Reflective Presentation and Evaluation

Critical Review Essay

Expressing my Vision by Andrew Spooner (520268)

I went back to the profile I created when I first started this course to look at what my expectations were and at the time I simply wrote:

“I decided to study to improve my practical skills and learn how to better focus on what I am trying to achieve in my work. I expect that this field of study will give me the tools to do this.”

Now Looking back at where I was, using instructional books and videos to achieve a photographic effect with little or no regard for the finer points of serious photographic technique or composition. Much of my time with the camera had been spent in one program mode or another with only fleeting inquiries into Manual mode. I had knowledge but not enough to allow for deeper experimentation. This course would be a journey with a steep learning curve.

So did I achieve what I set out to do?

Well to answer that question we need to go back to the start.

It was clear from the outset there would be much to learn with the hesitant steps taken with my first assignment. I think part of me worried how my work would be received, whilst forgetting that it is after all a learning experience and I should expect to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from the experience along the way.

The course required that I setup a blog to document my learning as I progressed through the course and there is no escaping the fact we live in a digital age and more so now with the current conditions we are enduring during this pandemic. As such my learning log becomes more important than ever in communicating my approach and thought processes throughout the duration of my studies. Having some knowledge of internet applications already for presenting imagery and information is nothing new. For the most part the blog works well, it is easy to navigate, it is well structured with a varied amount of content.

The exercises in the early parts were engaging and I found them informative in helping me to understand the differing modes on the camera. Whilst the later parts would push more towards looking at photography more deeply and providing context and analysis of pieces of photographic work.

I found the freedom to experiment with my work liberating and it only served to increase my confidence behind the lens. If I did not get something quite right my tutor Russell would be on hand to provide feedback and allow me to look at ways of developing my work further. By assignment 2 we were using 1-2-1’s over video chat, something I was quite horrified at, when it first came up, but it is something I wanted to push forward with and try get myself out of this comfort zone of hiding behind my work.

This really came to the fore in assignment 4 as it turned out to be one of the weaker assignments in terms of context. Yet the advice he gave in making me look at the assignment in a different way, allowed me look more deeply at the work I was doing, which followed me through to the end of the course.

The one thing that stood out for me on a personal level was finding that the more I engaged with a piece of work or another photographer’s work, the more informed I became in generating ideas. This served me greatly in revisiting work I had covered previously, this included assignment two which had a long development process between the feedback, further research and experimentation during lockdown before revisiting again in the late summer.

The images I have selected for this presentation best reflect my ability to learn and look beyond anything I have done before. They explore my willingness to reflect on my own learning, develop new skills and techniques as well as push myself outside of the kind of photography that I have done before. They also show a thirst for experimentation and finally show my pride in being able to shoot in manual mode more confidently.

So did I achieve what I set out to do? Yes

I have become more confident behind the camera than I ever thought possible, despite knowing I have much more to learn about my craft and as such I have decided upon a full photography pathway for my degree going forward.

That said, there are several things I plan to take forward from this learning experience:

  • Experiment more, Experimentation is its own reward.
  • Read, Research and write up more of what I learn.
  • Treat each exercise as importantly as the assignment.
  • Plan my studies accordingly so I give each element the attention it deserves.
  • Keep a “thorough” journal of my work, something I found helpful in keeping me on track for assignment 5 and my submission. It helped to focus my thoughts and generate ideas.
  • Get more involved in peer group sessions online.
“Untitled” taken from Assignment 1 – The Square Mile (Reworked)
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 May, 2020
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/15s
“Untitled” taken from Exercise 4.4 – Personal Voice
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 23 March, 2020
  • Focal length: 105mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
“Untitled” taken from Research – Studio Lighting
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 16 May, 2020
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/6s
“Untitled” taken from Assignment 4 – Languages of Light
  • Aperture: ƒ/22
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 24 May, 2020
  • Focal length: 61mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 2s
“Untitled” taken from Exercise 5.1 – The distance between us
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 July, 2019
  • Focal length: 600mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
“Unititled” taken from Exercise 5.2 Homage
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS Kiss X4
  • Taken: 2 April, 2020
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/50s
“Untitled” taken from Assignment 3 – The (In)decisive Moment (Reworked)
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 March, 2020
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/2s
“Untitled” taken from Assignment 2 – Collecting (Reworked)
  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 30 August, 2020
  • Focal length: 41mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/2s
“Untitled” taken from Assignment 4 – Languages of Light (Reworked)
“Whitby Harbour at Dawn” taken from Assignment 5 – Photography is simple (Reworked)
  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 1 August, 2020
  • Focal length: 57mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s
“Sprotbrough Falls” taken from Assignment 5 – Photography is simple (Reworked)
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 24 July, 2020
  • Focal length: 42mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 65s

 

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 16 May, 2020
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/6s

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *