It has been helpful to base my final self-evaluation around the course assessment criteria.
Technical and visual skills
I feel that I have applied myself to all the course exercises and that these have helped to build my technical and visual skills and improve my knowledge, I have repeated some of the exercises for further learning and have benefitted from the process of reflecting on my work.
Please see the my re-work of exercise 2.6 for an example of how my reflection informed my approach to taking images with a narrow depth of field.
I am aware that technically, I have a lot to learn. However, I have become much more comfortable with my camera over the last twelve months in terms of the techniques covered in the course but am keen to develop my photography skills further, including techniques for editing with Photoshop. I am developing a habit of always looking and am beginning to see things in everyday life in terms of light and composition. I am much more aware of the ‘camera (as) a tool for expressing ideas’ (course notes p20) and of photography as a visual language.
I have become much more open to taking images that I would previously not have considered as appropriate and to looking at and enjoying the work of artists whose work is more difficult to understand.
Quality of outcome
I have experimented with print submission and I believe that the prints I submit for my final assessment are superior in quality to those I submitted in assignment 3. I am very aware of the importance of presentation in the visual arts and I am happy to be able to draw on the experiences of fellow students for their knowledge of options available.
I have completed all the set assignments and I have learned from my experiences and my tutor feedback. I can clearly see how I initially failed to address the brief for assignment 3 and by re-working it and considering my tutor’s comments, I learned a lot. My fourth and fifth assignments received much better feedback from my tutor and I was happy that I had fully addressed the brief in both these assignments and created some good images. In assignment five I have produced a piece of work with a clear concept that also shows something of my personal interest and perhaps the beginnings of a personal voice.
On reflecting on my submitted images, I am aware that, without exception, I have used a landscape orientation and a 2:3 ratio. This has largely been a deliberate decision. In exercise 4.5 for example, when photographing the tallest structure in the country, I chose to use landscape to avoid the emphasis on the height of the building in favour of different viewpoints. However, I have a mental note to experiment more.
Demonstration of creativity
Perhaps the most difficult part of the course has been the ‘creative’ side. By this I mean the formulating of ideas for assignment work. I envy those students who seem to overflow with creative ideas for their work. However, I am learning to draw on my personal interests and life experiences and I have found a particular interest in quite a number of areas. I am keen to develop further my interest in architectural subjects, ‘ordinary’ things, low light and night photography and women’s issues. Being a twin myself, I am also very interested in the ways that twins seem to be a popular subject for photographers keen to establish and point out similarities and differences between them. Twin photography from a twin’s point of view, or in collaboration with my twin, may be interesting for future work.
Exercise 5.2 demonstrates my own assessment of my work as creative, and this was a significant realisation for me. Through this analysis, I realised that I am learning to develop my creativity and I am pleased that I am starting to feel that this side of my learning has started to develop.
In my Insomnia Project I hope to show a sense of experimentation. I had a sense of wanting to say something and thinking about how I could translate ideas into images technically. My focus here was on the idea rather than technical excellence since it was not appropriate to set up a tripod in the middle of the night in a shared bedroom. However, I hope that it shows a desire to experiment and a sense of the development of my creativity.
My Food Project was an attempt to tell a story and present a political message about food consumption. This was in response to The Food Issue of the British Journal of Photography and it encouraged me to see my work as a means of conveying a particular meaning. My inspiration was in terms of the excesses within the food industry as explored by Bobby Doherty (BJP December 2016 p24). This was also an attempt to introduce something of myself into my work since it involved images of my own relationship with food and my routines around it. Ultimately it is an attempt to highlight the waste within food sales and the consequent effect on the planet.
My understanding of the art of photography has changed dramatically since starting this course. I have begun to know the work of significant artists and to develop an understanding of the history of photography and its place in the visual arts. I have a new understanding of photography as a visual language and how images can be used, like words, to convey a particular message or story, and can say things that may be impossible with words. I have been introduced to different genres of photography and to debates between photographers and to viewing the work of photographers exhibited in galleries. This has all given me a wider understanding of the world of photography and has started to open my mind to the possibilities for my own work.
British Journal of Photography (December 2017) Are you being served? The Food Issue. issue 7854