibrant city. The Golden Rivet calendar features 40’s forces-style pin-up images , no nudes, hence I found it interesting to see how McCurry approached the task.

 He photographed intelligent, independent women focusing on who they were , the person beneath the skin.The Galaxy girls who feature on Andy’s calendar are also smart , individual , and committed to their community. I plan to take portraits of the girls involved , I hope I can capture something of their uniqueness too. 

See link below , its really interesting to watch.