Assignment Three – Tutor Feedback and Response

I have never got comments like this before, “High quality set of prints, they have a considered and precious worth to them…”, “…starting to exhibit a painterly quality…”

John’s comments to assignment 3 were very informative, instructive and encouraging. Arriving on the same day as I received a slightly disappointing mark of 54% for TAOP, it gave me a bit of a boost.

His full feedback is here:


Once again there is a lot to digest. As well as the positive and flattering comments, he has provided an abundance of pointers to improve. Some key comments and my responses are:

You note that you arrived at the final images without fully noting down your technique and therefore they may not be repeatable, year one is very much about experimentation so this is good to experiment but it is essential that you record how you arrived at the final outcome as this is what DPP is all about, Creating usable and repeatable workflows and understanding how you achieved the result!

Good point, well made. It was a bit hit and miss, even though the result was okay, the journey was arduous. I will rework the images, this time noting the work steps I take to get there and using Lightroom with more control over the conversion. Also, I will include more detail in the exercises.

Several of the prints however change colour! Some exhibit a green cast while some are fairly neutral…

I made the first three prints and ran out of paper. When I printed the rest they came out with the colour cast. It was the same paper, Canon Pro Photo Paper II, and printed with the same inks and ICC profile so it’s a bit of a puzzle why they came out a strange colour. Ideally, I should have printed them all again and got them right but I wanted to get the assignment sent away and get the tutor’s feedback. Something to be investigated!

Most are taken from a similar height which adds to the uniformity, this dilutes the effectiveness of the assignment in terms of visual interest.

I’ve been criticised in the past for too much variety, even stylistically so I have tried to present a set with a degree of consistency. Now it’s not enough variety! There must be a balance between cohesiveness and sameness which I am missing

Michael Freeman suggests experimenting with ‘key’ these images are really all the same ‘key’ which is working and appropriate to the subject matter but again it weakens the assignment in terms of experimentation.

I did experiment with key and some of the submissions were adjusted as a result. In the end though I wanted the overall set to be of a similar feel and texture.

1 The Hay Wain I am thinking that the inclusion of the car is deliberate / juxtaposition? But as this is the only image in the submission that uses such observations it becomes somewhat weak and may start to appear as not a deliberate decision.

The car was a deliberate inclusion. It’s true that it is the only one with a car. Also, Surrey Hills is the only one with people, Bed and Breakfast is the only one with a building. Together they help to tell the story and I don’t think the car’s inclusion detracts from anything but strengthens the composition of the particular photograph.

2 The Footpath…So for me a slight missed opportunity as the path is slightly incidental running along the right hand third. It may have been more effective to shoot further to the right and allow the path to sweep invitingly into the frame.

The pictures are really about the farm equipment so I didn’t want to focus too heavily on the footpath, but I take his point about a slightly different viewpoint might have strengthened the composition.

2 The Footpath. …This print is slightly darker than image 1 and as such a little oppressive in its atmosphere, the blue sky tone is heavy and appears storm like.

I’ll take this into account when I rework the images.

3 Bed and Breakfast “…when using the ‘Info’ tool and you have 255 in all three colour channels, or single monochrome channel if Grey Scale you have achieved pure white…”

I checked and the file I printed the image from showed 255 on all three channels whereas the original jpeg had values from 242 to 247. Again, I’ll rework the image and watch out for this.

4 Vines and Wire.

Generally nice comments on this one. It was one of my favourites, particularly for the texture of the rows of vines as they recede into the distance.

5 Untitled. Not sure why ‘Untitled’? OK similar shot as (4), different take. This does not need to be in the assignment, I would suggest either (4) or (5), for me (4) is a stronger composition.

It was untitled because I could not think of a title! That probably sums it up as this is the weakest in the set.

6 Surrey Hills. …Good …texture, pattern and also rhythm occurring by the repetition of the fencing

This is my favourite of the set, for the footpath and the people on it although I admit I hadn’t noticed the pattern on the fencing.

The rest of the feedback contains some really useful advice:

• Develop more of a critique of your own work…

• …combine this with introducing examples of other practitioners work and commenting upon them, mentioning how they may have started to inform your own work.

• record more detail at how you arrive at the final outcomes,

• In your assignment annotation you say: ‘I have noticed many successful black and white pictures have punchy contrast’ Excellent point and it would be highly relevant at this stage to comment further along the lines of ‘As in the work of…’ and include some examples. This will really start to get your research and blog heading on track for the degree.

All in all, very pleasing comments and some very useful feedback.

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1 Comment

  1. good job, keep up the good work …


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