Here are my five portraits. As usual with my assignments I have some images that I really like and others that I procrastinate over and think should I do another re-try? At some point though I think it is better to move on and wait for my tutor feedback. Then, if required, I can do some re-shoots or, god forbid, redo the whole assignment.
Image 1 - Gerry.
Image 3 - Theatre Steps.
Image 4 - In the Dark.
Image 5 - Last Coffee Before the Train.
Feedback from my tutor on my first assignment has been very encouraging. Her advice to just relax is definitely something I need to take on board. I knotted myself up over the portrait assignment and my lack of skills in this area. I now realise that most people feel like this when they begin the course and my tutor has assured me that I do have the necessary technical and image making skills. I need to take this advice and move forward. My tutor really liked the final portrait in my sequence - so much so that she flagged it up to Gareth Dent at the OCA and it is currently displayed on their homepage. The image is my favourite too. As I noted in the accompanying assignment essay I am drawn more and more to narrative images and this was my attempt at making one. It is interesting to note that my other images in the set were fairly well planned in advance. This one, "The Last Coffee before Catching the Train," was purely inspirational and thought up and put into action within minutes. It does have some technical issues due to very low light and no forward planning but in my opinion, from a creative aspect, it stands head and shoulders above my other, more formal, portraits - I guess that when working on a project technical knowledge and planning can go a long way to smooth the issues but creativity will trump them most of the time.
My tutor noted that she thinks that I worry about too many aspect of photography at once (technical, compositional, pose) and that this tension can communicate to my model. It was noted that my model does not smile in any of the images. That was under instruction from me. I was so conscious that my images not look like smiley snapshots that I edited out any that had a hint of a smile. I realise now that I moved too far in the other direction and I need to address this by re-shooting or re-evaluating some of my earlier images in the session.
I was given a list of photographers to research and I'm looking forward to seeing where this direction will take me:
In conclusion I am relieved and happy that the assignment was received so well. I feel very encouraged by my "pep talk" and will definitely try to relax more and try not to let my creative side become hindered by technical worries.
Revised Final Images
Here are two images from one of the earlier shoots for this assignment. I have re-looked at them in the light of my tutor's comments about the tension and non smiling in some of my images. Both of these pictures had made it to my first selection stage but been rejected - live and learn...