Assignment 3 – Self assessment

Following completion of my third 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 believe the images have all been completed to a reasonably good technical standard and that they reflect my initial intention in terms of composition, lighting and tonality. Some of the images posed interesting technical challenges, as a result of being the combination of various exposures or long exposures with strobes. In some cases, I had to find a compromise from the aesthetics perspective in order to achieve a working final image. The experience will help me plan better for any re-shoots when I revise this assignment for final submission.
Quality of outcome – Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. Generally speaking, I am satisfied with the outcome of the project and the way I presented it. I feel that the ideas that I showed in the series are somewhat linked to each other, although they were never intended to be part of a story, but rather to stand alone. I feel that the total number of pictures included in the end was on the low side of where I wanted to be, and perhaps with a bit more time I could have develop other ideas into images that would have enriched the final selection a bit more.
Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. For this series, my initial intention was to do something that was somewhat different from the types of shots I have tried in the first two assignment, which were essentially straight shots, mostly indoors. I experimented with various techniques I had explored briefly in previous parts of this course or even in previous courses, and I tried to do more outdoor shots. I also kept a specific, separate sketchbook for this project and this helped me intersect ideas with images I took specifically for this assignment or even before, in order to come up with new pictures. While taking the pictures, I was looking for the best way to achieve a particular result, but there is always the risk that focus on a technique detracts from the meaning of an image. I tried my best not to make my images look gimmicky, but unintentionally some of them may have ended up looking that way.
Context – Reflection, research, critical thinking. For this assignment, I was partially inspired by some of the aesthetic values of Francesca Woodman’s photographs (research notes), particularly in the blurriness and extreme tonal values of some of her images, which sometimes add a layer of extra impact to the image; as well as the surreal undertones of some of Duane Michals’s series of images (see my notes here). Some individual images were inspired by shots taken by David Bailey (link)(1)(link)(2), while the final presentation was inspired by Anna Fox’s My Mother’s Cupboards and my Father’s Words (link)(3).

The main source of context for this assignment was the diary I kept for about three weeks. I stopped keeping the diary shortly after Christmas, thinking that I had sufficient material to find inspiration for the assignment, but at the end of the assignment I felt that I was slightly constrained by the parts of the diary I considered suitable as captions for the series. I wished that in the end the diary was longer just three weeks, to have more options from where to draw the texts accompanying the images, as well as richer source for more ideas about images.

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(1) DAVID BAILEY (b.1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . 2018. DAVID BAILEY (b.1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/david-bailey-b1938-the-kray-brothers-4983537-details.aspx. [Accessed 08 February 2018].

(2) David Bailey (b. 1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . 2018. David Bailey (b. 1938) , The Kray Brothers, 1965 | Christie’s . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/david-bailey-b-1938-the-kray-brothers-5994137-details.aspx. [Accessed 08 February 2018].

(3) My Mother’s Cupboards : Anna Fox. 2018. My Mother’s Cupboards : Anna Fox. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.annafox.co.uk/work/my-mothers-cupboards/. [Accessed 08 February 2018].

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