Category Archives: ASSIGNMENT 5

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

Assignment 5 – Photography is Simple



There are two fundamentals in all picture taking – where to stand and when to release the shutter … so photography is very simple.

(Jay & Hurn, 2001, p.37)


So  photography  is  simply  viewpoint  and  moment…  but  what  about  subject?  The  simplest subject is the moment. You can record the moment with a snapshot, but when you  review  the  photograph  later  you  find  you  didn’t  actually  record  the  moment,  you just recorded the ‘event of photography’.

It might take a very long time to simplify the whole world and its infinite framings into a subject that makes sense to you. Robert Adams said, ‘Sooner or later one has to ask of all pictures what kind of life they promote’ (Grundberg, 1999, p.34).  For now, though, you should just feel comfortable with your subject. It should say something about you and, in the end, you like it!


Take a series of 10 photographs of any subject of your own choosing.  Each photograph must be a unique view of the same subject; in other words, it must contain some ‘new information’  rather  than  repeat  the  information  of  the  previous  image.   Pay  attention to the order of the series; if you’re submitting prints, number them on the back. There should be a clear sense of development through the sequence.

 Assignment notes

In  your  assignment  notes  explore  why  you  chose  this  particular  subject  by  answering the  question  ‘What  is  it  about?’  Write  about  300  words.  Your  response  to  the  question doesn’t have to be complicated; it might be quite simple (but if you can answer in one word then you will have to imaginatively interpret your photographs for the remaining 299!).  Make sure you word process and spellcheck your notes as they’re an important part of the assignment.

For  this  assignment  it  is  important  that  you  send  a  link  (or  scanned  pages)  to  the contextual exercise (Exercise 5.2) for your tutor to comment on within their report.

What is it About?


This title collage is designed to give an idea of the subject of my assignment – then and now in the Laxey Valley and in particular the demise of metal mining and the diversification into tourism.  In viewing the remaining images the viewer needs to take into account the following as outlined by Barrett ( [accessed 02/07/2017])

Internal context:  Each image has something from the Laxey valley and some connection to mining (the motorcross rider was heading to the Snaefell Mine).  I tried to add some ‘punctum’ by including people where I could.

External context:  Some of the images are set in the valley which gives the context of the location of the mines and wheel; the weather was generally a bright day with harsh light hence the lack of shadows in most photos.  The last photo is intended to show some of the negative impact of tourism (my tutor suggested ‘mass’ tourism – numbers are small on the Isle of Man!).

Original context:  The images of the ruins were made after a 3 mile trek in hot sun up the valley to the site of the Snaefell mine with camera and tripod in tow.  I tried to get different viewpoints of the ruins.  I have turned these into sepia to give the idea of the past and in one case made a composite in photoshop in order to give the idea of a miner.  I deliberately chose to have the now (or tourist) photos in colour as a contrast.  The first photo was taken using HDR mode on the camera due to the light conditions and a need to bracket.


The rest of the ruins were in a harsh almost midday light much like Michael Schmidt ( -about-my-way-of working-1979.html  [accessed 02/07/2017]).


The link to Exercise 5.2 is

Further information and reflections (including reflections on the whole course) can be found at: