Tutor report – Assignment 3

Overall Comments

The brief asks you to choose five or six buildings and for each one, produce
between two to four images that show how the spaces are used.
It suggests you vary the type of building and its use and write a short description
about the building and how well you feel its design helps it achieves its function
and use.

Your assignment satisfies these criteria and shows an improvement from your last
submission. Some of your images showing real progress in your creativity and as an
example of your growing development, they work well.

Feedback on assignment

It’s good to see the research and preparation that you carried out prior to
photographing the buildings - as you say this can pay dividends and help to
minimise the wasted time and effort as well as making the most of the visits you do
One aspect of your research it’s worth considering is to look at previous images of
the buildings and see how you might approach the shoot to make your images
stand out.
You are developing your ideas about what you want your images to concentrate on
and communicate and some images achieve your ambition better than others.
One area to concentrate on is how best to frame and compose your shot to minimise
the amount of wasted space.

For example, in image Atrium_DSC_0017 you have done well to identify the interplay of light as it passes through the revolving door and the people using the space. You have also done well to choose a vantage point from which to show these
components off well - ie from high above. But you have under exposed the image
somewhat and included too much of the un-interesting side wall on the left of the
frame that doesn’t add anything to what you want the image to communicate. See
my alternative and wether you think that this improves the focus on the attributes
of the Atrium you wanted to highlight.

Another technical point to bear in mind is choosing the best set up and equipment
to use for the shot that you want. I appreciate that you may be constrained by
access issues and circumstances that I’m unaware of but you have images where on
the face of it you have made some unwise choices.

For example in the Turbine hall you have quite rightly identified the need to
emphasise the size of the space and how it has been used to maximise the
effectiveness and availability of the equipment. But you are shooting hand held in
a low light environment and having to use high iso and slow shutter speeds. It
would have been better to use a tripod and timed exposure allowing for lower iso
As far as the quality of outcome is concerned, your images show a competent
realisation of ideas - as I have said you identify good aspects of the building or
space to concentrate on. Some of your images carry this through effectively and
well; images such as DSC 0017, DSC 0002, DSC 0009, DSC 0010 & DSC 0058.
Others are less successful and there are a number of issues that make them so.
These include poor choice of crop or framing, rather ordinary subject matter that
does little to either make you images stand out from the ordinary or be only
moderately successful in illustrating your stated aim.

Ways to improve this is to carefully and rigorously analyse your images in relation
to what they tell the viewer and only be satisfied if they really do what you want
them to.

For example, DSC0013 is a perfectly good standard image and it does show people
in a cafe environment but I feel this could be showing any number of coffee shops -
the fact that this is in a building that was once a bank is not apparent.
Whereas image DSC 0010 shows the windows that are clearly in a building that has
been used for other purposes. You have done well only to subtly include aspects of
the starbucks cafe - the logo and the glass counter aren’t all that the viewer is
presented with. To my mind this is a much more successful image in meeting your

Your creativity is steadily improving. DSC 0010 and DSC 0009 are very good
examples. As I have said DSC0010 shows the viewer more than just the cafe it also
asks the viewer to see the decor of the building, the high arched windows speak
well of other uses the building has had - A Bank fits this type and style of building -
so you showing the lady in her chair in the cafe speaks well of the change of use.
DSC0009 is a lovely image - it speaks very much of architecture - the graphic
rendition of the staircase and your camera position and composition creates a
delightful impression of a tunnel with the statue on display almost becoming the
light at the end of the tunnel.

Images that show potential that hasn’t been full realised include DSC 0004. I feel
you are on the right track but your haven’t been creative enough in your image to
convey the notion of people passing through the passage way.
You have the stairs and the door in the distance and the suggestion of another one
on the extreme right of the frame. I feel you could have experimented a little and
perhaps thought how to include more of this other door. Maybe use a landscape
orientation and cutdown on the amount of ceiling in the image which is not
In this way you are suggesting the people will use this and the other door and the
stairs thereby creating the impression of people passing through the image and
this then links up with the notion that this is a strange place to put and bookcase.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

As with your previous assignment, your log is fine as far as it goes. It still lacks
discussion of your analysis of your images - what has worked, what hasn’t,
what you were wanting to achieve with it and how it works with the others. You
explain the background to the image well but don’t then go on to talk about
how the elements of the image meet your specific aims.
For example, with image Museum_DSC_0062, you explain how the small
cafe now occupies the 1st floor gallery and that it overlooks the main gallery.
But you don’t analyse the components of the image and what they tell
someone looking at it and why you have included them the way you have -
how it shows the cafe, how it shows it overlooking the main hall, the
significance of the tall arched ceilings, the old fashioned radiators etc.
It’s good to see you recognising the significance of planning prior to the
shoots. I suggest that this also ought to include things such as photographs/
photographers you have researched as part of the preparation. What images
you like that illustrate attributes well and that influence your work.

Suggested reading/viewing

Have a look at Donovan Wylie - particularly his series on vision as power - in this he
considers and captures the impact of surveillance amongst other things. It will be
useful to see how imagery can be used to illustrate complex topics.


Another of his works involves the Maze prison - see how he uses his imagery to
explore the architecture and the regime and convey the notion of the prison as a


Pointers for the next assignment

I would suggest you give careful consideration to how you want to make the
assignment make more of a personal statement and show your emotional
response to a topic.

For example, In some respects one of your earlier images - the one of your
bedroom shows more personal involvement and is more successful as an
image to illustrate buildings /space and how it is used. This is partly because
you have a unique point to make that helps your image of the bedroom stand

out from the ordinary. Build on this idea in your next assignment

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