Assignment 3: Monochrome – Feedback

After a rather to long a gap I am now starting to catch up on the reactions to feedback from previous assignments, although at the time I took the comments and advice on board it isn’t until now that I have wrote my opinions and thoughts of them. For this third assignment I was asked to produce a series of images entirely conceived and produced in black and white, I therefore chose to photography street scenes and people, as I feel these give a great opportunity to work in black and white due to the varied textures and tones.

“The images for this assignment are all street photography, but each image does feel quite distinct from the other.  This is obviously an area of photography that you enjoy so I would advise looking at as many other street photographers as you can to see how they have developed an individual style.  For example how do you recognize a Nick Turpin image as a Nick Turpin image?

Your portrait images are showing good strength – you could reshoot more of these and make the whole project documentary portrait images.  This would give a very strong assignment.  I would be happy to review replacement image with assignment 4 or 5.”

Taking this from part of the overall comments on the assignment I was happy with the acknowledgment of distinct feel from each image, something that when compiling the assignments I am to do, I look to show the best possible example of the assignment using the images I have photographed for it, while still maintaining a mixture that sets them above each other respectively.

I really do enjoy photographing documentary portrait images, or candid street portraits and the photographer Thomas Leuthard coined it, and have found inspiration for these images in his work and my continued work also, something that I am to reconsider with this assignment like you mentioned and include these to be an all portrait style assignment. This is something I am to do in the next week or so.

For a look at the images discussed below please see the link here –

Image 1: In the feedback this image is noted for its strong composition, especially the placement of the focal point, however it could also be improved by reducing contrast tones when viewed on line and certainly quite rightly the black clipped to the right edge of the frame. The feedback also recommends that it would have produced a better composition by crouching down eye level with the bench which would then stop us looking down upon the seated figure, I feel this would have certainly remedied the looking down element but also find that this point of view gives the figure more spacial context, I’m not sure if we would be able to appreciate how he is perched on the edge at the end of the bench which I think adds to the interest in the figure.

IMG_5568Here I have included the adjusted image, notice the black clipping from the right is removed and there are more grey tones in the image removing the over contrasted feel.

Image 2: In this next image, the tutor quite rightly notices that the couple could have been doing something more to capture the viewer, like looking at the camera like the suggestion. I feel this would certainly improve the attraction and focal point of the image but also complement the avenue of trees with the leaves.

Image 3: This image is noted at being much more interesting with a good tonal range. While also the subtle toned are captured well in black and white with a nice contrast also. I am extremely happy with this image, the allure and anonymity of the subject really add to the mystery and attractiveness of her, while also being technically appealing.

Image 4: I was also very happy with this image, I felt it captured a very nice moment and the facial expressions were very full of character. Noted in the feedback was that the highlights are perhaps a little bright a the higher end resulting in loss of detail however I struggle to see how that could be, certainly in the ice as I have endeavoured to keep just the right amount of detail to add interest and context, the boards behind them are certainly brighter but I feel this gives good contrast to the shape of the people. IMG_5639

However when looking at the image once I reduced the highlights I also notice a slight amount more detail on the faces, especially what I perceive to be the mother which I think improves the image slightly.

Image 5: As mentioned in the second images feedback, by having the gaze of the subject can sometimes improve the image and capture the viewer, which is certainly the case with this image with the added interest of his poked out tongue this image is very fun and makes the viewer smile.

Image 6: This was noted in the feedback as a ‘strong portrait’ and as mentioned about the framing I have looked again at the image, resulting in this crop.

IMG_5722I have cropped the bottom and right hand side of the frame, resulting in moving the framing up removing the highlights on the right. I feel this gives a much stronger image and composition. I have cropped it the the edge of her scarf in the bottom right as I feel this gives a soft element to draw you in although I feel the viewer would immediately be focused on her expression and gaze.

Image 7: Is again noted as a strong portrait, and I am recommend to look at Dom McCullin’s work, something that I have been looking at and will be writing about soon.

Image 8: This image is noted as having potential, while the subject matter and pose are good, something which initially took my attention the background as mentioned is overall far to distracting to compliment the image. It is also said to be too contrasty, similar to the first image. I have therefore reduced the contrast and feel that the difference is very small when it comes to the detail and tonal range of the focal point and subject.IMG_5734

Image 9: This ninth image is noted to be another with real potential, and I certainly appreciate the comment that I have “recognised an ideal opportunity for a picture” however it is also correct that the bollard significantly spoils the overall image. While I certainly appreciate the comment of seeing more of the second girls face, similar to image 3, I find that the anonymity of subjects in certain street situations to be very appealing and effective, which in this case was something I was aiming to achieve, this resulted in the angle of shooting while also the time frame I had available to me, only for it to be spoilt but not noticing the bollard when pressing the shutter.

Image 10: This is also noted as a well captured moment, while the framing is complemented and the women to the right of the frame certainly adds to the image by looking over her shoulder towards us. It is noted that the hair key is perhaps overdone, I would tend to agree that this is the case however I do love the starkness and visually captivating effect this version gives. IMG_5771This is the result of that adjustment and I certainly do agree that it helps the image overall, still giving the high key setting.

Below is a link to the feedback received:

OCA Payne 1DPP03 03 Jan 14


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