Category Archives: Assignment 4 Image and text

Assignment 4 Feedback

So I posted a few initial images for initial peer review on the Level 1 Photography Facebook group, the Canadian OCA Students Facebook group as well as on the OCA Critique forum for the first time and was very pleasantly surprised with the depth of the feedback I received on the forum. As stated in my original posting, I had been having trouble getting a sharp resolution with my zoom lens for some or other reason, so I switch to my 50mm prime and the result was so much better. This was also confirmed in some of the feedback I received.

Some interesting points that were made (the in-depth discussion can be viewed at https://discuss.oca-student.com/t/initial-feedback-for-assignment-4-identity-place/4859/16):

  • This is a really interesting theme and I think continues the interest in cultural differences / mixing from some of your other work. I think the assignment briefs are best shaped to something in which we have a personal interest, as work then feels genuine, made with care – I already feel this in your planning. … Personally, I feel you photos that show the environmental context are more interesting (even the moving cars) as it adds to the sense of place; which is partially what you are conveying, people in new places and their response. (Andrew)
  • I like the project and all this people stuff! The white card consistent throughout is a definite I think, different colours is a unnecessary distraction and takes away that sense of uniformity. The variety can come in the location and obviously the subject. … As for background information I think it ultimately comes down to personal judgement – but I think it works say the last 2 with none and the one with a stationary car blurred out – fine, for me they all would still work together. … But an interesting topic and heading in the right direction! (Alan)
  • One last thing from me; it’s going to be a good series but so far some of them are a bit ‘moody’ as Alan says. There’s a lot you can do these days to fix things like that, investigate soft masking and the Shadows/Highlights control in PS. [Example shown – thanks for that Clive! That was a great help]. (Clive)
  • The girl “it’s common to say YES to SEX”……”never” on her top, says a lot. (Alan)
  • Fascinating project though challenging I guess. Personally having spend most of my life in foreign countries and cultures I can truly relate to the topic and the ‘change process’, something quite typical for all changes that one is facing in life. And the adaption process is truly a personal thing as it tells more about oneself. … The visuals are impressive, the surrounding space has something to say (includes clothing, gesture, mimic, and posture). Personally I try to look into the face of the person, what they are saying (like the text boards, quite social media distribution proof) and how it relates to content. (Stefan)
  • I think this is a great idea for a project, surprised none’s mentioned this project by Gillian Wearing: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2012/mar/04/gillian-wearing-signs-in-pictures2. Of course as a photography student the aesthetic is important and so demonstrating either competence (more than demonstrated here) or awareness (which you discuss) on a project which is prone to different conditions as a by product will, I’m sure, be acknowledged by your tutor. Nice one! (John)
  • A really interesting project Lynda and I am reminded of the Humans of New York approach. I found the text allowed me to engage further. Photographs #3 & #4 worked best for me as no distracting elements in the background. Perhaps a more shallow depth of field would work in this situation? (Nicola)
  • Yes of course Wearing but what about Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” film (I am not sure it was video back in ’65!)? Use that as a reference as well and think why in both cases. Is it a lack of voice? Is and an emphasis of voice? Don’t just think of the visuals, it isn’t just a way of carrying text in still image but much more. This is worth looking at for some insight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY4HtQ-XJQE (Peter). I have had a look at this video twice and am still chewing over Peter’s questions as this now introduces sound into the equation.
  • Some comments/suggestions from other Canadian students were to place my subjects at identifiable tourist attractions in Vancouver. I felt that this would restrict my project too much as I specifically want it to be rather generic in tone, and I also wanted to use the university location as part of the background.
  • Other comments can be seen at https://lyndakuitphotographyiap.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/assignment-4-planning-1st-feedback-request/#comments

I have taken on board quite a few of the suggestions: trying to eliminate people passing by the subject – although it is a very busy sidewalk where I’m shooting so I’m trying to restrict passersby to the background as far as possible. I’ve also had the students switch to white legal size paper to write their messages and have requested that they only write one thought instead of a few bullet points. This is more legible and they actually seem to think more about their message when they have only one thought to record.

I’m hoping to get an even mix of male and female students with a fairly equal distribution among the different culture shock phases, although I have no way of knowing how long the student has been in the country until we actually do the shoot. Its a question of getting the volunteers and then asking the questions. I’m also trying to get as diverse student representation as possible. At the moment I’m trying to round up some of the first students that I photographed for retakes – but that is a process rather like herding cats at the moment.

Overall I feel that this project is progressing along nicely. I’m feeling more confident about this assignment and am fairly confident that I will make the deadline this time.

Assignment 4 – Planning 1st Feedback Request

I’ve been doing a few shoots when the opportunity has arisen and had some feedback from the Canadian Students Google Hangout Group – we’re a mixed bunch coming from all disciplines. As I mentioned in my previous planning posting, I am going to gear my assignment towards Culture Shock among International Students. I’m hoping to cover all four stages of culture shock, namely the honeymoon phase where everything is still rosy and romantic for the new comers; the negotiation phase where the differences between the home country and the new country start to set in as well as possible anxiety; the adjustment phase where the students start to acclimatise to the new country and culture; and the adaptation phase where students are comfortable and embrace the new culture, while still maintaining links with their own.

XXX from India (Honeymoon Phase)

This was one of the first images I made and I wasn’t happy with the illegibility of the text, apart from the fact that the student decided to jot down quite a few points instead of just one. Not sure if all the pedestrian traffic is working in this image either. (I still have to get this student’s name for the project).

Anh from Vietnam (Adjustment Phase)

At this stage, I’d changed the paper size and asked the students only to jot down one idea and I feel this is working better and making more of a statement.

Dayana from Kazakhstan (negotiation phase)

I’ve also decided to switch to my prime 50mm lens as that gives me better bokeh and more clarity. For some or other reason that I just can’t fathom I’m having trouble with the Nikon 18 – 140mm with too much noise for my liking. (Dayana was shot with the 50mm, all the other images on this post were done with the 18-140mm).

As I mentioned in my initial planning posting, I am shooting these images outside the campus on the sidewalk and in the alley next to the building as I’m trying to keep the viewpoints fairly consistent, as Les Monahan did in his Desire Project.

Maria from Philippines (Adaption Phase)

I would like to show as diverse cross section of the student population as I can, as well as including an equal number of the male population. But this is where I’m at for the moment, and your feedback is most welcome and appreciated.

 

Save

Save

Save

Assignment 4 – Planning

After tossing a few ideas around – again centred around the university where I work, I came up with a short list of options. As it is the start of a new semester I thought that it might be viable to photograph new incoming students – our student population is mainly international – and see what their aspirations for the future were.¬† My other option was to do something with light projection and have text projected onto the students’ faces, but the more I thought about it I realised that some of the text might not be legible as it wraps over the facial planes. On the first day of the semester I came up with the idea, after watching the new students, of doing something related to culture shock – having the students comment¬† on differences that they experience in Canada from their home country.

I’ve done a few test shots and put this up for discussion in the Canadian Students Google Hangout this past Saturday and it was quite well received. One of the other students also confirmed my misgivings about light projecting text onto the students’ faces, but I’m keeping this idea in the background as I may be able to do something with it in Assignment 5, although I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.

For consistency I plan on shooting the students in three locations only – well two really – depending on the light and time of day. The one location will be right outside the university on the pavement – and depending on the light, they will either face north or south – so essentially two slightly different backgrounds, and the other will be in the alley at the side of the university.

One of the Canadian students suggested photographing the students at local tourist spots, but I feel that this would tie the project down to the actual city too much, instead of being more generic and ambiguous. Once I have taken more images I’ll post a selection for peer feedback.