Assignment One: Reflections on my tutor’s feedback

Overall comments

Starting a new course always feels like a step into another territory. It might look familiar but you never quite know what you’re going to find. Coming from my last level 1 course, Graphic Design One, I am particularly interested to see how my photographic work develops from here. I am keen to keep experimenting and working in cross-disciplinary forms. I am hopeful that Digital Image and Culture will allow me to do that. My tutor’s feedback seems to confirm this will be the case.

This is a very good submission.  You draw inspiration from a range of sources, photography, fine art, poetry, psychology, and researching that wider context, different forms, historical and theoretical, will always open up our ideas during the development stages of any project.

Feedback on assignment

As I mentioned in my learning log, I think my GD1 experience has helped me find a way of working that allows me to explore ideas and not fix my approach too soon. I have found this quite liberating because I no longer worry about whether I have found the ‘right’ idea. Now I just try something out and see what happens, if it works great, if not I move on. This has been recognised by my tutor.

This is a very good set of images, one that meets the aims of the brief, but more importantly reveals your sense of exploration and tenacity in finding a way to articulate your initial concept… It would have been enough for some, perhaps to finish their exploration at this point, but you decided to push this further reworking the images to look for something ‘simpler and cleaner’ with a stronger emotional connection, one that reflected your original concept.  This worked very well, with eight, less figurative and more graphic abstracts.

My tutor’s observations about the difference between the final set of physical and digital collages are very helpful, particularly his comment that the combination of image and title may not be read in the way I had intended.

…it might be hard for a viewer to relate the emotional interpretation in the title to the image

He does suggest a large scale print might offer a more immersive experience that could relate to the emotional impact I was looking for. I did wonder whether they should have titles or just be numbered, but numbers felt too distant and abstract. There is also something to consider in having made two of them more sculptural, I am not sure they translated well to an image on screen as you lose the physical effect of the overlaid ripple.

I wrestled a little to start with about how the digital images would be different from the physical collages, I wanted them to build on but be distinctive from the initial set. I was very pleased to read that my tutor felt this set worked on a different level.

The following three, ‘Serenity, Peace, and Insight’ offer something different, a subtle rendition of the subject matter and a greater fusion of the individual elements to bring a dream-like quality to the images. The desaturation of the individual layers is held together by the superimposition of the natural elements, not quite a reflection, but something intangible as though it’s a moment between two images – like a transition in a film.

It is helpful to read his suggestion to look further at enhancing the idea and impression/illusion of depth which I will explore further. I also like the notion of moments between frames, something I’d also like to work on more.  The feedback has introduced me to Daisuke Yokota and Haruki Sugimoto both of which are photographers I had not come across before and I am very intrigued by.

Coursework, research & learning log

I am pleased that my coursework and learning log have been well received and that I am working along the right lines. It is also good to know the structure of the learning log is straightforward. I will look at why the thumbnails on the visual diary aren’t showing. I also note the suggestion to engage with the OCA forum. I do look from time to time but often have to wrestle browser issues in accessing it for some reason. I do regularly engage with the various OCA photography and visual communications Facebook Groups so I am engaging with wider groups than just TVG.

I note the guidance for my next assignment and am already looking at family archives. I am going to discuss a theme further with my tutor as I have some ideas I want to explore based on my childhood travels to Australia.

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