Tutor report – Assignment 4

Overall Comments

The brief was to produce a series of images - 6 best images and at least another 6
other good ones to allow choice - for a travel publication producing a considered
and thoughtful piece on a place. You have met the brief in that your images that
are publishable and give a feeling of a place that is quiet and prosperous.
I get the feeling that you have set a day for your photography and wandered
around taking shots as they strike you with no preconceived plan and from this
pool of images you will select your submission. This of itself is not a fault, but there
is a feeling of a lack of deliberation about your images. This stems from questions
about some of the technical and compositional decisions you have made.
Your images, while perfectly acceptable, do not project a considered sense of
purpose and invention that would make them stand out from the crowd. As a
result, they are average and a little stereotypical.

You have obviously thought about which images to use but your lack of an
articulated rationale for your choices relating to what you want to communicate
and the preclusion of the possibility of re-shooting scenes to fit a specific aim
contribute to the feeling of a lack of direction. I will elaborate further by posing
questions in my discussion of the individual images.

You need to be considering and articulating what to say about a topic together
with how the imagery serves this purpose, both in your own work, and also looking
at how other photographers’ do this in their work.

Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit
your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in
this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the
potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there
are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of

Given that you are producing images for a travel publication you need to be
thinking of an image that would be a candidate for a cover image, one that would
set the scene and tone of the article. There would then be others to illustrate detail
and particular aspects finishing with an image to suit the conclusion. In this way
the images help confer and fit in with structure of the article.

With image one you have a scene which conveys a feeling of peace and tranquility
very well. The reflection of the building in the still water, the sunny day all play their
part in this and make a good image.

On a technical note, But is this the best ‘cover image’? There is little space for a title
which would normally appear at the top of the frame - somewhere in the sky. It
might be better in the middle of the article. A better image that has space at the
top for a title could be one of your alternative images - DSC_0013.

Another consideration would be the orientation of a cover image - these tend to be
portrait rather than landscape. If so which image would you use? It’s these sorts of
considerations that you would do well to address in your accompanying notes.

On a technical note what made you choose an aperture of f22? This has resulted in
the camera setting the shutter speed to 1/45 which runs the risk of introducing
camera shake if you are hand held. An aperture of f11 or even f8 would have been
sufficient to keep everything sharp and allowed a faster shutter speed and ruled
out the possibility of camera shake.

Its this sort of observation coupled with a lack of rationale that contributes to my
feeling that you have let some things ‘happen’ rather than making conscious

Image 2

Yes a good image that reinforces the feeling of a happy and prosperous place. I’d
have moved forward a little to avoid the out of focus frond that obscures part of
the swan. I find it distracting.

Your fast shutter speed has frozen the birds in flight and any movements of the
children throwing the bread. Was this a consideration you deliberately made? You
set the camera on aperture mode! If freezing motion and fast shutter speed was a
main consideration you might have chosen shutter priority. Again some evidence
of planning and consideration about your thinking would be good to see in this

Image 3

You have caught the elderly man well. The sunshine helps to convey a feeling of
well being. Imagine how an overcast dull day would have changed the
atmosphere, how about another time of day - early morning/late evening.The man’s pose together with his isolation both literally (no other persons in view)
and suggestively ( by virtue of your focal length and aperture throwing both
foreground and background out of focus) could convey feelings of isolation and
loneliness and the hat on the bench a feeling of ‘lost’ hat could convey quite a
different message about the place neglect of the elderly? If you don’t want feelings
of neglect, how would you change the scene? These are variables that you need to
be considering as part of your planning.

On a technical note, why choose such a high iso setting? you run the risk of higher
distracting noise. You could lower the iso (and avoid the noise issue) and still
maintain the wide aperture by selecting a slower shutter speed. An iso of 500 and
shutter of 1/500th would have done the trick.

Image 4

I find this a weaker image. It is quite an average image that many people could take
- it’s not particularly remarkable and could be anywhere. Is there any significance
about the timing of the shot? Why cut off the tops of the trees? Is there any
significance about the spectators, the players on the sidelines? Why not make it a
portrait orientation?
By itself it doesn’t convey much about the town. It requires additional information -
supplied by caption? to make the significance felt. You need to be thinking how to
make the image more unique and still tell the story about the advent of the sports

Image 5

I like this image and you have done well to crop it from the original. The end result
makes a good composition placing the key elements of the image well in the
frame. Your exposure is good and your choice of high shutter speed to freeze the
motion of the cyclist and dog are good.
What do you think it contributes to the story about the town? How might you
change things and for what purpose in relation to the effect this would have on the

Image 6

It’s a nice image and I like the way that you have caught different elements - the girl
snapping Minnie with her phone, the coy stance of Minnie. The adults on the right
of frame are looking out of the frame as is Mickey which is a little disturbing.
Did you have any other frames of this moment? Did you move around to change
the composition of the protagonists, wait for others to come into shot?
1/30 sec is a little slow and risks blurring you might have been better to pick
shutter priority and a faster shutter speed.

A couple of your also ran images are good and might be worth re-considering but
for different reasons:DSC _0072 - the empty park bench is very evocative and could be used to convey
emptiness as you point out but its use would depend on what message you want
to convey about the place.

DSC_0081 Illustrates one of the small bridges across the river that you mention and
as such would be worth considering as a unique feature of the town. The sky is over
exposed and it’s debatable whether this can be saved in post production.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


This is still a little limited in setting out your thoughts in relation to your aims for
various shoots, your planning and an analysis of the results.

Think about how your work relates to work you have seen by other photographers
and how work you have seen can provide the foundation for your work

Suggested reading/viewing Context

Have a look at Chris Killip’s work In Flagrante - in this you can see how his work tells
of decline, the consequential waste of experience expertise and its effects on the

Also Hans van der Meer - http://www.hansvandermeer.nl

John Davies - http://www.johndavies.uk.com/

Mitra Tanrizian’s work on Leicestershire - http://mitratabrizian.com/leicestershire.php


Pointers for the next assignment

Plan before you shoot, setting out what you want, why and then consider how you
are going to achieve this. I would suggest you give careful consideration to your

editing down the images to the twelve that best conveys what you want.

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