assignment 1 – personal review

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

  • Materials: as a totally online assignment, this only really applies to the way the pictures are laid out on the blog. I think the way i’ve laid things out on the virtual page demonstrates the beginnings of being able to control the way wordpress works, but I suspect that without the ability to work directly with the style sheet, I won’t be able to take this much further.
  • Techniques: the first part of the course has dealt pretty exclusively with the effect of different lens focal lengths, framing (both at the time of shooting and altering this as part of post-production) and the placing of objects within the frame;  I have consciously chosen the way I have applied this to the pictures – there aren’t any “happy accidents” – and things like fairly constant use of stopped down lenses to keep as much in focus as possible is deliberate; I applied techniques to the pictures I had decided to take, and generally they have turned out as expected.
  • Observational Skills: it was enjoyable to spend large parts of my day with a part of my head ticking away, translating things that were around me into usable representations of the abstract concepts that made up the pairs.
  • Visual Awareness: and likewise, I think I managed to isolate things in a way that allows the quality that made me notice them in the first place to be apparent, even if it is only in the context of the pair at times, rather than in a standalone picture.
  • Design and Compositional Skills: I don’t think any of the pictures jar as compositions, although the bit of the section I have probably most need to do more thinking about is the more formal stuff around balance and theories about the division of frames; the pictures feel right, but I don’t know if I could demonstrate why to my satisfaction yet.

Quality of Outcome

  • Content: some of the qualities depicted come across more strongly than others – I am unsure for example whether ‘smooth’ contains too many unsmooth elements, while ‘many’ feels nicely like a jostling throng of signs; generally though, I think all 17 photographs are worth looking at and engage the viewer on a level where they are not simply ‘a church spire’, ‘a man in long grass’, ‘a closed venetian blind’ etc
  • Application of Knowledge: the main knowledge required here was the ability to use my camera and to process the resulting images in a competent way; I  think I have achieved this.
  • Presentation of Work in a Coherent Manner: the commonalities between the pairs (one portrait, one landscape; the phonetic titles; the subdued colour) combine to tie the pictures together as a group, rather than leaving them feeling like a number of photographs that just happened to end up together; this is more obvious in the blog post, than in viewing the full-size pictures one after the other, but some of this sense of a conscious set still comes across, I think.
  • Discernment*: I think some of the subjects a unusual and tangential enough to qualify as showing discernment…
  • Conceptualisation of Thoughts & Communication of Ideas: as stated above, I think the pictures generally express what I want them to express; some do this better than others.

Demonstration of Creativity

  • Imagination: my approach to this assignment has been more observational than imaginative; I have seen pictures and then taken them rather than plucking an idea from my head and then making it flesh (or rather ones and nothings); I had some more obviously imaginative ideas for some of the pairs – an upturned glass which was half-full of ice and the same glass surrounded by a puddle of water for solid/liquid, say or using the same subject for each of the opposed pictures, finding the contrast in the same object – but these tended to clash with my dual-location scheme, and also would have slowed me down as, mostly, they involved a much greater degree of fabrication.
  • Experimentation: I have used equipment more consciously in pursuit of an affect than I have generally done in the past; the part one exercises were genuinely enjoyable to plan and shoot, at least in part because they involved actually putting theory (which generally i was aware of but had not actually worked through systematically) into practice.
  • Invention: as with Imagination, above, I think  I have approached this in a way that is more observational than inventive.
  • Development of a Personal Voice: The pictures have all featured subjects that are part of my day-to-day life, so in some way reflect who I am; however, I think I have more of a sense of fun, or humour, than these pictures suggest; over the remainder of the course, I must strive not to come across as so po-faced…

Context

  • Reflection: to comment on the qualities of my reflection in this “reflection” piece seems dangerously close to crossing the line into navel gazing; I quite like my belly button and am glad it’s not an outie, but don’t feel I can comment here further…
  • Research: I think I worked out a clear approach to the assignment and then set out and followed it, expanding my list of subjects as I went.
  • Critical thinking (learning log): I am happy with the way my log is developing as a record of my journey through the course, with the proviso that i need to speed up my writing up both exercises and the work I am doing – reading and looking – around the practical stuff. I realise that I need to get back into the way of just writing and getting it down rather than agonising over every phrase…

* I realised while writing this that my idea of what discernment actually is was a bit hazy.  So I looked it up:

‘As a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others’ – Wikipedia (my emphasis)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s