Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Assignment 1: Feedback and reflection

A bit of a delayed response on my part but I’m pleased with the positive and constructive feedback I received for Assignment 1.

Photo 1:

PnP Assignment 1 (1 of 7).jpg

Norman has suggested a slightly higher camera position, to avoid the impression of looking down into the camera, which as an issue I’d not thought of, and advised that:

For a close portrait in this format, it is a general rule to have the right corner of the eye as the midpoint in the composition. This is normally done in the cropping stage at the time of shooting or in post processing.

I’ve tried fiddling with the crop and can’t make it work on this image, so I’m thinking reshoot for this one. That would enable me to address the camera angle as well.

Photo 2

PnP Assignment 1 (2 of 7).jpg

Norman agreed with my assessment that this was possibly a little flat, lighting-wise, and also picked up the strong horizontal that runs through the eyes, although he described this as ‘hyper-critical’. Overall however he appeared to like the shot.

I have received other feedback that this shot is a bit too tightly cropped – which is a comment I received on a couple of my shots in DPP1. Obviously something I need to watch out for.

Photo 3

PnP Assignment 1 (3 of 7).jpg

Not much to say on this image other than to note that I have again been successful in avoiding reflections in my glasses.

Photo 4

PnP Assignment 1 (4 of 7).jpg

Not unexpectedly Norman commented that normal posing for a portrait would have the subject looking into the shot. Happy to accept this advice, but in this particular instance I was trying to emulate a style that was popular in corporate photography in the not too distant past. It is still suggested as a way to ‘perk up’ portrait photography – see here (Tip 2) for example, and has been used by such luminaries as Ida Kar, albeit in a very different context.

Norman also suggested dipping the head as a way to reduce the reflection in my glasses. If I can’t pp my way out of this I’ll probably reshoot for that reason.

Shot 5

PnP Assignment 1 (5 of 7).jpg

Norman did not share my concerns about the highlights in this shot , saying:

I don’t believe this could have been improved in any way.

Despite this response – which is obviously pleasing – I wonder if this will be difficult to print in a pleasing way. Perhaps a textured paper, which would also compliment the skin detail might be the answer.

Shot 6

PnP Assignment 1 (6 of 7).jpg

Described as ‘imaginative and unusual’ which is good because I sometimes think I struggle to be imaginative.

Shot 7

PnP Assignment 1 (7 of 7)

Again the comments were positive but beyond that not much else to say. I’ve tried this technique again, with the results here.

Other material

Norman has also suggested investigating the work of Joel Grimes, Dorothea Lange and Mark Cleghorn which I’ll be doing in the near future.

He also provided a link to this tutorial site:


Overall I’m reasonably pleased with the feedback. There is a range of useful tips, some interesting photographers to explore and plenty of food for thought.

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