Last night I received my tutor’s report on my second assignment – the Elements of Design. Once again, I’m pleased with the feedback, with my work being described as ‘a very good submission’ with images showing ‘a real quality’. More importantly though, my tutor was happy with the creativity I’d shown and my production of ‘a coherent set of images that respond to such generic parameters’. He appreciated my efforts to create a set that, by being shot in darkness, had a sense of what he calls ‘mystery, melancholia and the uncanny’ and instilling a certain ‘uneasiness’.
The presentation of my work, my blog and particularly the independent learning that I’ve demonstrated (with gallery visits and reference to further reading) were also well received. This is satisfying as they do consume a lot of time.
His criticism of the submission was limited to my use of post-production effects and Photoshop, commenting that by using them excessively I risked sucking the atmosphere out of an image and with it, the element that connects the viewer. Apart from adding the borders, there are three of the 14 images in the assignment that were worked on (I noted in the assignment what had been done in each).
Looking back and with my tutor’s comments in mind, I can see that the first image (curves) doesn’t match the rest of the set very well as I’ve overdone the desaturation. I’ll keep the following comments in mind for my future submissions:
For future assignments it would be great to see you producing non-photo-shopped images, raw images that create mood and respond to your chosen theme and the brief. In some respects it’s getting back to basics, starting from the ground up and relying upon your creative eye and intuition rather than what can be done at the post production stage to enhance the image.
Initially, I was disappointed with the limited feedback on the assignment. I’d expected discussion about each image – which were good and which less so. On reflection however, there is enough contained within the report for me to work on; the key items being:
- concentrating on the conceptual aspects of a set; make the images work together to build the theme
- letting the images work for themselves; reducing the use of post-production
As I’ve written previously, for me this course is about developing a visual language, a style and taking an idea from concept through to realisation, rather than learning technical skills. Getting back to basics can only help this process – I may shoot a future assignment only on film and remove this temptation completely.
Receiving this feedback also means that I can get stuck in to the next section on colour. I’ve struggled to get motivated about it so far, seeming overly technical for my tastes. I also have a couple of other projects underway at the moment that are stealing my time. As usual though, the tutor’s report contains the submission date for the next assignment and mine is just 6 weeks away…