Thursday, January 19, 2012

Assignment 3: Feedback & Corrections

Once again, I received my tutors response with a degree of trepidation.  My greatest concern was whether or not I had sufficient variety within the set to meet the requirements of the assignment.  By now I appreciate that it is largely up to me to set the parameters for the assignment, however, there is still a standard to be met.  As it turned out my tutor was fine with the assignment and in particular felt that this work "Appears to be leading you on a path to positive, future development".  This is what this assignment was all about for me, development.  In other assignments I have had more of a "demonstrate ability" mindset.  With Transient Light I deliberately set out to do something very different from previous work and adopted a new working methodology.  I start to understand the need for patience and perseverance in photography, especially when trying to build a coherent statement, versus a disparate set of images.

Within the feedback was a paragraph that discussed the reasons for making such photographs and the degree to which the photographer leaves an element of themselves within their photographs.  In particular the degree to which the digital photographer can set the mood of a photograph in the post processing process.  This assignment, more than any other to date, got to grips with personal questions about why I take photographs and what I value.  This assignment seduced me into wanting to take more and more images, always searching for that perfect juxtaposition of light and form together with the softening affect of the mist. Each week the space evolves, the sun angles in from a progressively different direction as the days now start to shorten.  I want to understand this place and the light within it, I feel drawn to continue, there are still many puzzles to be solved.  I do find myself struggling for "newness" in the photographs, but that comes with time, even if it is simply that a tree loses or regains its leaves.

There was some critique, I still fail to take enough care over the final preparation of my images, in particular stepping back and placing myself in the eyes of the viewer. This was the case for the third image, where I had over-enhanced the contrast to the extent that I nearly was rendering the top right hand corner Black.  This was the starting image, before any developing

The image I submitted, needed a fairly severe Black point adjustment to ensure that the running figure had enough presence in the photograph:

This led to the overly dark top left corner. I have taken the photo and applied a graduated filter to this area, sloping at around 45 degrees and then increased the exposure of this corner.  The great thing about this adjustment is that it is localized to the area of the image having too little brightness.

This is now better balanced and looks more natural.

Otherwise, my tutor was complementary, especially about #7, which he described as "delightful"; I have to confess I agree, this  is one of the best shots I have yet taken.  It is central to my thinking about imagery of a living breathing city.  All that's needed now is to print the corrected image and add it into my new Silverprint A3 portfolio box...

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