Saturday, 7 January 2012

Assignment 3 Feedback: if at first you don't succeed...

…dust yourself down and try again. Or to quote Thomas Edison:

"I have not failed 700 times (to make a light bulb). I have not failed once. I have
succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have
eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will
In broad terms my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 3 is that I got too carried away with the invisible person motif and forgot to do the assignment(my paraphrase). Am I disappointed? A little. Am I surprised? Maybe not. I can’t help the feeling that perhaps I tried too hard to shoehorn a series of shots for which I had an emotional response into a brief which they didn’t really fit. I can now see very clearly on re-reading the instructions that I have missed the point of the assignment on a number of counts:

  • didn’t provide adequate (any in some cases) evidence of research or prior understanding of the buildings purpose and how well it succeeded;
  • didn’t describe how I set about showing the important features, nor what I learned photographically during the assignment;
  • in the shots at home I didn’t really reflect the relationship between the space and its use;
  • ditto the B&Q shot;
  • the hotel and home shots don’t really provide any context.

The first two of these could have been avoided by reading the instructions properly, which is probably what annoys me most – I only have myself to blame. So what can I salvage?

  • The Piz Gloria shots worked OK but I need the supporting text;
  • The railway station worked OK, but on reflection the invisible person motif interferes. I could resubmit without the invisibility treatment – but in truth without the invisibility the shots are a bit dull;
  • I am emotionally attached to the hotel room shots, so I can probably re-use a couple if I provide a bit more context (plus the written work)
  • Some pride – I have demonstrated that I have some decent Photoshop skills, and that I can express a feeling through photography.

This just leaves “What next?” which is, sadly, a fairly long list.

  • Dig out the tourist material that made me choose Piz Gloria as a possible shoot location, write up the rationale and what I learned;
  • Explain why I chose the hotel room, select/shoot some context material (it’s a regular shooting haunt) and do the write-ups;
  • Reshoot the railway station images and do the write up;
  • Choose and research two new locations, shoot and write-up.
  • Think about what to do with the invisible people – it feels to good a motif to abandon, even if this course is not the best place for them.

I think the primary conclusion is READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before you start, keep re-reading them as you work and check before you submit the assignment that it actually does what is requested.

It’s also worth remembering that being creative is not an excuse to ignore the brief.

Finally I’d like to thank Norman, my tutor, for his support over the last 48 hours and for writing the feedback in such a way that I could take the bad news positively. As a result I feel like getting stuck in rather than giving up.


vicki said...

Bad luck Nigel!
But it sounds like your tutor has been really supportive, so that's a plus. Good luck with the 're-working of it'.

You fill me with fear though—about to do my assignment 3 - colour TAOP — and I want to do still-life images for all—and they say 'try' not to? Now, worried!

Nigel Monckton said...

Thanks Vicky - although I don't think I can blame my luck. Am following your blog, so will look out for the results.