My review and feedback session on video with my tutor and mentor, Andrea Norrington, for the previous Assignment three took place on 21st August, 2020. Its a little late to get it out there – I have just been caught up with Part IV so much, but better late than never.
Feedback on assignment: Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Andrea liked my assignment and thought it was a good example of difference between ‘looking’ and ‘seeing.’ She felt that my final edit shows consideration of how to sequence the project. She said that the use of the quotations and my own text gives a flow to the project. The design is crisp and concise. She felt that it is a well-realised concept from my chosen subject matter and also fascinating to read. She felt that my assignment is a clear example of hard work and applied effort to develop a series and she feels that my efforts have been well rewarded. She felt that my multi-chapter book is a testament of my dedication for the course and although very ambitious has potential to be realised into a highly accomplished project – possibly/probably something outside of OCA assignments.
She also felt that the chapter with colour could benefit for a note on why only this chapter is in colour – she said my reasoning is valid, but it just needs to be clearly stated.
Noted, and just to put it on record here is what my reasoning was about that one chapter being in colour – It had rained heavily just about half an hour before the sun went down and as the rain stopped, there was this magical light that was there. And the effect of this was so beautiful that converting it into B&W would have killed it. I decided to keep that chapter like that. I think it will be an interesting element in the book, when I redesign and relook at it- maybe I will design it in a way to make it like a special inset with perhaps more information about pigeon facts or stories. I have a few ideas and will rework.
She gave me some great insights into how to rework some bits in the book to make it better. She felt that there are a few page layouts that may benefit from reconsidering the design. For example,
P72/3 – the triptych feels unbalanced against the single image
P108 – again pair of images is unbalanced against the single image
She feels that there are good examples where I have mirrored the layout on two adjacent pages. With a book of this many pages it is hard to keep it mind as a flow, she therefore recommended to probably continue to re-edit until a final flow is achieved. She also recommended working in sections at a time – and not to forget the transition from one chapter to another.
Coursework- Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
According to Andrea, Exercise 3.3: What matters is to look – awareness of space and light – is a particularly well-accomplished project. We spoke how some of the images could be developed into a project for a later assignment– maybe on Identity and Place when I get to that stage.
Research- Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
She felt that this is evident and ongoing throughout my work and I should continue to log your research. Good work here.
Learning Log- Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Andrea felt that my my learning log is showing regular reflection on my work. Again this is good work so continue to work in this way.
Context- Suggested reading/viewing
We discussed cinematic photographers:
Jeff Wall |Gregory Crewdson
Unfortunately, this does not open in my location and my daughter will have to record it from her laptop on to her phone and send it for me to see it.
She recommended that this was a good article on Crewdson in the New York Times:
I researched on Gregory Crewdson in FiP and I absolutely love his work, simply outstanding with large crews and productions. I hope to achieve that some day. In the meantime, I am going to refresh my memory and relook at his work.
Andrea recommended movie The Birds – Hitchcock and the POV in Hitchcock
Andrea discussed exploring the space and how people are placed within it. and recommended to have a look at Bert Teuinssen’s – Domestic Landscapes. She admired his way of placing the person within the frame – and suggested that perhaps I could take this approach and shoot from doorways to maintain distancing.
We also discussed about a photo a day project. Once again Andrea recommended Magnum photographer Simon Roberts, who did a photo of the sea near his house every day on Instagram, Each image was accompanied by some text and daily case/death of Covid.
Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
Strengths Areas for development
Andrea felt that there is demonstration of clear and focussed dedication to the course and to continue that – but do allow a break to recharge yourself.
I totally agree about recharging but its so difficult. Challenging myself to the next level is my recharge. I had thought to myself that post Assignment 3 I need a well-deserved break but it was not to be as I got so excited about the next part that I just once again took a lot upon me- not complaining but I just feel that some people are just un-rechargeable! 🙂
Engagement with research sources
She recommended to log my engagement with peer or tutor-led zoom sessions in my log. I haven’t done that but will do so for sure starting now. And also rewind and post feedback for previous sessions as well.
Development of visual skills
She recommended me to continue experimenting with my equipment and push myself out of my comfort zone, which I so did in the next section.
We spoke about technical matters and finding limitations of equipment – eg ISO which has been demonstrated in my Exercise 3.2 Trace, and how beyond a point extremely higher ISO was pretty useless. Even though at 4000 ISO, I managed some beautiful atmospheric shots of the tigress in rain, anything beyond that just failed to add value, in fact it deteriorated the quality of the shot to the extent of making them quite useless.
Discussion on the next assignment- Languages of Light
We discussed my thoughts on the next assignment. Having researched and being quite in awe of Lois Greenfield’s work, it was one of my ideas to perhaps aim to achieve a somewhat similar concept of levitation for my final assignment. Another idea was the movie ‘In the Mood for Love’ and its beautiful rendering of light and colours and perhaps build something up on those lines.
Feedabck from others
Another feedback that I received from Robert Bloomfield on Assignment Three in one of the zoom sessions was that the quotations that I have used were not all from ‘Sun Tzu – Art of War’ and perhaps I should relook at being consistent about that.
I think that makes complete sense though I did include all quotations related to war but I tend to agree with Robert to look at it as it will be more solid and consistent perhaps? Noted and a valid feedback to rework on the book.
Some of the peer feedback was well -received.
“I like this assignment a lot. I think the use of Black & White is particularly effective.”| Graham Rayson
“The complexity and beauty in this story is astonishing and absorbing in equal measure. In every photograph I am left wondering whether this is love or war? I tend towards not having text at present, but your pieces are thought provoking. For me the photographs would work equally well standing alone, but that is of course a personal view! As with the previous post I am especially drawn to the feet and footwork. It is almost a ballet. Thank you for sharing these exquisite images Archna, I am so pleased there will be a book.”| Sarah Andrews
“Wonderful photographs as ever Archna and the depth of your research and creativity is so admirable. I love the book, the photographs work will in both colour and B&W but I think I prefer the colour. I do find pigeons quite amusing, the way they strut around our garden and perform on the garden fence. Great assignment.”| Jonathan Kiernan
“From what I saw though I really liked your interpretation. I’ve tried to do something similar with a single subject but wasn’t sure but seeing yours has made me feel better about it (cheers!! This assignment has encouraged me to experiment and actually do something completely different) I also loved the book idea. I must start printing mine off and throwing them up on the wall. I did create a gallery on the TV which actually really helped too. “Lee Abbey
“I have just finished going through your third assignment and it has left me speechless. The signature image at the top of the page beautifully captured as are the rest and the concept of using the art of war as a narrative to the bickering pigeons, really did take this to another level for me. Thank you for sharing.”| Andrew Spooner