Assignment 1. Contrasts. Tutor Report

Assignment 1.  Contrasts
Tutor report

Having received and taken on board the comments and advice from my tutor I have made several adjustments to Assignment 1. 

All of which will be added to this my learning blog, over the next few days.  The changes will be included in the assignment alongside my original submissions.. with information as to what changes I have made and why they have been made.

Dear Sue

Many thanks for your first assignment and the link to the blog.  It is good to see your work (and get an insight into Oman as well as your other travels).

If you have any queries with any aspect of this feedback please do get in touch.  With regard to filters, which I know you are about to purchase I would again recommend that you look at neutral density filters and in addition I would think a polarizing filter will be most useful to help with the glare from the very bright light conditions.


Overall Comments

The assignment was submitted as a series of digital files via a link on Skydrive.  A link to the blog was also sent.  Accompanying information for the images was contained in a blog post for the assignment.


The assignment was clearly presented on the blog with information to explain each of the images.  In your explanation you are clearly describing your intention with each image.  In addition you are starting to reflect on how you can change or improve your images.  Do continue to do this with future assignments.


It is clear that you considering your images and taking the time to explore the settings on your camera.  Do continue to add in the technical settings on your photographs, as it will help you to learn the f.stops and how they affect the depth of field in images.


The range of subjects shows a good insight to your various types of photographs.  It is clear that the images of natural forms – for many,few and rounded are a particular strength.


Assessment potential (after Assignment 1)

“Formal Assessment: You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications.  Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit assignment 2.  I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.”


Feedback on assignment


In this image you have shown a waterway.  This is shown to be very narrow.  The image has a mountainous background, which sets the context.  I would consider cropping the sky out of the image, as it is so much brighter than the rest of the image.   The crop then reduces the scene and draws the eye much more to the waterway.  This crop could also be used to eliminate the person as they stand out due to the red clothing.  An example crop is below.






In this image the river contrasts to the previous.  The width is clearly seen.  The pier/jetty at the bottom right of the frame helps to anchor the image.  The soft light avoids harsh shadows and the image many features soft tones of greens and blues.



This image works well with the following image due to location chosen.  The low tug contrasts to the crane shown in the next image. The bright colours dominate.  The image is a little light and could be darkened slightly.  This will help to intensify the colours.



In this image the crane is the ‘high’ point.  However I feel that this needs to dominate the frame more to make the point.  One option is as you say to use a longer lens.  Using a longer lens also helps to compress the distance so that elements within the frame appear closer together.  Another option is to do a selective crop of the frame.  A quick example is shown below.



This is a very strong image.  The depth of field has been controlled so that only a few are in focus.  The selection of main flower in the middle as the focal point is well considered.  The exposure is well controlled.  A wonderful image – well done.



This image contrasts well with the previous.  The use of the sodium vapour white balance setting gives a slightly unreal effect to the image.  The small depth of field has been well utilized to bring the front bloom to prominence.



A well spotted subject where you have used the lines of the posts to lead your eye around the frame.    The image is quite light in some areas.  There are several techniques in Photoshop that you can use to selectively darken and lighten areas.  This video gives a good tutorial on one method.

When taking images such as this, do consider where you put the focal point – this is the part of the image should go to first.  In this image the post in the foreground appears to be the focal point but is out of focus.



This image shows the rollercoaster to its full scale.  The use of the angle allows the loop to be shown and the straight track.  Hope you enjoyed the ride!



This is a strong pairing and shows good originality of thought.  The softness of the clay has been captured by the slight blur on the wheel.  The colours are also soft which further adds to the feel of the image.   The line at the bottom right is slightly distracting but appreciate that it was probably hard to avoid.



This image contrasts to the previous – here the colours and the object are harder in feel.  The burner is slightly off centre in the frame with the right edge clipped – this is something to watch for when composing images.



The cable here is shown to be rough.  The composition is good with the cable at an angle dissecting the frame.  I think you could go in even closer here for a more abstract image.  The small depth of field is well chosen to blur out the background.



This contrasts well to the previous in terms of subject matter.  I think again you could go in even closer here to abstract the object.  Assignment 2 is a good place to start with making abstract images.



This image shows the diagonal by way of the segments in the fruit.  The use of the purple offsets the green – something you will see more of in assignment 3.  The fruits could fill the frame more so that there is less of the purple and more sense of the lines diagonally radiating out.  An alternative would be to shoot a similar shot to rounded but place the object(s) on the diagonal.



This image of the flowers shows rounded and repeats the shape via the flower centres and the shapes formed by the petals.  The bottom flower is in sharp focus whereas the top one is out of focus.  The lighting is well controlled as harsh shadows are avoided.  There is a small glimmer of something in the bottom right, which is distracting.



A very well executed image of the pencil shaving.  The bright orange gives a real edge to the image and complements the hint of blurred blue in the background. 



A simple but well staged image that illustrates pointed very clearly.  Well done.

Diagonal and Rounded

The large barrels in the cellar work incredibly well against the lines formed by the diagonals.  The light has been controlled well.  The wide lens allows for all the view to be seen – however do watch for the effect of distortion when shooting very wide.









Learning Logs/Critical essays

The log is showing good development of the exercises.  These are being regularly posted.  The explanation is clear and it is good how you are making comments on your thoughts on each exercise.  Please continue to do this.  You will find as you progress through the course and your technical and artistic knowledge increases that you are able to comment more and more on each of the exercises.


Do remember that you can go back and add to any part of the course.  No part of the course is ever finished until you submit for formal assessment!


I did particularly enjoy the images you took at Portobello Road.  This type of approach is very suitable to assignments later on in the course.




Suggested reading/viewing

You are starting to mention looking at the work of other photographers – you make reference to The Photographers Eye and Johannes Itten in the post on Assignment 1.  Do continue to expand on this.  It is good to see that you are visiting exhibitions and including images from these visits. 


Pointers for the next assignment

Elements of Design


For assignment 2 you are required to look at elements of design.  The key to this assignment is to select from ONE of the group of subjects listed. 

Photographers you could look at for each group are:


Flowers and plants

Niall Benvie; Heather Angel; Ernst Haas, Robert Mapplethorpe (the flower images only!!)



Ansel Adams; Charlie Waite, Joe Cornish; John Davies


Street details

Lee Friedlander (the urban images); Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Raghubir Singh,


Raw Materials of Food

Edward Weston (still lifes); Irving Penn (still lives); for animals look at Steve Bloom; Andy Rouse.


If you wish to choose your own subject, please let me know in advance.






Tutor name:
Andrea Norrington
2nd April 2012
Next assignment due
30th June 2012


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