Tag Archives: tutor feedback

Assignment 5 – Tutor Feedback

I had my tutor feedback today via Skype and I am elated! No revisions! So pleased about that. My tutor’s feedback is below and my comments in italics.

Thank you for assignment 5.

This is a playful, and well-considered assignment. You demonstrate strong editing skills and an eye for the [extra]ordinary.

So pleased to hear I nailed the editing on this assignment. I do feel as if everything came together in this assignment.

The feedback in is note form. It is in support of, and in addition to, the verbal feedback that you received on 7 September 2017.

Please find your feedback set out under the usual headings.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

We discussed your work in terms of being well observed; everyday; [extra]ordinary , that is, making use if photography’s ability to transform the mundane; playful and sculptural (found sculptures).

We chatted about reading about the mundane and everyday (please see research section below).

We spoke about the work of Richard Wentworth on the Caledonian Road.

I really like Wentworth’s work and will definitely be looking at this during my Landscape module.

Your wonderful anecdote about the sofa! From this I linked to the Tate interview with Peter Fraser (“I can smell a photograph”). I recommend watching this. Fraser is, according to the Tate, ‘obsessed with the small details in life’. So relevant. I am revelling in your discovery of the things that may go unnoticed, or may cause us embarrassment. I would like to commend you here on your research into the writing of Moran and Parson’s).

Will definitely watch the Peter Fraser interview. I really enjoyed doing research on the ‘Rubbish Theory’ and found it quite fascinating really.

I introduced you to Eric Oglander’s Craigslist Mirrors (2014) features photographs of mirrors for sale. The problematic reflective surfaces provide strange, accidental and humorous interruptions.

I’ve just had a very quick browse on the internet and already I have a couple of ideas floating in my head for ideas in the Landscape module. Thank you for the recommendation.

I think this has been a good assignment for you. A solid introduction into the Landscape course.

I agree totally.

You demonstrate strong editing skills.

Thank you.

We discussed fig.09 – you mentioned this as being soft around the edges – I can’t see this softness on the screen, but if it is overt, when you print it, and jarring in relation to the rest, I recommend do take it out before assessment.

I will do that for sure. I will do a large test print to see if it is noticeable.

We discussed presenting this in book format. You mentioned Blurb, over handmade.

I was thinking about making a book for Assignment 4, not this one.

We discussed the pro’s and problematics of this. 

You agreed to have a quick look at the Blurb PDF once I have put it together. I just need to shoot two images for the front and back cover and then I will email you the link.

I love the idea of a collaboration with English academic, and creating stories from this. You may find the collaborations between Ian McMillan and Ian Beesley interesting.

I’m quite excited about this collaboration. Gudrun Dreher, the English professor has already written three stories to accompany the green sofa, the office chair and the mirror images. So far there are a few connecting threads between two of the stories and I’m curious to see how she will tackle the remaining photos.

I recommend researching MMU special collections – for handmade books (this is more a reference for the future, if you find you fall in love with photobooks).

Noted. Hopefully I will be able to access the collections from Canada.

We discussed prints and cohesiveness in terms of printing.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You are working through the coursework and evidencing it on your blog. Well done. I particularly enjoyed your response to ‘Absence and Signs of Life’. I could see a connect between this and assignment 5.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You evidence your research and analysis on your blog. Well done.

I would like to see more of an engagement with writing on the mundane and everyday – David Campany can help you here. Please see Suggested Reading Below for photographers mentioned during our Skype conversation.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Navigable and evidences your learning journey.

We discussed moving the contents of your ‘Research and Reflection’ tab into your assignment work, for a more joined up blog. You really want to show the assessors how you make sense of this research as you are working through assignments.

I will have a think on how to best structure this. There is a discussion on the OCA Coffee Shop forum about the structure of items under ‘Research and Reflection’ which I will also use to guide my changes. I will have enough time to effect this change before assessment.

Suggested reading/viewing


I recommend looking at the work of Richard Wentworth and critical writing on his practice.

Keith Arnatt – photographed waste; beautiful; still life.

Peter Fraser – http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-peter-fraser

Craigslist Mirrors

Essays in the ‘Ecstasy of Things’ – commodities and waste (mostly advertising) images and essay’s contained within the book.

William Eggleston – the mundane and everyday master.

Anthropocene – mass extinction; current period; mankind; waste

Anthropocene – this is a new term for me and I will investigate further.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

It is the end! Well done.

Thank you for all the encouragement and feedback throughout this module Moira. I promise you a copy of the book once we get it published.


Assignment 3 – Tutor Feedback

My tutor and I had a Skype session for my Assignment 3 feedback. Overall it was slightly better than I had expected. My comments are in italics below.

She mentioned that my initial idea of workplace politics and an approach informed by Brian Griffin have merit, but my edit wasn’t cohesive and I need to hone my conceptual ideas.

I totally agree with this statement. I had struggled with the edit and with the shoot and reshoots as well.

She suggested taking the images and focusing on the behaviour of women in the workplace because making this a gendered body of work could create layers of meaning. Potential readings might include women within the workplace as a mirror of myself (or as multiple selves); relations between women in the workplace, performances and identities of women in the workplace; gender equality within the workplace (glass ceiling, etc).

I did have a good chuckle when my tutor suggested removing all the men from the series as “they weren’t doing anything anyway”. I think maybe I may have been trying to be too representative to all the various groups on campus i.e. faculty, all departments, student groups, instead of focusing on something which was in retrospect emerging in my work, namely the female colleagues. I have a few more ideas floating around in my head which I think will be able to bring more cohesion to the series.

My tutor mentioned my strongest visual are:

  • Fig 20 – the lighting in this image is cinematic. Combined with the pose it creates a narrative and she positioned it within the context of Hannah Starkey and Philip Lorca di Corcia.

I was very pleased to receive the feedback on this image, because I almost didn’t include it in the series as it was repeated image of the same colleague. I agree the lighting is amazing. Our staff kitchen has these jam jar lights which hang over the counters and create wonderful pools of light which are extremely atmospheric.

  • Fig 14 – my tutor mentioned that this image would have been must stronger had my colleague who was standing had a deadpan facial expression.  She also suggested that I step back so that more of the office and desk could be seen. She liked the uneasy pose of the subject who was standing and the power dynamics and hierarchies at play in this image.

I am pleased that the power dynamics came through in this image because that is what I was aiming for. In fairness to my colleague, she is lucky to have one of those mouths that turn up at the corners even when she is serious. But I have informed my two colleagues that I want to reshoot this image and will hopefully managed to get her to engage in an extremely serious expression.

  • Fig 12 – my tutor mentioned that this image also has potential, but she would prefer to see a disengagement with the camera and more of her office space.

I do have an image of her looking down at her computer and which also shows more of her office space, so will include that in the rework.

  • DSC5102 from my contact sheet – my tutor said there was real merit in this image, but my colleague on the left was not making eye contact with the camera and was half smiling again. The image would be stronger if she was also looking into the camera. The tightness of the office space, the blandness and the paraphernalia work in this image and the positioning of the subjects are good.

In defense of my colleagues I had asked the two at the back to look in different directions, as in the work of Brian Griffin, but the one on the right looked into the lens just as I pressed the shutter. However, I do see my tutor’s point and will reshoot this one with a bit more interaction.

  • DSC5249 and DSC4839 were also mentioned as potential interesting images.

DSC5249 is an image of students preparing food for an event on campus, while DSC4839 is a candid image that I fired off from behind my desk of my assistant eating a muffin. I would have included that image in my final edit if the resolution had been decent. As it stands the focus is quite soft.

  • Fig 3 also had some potential in a Brian Griffin style.

I was a little hesitant about including this image as two of my colleagues were having the giggles posing for this image, possibly because they were being observed by a group of students. I may be able to reshoot this image, but won’t be able to do it with the same subjects as one of the ladies no longer works at the university. Perhaps I can substitute with senior student.

My tutor is happy with my coursework, evidencing of my research and analysis on my blog and finds that the blog is easy to navigate and demonstrates my learning journey.

She suggested that I look at Hannah Starkey and Philip Lorca diCorcia and also the work of Sarah Jones, particularly the uneasy looking young women in rooms.

I have looked at Philip Lorca diCorcia’s work before during assignment 2 and also in Context and Narrative (post here).  Hannah Starkey was also mentioned in my assignment 2 feedback and I also researched her in Context and Narrative (post here). Sarah Jones’s work I am not familiar with and I look forward to exploring her work.

Pointers for the next assignment

My tutor suggested that for the next assignment which makes use of text and visual, I should look at Les Monaghan’s Desire Project (in relation to this we also discussed my place of work, a university and the potential of photographing graduating students. this is an interesting event (transition) happening at an interesting point of their lives (a kind of coming of age), we talked about the relevance of Rineke Dijkstra’s work here).

When I had mentioned graduation to my tutor I had meant it as a possible source to supplement my assignment 3. I will be taking photos of the processional, students as they come off the stage and the recessional at graduation. There is also a flashmob that is performed each year, but I know I will be very hard pressed to extract serious, deadpan faces at this event. So I will have to see what transpires on the day. I did have a look at Rineke Dijkstra’s work while working through Julian Stallabrass’s journal article ‘What’s in a Face/? Blankness and Significance in Contemporary Art Photography’

Karen Knorr – the series Belgravia and Gentlemen

This work was suggested to me during assignment 1 and I thought I had done a write up on it, but it might have slipped my attention, so I will relook at Knorr’s work.

John Kippin

I’m not familiar with Kippin’s work so look forward to seeing how he combines text and images.

Helen Maurene Cooper’s, in her book Paint and Polish, positions text down the side of the page. http://www.onomatopee.net/project.php?progID=3aeacd7195c415e05a925c68cb7b9f50

Assignment 2 – Tutor Feedback

On December 6, 2016 my tutor and I had a Skype session for her feedback on my assignment 2. It was very nice to finally ‘meet’ my tutor and establish a proper connection. Truth be told I was a little nervous about the session, but it went well and was quite productive.

I took some notes while we were discussing my assignment and my tutor also provided a bullet-point report.  Overall it was a very satisfactory report. My comments are in italics.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

We discussed images 1, 4 and 5 as being your most successful. The framing, narrative set up, use of ambiguity and in the case of 1 and 5, the lack of camera/eye contact works.

The other images have a different look and feel. The eye contact, and the gestures build towards a literal, overplayed performance. These images give too much away. Give your audience some room.

We discussed how images 1, 4 and 5 reminded me of the work of Philip Lorca diCorcia and Hannah Starkey. We also discussed the use of narrative and ambiguity in Cindy Sherman’s work.

(Photo of Eddie Anderson, 21 years old, Houston, Texas, $20 by Philip Lorca diCorcia inserted)

Whilst the subject matter of yours and diCorcia’s is distinctly different there are similarities in your approach. There is more to learn from diCorcia – light, ambiguity and framing. When shooting do move around your subject to fully explore the framing and lighting.

When shooting outside the bakery (image 5) I had, in fact, shot from a 180 degree radius around the subject, but not all those images made it to my short list. Perhaps I should provide more evidence in my short list contact sheets in future.

diCorcia’s lighting is cinematic. He works at particular time of day. I assume he, (like I do) watches the light over a number of days, and shoots his subject at a time when he knows he is going to get what he wants. I understand at this time of year the skies are mostly grey – you can make the most of what you have. Overcast = amazing soft box!

It actually was an overcast day that day (in between rainfalls). Vancouver tends to have many more overcast, grey days than London does. The average rainfall measured at the airport is 1,153.1 mm per year, while the average rainfall in my city is  double that at 2,477 mm because we live against the mountain (just a short 30 minute drive from the airport). We only really have two months where we get ‘decent’ sunshine, that being July and August. During October and November this year we had a total of 5 days where we did not have rain and those days, if I remember correctly, occurred during the week when I was ensconced at work.

(Photos of Hannah Starkey’s work inserted)

Hannah Starkey’s work depicts women in staged settings. She describes her work as “explorations of everyday experiences and observations of inner city life from a female perspective.” Also see the work of painter Edward Hopper who Starkey clearly references. Susan Bright feature’s Starkey’s work in her book Art Photography Now.

Hannah Starkey states that ‘by collaborating with the people that I cast for my characters and working with them, I find out how others view the world’ (Bright, 2011:96). This is something that I explained to my subject before we started shooting and asked for her input throughout the session, especially as she is closer in age to the fictional character that I was trying to depict. I have had a look at some of Edward Hopper’s work online as well as Starkey’s images and I can definitely see she is drawing inspiration from Hopper.

There is a similarity in pose and mood in Hopper’s painting and Starkey’s photograph above. There is also a similar division of light and shadow and an overall similarity in the muted red tones in the images.

There could be other ways to photograph the girl on the bed, to align the portrait with the two images taken out on location. This image came to mind:

(Photograph of a woman sitting on the end of a bed)

The bedroom that I shot in really would not have allowed for this type of shot for a couple of reasons, namely the room is quite small and there is only about 12 inches between the end of the bed and the wall, which is really where I was standing. So backing up further was just not possible. Also the bed was very high so that the model would not have been able to sit on the sit of the bed with her feet planted on the floor. I understand that a more vertical orientation might have been more in line with the other images, but I really wanted an image of vulnerability and I believe a fetal position achieves this.

Again, this is very different subject matter. But the lighting, framing, pose and use of ambiguity may help you.

(Photograph of Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #63, 1980)

Cindy Sherman’s photograph is loaded narrative and ambiguity. The framing, the body language and the use of light all play a part. I am unsure if something has happened or about to happen. Yet, the context itself is unremarkable. A woman in a building, on a stairwell is pretty mundane and everyday.

The image that we actually discussed during the Skype session was Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #48. I did do a bit of research into ambiguity in photography which can be seen on this posting.

Untitled Film Still #48 by Cindy Sherman
Untitled Film Still #48 by Cindy Sherman

Good assignment one rework. You have taken my feedback on board and produced a series of cohesive images. I particularly like the young man whose hat is lighting up his eyes.

We discussed assignment 3. It may make sense for you to photograph your work community, as an insider. The university is an interesting place. I recommend looking at the management/work portraits of Brian Griffin. These are beautifully lit, uncomfortable examinations of power relations between colleagues. I also recommend Matthew Finn’s long-term project focussing on students. ‘Work’ is a rich photographic area, from the portraits of children in factories made by the socially concerned Lewis Hine to the poetic glimpses of pilots undertaking survival training by Les Monaghan.

I have had a look at these photographers and will be doing separate write ups on their work.

Alternatively, you spoke of photographing at your local RSPCA as an outsider. You mentioned a kind of day in a life approach. I recommend a number of visits, perhaps start with a guided tour, and then ask if you could spend some time at the venue. It may be worth spending a few hours with each volunteer. This will help you become familiar with them, and as such you may find it is easier to photograph them.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Solid engagement and progress – please keep going and keep adding your responses to the work to your log (as you are doing).


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Good research.

You evidence context, reflective think and analytical skills.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Clear and navigable.

You evidence context, reflective think and analytical skills.

Suggested reading/viewing


In addition to the photographers outlined above I recommend getting a copy of Stephen Bull’s book Photography. It will provide a foundational way into key concepts in photographic theory.

I do have a copy of Bull’s text.

Do you own a copy of Susan Bright’s book Art Photography Now and Mark Durden’s Photography Today? These are both useful in terms of research and inspiration.

I do have a copy of Bright’s Art Photography Now and Wiliam Ewing’s Face The New Photographic Portrait, but not Durden’s book.

There are some excellent online resources such as the Tate’s website, and

Plus many more.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

Don’t be scared to experiment and explore new approaches.

I found the feedback for this assignment more encouraging as my tutor stated that there was a marked improvement in my work. Some good references have been given to me to explore for assignment 3. I have just had a cursory look into each of the photographers suggested and look forward to a more in depth analysis of their work. I already have a few ideas tugging away at my subconscious as a result of the quick viewing. My big take away from this Skype session was “Ambiguity is your friend”.

Reference List

Bright, S (2011). Art Photography Now  (2nd edition). London: Thames & Hudson



Assignment 1 – Tutor Feedback

I received my tutor’s feedback on the same day that the July assessment results came out, so it was a bit of an anti-climax. My reflections are in italics.

Overall Comments

There is potential here and things  to reflect on for future development. Your feedback is set out under a number of headings below.

Her initial overall comment was rather short.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

This is a brief that really challenges – you are asked to approach strangers, and this can be intimidating. You have risen to the challenge. Was it in some way easier to photograph on your holidays, away from your local community? Where you are a stranger and will remain a stranger? I think the answer to this is yes. I would like to encourage you rework the portraits based on the feedback and this time work in your local area as per the requirements of the brief. Is there a hotel, bed and breakfast or an equivalent establishment nearby? If not, perhaps you could work with shop, bar or café employees. Do take forward the principles of your project and enhance the work produced so far using this feedback.

I had photographed the assignment while on holiday. I feel that even though I was on holiday the photographs were make in my ‘local area’ at that specific time.

Your strongest portrait in terms of technical command is (Adriana thumbnail)Good lighting, well composed and the context and setting of the portrait supports the subject. Do experiment with shooting three-quarters length – so more of the body and surrounds of the sitter is visible. Do look at James Tye’s series featuring boxers – you will find these by Googling his name, and in one of the latter Portfolio magazines.

Tye’s framing could be incorporated into your own portraits. Look also, at the facial expressions if his subjects. What do you notice? Do analyse his work in relation to your own.

Please see my response to this on my James Tye posting.

I would like you to analyse your portrait (above) in relation to the rest of your series. What consistencies and what differences do you notice?

Obviously the main difference is that the subject is woman. There is also a little more background visible in her photo than the other four. I can see that I should probably have abandoned the lower vantage position that I had used for the servers to include more background material. Her face also has more dimension to it due to the angle of the lighting coming into the room. Oscar, Server’s photo was taken under a thatch roof and the lighting was very even, so there are no shadows on his face. The other three have a hard shadow behind their heads caused by the pop up flash.

(Oscar, Server thumbnail)

Similar? Could this be enhanced if the background made more sense in terms of his job role? Could this be enhanced is it was shot indoors? What if he was also a chambermaid?

…. Not sure if I understand the third and fourth questions here. The third sentence doesn’t make sense as it obviously wasn’t proofread before sending to me (it’s not my typo). The restaurant was an outdoor restaurant and this was where this particular person worked so I feel the question is rather mute. The last question I don’t get at all.

[Thumbnail of Saul, Server]; [Thumbnail of Oscar, Restaurant Manager]; [Thumbnail of Martin, Server]

And these? Do they look significantly different to the rest?

Apart from the fact that I had to use my pop up flash because of the low lighting in the restaurants and the fact that these three individuals were sweating a lot in the heat I personally don’t think they look significantly different to the other two images.

These last three aren’t working – the flash is too harsh and the framing is inconsistent (the last one is slightly lower).

I agree the flash is a tad harsh on these three photographs, but I was travelling light and did not take my speedlight with me. I’m not sure what my tutor means by the framing being inconsistent and the last one being slightly lower. On her tutor report her thumbnail shows lower but that could be from cutting and pasting either from the PDF version which I had to do or from the website into a Word document that she sent me. All the photographs have a 8 x 10 aspect ratio. I created a contact sheet from LightRoom to check this. They all have the same height and width.


What about the smile that all the sitters are wearing? I say wearing as a smile is thought to be a social mask. Do look at the work of Diane Arbus, she photographed her subjects until they dropped their social mask and revealed something else, something ‘Other’. Uneasiness? Not really sure how to pose? This reveals something of the power struggles at play during the photographic social exchange. I also suggest you look at contemporary portrait photographers such as Rineke Dijkstra and those in Susan Bright’s book Art Photography Now.

I agree that a smile can be thought of a social mask. Smiles can be worn as masks in order to cover sadness or other emotions, or simply because it is expected. However, a genuine smile cannot be easily faked. To detect a genuine smile one has to look at the contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes. This causes the lower lid to rise and close, almost as if one is squinting into the sun. A good explanation of this is on my posting, The Squinch. I would venture to say that both Oscars in the series are wearing genuine smiles as their orbicularis oculi muscles are fully engaged and there is not a lot of white of the eye showing.

[Thumbnail of a Diane Arbus portrait]

Diane Arbus’s portrait, features no smile and personal details (badges etc.,) – there is an uneasiness that becomes the portrait.

I did look at Diane Arbus’s work. Posting is here.

[Thumbnail of a Rineke Dijkstra portrait]

Rineke Dijkstra, please have a good look at all her series.

I will do so.

There is a series of portraits of women who work on perfume concessions in the first Re-Generation: 50 photographers of Tomorrow book. I cannot remember the photographers name, however I do have a link that takes you to a list of the photographers featured in the exhibition and book. It may be worth looking through these to find the work. The framing, subject and deadpan aesthetic applied is relevant here.


I spent over 4 hours researching every single photographer listed on this list and I could not find this series of portraits at all. I put the word out on the OCA Photography Level 1 Facebook group and no one had any idea who this photographer was either. I wasted a lot of valuable study time trying to locate this photographer to no avail so I am moving on from this exercise.

[Update 8 August, 2016]. Thanks to someone who follows my blog, I have been able to identify the oevre and photographer who is Raphael Hefti. My review on this series can be seen here.

I also suggest you look at the work titled Domestics by Julie Moos, which also has relevance here.

I have completed my review on Julie Moos’ Domestics.

You may wish to consider shooting only women (chambermaids or waitresses or which ever service role you wish to focus on), to tighten the series and perhaps make a comment on women’s working roles and nod towards class and ethnicity/cultural background.

I don’t think I will reshoot any hospitality service subjects. I will come up with another idea.

In comparison I recommend looking at the work of Karen Knorr – Belgravia and Gentlemen particularly.

I am familiar with Karen Knorr’s work and find it a bit pompous personally. However, I will do a write up on it.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Your blog demonstrates your engagement with the exercises. You have undertaken the photographic work as required and provided written analysis of the subject – and cited your sources appropriately. I am particularly draw to you ‘Korean’ and ‘Mexican’ typologies. This series of portraits could have been tightened through the use of a shallower depth of field, to drop the background out a little. You appear to have used fill in flash on the first portrait ‘Zimbabwean’ yet not the rest? Remember standardization is key to a solid typology. Also try to use the same magnification throughout and ensure the same ‘feet’ to ‘edge of the frame’ distance will help hold the images together. I recommend looking at the Dussledorf School – Bernd and Hilla Becher, Candida Hoffer, Tomas Ruff, Thomas Struth et al. Also look at the section titled Deadpan in Charlotte Cotton’s book The Photograph as Contemporary Art.

I agree a shallower depth of field would have been preferable in Exercise 1.3. The lens I was working only has a f3.5-f5.6 spread. I only used fill flash for the Zimbabwean set as the location was in a very dark, dimly lit corner. The magnification was pretty close – two photos were at 18mm and the rest were between 20 and 23 mm. However, point taken and I’ll try to work on same ‘feet’ to ‘edge of frame’ distance as well.

I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your coursework as you progress through the course.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Research is incredibly important to both to being a student of photography and practicing as an ‘engaged’ photographer. It is essential to know ones subject (broadly) as well as understand the context in which one operates (your own defined area). Your blog features a ‘Research’ area, from this it is clear to see that you are engaged. Well done for using both cited material, analysis and thumbnails. I encourage you to try to incorporate your research into the work you are making (utilize your research) e.g. your typology research is important to assignment 1 – standardization, deadpan aesthetic. Perhaps you could have extended the dual portraits, framing and theme into assignment 1.

I thought I had incorporated my research into my assignments (see Quality of Outcome where I mention my influences). Looking back at the section I see I did not put in hyperlinks to my posts there, so my tutor might have missed that. I have now rectified that.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Some good analysis and research evidenced on your blog. Keep going with this.

 Good blog – simple menu structure, clearly laid out and easy to navigate. Well done.

Do add thumbnails and outline editing choices, to your assignments. I would like to see your whole process in addition to the final outcome. This will be beneficial to the assessors too.

I also recommend that you evidence your engagement with the student forums.

Suggested reading/viewing


Please research the names/books outlined in the feedback.

I very much recommend reading the essay’s featured in the book titled:  Face On: The photograph as Social Exchange by Mark Durden. It focuses on the power relationship at play during between sitter and photographer. It will most likely change how you think about photographing people.

I have ordered this book and am waiting for it to be delivered.

Also, please read an essay titled: What’s in a Face by Julian Stallbrass. It will help you think through what it means to smile (or not) for the camera.


I have worked through this journal essay and my notes can be seen here.

Susan Bright Art Photography Now – this is a bookshelf must have and a good way to gain an understanding of the varying approaches to photography. It’s a good resource when first researching a project/assignment

I do have this book.

Stephen Bull Photography – another bookshelf must. This will give you a first introduction to critical theory for photographers.

I also have this book.

Please start looking at photography magazines that feature engaged photography such as:

Photomonitor (online only)
Lens Culture (online only)

I regularly look at online photography magazines. I have an email subscription for LensCulture, LenScratch, American Photo Magazine, American Suburb X,  Art in America, ArtNews, British Journal of Photography (its too expensive for me to subscribe from Canada), Canadian Art Weekly, Colossal, Conscientious Photography Magazine, Dazed, Foam, Guardian Art Weekly, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Luminous Lint, Phaidon, Photographer’s Gallery to name but a few. I also have a subscription to Aperture and access to their magazine archives.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

  •  Do have a look at the book titled Street and studio published by Tate and the exhibition as featured on their website.

I have the book and I have also watched some of the videos (two of which I commented on during the Context and Narrative module).

  • Vice Versa theme
  • Take what has worked from the exercises and extend
  • 5 images – hold together as a series
  • Experiment, reflect, analyse, edit, research, experiment more, reflect, analyse… this is an iterative process. You should go through this a number of times until you get to the images you are happy to submit for feedback. The go through it again after feedback. Do evidence this ‘journey’ on your blog.

I was a bit disappointed with the type of feedback that I received on this assignment. Perhaps I have to adjust to a new tutor’s style, but I am the type of person who doesn’t respond well to a barrage of questions thrown at me without offering accompanying explanations. This just leaves me bewildered. Throwing questions out there is fine in a bricks and mortar situation, but it just doesn’t work in a distance environment. I also feel rather overwhelmed at all the extra readings I’ve been told to do. In my part of the world we do not have the plethora of photographic texts that is available in the UK, so I have to resort to purchasing texts which can be extremely expensive, especially for this module.

Reference List

Hurley, Peter (2016) The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits. New Riders

The Anatomy of a Photo Portrait Smile [online] Available at: http://www.apogeephoto.com/the-anatomy-of-a-photo-portrait-smile/ [Accessed 31 July, 2016]