Following are my summary notes from the discussion with Wendy McMurdo, my tutor:
- My submission is good as it is, however there would be value in re-working my selection – there is good material in the contact sheets which I have overlooked
- Think about using landscape format for a narrative or series of photos – don’t always fall back on my (almost default) of square format
- I should use the opportunity to be experimental and take risks. Be weird!
- Selection process: print the contact sheets and put them up somewhere I can often see them. Live with them for a few days and try out some alternative selections.
- Think about creating dissonance, especially with this type of theme – I want people to look again, so having a too consistent presentation might be a mistake
- Think about a title for the series
Here is a link to the tutor report: Tutor report – assignment 2
I was a litte nervous going into the assignment 2 feedback session, but in the end I was happy that she was happy with what I’d done. Having said that, my tutor asked me to try an alternative selection because she felt that there was good material in the contact sheets which I’d overlooked. She also made the comment that the processing approach I’d taken (cropped to square format, converted to monochrome and split-toned) had made the photos more beautiful, but maybe not more interesting.
I found this comment intriguing because I’d spent my whole photographic life trying to make beautiful photos. It was the first time that anyone had said to me that there was an alternative. Strange, but true. This comment caused me to think a great deal about alternative approaches and to consider this idea of beauty and interest. Can we have one, but not the other? Is it possible to have both at once? What if we have neither? Intriguing stuff …
My tutor advised me to print my contact sheets or the individual photos, put them on a wall or somewhere I could look at the frequently and live with them for a while. She suggested trying out several alternative selections until I found one which suited me.
While choosing I consciously tried to put aside my usual ideas of beauty and tried to think about what caught my eye, what might be interesting somehow.
I found this process of producing an alternative selection quite challenging. It took me a long time to make my original selection, narrowing down, making substitutes, trying to avoid repetition. In this second selection I have tried to go with my gut feel and avoid any processing of the photos. The harsh orange/yellow light gives and other-worldly feel, but it’s exactly as it was on those nights. I will keep in mind my tutor’s suggestion about how to make selections and try it for the next assignment.