Thursday, 24 May 2012

Preparing for Assessment – Assignment Four

This is another assignment that I felt less than satisfied with when submitted & the reasons are documented earlier in this blog.  Going back to the notes, feedback and images over the last week or so, I find it a bit of a mixed bag – some work and some don’t.  Paying particular attention to the tutor feedback on individual images, I have decided to make some changes for the assessment submission.  Three images were part of the original submission but have now been replaced and I have also changed the order.

This is the first that has been replaced.

I have to agree with the comments from my tutor – particularly about the man facing the camera mid-frame.  He looks uncomfortable and it detracts from the notion that this is a bunch of people having a good time in Holmfirth.  At the time, I felt that some of the alternatives were a bit generic, but I have replaced it with this one.

At least here there is some interaction going on; it confirms the notion of Holmfirth as a busy market town; and there is a little bit of colour & narrative.  The fact that it is generic is less of a problem since it would be appearing in an article about Holmfirth.

Next one for the ‘chop’ was this one.

It was doing its job in the original selection – illustrating tour guide Gary about his business – but shot quickly through the door of a coach it lacks any formal qualities and is technically suspect.  I guess the ideal would have been to go back and do more work on a Gary image – but I already had this one from the original shoot.  Properly caption, (i.e. explaining that this is Gary the tour guide, waiting for coaches to arrive at the bus station, something that he does every day, making this a familiar site in Holmfirth centre) this would also work effectively, and it has better formal and technical qualities – in my opinion.

Thirdly – again responding to tutor feedback, but this time a little more reluctantly – I have decided that this one can go.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with the image itself, but the question raised was whether images of old stone buildings were being overdone and whether this actually adds anything.  Might there be another image that would introduce other aspects of the town that are not covered here?  It’s actually pretty hard to overdo the old stone bit in Holmfirth – it’s everywhere around you and creeps into most images.  However, I take the point.  One bit of Holmfirth history/culture not covered in the original images is the Picturedrome.  It’s an old cinema, that still performs that function as well as acting as a venue on the gigs circuit.  (Worth also mentioning that short silent comedy/feature films were being made in Holmfirth before they were made in Hollywood!)  So I have replaced the above with a similar image, but one that shows the Picturedrome and signifies its history – as well as its dual function as a rock band venue.

Making these replacements had impacted on the order of the images, both from a narrative and a ‘visual pattern’ viewpoint, so I will be presenting the order differently – but that will be clear from the prints submitted, so I’m not repeating all the images here.  As with the other assignments, several of the prints have also had a ‘tweak’ before submission and I have ‘rationalised’ sizes to two crop ratios.  There were several variations in the original submission and I recognise that this is an area where I need to be more consistent.
Another concern for both me and my tutor was that this series lacked any clear direction.  What was I actually saying about Holmfirth?  Where was the emotional expression?  I might have needed to completely reshoot in order to address that one, but I have recently had another opportunity to make a series of images about the neighbourhood, as my first assignment on Progressing with Digital Photography.  I deliberately made it a more personal view and the outcome is here.
Even more stone – must say something about me, perhaps?

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