Assignment 3. Colour. Tutor report.



Open College of the Arts
Tutor report


Student name  
Sue Churchman
Student number           
Art of Photography
Assignment number      


Dear Sue

Many thanks for the assignment and well done for completing in what I know how difficult circumstances at times.
Overall Comments

The assignment was submitted with digital files and learning log for commentary.  This was followed up with a set of prints.  For comment on the individual images, the prints were used.
This assignment has come together well – considering your rather nomadic travels over the past few months.  It is good to see how you have been able to utilize the opportunities to take images.

You are showing good experimentation with subjects for your work and this is allowing you to develop a wide range of skills
 have made some amendments to your categories below.
Amendments to category for some images:

On Fire – move to similar colour

Café Zik – move to colour contrast

Colour Wheel – place in colour contrast section

Nibbles – remove from set

Ancient and Unloved – move to complementary

Feedback on assignment
Colour Harmony
Reflective Thoughts

In this image it is really good to read on the blog how the Tom Wood exhibition has inspired you.  The reflection does work well against the window display.  The curve with the diagonal framing adds dynamism.  There is clear colour harmony
On Fire
In this image the composition is very strong.  However I could not see the indigo colour – the print is far redder/orange then the web copy.  I would consider placing this as a similar colour

This print has clear blue and orange as the two main colours.  The detail of the rust is captured.  There is a slight blur on the bottom of the net (at the bottom edge of the frame).  A square crop could remove this – the square also changes the composition as the ring becomes more dominant.

An interesting approach which shows the colours well.  The blurs probably need to more part of the frame to have more impact.  A longer shutter speed with movement to the camera can help achieve this (this techniques is real trial and error!) 

Below is one of my own Images (I don’t often include my own work – but blurry lights is something that I have been taking for many years).

Similar Colours

Café Zik

First of all I would swap this image to contrasting colour.  The colours of the purple and yellow are complementary and do draw the eye to the image.  This is an interesting viewpoint ass the image seems to be taken from a low viewpoint.  Do keep experimenting with scenes such as this as it is good to take images to explore.  For examples shooting through the pattern in the chair backs could be interesting.

Village Communication

In this image the red does dominate, as it is so strong.  The little pink hue behind then picks up the colour.  You have written well about the composition of this image on your blog.  However do watch out for clipping the bottom edge of the telephone box on the bottom edge of the frame.

The warmth of the pots with the soft muted tones works well to give similar colours.  The repetition of the curves throughout the frame lead eye around.

Colour Wheel

This is an additional image and a really good example of how colour can be used as the main component of an image.  Well executed and framed.  This image could be used in colour contrast to replace Nibbles.
 Colour Contrast


In this image red and green are used, which are complementary colours.  As this image is weaker artistically I would remove from set and replace with the colour wheel image, which has clear contrasting colours.
Mixed Primaries

This image clearly has colour contrast.  The image is well composed.  I am not sure if the soft focus on the top pencil shaving is successful.  When trying different amounts of focus when using depth of field (particularly when working close up) - it is worth taking a few at different apertures.
Ancient and Unloved

This is a well-composed image with soft tones.  The blue and orange are complementary colours and you should move this image to that set (it will replace the On Fire image).

This image has clear contrasting colours with the red and blue.  The diagonal framing leads the eye across the frame and the vertical lines combined with the curves of the carvings allow the eye to circle round inside the frame.
Colour Accent

Keeping Fit
In this image the bull is the colour accent.  It is quite dominant in the frame in terms of size.

Red Danger

This image shows a clear accent with the red van.  This is much less dominant in size in the frame than the example above.  The line of trees creates a frame to pull the eye to the colour accent.

In this image the gold acts as the accent to pull the eye into the frame.  I would crop the image to remove the scissor handle on the right hand edge of the frame, as this is distracting to the eye.
St Christopher’s Place

The red is clearly a colour accent here.  The framing is interesting as the eye at first struggles to understand the scene.  An interesting and well observed image.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context
Your log is showing good development.  Do remember to add in research – for example the Tom Wood exhibition you went to.

Do also tag any post with research in clearly with ‘research’ so that it shows up nice and clearly in your labels list.  For formal assessment the assessors like to be able to navigate to your research really easily.

 suggested reading/viewing
Do continue to visit exhibitions as and when you get the chance.

 Pointers for the next assignment

Assignment 4

Applying Lighting Techniques

Your next assignment is on lighting techniques.  This is an assignment that can challenge many students.  The key is to consider carefully your choice of object to photograph.  To help you with the assignment look at a range of still-life photography.  It is not so easy to recommend photographers to look at, however you can look at a variety of images in magazines and brochures.  You should note how different types of lighting could change the mood of the image and the appearance of the subject.

In addition, don’t just stick to the obvious viewpoints – think creatively how you can photograph the object – front on, side on, looking up, looking down, looking inside, looking across in fact any which way!   Seriously don’t just stick with the obvious and take time to play around with a variety of lighting.

 For photographers who use natural lighting you can look at the still-life work of Edward Weston. 

Landscape photographer David Ward is renowned for his use of natural light when shooting close up details on location.
There are many video tutorials on the web, which provide good techniques on lighting.

This link provides a useful demonstration on using a reflector:

 For a good series of video tutorials on lighting the following site is useful

then go to the video library section.  The early videos – episodes 1-6 are particularly useful for some DIY equipment tips.

 Another very useful site for video tutorials is:

 For details on using off-camera flash the following website is useful:

There is also an American commercial photographer who posts useful videos on his blog with regard to the use of studio lighting – this may suit your style of photography:

 Consider how the light can change dramatically during the day – from early morning to the midday sun to the evening sun.  The colour of the light and intensity will change dramatically.  This assignment does not require any lighting equipment.  You can soften light by using reflectors – a piece of white card and piece of card covered in foil will achieve good results.  You can also diffuse light by shooting through a window, which you cover with a thin fabric or greaseproof type paper. 

In your notes do take the time to include details of your different lighting set ups – a simple drawing can help here.  Or alternatively photograph your set up – compact/mobile phone cameras are ideal for this.  The assignment requires you to experiment with a variety of different lighting.

it is worth taking the time with the assignment to be as creative and experimental as you can!

The links below are all good examples for the OCA group on Flickr and show very inventive choice of both lighting and subject!



Any queries do let me know.













Tutor name:
Andrea Norrington
2nd April 2013
Next assignment due
30th June 2013 (happy to extend if needed)

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