TAOP 4 Reflection

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Tutor report

Student name: Stephen Barney

Course/Module: aop

Assignment number: 4

Overall Comments

Thanks for this assignment Stephen. We talked about this on the phone recently so I will write this with that in mind too.

I think this was a well considered lighting assignment and the subject choice enabled you to get a number of readings from your imagery. The link with Edward Weston was well followed up in your research.

I am glad you think so after all the over thinking and hundreds of crosses I was pleased with this assignment


You asked specifically about the paper choice and personally I think it suits that object well, with the soft tones and texture almost mimicking that of the wood. Some assessors have a dislike for art over photographic papers fyi  But in general I think it is important to choose the paper that is right for the subject. There is no one fits all material although I think it is hard to go wrong with a nice middle ground luster!

I have been using the Matt Epson paper a lot recently I hope it continues to serve for the moment though I may try some luster at your suggestion

Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

As always this still makes me happy

Feedback on assignment

Technically speaking this assignment was very well executed with a variety of lighting techniques utilized to create the desired effect. You show the wood off in a myriad of ways as a result. It would be nice to see a little more reflection in your write-ups on how the lighting impacted and changed the mood or environment of the pictures.

Your point is noted I will attempt to write this up in the discussion piece I had not written at the time of submission

There were one or two which I noticed were just slightly soft. Keep an eye on the sharpness. The colour tones are lovely and the paper, as I say above, I feel works well with the subject matter.

An interesting thing that came to from this project was that you decided to ‘reign it in’ after the profound experiences you had with the last assignment. I told you to move outside the establishment and in a sense I suppose in this assignment you were completely doing something new – but as is always the case we can’t take ourselves out of our work and it was interesting to me that you chose a piece of wood, almost like a symbolic and subtle reference to the many crosses you had been photographing to death before!! This time it kind of came to life of it’s on accord.

It did not even occur to me but you are right there are subtle undertones and similarities, for me this makes this work more powerful

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays (Context)

Well done on the rejigging of your blog. It is very clear and easy to navigate which will be very much appreciated by assessors!

It’s great to see you research historic photographers as well as engaging with contemporary work and also embracing theory – nice to see some Sontag references. This is very encouraging for level 1 and it will enable your critical analysis to have a head start. It’s also great that you continue to be inspired and are enjoying the OCATV group. You are always very conscientious about the books I recommend and it is a pleasure to have a student so committed to learning.

What can I say other than more smiles thank you for the complements

Suggested reading/viewing (Context)

Keep researching as you are – I don’t have anything specific to add.

Perhaps some contemporary magazines would be interesting for you:

Photoworks are good British ones and
Aperture and Foam are good international ones to start with.

Conclusions / Pointers for the next assignment

I am pleased to see you experiment with vernacular photography! Sorry for throwing a cat amongst the pigeons with that term  Perhaps you could add some reflections on what you believe the term to mean and how it is used in other artists work.

It’s a shame you missed it but you may like to comment on some of these photographers / theorists.

I suppose vernacular photography tends to incorporate used or found imagery but when I was using it I simply meant taking photographs from your everyday life. Hope that helps!

Looking forward to the big number 5. Hope it is goes well.

There is little I need to say about this review I was very pleased reading it and have taken on board the comments and recommendations all in all a very satisfying assignment after a shaky start

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