Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Assignment 4 - Submission

Having made the final selection of twelve images, they have now gone off to my tutor, with accompanying notes.  The twelve are as follows & then I have included my 'Summary & Assessment', which went with the detailed notes in the submission.

My twelve images do, I believe, fulfil the brief, with enough range and variety to show the character of Holmfirth & its people and sufficient scope for a selection of twelve images to illustrate an ‘intelligent, thoughtful’ article in a travel magazine.

·         There is variety in terms of subject, scale and type.  I think there might, on reflection, have been more ‘detail’ type images but, as indicated in the notes, some do offer scope for cropping.

·         There is, I think, a good range of signs and indicators as to the nature of Holmfirth & the people that one encounters – not a comprehensive range necessarily, but then that would be very difficult to achieve in any circumstances.

·         Some of the characteristics I came up with in my planning, those that I particularly wanted to demonstrate, were rugged, busy, rather quirky, complicated, quite eclectic; and my images have a sort of ‘no frills’ feel about them, which fits with those characteristics.  My meaning here is that they don’t show a great deal of creativity in, for example, use of focus and focal length, camera angle, etc but this, for me, is a natural reaction to a rugged, no-nonsense, Pennine town.

·         Despite the variety of subject and style, I feel that they hang together successfully, and it is possibly the common theme of stone and stone buildings that supplies a visual link throughout.

·         If there is one characteristic from my list above that could perhaps have been illustrated more effectively it would be the ‘busy’ nature of Holmfirth.  It is there, in one or two, but there might have been ‘people on the move’ type images that would have given another dimension.

·         There are some aspects of the town that have not been illustrated.  Holmfirth has a historic link with cinema – both production and showing – which doesn’t appear; but I think a more important one is the river.  Water has been significant as a driver of the industrial revolution, as a source of destruction & death (three floods), and as a characteristic of the towns visual attraction today.  Water appears in one image, but there might have been more.

·         One positive worth mentioning is that people appear in nine of the twelve images selected, which is genuine progress for me and a direct reflection of the way my photography has developed during this course.  And I have already referred to the specific progress in creating arranged, posed portraits.

·         I wonder whether a picture editor would feel that there were enough eye-catching images; maybe the choice of ‘openers’ is limited to just two or three – perhaps relates to my comment above about use of creative techniques.

·         In reflecting on the series, I find myself making a comparison with some work that has featured a few times in my blog discussions – the ‘From Back Home’ works of Anders Petersen & J H Engstrom.  My blog of 23rd March 2011 contains some thoughts on this work and the reason I mention it here is that the series is all about a ‘place’ that is familiar to both of them.  In their case, they were producing a personal piece of work, reflecting an emotional expression of the part of Sweden in which they both grew up.  The key word I want to bring up is in that sentence – ‘emotional’.  I don’t think there is much sign of an emotional response in my images of Holmfirth.  The series reflects more of an objective, stand back and observe attitude.  That is, perhaps, appropriate for a magazine article, but could be a legitimate criticism of the series from an aesthetic or creative viewpoint.  As a general observation, and one I have made elsewhere, I think ‘emotion’ is often lacking in the work I produce – something to be aware of and to reflect on again.

This has been an interesting and useful exercise in which I think that I have successfully planned my approach around a brief; effectively moved forward in terms of my photography of people, including people aware and involved with the process; implemented the planning quite successfully; and produced a competent and workable set of images in the context of the assignment.

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