Assignment 5 – Tutor Feedback

After a few weeks of anxious waiting for my final tutor feedback, I received it today and I really couldn’t be happier. I’m relieved that my final assignment is wrapped up and also the course, but also sad to say aurevoir to my current tutor. She has been absolutely amazing with her feedback, pushing me beyond my comfort zone with each assignment for which I am grateful.

Her feedback follows below. My comments are in italics.

Overall comments

A great set of images exploring the hunter and the hunted, technically very proficient, well styled and thoughtfully executed. Your background research is thorough and supports your creative experimentations. Well done!

Thank you – very pleased to hear that.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

As a series of images I really enjoy the piece of work you have created for this assignment. There is something of the unreal/surreal, within the set up that jars my reading of the work. We know this is a constructed image, a lion is obviously not going to pick up a gun with their paws… but somehow I want to believe this is possible and to see it enacted in a photograph. I want to be tricked!

This was the reaction that I was after, so good to hear this feedback.

The saddest thing about some of Chancellor’s images, that you comment upon in detail, is the evident pride in the expression of the hunters who have killed such beautiful animals. The way the animals bodies are draped around the hunters like trophies induces a real sense of sickness and disgust in me when I look at the photographs. Perhaps it is the carnivalesque mask that punctures my viewing, its lack of expression or inability to change expression that doesn’t quite have me convinced.

I had hoped that the lion’s stance with his foot on the prey’s shoulder would convey some of this arrogance.

I feel you have done extremely well to produce the images you have in the context of the forest with the resources available to you (considering that Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson have massive teams of assistants and helpers to create their work).

Extra voice activated light stands would have been most welcome :-).

Technically the shots are well observed, as you note there are some exposure issues, but in this context I don’t think they matter massively as we are interested more in believing the shot. You make great use of a variety of poses, experimentation in make up, the natural lighting and different view points within the frame to create a set of effective, stylised and constructed photographs.

Thank you.

Have you considered how you will present the work for final assessment? I enjoyed seeing the sequence of images develop, or perhaps you will opt for one single image. Something to think further about.

One of the OCA students had suggested a tritych and this might be my best option. If there were a few more images, I might have considered a short film clip, but I think with only three images it might not have the deisred effect. I also don’t have the time available before the assessment submission deadline to learn how to put a film with sound together.

Your pre-shoot location scouting is well documented and you have evidently spent much time considering how to construct the shots. The annotated contact sheets work well in this context to show your working process. This is highly effective work presented in a professional way showing strong judgement. Well done.

Thank you and also thanks to Jayne Kemp who suggested annotating the contact sheets.

I like that your colleagues thought you were weird for wanting to do this, as you rightly state it probably means you’re on to something! Well done for taking a risk, being imaginative, creative and playing around with your ideas. It’s been great to see your work develop throughout the assignments.

I think I’m beginning to realise that the wacky ideas are more fruitful in the long run and I’m now more comfortable getting out of my comfort zone. Of course I know that the comfort zone boundaries are ever shifting so we shall see where this leads me in the next course.

Coursework
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have engaged thoroughly with all the suggested exercises and projects within this assignment. You often go the extra mile in terms of additional research and reflection in relation to these projects. Your log is easy to navigate and I was able to quickly locate all of your responses. I especially like the embedded links to specific practitioners and your analysis of their work/application to the assignment in hand.

Thank you. I know how frustrating it can be to navigate a badly signposted website or blog.

Research
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

As above, your research is thorough, detailed and insightful. You visit a range of sources to inform your practice and are able to critically evaluate the work within its wider contemporary context.

You write well, clearly communicating the information that is relevant to the exercise/project/task in hand. You also strike a good balance between writing in an academic context, where analysis is valued over description, whilst also maintaining a sense of the personal approach and view of the subject. I find your reflections and research both enjoyable and easy to read.

Thank you. Academic writing is quite hard and very dry to read most times, so I’m very relieved that there is a good balance between that and the personal approach.

It is commendable that you are also pursuing other MOOCs to do with photography at MOMA and other online sources. I’ll have a further look into some of these as they might be a good resource for other students on the course.

I can highly recommend the MOMA course as a companion piece to Context and Narrative. It would have been wonderful to have had that available at the start of this module. The accompanying reading texts from the MOMA exhibition catalogues are also very handy to have.

Learning Log
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Similar comments as above, your learning log continues to be thorough, detailed and insightful. The depth of self reflection is evident in your write up, where you consider both technical improvements that could have been made whilst weighing up the practicalities that the situation demanded. You go on to implement several of the suggestions into the presentation of your work, which works to good effect (annotated contact sheets – nice!).

Seems like I’ve made a bit of an improvement in self reflection which is always difficult for me, so I’m happy to hear that.

In using the OCA student forum, you take full advantage of peer feedback and develop this further, following up practitioners suggested by other students and incorporating this into your wider research. I think I have mentioned before in a report, the importance of being critical of some of the feedback and pushing beyond the purely positive comments to find some critique, or have some of your own in response. This is not a criticism, more of an observation, it is also something that is not always possible depending on the student group. However I would encourage you (perhaps on future courses) to guide the feedback a bit more and push people to engage beyond the positive comments.

Point taken. I did make a note of amendments I had made after receiving peer feedback, but I do take your point. I should analyse and document my responses better. I will take this through to the next course.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

North American paper sizes are different to those used in the rest of the world. The closest I have to A4 is 8.5 x 11 inches which is what I will use for assessment.

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