I have made some amendments to Assignment 4 based on Clive’s feedback.  Again I have tried to lighten all photos for printing.

I have moved the distorted taxi image – the link for me to the overall theme was that ghosts are illusions and the distorted taxi is also an illusion caused by the Camera Obscura’s mirror.

I wasn’t sure how Clive enhanced the ghost of the human in the shop window (original #3) but have tried to enhance it more.

In the original #2 photo with the light trails at the bottom I had been trying to include the cherry blossom at the top of the frame but I take Clive’s point that the light trails needed to be further up.

I do need to be more mindful of looking for the punctum or something to make the picture out of the ordinary rather than the pictoralist approach and understand where I went wrong with my comments about the roadworks and then with the  image of St Giles cathedral.

Original #6 – I have done further editing in Photoshop to try and address Clive’s comments.

Original #7 – I have tried to further enhance the huddle of ‘ghosts’.

Original #8 – I have tried to further enhance and lighten.

No changes to original #9 other than lightening for printing.

Assignment 3 – Reworked

Again I have not done much more than tweak the original set and also print a colour set.  I have tried to lighten the images for printing and have taken off the captions.

I note Clive’s comments about Black & White can have a nostalgic element to it – I am at the stage of my life where looking back at childhood and having grandchildren the other side of the world can seem a bit nostalgic!  However, in this day and age children also can be very colourful – there was more of a story with the little girl splashing in the puddle – she had on what appeared to be brand new pink wellie boots – prior to splashing she had stopped and stared at her feet as if to say I don’t want to muck up my new boots – the lure of water however was irresistible!

B&W set tweaked as suggested:


And in colour …

Assignment 2 – Reworked

ASSIGNMENT 2 – reworked

I have not done a lot of reworking of this assignment.

I appreciate Clive’s comments regarding Ansel Adams was a pioneer in raising green consciousness.  Clive goes on to say that the whole of the countryside has been husbanded as ultimately an economic resource.  I believe this could be the case in the United Kingdom.  However, Ballaglass Glen is on the Isle of Man.  The whole of the Isle of Man has been given UNESCO biosphere status due to the efforts to conserve nature and wildlife on the island and is the only country to have the whole region defined in this way.  It is perhaps easier on the island to allow it’s natural beauty to prevail as the economy is centred on the financial and more latterly e-gaming sectors.  There is some small scale farming.

Therefore my conceptual creativity could be seen to be displaying the outcome of what can happen in a country where green consciousness has already been recognised.  This glen has been given National Manx glen status and is thus being preserved in its current state for prosperity.  I understand however, Clive was trying to get me to think about how to undertake the assignment in a way that would produce images with that bit ‘extra’ from the norm – he suggested maybe punctum could be added by the use of Black and White.  I have turned the set into black and white as shown below:

However for me I didn’t feel that this really added anything to the original set and that actually the autumn colours were the punctum.  I think this shows that in fact what works for one viewer may not for another.  I have lightened the images and added a white border for printing on the colour set as follows:

Assignment 1 -REWORKED

Assignment 1 – reworked

Having received my tutor’s feedback, I read Barthes (2000) book Camera Lucida in order to get an understanding of punctum and studium.  I wrote this up on my blog:

I have made Photoshop adjustments to the images as suggested although was unclear on how to do the soft masking suggested by Clive.

I re-took the photo of the barnacles and believe this second attempt is sharper – I used the camera on Manual mode which gave more control than the original shot on auto.

I went to try his idea of getting some punctum near the Secret Garden door.  I discovered that the path is currently blocked off as they are rebuilding the seawall.  There is a big roadworks bulldozer in front of that area – does that count as punctum?  I have included a photo in the new set but was unable to get people on the path due to it being fenced off.

In terms of the tram photo I have not managed to have the time to try and follow up the idea as I am no longer living in that area – however in Assignment 5 there is a photo of a similar tram and I believe the little boy looking out of the window gives some punctum to the shot.

I have lightened the photos for printing and added a white border.

And why I was unable to re-take this photo:



Feedback from Tutor

Formative feedback
Overall Comments
A good idea which needs further development.

Feedback on assignment
A good reference to Barrett and context is the key to it. Everything around the images is read in the same way that the images are; hence the montage, while not enhancing the individual images has all the hallmarks of a picture postcard aimed at tourists.

The aesthetic/technical approach is also part of the context and I think your aged photographs are particularly convincing; the sepia being the least of it. The lighting contrast, the choice of subject matter and the composition all play into it.  But something extra happens when an incongruity is introduced, as in the case of the
little boy dressed up as a miner. Normally I would say it was a pity that his feet are cropped through but here it adds to the uncanniness of the image as if he’s just appeared there from the future while referencing the past and even he’s looking confused about what s happening. This is the most striking image you ve made so far in your OCA work. Excellent! Use it as a springboard for further insight. Think about the qualities it has which pick it out from
the other images and look for those characteristics when you re working.
In that service I think you have the kernel of a good idea here that could be a fine culmination to your EYV but you need to do more. The brief specifies 10 images but really that’ s a minimum and if it s only 10 then one needs more variation. For example
images 2 and 3 are covering much the same ground but could work very well as a double page spread in a book with more images. These days students quite often do a book for the final assignment.
I can see the rationale for the colour images being of a type that the tourist might take but I think they can serve that purpose while being undercut with some detail.
Something which disrupts the serenity of the image by being not supposed to be there; dragging the heritage attraction dream back into reality.
So I would say yes you ve got a good workable idea there but you need to do several more sessions on it to give yourself a wider choice of images, images which follow on from your key image of the child miner and think about how best to present it to
impress the assessors with your progress.

You can always ask me to have a look at reworkings on your blog and comment.
Which brings me to something I m not sure if we’ve covered before but the tutor reports are provisional and you re free to rework any of the assignments before submitting them for assessment, in the light of your experience so far.
In assessment that’s considered a positive not a negative. Rather than tweaking you can start all over again and redo an assignment from scratch if you wish. Just explain your thinking on the blog.

The coursework is carefully executed as always and there s a great vivacity to the shoot you did with the girls which I think does demonstrate your rapport with them and it ‘s not easy to control a group of models like that so well done!

Keeping adding material to this category up until submission for assessment, reviews of reading, gallery visits and relevant radio, film and TV; the more the better.

Learning Log
It s good you followed my advice about self reflection. Feel free to write more about how you see your place as a photographer in the context of the spectrum of contemporary serious photography. Who, working today would you align yourself with for example and why.

Suggested reading/viewing
See research above.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
There is no next assignment but feel free to email me on anything between now and submitting for assessment.
From now on all students are required to send a portfolio of prints of all the final images to assessment. Here’s a little reminder of the format from the Assignment 1 report….

…they should be on a matt or semi-matt A4 paper with generous white borders for handling, a minimum of 3.5cm on A4 paper. Include the border in the digital file for accurate cropping and positioning.  For the assessment they should be presented
unmounted and unsleeved in a clam shell box such as this…
To remove any doubt the top of the box is the bigger half of the clamshell. I m still seeing people in assessment who prepare them upside down, assuming that the smaller half of the clamshell is the lid, making them very difficult to open.

Tutor name Clive White
Date 24/7/17
Next assignment due Completed

FOCUS ON FOTOGRAPHY – OCA Expressing your Vision