A couple of weeks ago I received my feedback for the first assignment of Digital Photographic Practise and after a very busy week and then the nightmare of being blocked out of my wordpress account I can finally write up my feedback now its been resolved.
Overall I am very happy with the feedback given, I feel it gives a fair, honest and critical view on the assignment with a number of points made to improve mainly the written work but also a couple of pointers that may improve the images.
Firstly with my workflow planning within the pre shoot section it may prove beneficial to me to research other photographers checklist and processes, this would hopefully help me to consider other things that I may have overlooked that would improve my system. When conducting the research into this I found a popular method is the 3-2-3 system. It is broken down into the three parts, firstly;
3 – Pre Shoot
- Battery inserted and charged
- Memory cards inserted and empty
- Power test to ensure all working
2 – The Shoot
- Make sure all settings are at a basic or neutral state, for example ISO is around 100/200, shooting RAW and white balance is at AUTO to enable a standard image if further control is not required.
- Permissions are sought if required and all opportunities are taken.
3 – Post Shoot
- Back up cards
- Charge the batteries and if possible replace with new.
- Clean camera and lenses.
As you can see even tho this is a very simple and basic checklist covering the things I already do the handy memory jogger of 3-2-3 helps to prompt ones memory while also then reminding me of other things I should be looking into to ensure the whole shoot from start to beginning runs smoothly.
When doing street photography I am very much more relaxed with the planning of the actual shoot, I ensure my kit is correct and everything like that is ready to go. I also ensure that the weather will be favourable for the images I am aiming to produce. Other than this I am simply happy to walk and travel about the space available to me capturing what befalls me, this is perhaps a very what will be will be approach and although I feel it works for me and suits the fluidity that I enjoy with street photography, a slight amount of added structure may pay dividend in the long run with the amount of images produced. I feel that planning ahead with things that maybe happening around the area I plan to photograph may give me more opportunities to capture people and to plan added compositions around them. For example a specific street performer on the south bank in London or the day the market is happening in Winchester, each of these occasions give the photographer an area to compose around and a guaranteed opportunity of people interacting and interest amongst them.I think in the case for this assignment, although I had planned to go to the South bank in order to photograph the street performances I was unsure what to expect by way of performer as it varies considerably. In addition to this I had planned to go to Camden Town due to the market area and what that brings by way of clientele and surroundings. However apart from this the day was very much left open to what I saw and where I went. I certainly see the benefits in scouting ahead aiming to capture certain images I also now like to use that along with my more fluid approach as a lot of the time street photography for me is more for pleasure.
Taxis by Nobuyuki Taguchi
This is a great image by Nobuyuki Taguchi, which I feel gives a great impression of fluidity in seeing the shot momentarily before taking it, the repetition of the taxis which are made stronger by the taxi rank road markings. The taxis give a strong focal point in the image, the dark repetitive shapes balance the more delicate movements of the people while also giving depth and context. I think getting in amongst the traffic and people as it appears here gives the opportunity for this kind of image, putting yourself close to the action in a busy foot traffic area.
South Bank by Clare
I like this image as it gives an overview of the South Bank, the layout, environment and potential background, one which I used with the images of the BMX performers. This sort of image is useful when photographing an area. It gives a photographer the opportunity to gauge what the layout and availability of potential compositional elements. For example using the trees or lamp posts to frame an image.
Another area of development mentioned in the feedback was to create a shot list. As mentioned above it is not really the way I feel comfortable in using when working on street photography. However in other cases I think it is a very useful and important thing to have, not only to ensure you cover your bases but to always add structure to the shoot and hopefully get the most out of an opportunity available to you. In the next few days I will be photographing the Ageas Bowl, home of the Hampshire Cricket team and for this I will create a shot list I would like to complete as much as possible. This will vary slightly with the access permitted to me but if possible I would like to work towards completing that. Once I have done this and completed the shoot I will write another entry on shot list and how I found it for me.
Within the during the shoot section of my workflow I have mentioned about deleting obvious mistakes throughout the day, It was mentioned in my feedback that while this also decreases battery life and naturally if you have enough memory cards its worth just removing the obvious mistakes during the first steps of post processing, this not only frees up battery space, it also ensures my focus is on what is in front of me rather than images already taken.
Within the feedback a few images were critiqued with potential improvements, I have taken a look at each to see how they work and if I feel it is an improvement on the original. Firstly this image of a man on the tube.
In the feedback it was noted that the bright white area in the bottom left of the image is pulling the eye from the focal point. I do agree with this thought and overall I feel it negatively effects the image. I was aiming to show a stark contrast of black and white, using the white to really make the man stand out, including the subdued facial details. I think instead of what I have done it would have been better to lower the whites overall, this ensuring there is still the same colouring throughout the image.
It was said in the feedback that this image may be improved by lighting the foreground, which I feel does really improve the overall image, by giving the ground more light it draws the eye in and gives more detail to the people to the right of the image. I also like the light and how it falls on the cobbled pavement. However I am unsure on how the second piece of feedback works, by cropping the sky out we get a tight composition on the people and street, but I feel by shooing the sky, and in turn tops of the buildings we get a sense of context and the imposing size of the buildings compared to the market stalls which work well in the image.
With this image it was suggested quite rightly to straighten the image, focusing on the subject I felt they worked better slight more upright but on seconds thought it works better focusing on the background in this instance. I have also cropped tightly in to the subject, aiming to remove the cluster of people to the left of the frame. I also feels this really helps the viewer connect with the subject through her slightly off eyes. I like this version of the image with the added emotive connection, even tho the subject is only slightly looking away.
This final image to be critiqued in the feedback was because we can’t see the subjects face, to which I certainly agree that would be really make the image something else, I like this composition due to in part its anonymous nature and yet information given to us in the composition, the rough age of the subject, there style, and also that they could be going somewhere with the case to the left. I did attempt to capture the subject more from the side to hopefully catch a profile but was unable to do so in the time available due to things in the way and from the right side of the piano looking back, the background was showing more of the vast size of St Pancras International, and I felt I wanted to aim to keep this with a more intimate feeling.
Overall I was extremely happy with the feedback given, I felt it was very true to the brief, with the vast majority of it having a positive effect on the work and images. I look forward to progressing and building on this first assignment.
Below is a link to the feedback received: