A3 cut 1 – feedback from peer group

Below are the draft selects for A3, Windows. The project’s objective was to photograph a group that was not previously known to me (through a ‘window’), gaining their confidence to allow the photographs to appear as if I were an insider of the group. Note that the jpegs are reduced resolution for this purpose.

This post collects feedback from peers in the comments on the sequencing of the series and the photographs included (shared on OCA student website and OCA Level 1 Facebook page).

Click to view as large-size gallery

Summary of feedback

As well as the direct feedback, noted in the comments below, I enjoyed some interaction through the OCA student forum on this version of the selects. I summarise the anonymised suggestions here:

  1. Within the existing series check photos for out of focus background highlights that draw the eye away from the subject.
  2. Don’t be worried about cropping images in further to aid composition – if pixels are lost, lost detail in large prints is made up for in the distance of the viewer from the picture.
  3. Try a completely different edit using colour and a broader range of subjects (eg frames without people at all) – using colour as an aesthetic choice rather than being too concerned about the accuracy of colour in this context.

Based on this feedback, I will experiment with an alternative series and offer that for critique.

4 thoughts on “A3 cut 1 – feedback from peer group

  1. I love them – you get a real sense of their enthusiasm and joy in singing. I think someone over on the Facebook page mentioned that the singing ones worked better than those where there was no context, and I’d agree with that. On that basis, if it was me, I’d lose nos. 3, 11 and 12. However, by doing that, one is putting very tight boundaries around the contextualisation. Is that what you want, or would you prefer to broaden the set out from the images you have shown us, to show more about the background – the hall, people arriving, the social side, etc?

  2. Pasted from student website.

    OK. I hope Andrew doesn’t mind my comments being here.
    I’ve looked at these for a few days, not wanting to write firing from the hip so to speak.
    With any set of images the first impressions will be important whether the viewer is an editor, fellow artist or a casual passerby. These are strikingly bold high contrast monochrome and as a set do have some strength in the whole. The genre of the work is well defined and from the brief I can see how the mix of portraits and small groups works to get us into the environment that you are in.
    The end use of the images would work nicely amongst words about the choir, their history, competitions, concert prep etc.or as a small exhibition in a foyer of the concert. When working on a shoot like this the photographer is as you say an outsider, a new face in the room so I think you have done well to be able to get a set where clearly the subjects are not “bothered” by you. Maybe you made more than one visit so on the second visit you were a known entity and not at all conspicuous.
    I don’t think I would have done much different. Those where the subject is neither singing or holding music do seem a little out of context. They could be anyone and not involved. Backgrounds, some have out of focus highlights that drag my eye to them. Maybe they can be burned in a bit or alternative images used. Aspect ratio and orientation. I personally don’t like the typical 35mm FF aspect ratio, preferring to crop to 5×4 ratio. Difficult I know, but mixing landscape and portrait will depend on how they are being presented. On a magazine page, when mixed with text there are layouts that allow both with ease. In other circumstances having to rotate prints is a bother. I’ve sent a mix to assessment and thought they won’t like this but had no choice.
    It’s work where you have set out with intent and returned with a powerful image set that sit somewhere between photojournalism and environmental portraiture. As a PJ set perhaps the Who, What, Where, When, Why needs developing to put the people in context. Just my 2p worth.

  3. I’ve seen your work on FB and if it helps you i will post my thoughts here as well.I feel the B&W is your strong point from looking through your work but particularly here i feel it brings out the features in the face expressions so very well.The concept is very interesting and going through the selection i feel like i’m there ,an insider ideed.You can read so much on your subjects faces ,very interesting.I’m sure they had a lot of interesting stories to tell too.I believe you achieved what you set out to do.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment here too Gabriela – FB is also okay; I generally copy/paste feedback from FB to update the post. But, it is a lot handier directly onto the blog.

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