Assignment 1 – Self-assessment

Following completion of my first assignment for this course, I have made some notes about how I feel the outcome matches the course assessment criteria

Criteria Self-assessment
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. I feel the images were harmoniously composed and finished to a reasonably good standard. When taking the images, I wanted to make them look as natural and straight as possible, using ambient (natural and artificial) light. This created in some cases illumination difficulties and/or colour balance issues. I have tried to deal with these issues in post-processing, but with hindsight, I would have recreated some of the shots with the aid of light modifiers (eg reflectors) or with fill-in flash.
Quality of outcome – Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. I am reasonably happy with the overall outcome of the project and in particular, I am pleased with the way I am suggesting this to be presented. I feel that some of the images, particularly in the second series, could have emphasised the points I was trying to make slightly better under different circumstances or with a different set-up. For instance, for the second series I would have preferred the beard to have grown a bit more than just a couple of days, but this was not logistically possible during the timeframe I had for completing the assignment.
Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. These sets of images are not what I would normally feel comfortable doing as part of my regular photography and consequently, this assignment was quite experimental for me. Another aspect that required a bit of imagination was to recreate certain situations depicted with the limited resources available. One image I was particularly pleased with was the first one in the first set, emulating a taxi trip, which was taken on the back seat of a compact car moved to a back street near where I live.
Context – Reflection, research, critical thinking. This series was not directly inspired by any of the photographers I looked at as part of my research for part 1 of the course, but the concept and execution was heavily influenced by some ideas (link) I got from reading the essay “Inside / Out” by Abigail Solomon-Godeau, which first appeared in the catalogue for the exhibition “Public information: desire, disaster, document” held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art between January 18 and April 30 1995. In particular, I wanted to explore the limitations of photography, as a medium which is focused on the surface of things, when trying to express any meaning beyond appearances; while at the same time also exploring the ambiguity and lack of objectivity that may come from having an insider or compromised perspective on the subject.

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