I have now had feedback from my tutor on Assignment 3, and have also had the opportunity for a thirty minute telephone conversation with him as well. (I have to say that his willingness to spend time in direct conversation certainly helps a lot.) The written feedback was detailed again and, besides the general comments that I am going to record here, there were lots of individual pointers and suggestions.
From my point of view, the main thing is that his opinion of my handling of the assignment is positive. He was understanding of my concerns about the limitations of sticking strictly to the detailed brief – though pointed out, quite rightly, that there is a hint of a suggestion in the notes that a garden could be included (in the form of one of the illustrations). I might decide to extend the number of subjects from five to six in the final submission and include some images I took of a garden in Carcassonne. He praised the fact that, in spite of my concerns, I kept at it, reflected on it, and came through with a competent result. As I have already commented, I do think the exercise has been worthwhile, despite my frustrations.
There were some useful comments on the choices of images that I had made. (I included some of my ‘rejections’ and ‘trial efforts’ in the submission so that he could see my train of thought.) His comments could lead me to make one or two changes/additions to the set when I come to submit for assessment.
Some of our discussion was around technical issues. I sent prints, which on the whole were OK, but one or two were a little dark. Similarly, his feeling was that some parts of some of the images could have benefited from lightening. We discussed how one would approach doing that in Photoshop, which was broadly in line with the approach that I had learned from ‘Classroom in a Book’, but with the chance to discuss in more detail. My conclusion on all aspects of post-processing and printing is that I am making progress but that there is no quick way to learn these things. It needs a certain amount of practice and trial/error. Interestingly, the notion did come up that having the experience to actually define what is wrong with a print is half the battle. I can look and sense that it isn’t right – but defining what is actually not right is a bit harder and needs practice. Then comes the minor issue of knowing what needs doing to put it right; followed by the little matter of having the skills to do it.
Overall, I have to say that I feel better about this assignment now. It hasn’t filled me with excitement and inspiration but I feel more comfortable that I have been able to deliver an OK outcome; I can see some areas to improve the submission for assessment; and I have continued to learn and develop through the work I’ve done and my reflections on it.